BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 746, 4th November 2010
The Vodafone-y War - In the past week as many as 21 Vodafone stores have been hit with direct action. The phone giant have become a widespread target for the national anti-cuts campaign following their multi-billion government-sanctioned tax-dodging shenanigans. 

SchNEWS 745, 29th October 2010
Serious Organised Crime - The six defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences this week. The harshest was the six years handed down to 53-year-old Sarah Whitehead. Sentences for the other defendants Tom Harris, Nicole Vosper, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping and Alfie Fitzpatrick ranged from a two year suspended sentence for the youngest, Alfie, to three and a half years for Nicole Vosper. All the defendants also copped lengthy ASBOs, which will prevent them from any further participation in animal rights activism.

SchNEWS 744, 22nd October 2010
Crude but Refined - Utmost secrecy, activist goodie bags and sheer determination shut down the the UK’s busiest oil refinery last week in one of the most well-planned actions the climate justice movement has seen so far. Stilt walkers, a samba band and around 500 activists blockaded the road to Croydon oil refinery in Essex on Saturday, stopping an estimated 400,000 gallons of oil getting to London’s petrol stations.

SchNEWS 743, 15th October 2010
Hammering home the Point - The ‘ITT’s Hammertime’ Smash EDO demo in Brighton on Wednesday (13th) ended with over fifty arrests, after police made it clear they were going to protect the arms makers at any cost. The demonstration planned to lay siege to Brighton’s premier weapons factory for the day, but police repression and a newly developed policy for preventative arrests put paid to the ambitious plans to push the factory out of town. With both a section 60 and highly restrictive section 14 in place, police were given even greater powers, which they gleefully exercised...

SchNEWS 742, 8th October 2010
Frontier Law - The No Borders camp in Brussels last week persevered in getting their message across by means of various direct actions despite widespread arbitrary arrests and shocking police violence, including physical and sexual abuse in police custody. At least 500 mostly ‘preventative’ arrests took place, and 14 people were seriously injured. Here’s a day by day report...  

SchNEWS 741, 1st October 2010
Unrest For The Wicked - Mass protests and strikes have broken out across the whole of Europe this week as the reality of already imposed and still pending austerity cuts becomes clear. Across the EU, rallies were held in thirteen capital cities and in Spain a general strike saw millions take action. On Wednesday (29th) around 100,000 representatives of the European trade union movement, including German miners and Polish shipbuilders, brought Brussels to a standstill to protest against the forthcoming savage spending cuts. The message “We will not pay for their crisis” is now resounding across Europe.  

SchNEWS 740, 24th September 2010
Brussels Sprouts Camp - 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.  

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.  

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

Thursday 11th November 2010 | Issue 747

WAKE UP!! IT'S YER STILL TOTALLY SMASHING....

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Losing Their Faculties | Raven Mad For It | SchMOVIES DVD Launch | Nukes? Gorle-Blimey! | Squat Crackdown, Bristol Fashion | All Party'd Out | Got The Hump Back | Mexico: Day Of The 10,000 Dead | And Finally

LOSING THEIR FACULTIES

AS RAMPANT STUDENT PROTESTS LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO MILLBANK...

Finally, perhaps, the wave is cresting... The fightback against the vicious Tory cuts programme has so far been restricted to placard waving demos and petitions (SchNEWS 745). Not any more – the placards are still there but now they’re being used to build bonfires in front of a windowless Tory HQ. And they say young people don’t take an interest in politics.

The NUS ‘Fund our Future’ demo - against Tory plans to extort £9,000 per year of tuition fees out of students - kicked off big time on Wednesday (10th). The aggro caught the Met with their pants down: despite the initial guesses that 24,000 would show up the real figure was more than double that - leaving 225 coppers policing a demo of 50,000+ (Fewer cops than at the recent ‘Hammertime’ Smash EDO demo - see SchNEWS 743). Not only were the numbers on the demo a total surprise but so was the militancy. Police are already admitting a major intelligence failure; they just didn’t see it coming.

A CLEGG TO STAND ON

The demo met at Trafalgar Square, and after taking a frustratingly slow time to get a move on, the march filed past the Houses of Parliament with a chant of ‘Nick Clegg, we know you, your a fucking Tory too’. One participant told SchNEWS, “At first sight it looked like the normal crowd of students, socialists and trade unionists but the presence of an up-for-it anarchist block showed a little more potential”.

As soon as the demo got to Millbank Tower - the Conservative Party’s headquarters - a group split off, ignoring the warnings of NUS and Union stewards. “This worked in our favour because it meant that those who ended up in front of Millbank were clearly the more up for it crowd. And there we were in front of Tory Party HQ - it’s an obvious and inevitable target. People are going to find ways to express their anger.”

The frontrunners swiftly occupied the foyer letting off smoke bombs and catching the Tory faithful inside totally off-guard. Meanwhile those outside were burning effigies of Clegg and Cameron. The few police there formed a thin (blue) line to prevent anyone else from getting into the glass atrium, and were pelted with eggs and placard sticks. The crowd of around 2,000 b egan shouting to those inside to start breaking the windows. Soon glass was flying and entrances spontaneously opened, allowing the crowd to surge in. Cops stood by helpless.

With the initiative won the students went on the offensive, attacking coppers standing in their way, smashing any Tory property they could get their hands on as they ascended eight floors to occupy the roof of the Millbank Tower. The coppers below came under a barrage of missiles from all sides including one projectile fire extinguisher from the roof. Around two hundred people made it into the building.

As night fell the TSG cleared the area and by the end of the day more than 50 people had been nicked and 50 cops injured. The building was totally trashed, with damage allegedly running into the hundreds of thousands. The whole place was liberally festooned with graffiti.

Our student said “finally we see people fighting back against these cuts. Today was people telling the government that they can fuck their austerity - and pay for their own crisis. Twenty-seven grand for a degree is going to turn universities back into play areas for the rich. The NUS wanted a passive march today but what will that achieve? A-to-B marches and petitions aren’t going to stop the government’s plans. We need a proper uprising.”

SCHOOLBOY ERRORS

Most of those kicking off weren’t your normal suspects and many were on their first demo. It seems many came unprepared and there are hundreds of photos of unmasked people smashing windows. The authorities have stated that they are determined to bring people to justice. A defence campaign has already started. Their advice to participants is currently:
 You have the right to silence. This means you have the right not to incriminate yourself. So we recommend you do not say anything online or offline, on the phone or in person about the events. If the Police arrest you, interview you or put your name and photo in the newspaper, then call a good solicitor - in Central London, we recommend Bindmans 020 7833 4433 or Christian Khan 020 7631 9500.

If you were one of those arrested see http://nov10.wordpress.com or email: Remember10112010@gmail.com

* And remember folks, the police make no secret of actively monitoring Facebook and other sites and it can all be used as evidence in court.
 

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RAVEN MAD FOR IT

Coal Action Scotland activists blockaded Ravenstruther coal rail terminal in South Lanarkshire for the fourth time on Wednesday (10th). The action closed operations at the Scottish Coal-owned site, which is the main loading site for all open cast mines in the Douglas Valley area, for several hours. As two protesters fixed themselves to the front gate with a concrete lock on, two others scaled infrastructure and attached themselves to the coal conveyor belt.

The action is the latest in a long struggle against the expansion of open cast coal mining in the county, which has involved both anti-coal campaigns and the local community (see SchNEWS 744/739/660).

* See http://coalactionscotland.org.uk

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SCHMOVIES DVD LAUNCH

Whether you’re in London or Brighton this week you’ve got the chance for a sneak selected screening of ‘Raiders From The Lost Archive’ - volume 1 of the 4th SchMOVIES DVD compilation spanning 2009 -2010, which saw world wide mass protests against Israeli plus the decommissioning of the EDO/ITT factory in Brighton. And significantly for SchMOVIES, the raiding and confiscation of its films and equipment by Sussex Police. Many of these films could not be finished for over a year because the police had the footage.

London: Monday November 15th, 7.30pm at The Pogo Cafe, Hackney.

Brighton: Wednesday November 17th, 8pm at the Cowley Club, 12 London Road - see www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.php for details and directions.

* SchNEWS Benefit Roast To help us get out of debt, SchNEWS hacks will be peeling spuds for a tasty Sunday vegan roast on November 14th at the Cowley Club, 2pm-6pm, dinners £4 – bar available.

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NUKES? GORLE-BLIMEY!

Over 3,000 anti-nuclear protesters took part in the blockading of a shipment of nuclear waste into north-western Germany this week. After activists and local communities spent four days blocking them at every turn, the toxic containers finally arrived at their Gorleben destination on Tuesday.

Thanks to a creative approach to getting the ‘No Nuclear’ message across, the journey took the longest-ever time of 92 hours. It was waylayed by hundreds of locked on protesters, tractors and a Greenpeace vehicle masquerading as a beer truck. Even 400 environmentally-minded sheep blocked the tracks in a case of inter-species solidarity, standing fast until police removed them one by one.

The so-called CASTOR containers of German waste are transported roughly once a year from Valognes in France, where they are reprocessed, back to Gorleben, Germany. Critics say that neither the waste containers or the Gorleben temporary storage facility are safe.

On Saturday, a further 50,000 people turned out to demonstrate against the shipment in the town of Dannenburg. The mass mobilisation was meant to show Angela Merkel that as far as her new pro-nuclear stance goes, she’s in the (radioactive) dog house.

Nuclear energy is unpopular in Germany, which felt some of the effects of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The country was heralded as a nuclear-free icon after the previous government promised to phase out nuclear power entirely by 2021 - but Merkel backtracked by pushing plans to extend the operating lifespan of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants through parliament on 28th October.

The previous phase-out plan had the backing of the German public, but this recent retreat takes an undemocratic hammer to this consensus - for the sake of extra profits for the large energy and nuclear industries. Meanwhile the government is also set to make a mint from demanding millions in extra funds from the energy companies for the transition to renewables.

Despite German riot cops normally being the stuff of nightmares, the security operation surrounding the four days of protest seemed relatively calm. The biggest clashes came on Sunday when riot police used water cannons, pepper spray and brute force to try and stop 4,000 protesters making their way through woods to the tracks near Dannenberg.

In a ‘police-with-morals’ shocker, the police have even expressed that they can’t be counted on to be the government’s lackeys. It has been suggested that many of the officers on the day shared the anti-nuclear sentiment of the protesters. The German police union has stated that they shouldn’t have to deal with the fall-out of unpopular political decisions, and besides, they didn’t like having to stand out in the cold for up to 20 hours.

Union Chief Konrad Freiberg described an “absolute” lack of support for their efforts, which involved 17,000 officers and cost around 50million Euros. The nuclear companies won’t foot a penny of this bill- leaving anti-nuclear taxpayers even more pissed off.

* See www.castor2010.de (translate in browser).

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SQUAT CRACKDOWN, BRISTOL FASHION

Autonomous society in Bristol is under serious threat as eviction faces the Stokes Croft Free Shop and Emporium, Frowning Motorcycle events space, Smiling Chair anarchist library, and three other squat houses. In a move that will effectively mean making 60-70 people homeless, the bailiffs have been getting busy all around Stokes Croft.

The anarchist library was hit by ‘heavies’ on Monday 8th,who started putting metal sheeting over doors and windows whilst people were still inside. The illegal bailiffs were quickly dispatched by the coppers, having been called in by the occupants, for attempting to imprison the squatters inside. Later the same night the Frowning Motorcycle events space, which is also home to 5 people, was targeted by more illegal bailiffs trying to crowbar their way in. Luckily, the space was secure and they left without gaining access.

Cheltenham Mansions, which houses around 40 people, has been served with an eviction notice, and Telepathic Heights and Magpie squats - collectively housing another 15 or so - have also been served with papers and are waiting to get their eviction notices any day.

The Free Shop and Emporium art gallery had their first court hearing for the eviction proceedings on Monday (3rd), despite absentee landlords Jerwood Trading Limited making no move to use, upkeep, repair, or develop the buildings in their seventeen years of ownership. This neglect saw the buildings being placed on the ‘at risk’ register by the council who also issued the owners with a compulsory purchase order.

The buildings have been transformed in the two-and-a-half years of squatted occupation,with shop fronts built from scratch, collapsing floors repaired, hole-ridden roofs patched up, windows refitted, asbestos removed, beds built and sewing machines installed. This effort by a group of determined individuals has turned two urban eyesores into thriving community hubs hosting exhibitions, film nights, discussion groups and skill-shares, not to mention providing clothing, books and household supplies to those who need it most, all free of charge.

The judge adjourned the hearing until December, to allow for the possibility of viable arguments against the owner’s claim of possession.

The community is determined to keep these free spaces occupied and stop the buildings falling empty and useless again. All evictions will be resisted and new spaces will be taken in the next week or two.

In the meantime, for those in the neighbourhood, get down to the Freeshop, open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 2-5pm. Or hit the benfit gig at the Frowning Motorcyle at 8pm on 26th November for punk, local cider, and involvement.

* See http://emporium37.wordpress.com

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ALL PARTY'D OUT

Ten of those charged in connection with organising the UK Teknival (See SchNEWS 727) pleaded guilty last Wednesday to holding unlicensed licensable activity and were sentenced at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court to a twelve-month community order, £200 court costs, and 100 hours’ community service (except for one unlucky offender who got 160 hours).

Of the thirteen charged in connection with last May’s rave, six pleaded guilty, six pleaded not guilty and one failed to show up at the hearing. On a positive note, many were pleased to finally get their personal effects back, such as mobile phones, CDs, CDJs and rare and irreplaceable record collections. As of yet larger sound equipment has not been returned but there is still hope that it may be recovered.

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GOT THE HUMP BACK

Protesters gathered at the Japanese Embassy last Friday (5th) as part of a global day of action against whaling. The group leafleted passersby, distributing nearly a 1,000 postcards about the anti-whaling day as London buses, taxis, lorries and cars hooted their support.

Japan is the biggest commercial whaling perpetrator and is using a loophole in the law, claiming to be killing the whales for scientific reasons. The day of action saw protests in 60 cities worldwide for the 2,000 whales are on the chopping block this season.

Every year during the whaling season the fleet of Sea Shepherd boats sail the high seas in an at-times perilous direct action campaign to protect whales and other ocean life (see SchNEWS 713). See also www.seashepherd.org/whales

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MEXICO: DAY OF THE 10,000 DEAD

On 3rd November, as Mexicans wind down the famous festival 'The Day of the Dead' the Mexican National Commission of Human Rights released the most complete study of this year's narco (drug) violence. Between the beginning of January 2010 and November 1st, 10,035 people are known to have been killed in Mexico's narco-civil-war.Ten thousand dead in ten months. One thousand per month. Over 2,700 of these killings occurred in one city, Ciudad Juarez. Over one percent of the children of Ciudad Juarez are orphans thanks to the war on/for narcotrafficking. Ciudad Juarez is officially the most violent city in the world (or perhaps joint 1st place with Mogadishu).

GONE LOCO IN ACAPULCO

Massacres, more or less indiscriminate, are on the rise at an alarmingly rapid rate. Last week, 14 people were killed at a car wash, another 16 at a party, and more at a drug rehab centre. On 30th of September twenty workers taking a holiday together in Acapulco 'disappeared' - kidnapped by the narcos. Apparently taken by mistake (the US army doesn't have a monopoly on collateral damage), no word has been heard, either from the victims or from their kidnappers.

Mexico's politicians never cease to amaze with their level of stupidity, but this year's 'Pendejo of the Year award (trans: Pendejo- complete and utter @*nt) might just go to the mayor of Acapulco who said, in response to the mass kidnapping, “Don't worry, Acapulco is safe, people don't just disappear. It's not the Bermuda Triangle you know.” On 2nd November police in Guerrero were directed to a 'narcofosso' (mass grave of gang victims) containing 20 bodies. Of these 18 were confirmed as the bodies of the missing tourists.

GULF WAR

Meanwhile the militarisation of President Calderon's drug war continues to escalate with no clear objective or end in sight. The latest high profile operation targeted the leader of the Gulf Cartel, Tony Tormenta. The marines, federal police and elite army units took out their man in his safe house in the border city of Matamoros last week. It took 650 troops to kill him, and 300 grenades were used in the operation. The Gulf Cartel tried to rescue their leader with a reaction force of some 80 4x4s full of armed gangsters, but, when it was obvious that he was dead (there was nothing left of the building) they went back underground. Government figures put the death toll for the weekend's violence at eight. Newspapers based in Brownsville, Texas, on the US side of the border, put the death toll at around 100, based on eyewitness reports.

The violence was further complicated by the involvement of the Zeta Cartel, who also fought running battles with with the Gulf Cartel. Many people speak of a conspiracy between the Zetas and the government- pointing to the likely source of the 'intelligence' that led to his discovery (the Zetas used to work for the Gulf Cartel). More likely is that the Mexican government just needs to regularly show scalps to their US bosses and the world press to prove success in the drug war, without any thought for strategy beyond the immediate term. The Zeta's have a reputation for being the most ruthless and violent cartel, and it's hard to see how replacing the Gulf Cartel with the Zetas could help the government in its war.

In such a bleak situation it's hard for civil society groups to organise, with so much of the north (and more) of the country paralysed with fear. But actions of one sort or another have been spotted. In Guadalajara, a city with a reputation for being a centre of calm and peace, a grenade attack in a residential neighbourhood left five injured, including two three-year-old kids. 'Concerned citizens' responded by posting signs (in the style of 'no littering' signs) around the neighbourhood urging people “please don't shoot, throw your weapons away in the bins provided.”

Other, more ballsy (or just plain fed up) groups have taken a more direct approach. In Ciudad Juarez (see above) over the weekend of the 29th of October the city held the 'Forum Against Violence and Militarisation.' Part of the event was a peace rally held near the university. A bit of enthusiastic chanting riled the Federal police, who responded by shooting 19 year old student (and member of the Zapatista's 'Other Campaign') José Darío Alvarez Orrantia in the back with an assault rifle. He survived, but only just, minus much of his intestines. That's what happens to people who are willing to fight for peace in Ciudad Juarez.

For more info see:
www.somoslosdemas.wordpress.com (news and analysis, irregularly updated)
www.laotradivisiondelnorte.wordpress.com (Spanish, but more satirical graphics that text)

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AND FINALLY

We’ve all been there during a city demo - nature calls and you wished a portaloo would magically materialise like the Tardis. For one protester at the students riot on Wednesday, he found a handy wall to piss against: the Headquarters of MI5, the secret intelligence service.

Met police watched him leave his territorial mark at the spy HQ, and when they requested identification, he shouted at them “I don’t have no ID card do I, fuck off I aint telling you who I am”.
It seems he got away with it and managed to merge back into the throng and disappear down Millbank. Obviously the spooks up in MI5 have got far bigger fish to fry than someone taking an errant leak.

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS advises all readers, you shouldn't try to buy what you already own. It's a price none of us can afford. 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.