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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER OOPS, I FORGOT TO REGISTER...

SchNEWS

Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

Issue 112, 21st March 1997

DON'T BE A COG IN THE MACHINE - BE A SPANNER IN THE WORKS


NEVER MIND THE BALLOTS, WHAT ABOUT THE PLANET!

"If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it."
- Ancient Anarchist Proverb

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch."
- Anon

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible."
- Bertrand Russell

With only (!) six weeks to go of non-stop soundbites and inane grins, SchNEWS decided to let activists from around the country have their say...

"What general election? We're too busy trying to do something useful to faff around with such trivia. Tell that John Major to stick it where the sun don't shine."
- Manchester's Campaign Against Runway 2

"Fifty-one of the largest hundred economic bodies worldwide are corporations. Nobody votes them into power, they have no popular mandate; yet they can and do wield enormous influence over everybody on the planet. If this farcical `General Election' shows us anything, it highlights the shift in power away from government towards multinationals."
- Corporate Watch

"A Green vote in local elections is a positive vote, as Oxford and Brighton have shown, but until there is a system of Proportional Representation in this country, a vote for a Green candidate in a general election is always going to be a wasted one. At the very least, we should be spoiling our ballot papers and running off with the pencil."
- Ecotrip

"Over the past three years the Tories and Labour have been engaged in a bidding war to sell off our privacy. Beginning with the Criminal Justice Act, the Security Services Act and the Police Bill, both parties have sung a macabre melody that saw police, MI5 and assorted agencies gain more power than any previous previous generation thought possible. Jack Straw watched on smiling as towns and cities across the country put their citizens under the gaze of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). He supported the adoption of denouncement campaigns and powerful police surveillance computer checks. New Labour spokesman Frank Field is proposing mandatory DNA fingerprinting at birth. John Major agreed to a deal with the FBI for the mass tapping of British phone lines, the gutting of data protection law, and the elimination of people's right to encrypt their email and phone messages. Britain is fast becoming the developed world's leading surveillance society, but its key protections are approaching those found in the third world. Neither of the major parties are prepared to sing a different tune. They seem to have forgotten that democracy and privacy are inseparable."
- Simon Davies, Privacy International

"This is our opportunity to show the Tories the Red Card. We will challenge all the mainstream, pro-capitalist parties, championing demands like 6 an hour minimum wage, shorter working week, abolition of all anti-union laws. etc. If elected, our MPs will live on a worker's wage, refusing to join the 237 millionaires already infesting parliament."
- Richie Venton, Scottish Socialist Alliance

"This election is just as irrelevant as the last one. 200,000 anti-election stickers have gone out as well as 100,000 `WANKERS' posters. 10,000 people waving them outside Downing Street on the March for Social Justice on April 12th should get the message home."
- Ian Bone
Send £1 for WANKERS election pack: PO Box 5, Greenleaf, Colston St, Bristol.

"They say `No Vote No Voice', but by boycotting the election your action speaks louder than words. By withdrawing your consent you have more right to criticise, not less. By doing something worthwhile on May Day, you can cast a vote against the piss-poor inhabitants of Westminster and their minions, and taking control of their own life."
- Anti-Election Alliance, BM 6577, London WC1N 3XX.

"All three political parties remain committed to perpetuating the injustices, poverty and environmental destruction which comes with growth economics. Party politics mirrors consumerism: it is empty of real content, is packaged in glittering soundbites and images and tries to persuade us that this is progress. Only the Green Party has a longer term, sustainable vision of how politics should be - based around cultural change - but are likely to be ineffective in our anachronistic electoral system. Ultimately real change must come from the grass roots, with new agendas, different political and economic structures and a broader ethical framework which will render the current political system irrelevant."
- Enough, the anti-consumerism campaign, organisers of No Shop Day.

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Reclaim The Streets

Ding ding! All aboard the Anti Election Express - Reclaim The Streets "coinciding" with the March for Social Justice on April 12th. Meet 12 noon, Kennington Park, London. Coach from Brighton - tickets 5/3 from Peace and Environment Centre, Gardner Street.

Reclaim The Streets

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Bizarre Election Special

HOWARD MARKS, renowned cannabis smuggler, is to stand in the Norwich North constituency for the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis. He's also standing in Norwich South. Perhaps it's that short term memory thing...

SCREAMING LORD SUTCH manifesto pledges include abolishing January and February to make the winter shorter, dogs to be made to eat fluorescent food to avoid the danger of treading in dog's mess at night and banning work before lunchtime `because it's far too difficult.'

RONNIE CARROLL who once sang "Ring-A-Ding-Girl" for Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest, has launched The Rainbow Connection Dream Ticket Leisure Party, promising to introduce electronic voting in every home - giving everyone 300 a week for doing so! Spokesman Rainbow George said: "Ronnie is not standing for parliament, he is standing against it. In this day and age why do we need people to represent us." Zippy and Bungle were unavailable for comment.

VOTE FOR THE GOAT A bearded beast stood for mayor in a Mexican town recently. The calibre of the other candidates was such that it found itself leading in the polls until it was poisoned!

KEVIN LIPIAT a 34 year old homeless builder and Newbury veteran, is standing as a candidate in St Ives, Cornwall. He took his local council to court winning a landmark victory giving homeless people the right to vote...but having done so, "I realised there wasn't any one I wanted to vote for."

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Shoplifting Vicar

In a purely impartial fashion, we at SchNEWS feel we must report on the views of a member of the C of E clergy, the Reverend John Papworth (also editor of Fourth World Review), who advocated shoplifting in large superstores on a moral stance. "Supermarkets are soulless, and their advertising is propaganda. Shoplifting is a badly needed reallocation of resources." We wonder if this would stand up in a court of law? Don't try this one at home, kids!

Sainsbury's are planning to build a new supermarket in the space next to Brighton Railway Station, on the site of one the country's biggest car boot sales. The area is also an important corridor for city wildlife. Railtrack have rejected a proposition to turn the area into a nature trail, citing the dangerous presence of electricity generators and access to the railway lines. Obviously, these wouldn't matter if a supermarket was built instead. Contact Brighton FoE: 01273 324455.

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Camp Fire

On 23 February, Stephen Anderton suffered serious burns in a fire in his tree house at the Bingley Protest camp. He will need plastic surgery on his face, nose, ears and hands. Send lots of nice things to: Stephen Anderton, Regional Burns Unit, Pinderfields Hospital Trust, Aberford Road, Wakefield WF1.

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Smashing

News from our animal rights correspondent: Supporters of the Chiddingfold Fox Hunt had their evening ruined last Friday as 150 protesters made their presence felt at their annual Hunt Ball. A large police presence did not deter activists outside the Arundel hotel from expressing their views. Several hunters, looking as terrified as the hunted fox itself, turned tail and fled from the barrage of abuse, flour, eggs and rocks that were raining down. News over the police radio announced that 13 vehicles (unlucky for some) were trashed that evening. Although there were no arrests on the night it's believed that 3 protesters have since been nicked for criminal damage and violent disorder. Apart from this, a smashing time was had by all. Hunt Sabs Association: 01273 622827.

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SchNEWS Training Day

Do you love SchNEWS? Got any spare time on your hands? WE NEED YOU!!!

SchNEWS training day, Wednesday 26th March

  • 12:00-12:30 Introduction to SchNEWS
  • 12:30-2:00 Writing stories (with breaks!)
  • 2:30-3:30 Desk Top Publishing those very stories for inclusion in that week's actual SchNEWS!
  • 3:45-4:30 Database and mailout

We are like Count Dracula: we cannot survive without a supply of fresh blood. Ring the office to book yourself on the training experience of the millennium!

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Crap Arrest of the Week

For carrying a wooden plank. The man was arrested and charged under the Trade Unions and Labour Relations Act. Manchester cops, it seems, are trying to put a stop to the protests against the proposed second runway by nicking people for anything - then imposing bail conditions of a 4 mile exclusion zone around the proposed runway site. The camps are in court next week. 0161 834 8221.

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SchNEWS in brief

  • "Gratuitous sadism" were the words used by a judge who released peace campaigner Lindis Percy last week. Lindis who was given nine months for breaking a high court injunction (see SchNEWS 111) has been released early, due to ill health brought on by being strip-searched.
  • Anne Scargill (wife of Arthur) and Steve Parry have given High Court injunctions not to go within a mile of the home of Richard Budge. He's the owner of RJB Mining - responsible for open cast holes appearing at a piece of countryside near you. Details: 0181 672 9698.
  • A women who runs an animal sanctuary in Bristol is keeping a pipistrelle bat alive by keeping it inside her bra. Diana Desmond said the bat needed a "warm environment with natural movement".
  • A patent has been granted to the US Biocyte Corporation...on the blood cells of the umbilical cord. What does this mean? Biocyte have complete control over the extraction and use of cells, and no consent is required by the mother. Biocyte are hoping to make massive profits on medical research on the property rights of people's cells. Details: No Patents On Life, Women's Environmental Network, 87 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BE 0171 247 3327.
  • The Autonomous Centre in Edinburgh have moved into new premises. Details: 0131 557 6242
  • Solicitor Mike Schwarz and Liberty's Liz Parrot will be talking about the Police Bill on Thursday 27th March 7.30 pm at the Ecotrip Centre, 22 Porden Rd, Brixton, SW2 (behind the Fridge) followed by showing of Undercurrents + food 0181 671 5936.
  • Following the success of the footie competition at last year's Hackney Anarchy Week, Between the Lines challenge political/environmental groups to a Loony Left Football competition. Saturday 26 April - Clissold Park, London. Kick off at 11am. Fantastic Alcoholic Prizes, 14 per team. Details/registration BTL, Box 32, 136 Kingsland High Street, London W8 2NS
  • Nice one to the Royal Geographic Society for refusing funding from the oil giant Shell, because of the way the company has treated the Ogoni people.
  • Don't all rush at once but a customer of Brighton veg box scheme Organic Roundabout rang them to say "Those mushrooms you sold us gave us really strange dreams..." 01273 707001
  • Peace Campaigner David Dragonetti will attempt a sponsored walk along the 45 miles of the Speyside Way, in 24 hours, to raise money for Faslane Peace Camp. Pledges on 01436 820902
  • Haul Waste Ltd applied for a two and a half tonne dump near Uffculme, Devon. A similar planning application was halted in 1986, after SW Water objected to possible contamination of the water supply. Then they bought the landfill company. Haul Waste are wholly owned by SWW, and have no contamination worries this time ...although the dump will sit 200ft above a river
  • 2-5 April Disabled Action Network Conference on Accessible Transport including action. 0181 889 1361.
  • 5-6 April - VOHAN (Vegan Organic Horticulture and Agriculture Network) Regional Gathering. SAE to 35 Rayleigh Ave, Westcliffe on Sea, Essex SS0 7DS. Tel: 01702 303259
  • 7-8 April - Third International Sustainable Development Research Conference 01274 530408.
  • 9-11 April - 3 Days of action against the Institute of Animal Technology's national annual meeting 01203 632873.

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    Bucket of Sick of the Week

    After hearing reports of his alleged new romance at Manchester Airport, Swampy has declared that his only true love is Mother Earth and no flesh and blood women will get in the way of his devotion to protecting the environment. "Dear to my heart though Merry is, I cannot allow broken hearts to interfere with tunnelling."Poor Merry replied "As Princess Leia held out for Han Solo, as Lois Lane held out for Superman, I am prepared to wait for my hero to join me when the battle is won." Ahhhhh.

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    ...and finally...

    How thoughtful. Because of a new government ban on those villainous chlorofluorocarbons, the US Air Force is to refit all its nuclear missiles with new cooling systems which don't use CFC's so that on their way to deliver terminal global warming they won't further erode the ozone layer! The Environmental Protection Agency concedes that it may seem 'ironic' to make nuclear missiles more eco-friendly. But regulations is regulations.

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    disclaimer

    The SchNEWS advises all readers not to put crosses on pieces of paper and believe it will really make a difference. Never, ever do it again. Always use your cross wisely - enlist for woodwork classes right away, (crucify 'em, geddit?). Then you will not feel cross. Honest.

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    There will be a tree-planting ceremony for Squatter Alex at the Justice? allotments this Saturday. Meet 12 noon at the New Kensington.


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    Last updated 21 May 1997
    @nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!
    SchNEWS Web Team (schnews-web@brighton.co.uk)