| 27th September
1996 | Issue
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S
YER SCAB FREE...
Scan Version - Front Page | Back Page
At the beginning of September,
members of the Luton based party and housing action group Exodus
prepared to party European style. Following a successful conference
by INURA (International Network of Urban Regeneration and Action)
in Luton, the Exodus Collective were invited over to Zurich by a
similar Swiss group - Rote Fabrik. Collective member Karen explained
to SchNEWS, "Dance is big in Switzerland. They don't get
the hassle that we do. Rote Fabrik receive government funding for
their community/youth centre." Switzerland is the 2nd richest
country in the world, yet despite their wealth, or maybe because
of it, they place sufficient faith in people out of work to pay
them a welfare allowance of 85% the national average wage.
Two international gatherings
in the space of a month. Both positive, complementary and uplifting.
The crew pack up and make the journey home. To what? "While
we were away, 60 police officers raided the Farm... another trick
to try and discredit. Yet what did they take away? A bag of sugar
and a bag of baby milk. Please"
But this is just one
minor hassle compared to events over the last four years. The collective
have fought police harassment, press smears, council skulduggery
and an alleged covert freemason campaign. They now face eviction
from Long Meadow Community Farm, where school trips are arranged
so that local kids on the estates can have first hand experience
of rural life and livestock. The Exodus Community dances have faced
high court injunctions, equipment seizure, road blocks, even legislation
to increase the penalties for people organising unlicensed 'raves'...
brought about by local Tory MP Graham Bright.
And yet they continue
to grow and thrive.
Haz Manor was first squatted
in March 93. A formerly derelict old people's hospice on the edge
of Luton, it has been totally rebuilt to house 40 people. Repeated
plans have also been put forward to the local council asking for
space in which a community centre can be developed. When the first
plans were put forward in early 93 Exodus began a promising dialogue
with Dunstable Police. Chief Inspector Mick Brown told local press
at the time, "What we need to do is find premises that the
organisers need, to come up with the proof that their ideas work."
Shortly after, Luton police swooped on Long Meadow Community Farm,
arrested 12 people and seized sound equipment. This led to a 4,000
strong protest by disappointed party people... outside Luton Police
Station! Members of the collective believe that the man putting
political pressure on police chiefs was none other than...Graham
What are the authorities
so afraid of? The Swiss Government give cash to people prepared
to act; all we get is grief. And if any town needed somewhere for
the young to gather, it was Luton. Back in 1993 it was compared
to New York by a national newspaper, which came to the conclusion
that the two weren't dissimilar, in terms of drug problems, firearms
offences, joy riding and social deprivation. However, that same
year Luton recorded a 6% dip in the previous year's crime statistic.
Exodus claimed some of the credit for this: "We gave a lot
of young people somewhere to dance, and that kept them off the streets
and out of trouble."
There certainly seems
to be a concerted effort, by persons unknown, to create situations
to put the boot in. Hassling their local freemasons probably doesn't
help. (Roy Davies, Labour Councillor and Leader of Luton Borough
Council was recently 'outed' as a mason, and last week Judge Maurice
Drake stepped down from the trial of one of the Collective members
after it was disclosed that he was a member of the Royal Arch, an
elite order of the freemasons.) Even local brewers Whitbread feel
threatened - they lose thousands in pub sales when parties are held.
Exodus is a grass roots
community group, providing housing and popular entertainment...
that works. It may not be conventional, but real change isn't made
by following convention. It's about being able to answer the needs
of the community and about taking responsibility and regaining control
over our lives. Nuff' respect.
The Collective are
currently undertaking negotiations with the Dept of Transport regarding
the proposed sale of Long Meadow Community Farm. Despite the promise
of first refusal on the property, it has been verbally sold to another
party without prior consultation.
Contact Exodus on
01582 508 936. Ring this number for party details next weekend.
The Crown Court case
of Paul Taylor (Biggs) is still underway as we go to press. The
charges have been dropped from murder to GBH as self defence and
we'll bring you the verdict next week.
of The Week
have been getting all hot under the collar about mysterious
tunnels appearing under the Newbury Bypass. Contractors tried
to block them up with concrete, but protesters turned it into
lock-ons! This annoyed the cops who threatened anyone who
didn't come out of the tunnels with "criminal damage
to soil" (!), then issued a press release saying that
tunnels are a serious safety concern for children! (And the
Bypass will be a really safe place for kids to play). Next,
two professional cavers had to be called in (at £3000 each)
to investigate and seal the tunnels off...
charges against Brighton Reclaim The Streets arrestees dropping
like nine pins, one man still has charges hanging over him.
After giving out leaflets he was first charged with 'Conspiracy
to Cause Breach of the Peace,' but this has now been changed
to - well, actually, there's no charge, just "that you
did cause a nuisance to the public in Churchill Square by
distributing leaflets at an unlawful demonstration... contrary
to common law." Are they serious?
A 17 year old
from Bexhill-on-Sea has been reported to the police for 'wilful
October 1st marks the
first anniversary of the Hillingdon Hospital strike. 56 Asian women
domestic workers were sacked for refusing to sign new contracts
by Pall Mall which would have meant a 20% pay cut - just £2.70 an
hour, as well as cutting sick and holiday pay. Not only that, they
have also had to occupy Unison HQ to get the backing of 'their'
union. Picketing has been continuing 7 days a week. In the meantime
Pall Mall have been seriously dented, winning only one contract
in the Health Service since the dispute began, and having to increase
pay at another hospital as a result.
* Mass Picket 1st October
outside Hillingdon Hospital, Pieldhealth Rd 7 -8 am/12-2pm
* 5th October : Demonstrate
- meet Uxbridge Civic Centre 12 noon. More info on 01895 255 071
Green Light for More
Yet another blow was
dealt to travellers on Tuesday when the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg rejected a British woman's claim that she had
a right to live in a caravan on her own land. Judges threw out her
plea that refusal to grant planning permission for gypsy caravans
was in violation of Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, which
guarantees the right to respect for private and family life and
The judges said the British
Government had acted within its rights in refusing single mother
June Buckley planning permission. Cambridgeshire Council said the
caravans would be an eyesore, visually intrusive and detracting
from the rural and open quality of the area, adding that there were
special facilities for gypsy caravans just 700 metres from Mrs.
Buckley's land. However, she refused to apply for a pitch there,
claiming it was crime ridden and not fit for a single mother with
reacted angrily to the decision. A spokesperson for Friends and
Families of Travellers (FFT) told SchNEWS, "It's just economic
racism. If you've got the money you can get what you want - if you
haven't then it's very difficult. Councils who don't want travellers
in their area now have the perfect excuse to turn their applications
down." Eli Frankham of the Romany Rights Association said,
"A lot of councils have been treading water waiting for
this decision. Now I think they will move all over the place. I
foresee some awful evictions."
Despite the Government
arguing that planning laws applied equally to all citizens and that
special provision had been made for gypsies, figures compiled by
FFT found 86% of planning applications by the settled population
were successful compared to just 4% of travellers applications.
Since the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) councils
are no longer obliged to supply caravan sites and eviction procedures
are much easier. The number of caravans parked in fields and waysides
has fallen by 11 per cent since the CJA came into force.
Mrs. Buckley's solicitor
said she had failed on a technicality and vowed to fight on.
* Confined, Constrained
and Condemned - Civil Rights and Travellers. Published by Friends
and Families of Travellers £5 + 50p P&P from Top Floor, 33 High
St., Glastonbury BA6 9HT 01458 832371
* Travellers Times
- first issue of the newsletter of the Telephone Legal Advice Service
for Travellers, Cardiff Law School, PO Box 427, Cardiff, CF1 1XD.
Helpline staffed 9am - 1pm every weekday 01222 74580 Fax 01222 874097
Party & Protest
Fri 4 - Sat 5
Two days of activities organised by Anti Fascist Action to commemorate
the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street and the Spanish
Civil War. Rally on Friday at Camden Irish Centre, 52 Camden Square,
NW 7.30 pm. Films, exhibitions and speakers £4/£3 (Rio Cinema, 103
Kingsland High St., Dalston, London E8 Sat 1pm) and music (The Oppressed
& Stage Bottles Sat 8 pm Camden Irish Centre £5/£3) More info
AFA, BM Box 1734, London, WC1N 3XX 0161 232 0813
Sat 5 - Sun 6
Nationwide action against the Torture Trial, Campaign Against The
Arms Trade 0171 281 0297
Sun 7 'Out
of the Ghetto' discussion 3pm at the 121 Centre, Railton Rd., Brixton.
Organised by Contraflow mag. (New issue out now for a donation +
SAE to 121 Railton Rd., Brixton, London, SE24. They are skint and
it could be the last, so why not bung 'em some cash quick smartish.)
Tue 8 Six
months since the fatal CS Gas spraying of Ibrahima Sey - picket
of Forest Gate Police Station 7pm 0181 555 8151
Alternative Festival 01224 635822
Thur 10 Simon
Sutherland appeal against a 5 year sentence for graffiti art! Appeal
Court, Strand 10am. Lots of support & noise needed 0171 737
Fri 11 - Sat 12
New Moon with Friends of Twyford Down : exhibition, meeting, lanterns,
song, dance & sacred gathering in Winchester 01962 868763. People
are getting a book together about what happened on the Down; photographs,
letters etc. for inclusion to P.O.Box 162, Winchester, Hants, SO23
Sat 12 Sufficiency
96 Day School organised by Enough - looking at the social and environmental
consequences of consumerism. Friends Meeting House, Mount St., Manchester
M1 5NS. Suggested contributions £5 waged/£1 unwaged 0161 225 4507
Sat 12 Interational
day of solidarity with McDonalds workers, including picket in Manchester
organised by parents of McDonalds worker electrocuted at work 4
years ago 0171 713 1269
Tue 15 The
Motor Show - 'celebrating' 100 years of the motor car - is at the
NEC Birmingham. Reclaim The Streets are planning an action for the
first day 0121 449 5452
Wed 16 Annual
worldwide day of action against McDonalds. Plus picket of McDonalds
Head Office, East Finchley High Rd., London N2 (opp East Finchley
Tube) 4.30 - 6.30pm 0171 713 1269
Fri 18 More
Prisoners, Less Rights - An evening in support of prisoners rights
with speakers (including one of the Justice? crew), music, poetry,
prisoners' art exhibition and a glass of wine £6/£2 unwaged Bridewell
hall, St. Bride Foundation Institute, Bride Lane (off Fleet St),
London EC4 (Blackfriars tube). Info Terry O'Hallaran Memorial Fund,
BM Box 5960, London, WC1N 3XX
Sat 19 Anarchist
Bookfair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1
Sat 19 Reclaim
The Streets in Manchester. meet 1pm Albert Square 0161 226 99041
Sat 19 Apple
Sun 20 Conference
on the JobSeekers Allowance. Brighton Unemployed Centre Ltd. 01273
Thur 24 National
Mahogany Action, somewhere in Kent 01603 611953
SchNEWS in Brief
King Arthur is in prison
again. He is refusing to wear prison clothing, as they will not
let him wear his ceremonial robes, and is doing a naked protest
as a result. To show how lenient they were, the warders decided
to let him see the sun rise for the equinox to practice his pagan
beliefs. The only problem was that they wouldn't let him out of
the prison courtyard, and seeing the sun rise behind a 40ft prison
wall is a tad difficult!
* Victory in the valleys
- Powys County Council have turned down Celtic Energy's planning
application for an extension to Nant Helen open-cast. Info 01792
* Protesters in York
fighting an out of town shopping centre development on the site
of the old Naburn Hospital were evicted this week. With massive
local support they have vowed to fight on. Info 0831 586938
On September 30th, the
founders of the Medical Marijuana Foundation (MMF), Robin and Adrienne
Scott, will be in Truro Crown Court, defending criminal charges
of possessing, producing and supplying cannabis.
Established in 1995,
to make marijuana available to those who would medically benefit
from it, and working alongside Dr. Roger Pert, a world authority
on marijuana, the MMF acquired a factory where they were to produce
'vitamin bombs' - a combination of Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E
and extracted essence of cannabis. It has been found that those
suffering from MS, ME, PMT, asthma, glaucoma and arthritis (to name
but a few) have experienced alleviation of symptoms with use. They
were thwarted in their attempts by a police raid last Christmas.
MMF, The Old Farmhouse,
Crylla, Common Moor, Liskeard, Cornwall, PL14 6ER 01579 346592
* A former copper who
made British legal history when he went on trial in a bed, has been
cleared of conspiring to cultivate cannabis. 51 year old Graham
Peacock - who served 26 years in the Met Police - was alleged to
have been part of a sophisticated racket to grow "skunk weed"
in four commercial premises. But Peacock, who suffers from a painful
back condition and was given special permission to lay on a bed
throughout his trial, told Southwark Crown Court that the premises
had been sub-let by acquaintances and he had no idea what they were
using them for...
Radiation is good for
you! According to John Graham, vice-president of British Nuclear
Fuels, daily doses are fine, and one day might be required to promote
health! His remarks were reported in Professional Engineering, alongside
comments from Morris Rosen, adviser on environmental affairs to
the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He reckons that
evacuating so many people from the area around Chernobyl was an
over-reaction and caused a deterioration in their quality of life!
Maybe these two have
been listening to closely to Ahmet Ozemre, the Director of the Turkish
Atomic Energy Institution, who - after Chernobyl had covered his
country in radiation - told his people, "eat everything; eat
whatever you find without fear". Cahit Aral, Trade Minster
went one further saying that "anyone claiming that radiation
(from Chernobyl) has affected Turkey is an atheist and a traitor."
Things started getting out of control - "Radioactive tea is
more delicious, more tasty," with Turkish tabloids even asking,
"Does a certain level of radiation have an aphrodisiac function?"
Britain wasn't impressed,
and sent back Turkish tea after discovering radiation counts well
above the norm. Germany and Holland followed suit sending back hazelnuts.
And what happened to them? Well..eh...they were fed to Turkish soldiers
- and Aral blurted out eight years later at an informal press conference
: "We did take our revenge on the Soviet Union for the nightmare
of Chernobyl by exporting the contaminated hazelnuts to Russia."
Are these people suffering
from radiation sickness? You decide.
The SchNEWS warns all
readers not to try and get better by treating themselves. Always
get your medicines from your caring drug multinational and you will
remain in the best of health. Honest.
SchNEWS free! Just send 1st class stamps (eg 20 for 20 issues) or
donations (payable to Justice?) Mark 'Original' if you plan to copy:
SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle PO Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex BN2 2DX.
SchNEWS is free to prisoners tel/fax: (01273) 685913. email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Justice? meeting
tues 1st October 7:30pm. @ the Albert trafalgar st. Films
& chat about Direct Action Conference