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Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 112, 21st March 1997DON'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."
"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."
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
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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
"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."
Reclaim The StreetsDing 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.
Bizarre Election SpecialHOWARD 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."
Shoplifting VicarIn 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.
Camp FireOn 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.
SmashingNews 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.
SchNEWS Training DayDo you love SchNEWS? Got any spare time on your hands? WE NEED YOU!!!
SchNEWS training day, Wednesday 26th March
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!
Crap Arrest of the WeekFor 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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