| Issue 6 | PDF
Justice? Brighton's Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal
Victory for direct
Shoreham protestors were
celebrating a massive victory for positive direct action this morning
at the Port Authority's decision not to renew the contract on the
export of live animals after costs of £2.1M and the discredit of
police handling of the affair.
Arrests were arbitrary
and the final figure of 84 belies the widely reported peacefulness
of those on the front line. At one point last week police attempted
to use the Criminal Injustice Act - charging one protestor who had
leapt into a garden with Section 61. Bit of a lack of understanding
of the law, officers - this is the part of the Act pertaining to
illegal camping! Section 61 states that it is a criminal offence
"if two or more people trespass on land with the intent to
reside for a period of time." Surprisingly the defendant did
not have a tent with him at the time and the judge threw the case
out of court. In Plymouth, where the trade continues, there were
11 arrests at the weekend for "obstruction of the public highway",
again arbitrary. Bizarre as it sounds, but one of those arrested
was the manager of a very meaty local fast-food chain.
In Brightlingsea, Essex,
outrage has greeted the Essex police numb-skull attitude as documented
all over the national media at the moment. Squats are being broken
- contact Stuart on 0589 311738. Rights carrying animals out of
Coventry are to be stopped with a demo on Feb 11th while D-locking
to the axle of lorries seems to be the course of action in Swansea.
and green activists are to be targeted by special branch as part
of a change in security procedures, reports the Independent. Two
examples of recent activism are the M11 and Twyford campaigns, it
continues. Although the MI5 have little to do now there is an IRA
ceasefire and the end of the Cold War it stretches credibility to
call overtly peaceful protestors terrorists.
Such a loose definition
has extremely dangerous implications to protestors as the Criminal
Injustice Act has extensions to the 1989 Terrorism Act including
28-day road-blocks and the power to search persons "whether
or not [the police officer] has any grounds for suspecting a crime
(Section 81). Under the CJA it is also illegal to collect or record
information, "including photographs" that could be useful
to (eco?) terrorists, an offence punishable by up to ten years imprisonment.
We are now, according
to this report, a "threat to national security". All this
for trying to save the planet? What the movement against the CJA
now faces is the British state's classic strategy for attacking
popular movements it doesn't like - trying to isolate the 'extremists'
from their growing support and using physical violence and imprisonment
as it's tactics. One smashed lorry window and the Daily Mirror spouts
this: "Having woken from the nightmare of Provo terror, it
would be the cruellest of ironies for the British people if blood
were now to be spilled on our streets at the hands of an ugly new
band of terrorists." It is as if repetition of the word 'terrorists'
(and doesn't terrorism have to include another country?) and gross
misrepresentation (see Sunday Times) will create this as a reality.
It would be really laughable
if the consequences were not so serious. It is already known that
MI5 are officially monitoring Freedom Network. Following an appearance
on the BBC they had their computer stolen with the database of all
national contacts yet the 'thieves' left the keyboard and screen?
It has been said that "you only feel the chains when you start
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT
Hunt Labs 95
Road Protesters 7
Tree Defenders 2
come in at end of Feb)
3 arrested @ Wimpey
Road protestors moved
up to challenge travellers in the CJA arrest league when three were
done for "aggravated trespass" in Bristol last Friday.
Protesting in solidarity with the No M77 campaign in Pollok Park,
Glasgow, the three were part of a group occupying the South West
offices of the contractors Wimpey Construction. Once in the forecourt
the police decided to make arrests - pulling one of them back on
to their land in order to do so. Meanwhile at the British Road Federation's
AGM on Monday police swarmed in large numbers making action difficult.
"No problem", said Becka of Road Alert!, "we just
jumped on a tube to the Highways Agency and occupied their offices
Chief Executive Lawrie
Haynes tried to ignore chaos around him as people helped with filing
and answering telephones. "We told callers that this was now
the Bicycle Lane Agency and that building roads had finished."
Back at the BRF the police operation looked plain ridiculous for
the six who had stayed. Campaigner Richard Terry: "The BRF
is an organisation representing powerful vested interests. It is
interesting that they are able to summon such an over-the-top police
presence for a small, peaceful group. Our action at the Highways
Agency showed we will not be deterred from taking our case to the
core mechanisms responsible for destructive roadbuilding".
Up at the No M65 Cosmic
Tree Village in Lancs national barricading weekend has kicked off
to defend a row of houses due for destruction by the 12 mile long
route. Stanworth Valley has the most dramatic tree-houses and axial
walkways yet seen. The steep sides are going to make cherry-picking
a bit of a puzzle. Call 0772 704103. In Exeter trees are being destroyed
now! The preliminary contract has been staffed on the Exeter-Honiton
Rd. They need help! Call 0392 424469.
"they can chain
the body but they'll never kill the spirit"
Justice? have received
another letter from the growing band of political prisoners in this
country. Hunt sabber Phil was arrested at Hyde Pk and the anti-BNP
Welling demo. He writes: "Hello! Thanks for your card, really
good to hear from you all, brothers and sisters! Things are ok here
in Costa Del Elmley - a few silly rules but I'm settling into my
temporary home. Just to fill you in with the boring bits - waiting
for sentence over Welling on Section 1 (Public Order Act) probably
in April and awaiting trial for Hyde Pk do last year. Originally
charged with Section 2 but had it dropped to Section 3 (affray)
- received a few bumps and bruises c/o The Met but remember Keep
it fluffy ??? Seems things are quite busy close to home and 95 is
going to be a good year! No Live Exports, Sabbing, McLibel - exciting
times. United we stand. Well take care of yourselves and stay free
(if not I've put the kettle on just in case!). Anarchy, peace and
freedom, Phil." Phil E13496, House Block 2, HMP Elmley.
FRIDAY 27 JAN @ 9.30am
Hexham Magistrates, Fore St, Northumbria. Two for "ag tress"
SATURDAY 28 JAN @ Maidstone Demo - leading to
THURSDAY 2 FEB @ Maidstone Magistrates. Two for "ag tress"
hunt sabs. Sorry for size of diary - no time.
The CJA is so full of
state powers over our lives that it's hard to pick out one bit as
being particularly disgusting - but if you had to choose, then the
idea of building children's prisons would have to be a strong contender.
There are plans to build five of these prisons, politely called
'Secure Training Centres' by the government, to hold up to 200 children
aged between 12 and 14. The idea has been condemned by almost everyone
involved in juvenile justice as doing nothing to stop crime and
inevitably leading to more crime and child abuse. But hey, if Michael
Howard can get a few votes from mind-numbed bigots by blaming 12
year olds for all our problems then it's worth it, isn't it?
A sane society faced
with 12 year olds committing serious crimes would try to work out
why such children commit crimes - usually because they've had a
terrible time at the hands of adults - and give them and their families
some support to stop them reoffending. It might even look at what
lies behind youth crime - massive poverty, decaying schools and
social services - and do something to deal with these problems.
But if you're the government responsible for these problems in the
first place then locking up 'evil' children avoids a lot of unwanted
Local authorities and
social workers have refused to have anything to do with the new
prisons so they are to be run, for a profit, by private security
firms - Group 4 are keen to make some cash out of it. Under the
proposed guidelines for running the centres, the children will have
none of the protections against abuse that they have in childrens'
homes - they will be denied their basic human rights.
A child can be forcibly
strip-searched by a single member of staff with no one else present
during the search. All mail to and from a child can be read and
censored. The director of the prison can stop all family visits
whenever he wants. Just to make sure no one finds out too much about
what's going on in these places the Home Secretary has to give permission
for a child to communicate with anyone - or for any outsider to
visit these centres. Inevitably bullying, abuse, self-mutilation
and suicides will be common in these institutions. The children
who survive their time inside will come out more abused and embittered
and more likely to reoffend than ever.
The CJA is going to put
lots of people in prison for dancing, protesting, staying silent
and lot's more. The fact that the politicians, Tory and Labour,
are even prepared to scapegoat children for society's problems shows
just how sick they are. We will defend and support anyone put into
prison under the CJA - and that includes the children.
@ new kensington. (kensington gardens) every Fri @ 5.45pm
For further copies of
the SchNEWS send stamps/donations to SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle PO
Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex . Tel: (01 273) 685913.
Or pick one up @ Peace Centre, Gardener St, Brighton and around
on-line next week - promise!
lock onto lurve!