| 24th January
1997 | Issue 104
| Download PDF
UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER RAVIN LUNATIC... SchNEWS 104
TO SHUT SHOCKER
regulation and surveillance could stifle the creative potential of
night life: to sanitise dance culture is to destroy its anarchic,
hedonistic essence." -
You're on your way to
your favourite club, but when you get there a notice is pinned on
the door. "Sorry, this club has been closed by the council because the police
suspect drug dealing/taking was taking place on these premises."
Arrest of the Week
For throwing a snowball.
A sixty year old Shoreham veteran was nicked by those happy-go-lucky
constables from Kent after joining in a mass snowball fight.
Two years of pent-up anger and frustration over the impartial
policing of live export demos spilled over in a very one-way
snowball fight, resulting in the cops getting their riot shields
out, and arresting the said man. He was later released without
As the General Election
draws near the government are fighting our nation's "declining morality"
with a puritan revolution they hope will make clubs clean up, clamp
down or shut up shop.
Last week Brighton Borough
Council refused to grant the licence for this year's Festival of
Freedom. The decision wasn't helped by new government guidelines
concerning dance events, which the police waved in the air at the
meeting to back up their objections. Yes, the event could go ahead
if the police could have CCTV cameras and a large presence. Festival
of Freedom, gulag-stylee? And most probably, if it was a paying
event, giving the council loadsa money.
With the popular panic
concerning Ecstasy, two sets of government proposals to regulate
festivals, parties and clubs have emerged. One is a programme of
guidelines released by the Home Office (see contacts list). The
other is the Private Members Bill by Barry Legg, Conservative MP for
SW Milton Keynes, who was involved in the oh-so-moral Westminster
Council "Houses for Votes" scandal.
The Home Office paper is a
series of guidelines and recommendations for local authorities when
granting public entertainment licences. Organisations like Release,
Lifeline, the Scottish Drugs Forum and Megadog had some input,
helping achieve some positive points like the provision of free
drinking water, good ventilation and chill-out areas. However, 20%
of the guidelines are so bad they make the rest unworkable! These
include increasingly stringent searches, anti-drug notices, strict
security, exclusion of convicted drugs offenders (erm... how?), installation of CCTV cameras... There was also the
idea, before it was laughed out of the paper, that there should be
intervals of silence during the evening so those dancers can calm
down and not get "over excited". Instead, now DJs will be
legally bound to quieten things down if people start whipping
themselves up into a mad frenzy. Your local Techno DJ could find
themselves on the wrong side of the law if they don't see the signs
and start playing more laid back tunes.
Inevitably, it will affect
festivals such as the Hackney Homeless and the Deptford Urban Free,
just as it has the Brighton Freedom Festival who now have to compete
financially with the heavy demands of the new licence requirements.
we are not careful night-life will turn out to be no different from
the bland consumerist playground of chainstores and fast-food
outlets which punctuate the daytime economy"
Andy Lovatt & Justin O'Connor, Manchester Metropolitan
University, Institute for Popular Culture
Legg's new Private Members
Bill, launched with Leah Bett's parents by his side, received its
2nd reading last Friday with no opposition. It is likely to become
law in March. It will provide councils with the power to shut down
clubs immediately if the police suspect drug taking or dealing. At
present clubs can stay open pending appeal. Legg states, "my
Bill will allow local authorities to clamp down on clubs that are
involved in encouraging the use and dealing of controlled drugs."
There are inherent
contradictions and side effects of both Legg's Bill and the
guidelines. Firstly, is the provision of drug advice at festivals an
admission that organisers are aware of "drug misuse" at the
event, and would a festival thus be liable to closure? Also, will
desperate club competition mean that rival clubs may "snitch" to
authorities so "offenders" will be closed? And what proof do
local authorities need in order to close a venue or party? Just
In any case, this
puritanism will not stop people taking drugs. The likely
consequences are that the scene will head further underground. The
CJA outlawed the free party and forced people into clubs; yet the
Bill and guidelines will sanitise, sterilise or close clubs, and
make obtaining licences increasingly hard.
Clubs, parties and
festivals are the few areas in our culture where we can express our
creativity; where barriers of race, class and sexuality are
transcended. Yet this freedom of expression is being quashed. These
requirements are another attempt to "clean us up". We need to
enlist the support of club owners and dance organisers, for it is
also their jobs and their lifestyle that are on the line.
Informed - Get Organised
Release Advice and helpline on drugs and legal matters 0171
of Good Practice for Safety at Dance Events"
guidelines available from the London Drugs Policy Forum 0171
booklet for SAE from Advance Party 0181 450 6929
* United Systems
International free party network. SAE for newsletter 0181
* Festival of Freedom
are carrying on, with a bigger and better festival for 1998.
01273 727 309
for action - photocopy! distribute! contribute!
Where the Air is Clear?
Last week saw the
go-ahead for the £172 million second runway for Manchester airport,
part of a £500m development scheme for Cheshire. 1000 acres of
greenbelt including 43 ponds, ancient woodland, 15 km of hedgerow,
significant river geological features, protected species (badgers,
bats, Great Crested newts), 21 buildings including four 17th century
Grade II listed homes will be covered in a two mile strip of tarmac.
There will be runway walks
every second Sunday starting the 26th Jan (meet 10:45 Piccadilly
Station, Manchester, or 11:30 at the Ship Inn, Styal.) There are
also plans afoot to set up camps, so those willing to get into the
Non-Jet-Set should contact Manchester Earth First! on 0161 224 4846.
According to the Climate
Action Network at a UN Conference on Global warming last year; "If
the airline industry was a country it would rank eighth in the world
in terms of emissions." It's time to hit them as hard as the road
builders have been! Go for it!
On Monday eighty ports
around the world took some form of industrial action in support of
the 500 sacked Liverpool dockers. Dockers in Australia, America,
Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Montreal, Denmark, Sweden and
elsewhere joined together in one of the biggest shows of
international solidarity for years.
At the Seaforth docks in
Liverpool 14 people braved the coldest night of the year and chained
themselves onto the top of the 150 foot gantry cranes stopping the
unloading of a grain ship - for 27 hours - not just in support of
the dockers but also to show disgust of the unloading of genetically
engineered soya beans coming in through' the port. On the ground
traffic was disrupted by a convoy of over one hundred taxi drivers.
The Liverpool dockers went
on strike seventeen months ago in protest against casual labour and
have been an inspiration to us all. However, they are in desperate
need of cash. Donations please to the Merseyside Port Shop Stewards,
c/o TGWU, Transport House, Islington, Liverpool, L3 8EQ 0151 207
US pressure on the European
Parliament has led to the decision last week to allow Genetically
Engineered food to be sold without labelling. Despite the UK
Government vowing in December that it wouldn't be pushed around by
America, this is one piece of commercial protectionism they can't do
anything about. The only way now to check if food has GE ingredients
will be to ask the European Commission if it's on their register.
Jan Support the Asylum Seekers
Hunger Strike - meet outside Home Office, 5-6:30
Jan Rochester Prison, Kent, 2pm.
Coach, Hackney Town Hall, 12:45. Contact Brian 0181 986 3606
Jan SchLIVE & Conscious
Cinema at Sussex Uni, East Slope Bar. 01273 685913
Jan Menwith Hill blockade.
Cat or Helen on 01943 468593
Feb Party and Action to celebrate
birth of spring. Faslane Peace Camp 01436 820901
Feb Anniversary of Jill Phipps'
death. Nation-wide actions. Contact 01203 632 873
Feb Groundswell Conference
against Job Seekers Allowance. Chestnut Community Centre, 280
St. Ann's Rd, Haringey, 12-6pm. "Project Work" is about to
be tested in 29 new areas affecting up to 100,000 claimants -
come to meeting to help co-ordinate nation-wide resistance to
these attacks Info: PO Box 2474, London N8
SchNEWS training day. Call 01273 685913; followed by
meeting on Project Work at Albert Pub, Trafalgar St., Brighton
the Streets! Contact
London RTS for coach on
0171 281 4621
Anniversary of Mike Hills' death: Nation-wide actions against
hunting. 01203 632873/ HSA 01273 622827
Football Solidarity! Brighton Independent Supporters Club
ask supporters from other clubs to turn up in their colours to
show solidarity at the Hartlepool game. 01273 870875
anniversary of the Sea Empress disaster. Mass direct action
against oil industry and Milford Haven Port Authority 01749
812665 (more info next
Farnham Fusion Festival, 4 rooms of music mid-day to
midnight - £12 01483 454159
workshop for dedicated protesters, discretion guaranteed.
Brighton venue. Bring old newspapers, oil paints, flour,
wallpaper paste... 0850 974181
Against the Arms Trade One-Day
Conference to plan actions to stop the torture trade: Caxton
House, London N19 (Archway tube) 0171 281 0297
political cabaret at the Sanctuary Cafe, Brunswick St. East,
Hove. Performers welcome to contribute. Ring Justice?
Reclaim The Valley on the anniversary of the first battle
of Daisy Nook camp, actions organised against the M66 extension.
0161 344 0255.
Sorted 'appenin' Brighton band are on the road in April
- seeking more venues! If you 'appen to 'ave one -
call Flying Fish on (01273) 680077. 'Avin' one! Innit!
Ban for Peaceful Protest
Peaceful protests involving
gatherings of more than twenty people "normally
go unchallenged" but the High Court has thrown it's weight
around by ruling that people have no basic legal right to such
gatherings. The decision, respecting the "trespassory assembly"
provisions of the Criminal Justice Act, over-turned an appeal case
in which Salisbury Crown Court had said there was no case to answer
for two people who had been arrested for being within four miles of
Stonehenge, where the police had ordered an exclusion zone.
Salisbury Crown Court was criticised for accepting that "any
assembly on the highway is lawful as long as it is peaceful and
non-obstructive of the highway." That, says the High Court, is
"mistaken." The protesters involved will try to take the case to
the House of Lords, and on to the European Court of Human rights, to
have their acquittals re-instated. The moral of the story: don't
have more than 20 friends!
can't be always at the barricades, and criticism is more
effective backed by positive human solutions to the world's
needs. So here's something to look forward to....
the thought of 40-hour fun-free weeks of multinational misery
not appeal to you? Are your whiskers too sensitive for the rat
race? Then this is for you ... On Sat. February 1st. Oxford Uni
are holding an alternative careers fair. From 10am-4pm @ the
Examination Halls, High St, Oxford, there will be speakers,
potential employers and stalls. Also a workshop on alternative
media featuring a SchNEWS bod. Ring 01865 316121 for details.
It may be bloody obvious to
most of us at SchNEWSdesk, but now it's official - successful
politicians and stockbrokers share many of the characteristics of
clinical psychopaths. Research by Liza Marshall at the Caledonian
University in Glasgow claims that these so called "high flyers"
are selfish, callous, remorseless, pathological liars, and basically
anti-social, parasitic con artists (you get the picture!). The
difference, it seems, is that these psychos don't break the law. But
since they made up the laws in the first place it's not surprising
(or if they do, they get the best solicitors or feign senile
The SchNEWS warns all readers not to attend free
parties. Ensure that the only movements you make are economically
useful, and sit at home and listen to Des O'Connor albums. Never
attend any party that does not include jelly and ice cream and
always blow out the candles before the cops arrive. Then you will be
Keep SchNEWS free! Just send stamps (eg 20 for 20 issues) or donations
(payable to Justice?) Or, if you can afford it... £15 for
a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporters rate, £1
a week. Ask for 'originals' if you plan to copy and distribute.
SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners. SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle PO
Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex BN2 2DX. Tel/Fax (call before faxing):
(01273) 685913. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Too many drugs affect
Both Leggs Bill and both Bill's legs. Too much wood would a
legless woodchuck chuck?