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Home | 24th February 1995 | Issue 11Solsbury Hill

Justice? Brighton's Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal Injustice Act


CJA Arrestorneter
Hunt Sabs 107
Travellers 11
Road Protestors 1
No live exports 3
Tree Defenders 2

Government U-turn on Roads?

"When you see the area what's about to be destroyed you'll understand why this issue has grown into the largest environmental campaign of direct action ever seen in Scotland"

Seven more MT people have been arrested since the lovely Valentine's Day attack on Pollok Free State under breach of the peace charges as an attempt to keep people away firm the camp as tree-cutting continues. Two protestors from the car convoy who were arrested for sitting in a Wimpey van were told by a Glasgow chief superintendent "you've got no fucking rights, you're English" before being banged up in blood-stained Govan police cells in solitary confinement for three and a half days and released through lack of evidence.

Four more were arrested at Patterton Woods when work resumed on Wednesday morning for "swearing" and shouting "Shame!" at cutters working round one 15-year-old girl up a tree.

Jake Hunter and Paul Murphy refused bail conditions banning them from the Free State and are awaiting trial on Feb 27th. Yet another, Colin McCleod, was jailed for 'assault' but in a new twist one of the security 'mutineers' returned to the camp to reveal a conspiracy to frame him - and he says he'll back him in court.

Meanwhile Phil Gallie, Conservative MP for Ayr has called on the police to use the Criminal Justice Act to clear the camp of protestors and it remains to be seen whether landowners Strathclyde Regional Council stand by last November's statement where they "strongly object to the provisions of the Act which seek to restrict citizens from the freedom to use Scottish land". That has been no Environmental Impact Assessment carried out on the M77 which means in effect that the motorway is being built illegally. As work continues Glasgow is hotting up for Saturday's illegal mass protest march organised by the Scottish Defiance Alliance to Pollok Free State.

Kids from Bellarmine school, fresh from stopping work on Tuesday after "coming over the hills like a scene from Zulu" and climbing all over the diggers are ready to strike from Monday demanding at least two hours a day off school to protest against the destruction of their natural playground. Hailed as heroes in Glasgow, they have been distributing leaflets, staging demonstrations and faxing Blue Peter and Newsround. New research from Bristol University has proved a link between exhaust fumes and childhood leukaemia to add to the fact that one in six suffers from asthma. The motorway will run close to several schools.

"The strength of passion and support in Pollok is such that you cant help thinking this is one road scheme that can be defeated...

This is the place where the Anti-Poll Tax Federation was born - that ended up finishing Thatcher. Sitting round the cosy fire at the Free State, enjoying the mad Celtic vibe you can't help dreaming that the same fighting might do it again. Get your arse down there - it's closer than you think!"

Situations Vacant

WANTED: Rentamob
DUTIES: tree sitting, digger diving, serious barricading, freezing your bollox off
SALARY: That warm feeling inside
TEL: 0141 636 1924 or 0860 728244 for more details.
we are an equal opportunities employer!

Preston Evictions

It took 100 police a day to evict the M65-ers from their squatted row of terraces in Blackburn this week arresting fourteen people in the process. The main focus of the campaign is now Stanworth Valley - deep in the woods of rainy Lancashire, with walkways linking 17 tree-houses 60 feet up, mud and the steep sides of the valley making cheny-pickers all but useless.

The eviction is due in April. Tel 0161 861 7895.

Fastest with the facts. Accurate with the truth!
@ The New Kensington, Kensington Gardens, Brighton. Every Friday 5.45pm

Oxleas Update

Wickham Lane, Abbey Wood, nr Plumpstead is a DoT owned street of 250 houses. Fifty of these houses are empty and the DoT are purposely letting them rot in order to demolish them as unstable. The whole project is part of the old river crossing plans which included taking a large part of Oxleas Wood.

Although the DoT shelved work because of the high profile of the Oxleas Wood campaign there are signs that they are going to continue the work in 1997. Out of the occupied houses about 20 are squats - the rest are being leased out. All the lease contracts end in '77. Dick Turpin's old stamping ground, Bleak Hill, also faces the chop if plans go ahead. The fifty empty houses need occupying as soon as possible.

We say.

If you judge actions by the amount of media attention given to them, (nice pictures, shame about the content), then Sunday's "mass trespass" was a success. But as one of those trudging through homepark in the drizzle surrounded by police on horseback, foot and boat, and being videoed holding the leaflet kindly given me by the Thames Valley Police telling me if I so much as sneezed out of place I'd be nicked, I'd say It was a flop. Either we keep our actions secret and take the authorities by surprise or we publicise massively. 5000 people would have done nicely; as it was the surrounding areas weren't even flyposted.

Too few of us meant we were outnumbered, photographed, frogmarched then shoved back on our waiting coaches, escorted to the M4 and see yer later.... And the folk of Windsor hardly knew we were there, save our two minutes on TV.

P.S Dear Coalition. Next time be less specific- just say "meet at Windsor."

Who's land?

"Today between 50 and 75% of Britain is owned by 1% of its people. In Scotland just 600 lords own half the country.

"The argument used by the Country Landowners Association in favour of the Criminal Justice Act is that travellers damage hedges, fields and features of historical or scientific value. Yet, every year throughout the 1990's country landowners have overseen the loss of 18,000 kilometres of hedgerows. Since the war, they have destroyed nearly 50 percent of our ancient woodlands, and, this century, they have ploughed over 70 per cent of our downlands."

The Criminal Justice Act is an attack on everybody - the powers the Act gives the police to disrupt and stop any activity the don't like should worry anyone concerned with people's basic freedoms. But travellers arc not just going to be harassed, bullied and intimidated by this law -their very way of life is to be criminalised and stopped.

A sane society would value diversity and different ways of life - this government is determined to make criminals of any group like travellers, with a way of life not given official approval. Travellers - just like Jews, the Irish or black people - have always been a useful scapegoat for repressive corrupt politicians because they are outside 'normal' society and an easy target for bigotry. The way the press describes travellers as 'scum', 'vermin', 'sub-human' and so on is exactly how the Nazi press described Jews in the 1930s as they started to build the gas chambers.

Part five of the Criminal Justice Act gives the police increased powers to remove travellers and seize travellers' vehicles from land even when the owner of the land has given the travellers permission to stay there. The owners of the vehicles will have to pay for having their vehicles destroyed by the police. At the same time as making it a criminal offence for six or more vehicles to be on an unauthorised site the Act takes away the duty of local authorities to establish sites where travellers can stay legally.

There are hundreds of disused airfields and other government-controlled sites that could be given over to travellers but ideas like that are far too sensible and obvious for our politicians to take seriously. Instead, we re going to see the police chasing travellers around the country arresting the adults and needlessly taking their children into care -just so the government can blame another 'marginal' group for society's problems.

We live in a mixed up world . If you're rich and go round the world selling guns to corrupt dictatorships so they can kill their own people you get a medal and are seen as decent and upstanding. If you're poor and go around the country in a caravan because you want your children to grow up in clean air and a communal lifestyle then you are 'scum'. Travellers aren't all angels, but they all have rights - and if we don't stand up for their right to live the way they want then we are all one step nearer having no rights ourselves. Unlike the government, Justice? believes in diversity and choice for everyone, not just the rich. That's why we will be actively supporting ALL travellers victimised under the Criminal Justice Act.

Friends and Families of Travellers 0258 453695 Travellers Legal Advice Line 01222 874 580 9am - 1pm weekdays only.

A major occupation of land is planned to take place on Sunday 23rdApril. Details SAB Land Reform, Box E, I 11 Magdalen Rd, Oxford OX4 1RQ E-mail:

Crap Arrests of the Week

* For possessing a sense of humour in Wales. Footie fan arrested at Swansea v Middlesborough. Asked a cop 'are you escorting us to the station mate?'. He replied 'Shut your mouth and keep moving'. Footie fan: 'If you or any of your mates are going to police the Shoreham protest could you give me a lift?' Copper 'Shut your gob or your knicked sonny'. FF: 'I didn't realise that being in possession of a sense of humour was a criminal offence In Wales'. He was then nicked and charged under S5 of the Public Order Act for threatening and abusive behaviour. In the police van he was told to sit on the floor 'where he belonged'. When he said he was a teacher the cop said 'Yeah, and I'm Mickey Fucking Mouse.'

* For pressing button on traffic lights at Shoreham and not crossing.

* Six people nicked at Edinburgh CJA rally for cheering on news of alcoholic Scottish Tory MP's death.

Terror Attacks

This weekend a series of attacks occurred against anti-hunt activists in Manchester and Liverpool. Masked thugs, described by witnesses as "just like the IRA punishment squads", broke into their victim's homes with a variety of weapons including baseball bats and balaclavas, and went completely mental, causing damage to the people concerned, their property and terrorising other local residents.

What we'd like to know is how these hoods knew the addresses of the people involved in hunt sabbing? They are usually a closely guarded secret because of attacks like these. Could they have come from an official source? Local hunt activists do not expect any arrests in connection with the attacks.


is searching for poetry and scribblings capturing the spirit of protest and rebellion currently rife around the country. Contact Rachel 081 461 4380.


Interested in getting involved in open art workshop using only recycled materials. Nat 01273 622 648

Inside SchNEWS

Jim Chambers (M11er) is currently banged up in Wormwood Scrubs for alleged criminal damage. His commital trial date is on the 28th February. Send letters to JAMES CHAMBERS, PV2504, HMP Wormwood Scrubs, PO Box 757, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0AE.

Diary Dates

SAT 25th FEB...Congress of Networks, Exodus Collective 0582 508936 or 0582 561627.

SAT 25th FEB...GLASGOW DEFY THE CJA DEMO 12PM George Sq. Glasgow. 041 9462700.

SAT 25th FEB Mass Trespass 1.30 pm Congletown Town Hall Manchester 061 232 9218.

FRI 3rd MAR Five Hunt Sabs nicked for Aggravated Trespass. Bailed to appear in court today: 0602 690357

SUN 12th MAR SUSSEX & SURREY ALLIANCE AGAINST CJA Brighton Unemployed Centre 1.30pm 01273 671213

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