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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER SWELLEGANT...
Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct
Issue 116, Friday 18th April 1997
"It was a marvellous day. The march, the rally and
the action were all organised jointly between the Liverpool dockers' shop
stewards committee, Reclaim the Streets and other environmentalist groups. The
links made between the 500 sacked Liverpool dockers, RTS and other groups are
so important and they need to be built on.
"If anyone hijacked the march it was the police - people were having a
great party and were showing that there are a lot of groups, a lot of people,
who are fed up with injustice and are doing something about it. The only way
forward is to get together more and more because we're all fighting against the
same system. Speaking for the dockers, we can't wait to organise our next joint
Last Saturday saw over 10 million people come together in central
London to support a "March for Social Justice" and street party in
Trafalgar Square. Thousands danced by the National Gallery and a massive banner
proclaiming "Reclaim Your Environment" was dropped from
Canada House just across the square. A "Victory to the Liverpool
Dockers" banner was hung around Nelson's Column and council workers
refused to take it down until Sunday! The red, green and black flags of RTS
mixed with banners from strikers, refugee groups, Kurds, unions. There were
other banners proclaiming "Trees not MPs" and "They
wanna fight, we wanna dance". Children, facepaint, dancers and
drummers were everywhere with the carnival atmosphere lasting all the way to
Downing Street, where a red flare was lit, and off into Trafalgar Square.
The rally and party brought together groups and individuals who have been
fighting, in their own ways, against injustice and for a life better than that
on offer from vote-seeking politicians. In preparation for the march, a
"People's Charter for Social Justice" promoting basic rights, a
decent life and a future worth living for everyone, had been drawn up. In the
middle of this "election" it was a breath of fresh air.
The police, of course, were not about to let a party-and-protest for social
justice go ahead without attacking it. One thousand riot cops were on hand to
intimidate, assault and arrest people. One pushed back a protester with the
words, "Move back, you're making my officers vulnerable."
Vulnerable? One protester responded, "You're standing there in
helmets, visors, flak jackets, shin pads. You've got shields, metal truncheons
at the ready, how the hell can I, standing here with nothing, make you feel
vulnerable?" There was no response.
Vote for whoever you want. The actions of the police on Saturday showed that
whichever politicians are running the country, the police will still be around
to defend the rich from those of us fighting for a world worth living in where
people are more important than property. "A third of children in
Britain are growing up in poverty - a third of all MPs are
millionaires" - that's the stark reality of the system the
But, of course, they didn't get it all their own way. The police tried to block
off Trafalgar Square but a truck with a sound system managed to dodge its way through one of their lines with the support of
hundreds of protesters who surrounded it with bodies, making it impossible for
the police to stop it getting into the square. The sound kicked in, people
danced on the roof, and the police looked thoroughly pissed of at their failure
to stop people having a good time.
The day before the action, three people were arrested handing out Evading
Standards, a newspaper promoting the action - and 25,000 copies of the
paper were confiscated. Free speech? Twenty-nine arrests were made on the day
and the police even charged the driver of the sound system lorry with
attempted murder and the two other people in the lorry with
conspiracy to murder! These media-grabbing (and serving) charges soon
got dropped, but the Met had made their point; don't think that because you're
just involved in organising a peaceful party you're beyond the stitch-ups they
But they're up against an increasingly united opposition that will not let the
police violence and attempts at divide-and-rule to succeed. As a statement from
the dockers and RTS put it after the party, "The Liverpool dockers
express their support for these groups, including Reclaim the Streets, who
continue the almost impossible struggle for justice in Britain today ... The
sacked Liverpool dockers have always welcomed Reclaim the Streets - ensuring a
mutual respect that after Saturday's march has been strengthened."
Given the way different groups are increasingly seeing their common interest in
supporting each other it's likely there will be more actions and parties
bringing people together in the near future. Have fun!
SchNEWS feels it has to speak its mind after the disgraceful
scenes on the March for Social Justice last Saturday, when a minority of
extremist trouble makers provoked ugly confrontations, first outside Downing
Street, and then in Trafalgar Square. This spoiled an otherwise brilliant day,
and it is clear that these trouble-makers did not care at all for the march, or
the issues involved and wanted to claim it for their own extremist
We can now reveal that they had been planning the trouble for weeks beforehand,
and would stop at nothing to make sure that violence erupted, it seems the only
reason they turned up was to start a riot. They had come equipped with a whole
variety of weapons, including sticks, shields, and mobile phones to communicate
with each other, some even having their own vehicles in which to spread
confusion and fear. SchNEWS strongly condemns these individuals, and is
conducting its own inquiry to root them out, and if necessary, will name names.
We can reveal that we know the identity of two ringleaders responsible, who
have a long history of being behind such trouble. "Sticky" Mickey
Howard, and his sidekick Jack "The Last" Straw are well known trouble
makers who command an army of thugs, popularly known as the TSG (or
"Totally Stupid Goons"), who always turn up at demos like these
intent on spoiling everybody else's fun. If you see any of these miscreants in
the future, (they are characterised by their blue uniforms and lack of any
human emotion or intelligence) ring the SchNEWS "grass-a-yob"
hotline, and we shall inform the proper authorities!
- SchNEWS' post-election rally of resistance: May 10th/11th in Brighton.
Everyone together to plot where we go after Tony Bleurgh gets his hands on
power. Dockers, direct activists, & campaigners old and new will be there -
don't be left out. Ring us. 01273 685913.
- Support the dockers - send them cash! Liverpool Dockers @ Merseyside Port
Shop Stewards, 19 Scorton Street, Liverpool L6 4AS (Cheques payable to
Merseyside Dockers Shop Stewards). If you want a copy of the SchNEWS dockers'
quid chain letter send a stamp to SchNEWS and we'll send you a copy to get
Trains carrying radioactive waste from power stations in South
East England and Europe are regularly passing through London. The waste is
carried to Sellafield where it's reprocessed to produce uranium and plutonium.
The uranium is used in fuel rods for nuclear reactors which then produce... you
guessed it... more radioactive waste. As a fuel, plutonium can only be used in
so-called fast breeder reactors, which are a bit dodgy even by nuclear reactor
standards and are generally being phased out. Most plutonium therefore ends up
as the main ingredient in weapons of mass destruction.
Nuclear waste is transported in large white-painted "flasks", each of
which is carried on a flat-bed railway wagon. This is, of course, completely
safe, just like beef and CS gas. Especially as the privatised railways are
spending sooo much money on track safety. Hmm..... Anyway, the trains are quite
short, and don't carry any other freight, so they shouldn't be too hard to
spot. SchNEWS recommends you wear lead-lined anoraks at all times.
The trains carrying waste from Dungeness power station, and all the European
imports via Dover, cross London by various routes. As a rule they pass through
Brixton, Willesden Junction and Wembley Central. Trains from the Sizewell and
Bradwell reactors generally go through Stratford, Hackney Central, Highbury and
Islington, Camden Road, Gospel Oak, West Hampstead and Willesden Junction.
Readers in the West Midlands will be pleased to hear that the Sellafield
Express passes near their homes too: through King's Norton, skirting Birmingham
city centre and Sutton Coldfield before passing through Walsall station.
Freedom Network (0171 9788214) would like to hear from anyone interested in
actions in the London area. Details of the trains' routes are available from
London CND (0171 6072302). Green Events 0171 2672552. Birmingham CND 0121 643
4617. Coming up from CND in May, the Trafficking Trident Tour -
details to follow.
- The overworked crew at the Anti-Nuclear Network Newsletter have ceased
publication. The group's still active and can be contacted @ Anti-Nuclear
Network, PO Box 2474, London N8
- A New Dictionary of National Biography is currently being compiled. Anyone
can nominate a significant person who should be there - the completed version
should be available in 2004! They are especially looking for entries for the
section "Popular Culture". The Editors, The New DNB, Oxford
University Press, Walton Street, Oxford. Maybe we should all enter ourselves...
- Natwest and The Times are co-sponsoring a business ethics competition.
Applicants are invited to imagine that they are the MD of a road building
company. "Environmental protesters are protesting - there are clear signs
that your AGM will be disrupted...What will your solution be?" And there's
a £3,000 prize!
- Monday's court hearing for the eviction of Lyminge Forest has only been
upheld for Westwood. This means that the eviction notice for the other camps in
the forest were refused. Help and support are needed. Details: 01233 720127
- Thanks to our grinning correspondent in the pub for this amusing little
tale: PC Dimmer (surely this is a made up name!) arrested 3 people while out on
a shopping trip with his wife and children. He recognised a disqualified driver
and hauled him and his light-fingered accomplices in. A police spokesperson
said, "You are never really off duty." His wife remarked
resignedly, "It's true. He even takes his telescopic truncheon to bed
- The union Unison have withdrawn their support from their members on strike
for 14 month strike at Hillingdon hospital. They need your support. Contact
Malkiat Bilku 0956 135311.
- We love receiving freebies here at the office (hint!), so we were chuffed
to receive a spanky new book from Russell House "Youth Action and the
Environment", by Alan Dearling & Howie Armstrong. Far from being a
boring textbook, it is lavishly illustrated, courtesy of our mate Kate Evans
(and others) and a practical guide to enviro projects for younger people.
Details: 01297 443948
- While we're on plugging, Basic Law for Road Protesters, an
outline of legal problems you could encounter, is available in print form
(£10) or FREE on disk/ e-mail/ internet from Peter Gray 01795 890162
- Forest Action Network invaded the International Timber Yard in Manchester
last week and reclaimed 15 planks of prized Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir,
imported from Canada, and destined to make garden furniture and quilted toilet
paper. Four native Nuxalk people witnessed the liberation of the wood as it was
trotted down to the local nick. A bemused Chief Inspector duly gave the
activists a receipt for the returned property, and promised to get expert legal
advice before deciding what to do with the wood. After being told that
sovereignty over the land (from which the timber was taken) still lies with the
Traditional Chiefs, the Inspector refused to speak with the native people, two
of whom are Traditional Chiefs. Since the incident, the police have indeed
contacted the Canadian Embassy. FAN: 0171 602 5889
- Animal rights prisoner Keith Mann has had a wee jaunt around the country
this week, after Michael Howrd accused him of being one of the people that
instigated a disturbance at Full Sutton jail. Shipped from half-empty Sutton to
Belmarsh he only stayed there for what seemed like minutes, before he was
shuftied on to Long Lartin in Worceseter. In all the bedlam, he does not have
his own clothes and his belongings are scattered around the country. Moan at:
Governor, HMP Full Sutton, Nr. Stamford Bridge, York YO4 1PS or write to Keith
- McD's & Coke are sponsoring National Spring Clean Week -
Freepost, Manchester M1 9AZ... use at will...
- Genetically Engineered food corporations to call: AgrEvo 01533 841581 -
field testing; Monsanto 01494 474918 - responsible for the infamous GE soya.
See SchNEWS 96 for Genetics information or call 0171 865 8100 for Greenpeace
- 19th - SchNEWSnight @ The Sanctuary, Brunswick Street East, Hove.
£1 before 8.30/ £2 after
- 20th - Come to a picnic in sunny Offham and help rebuild an SSSI. A dodgy
old farmer is currently ploughing up an SSSI in order to plant the cash crop
flax, just in order to attract Common Agricultural Policy subsidies of
£189 per acre. The farmer could settle for the £110 John Gummer
offers to farmers content on leaving the land. This loophole ensures only rich
farmers can afford conservation. Meet at noon, Cooksbridge Road, Offham, North
of Lewes. Details: 01273 324455/ 0966 298327
- 24th - TV turn-off week Contact The White Dot: PO Box 2116, Hove, East
Sussex BN3 3LR or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 25th - The Land Use Debate, inc. FoE talking about the
South Downs and The Land Is Ours on land rights. Meet 7:30 at Friends Meeting
- 26th - Stop the Copex Fair planning meeting. 2pm @ CAAT, 11,
Goodwin Street, London 0171 281 0297
- 30th - British Aerospace AGM Protest 9.30am. 0171 281 0297
- 3rd - National Anarchist Bookfair, Bradford. 1 in 12 Library,
Albion Street, Bradford
- 3-5th - MayDay Weekend Anarchist Camp. Info: EMAB, 88 Abbey
- 8-5th - May The Forth Be With Us Beltane Celebration. Party,
Workshops, Chill & Action. 0161 834 8221
- 4th - Green Festival, Leazes Park, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Music,
solar cinema & music. Info: 0191 272 4964
- 9-11th - Aldermaston Women's Campaign Beltane Celebration camp. Details:
- 10th - Reconnecting Society Conference, exploring the
post-election landscape. £10/ £5. University of London Union: 0171
278 4443 for details
- 16th - National Day of Action at Shoreham Port. Meet 10am at Hove
Lagoon. Details: Box A, Public House Bookshop, Brighton BN1 2HQ
- 17th - Sheffield Reclaim the Streets 12noon Devonshire Green 0114
- 27th - Brighton to Stonehenge Walk. Meet noon at Old Steine,
Brighton, then picnic at Hollingbury Hill before the long stroll. Details: Jez
- 31st - York Reclaim the Streets, Clifford's Tower -
contact York EF! c/o York Leaf, Peace Centre, Clifford St., York 01904 410185.
Now, while Britain technically has no Government, and the
media seem content to pay for chickens to chase the politicians, a gentle sense
of vigilantism seems to have hit the security agencies and the old bill.
Toytown, Cornwall's first road protest site has been
illegally evicted. The camp, on the route of St. Austell council's planned
North-East Distributory road, had only been established for four days. Details:
Meanwhile, up at Pressmennan Woods, protesters have been
illegally evicted from land that they own! Under Scottish land rules, any
unregistered land can be bought for £1. The protesters bought the land
after they were evicted from the woods earlier this year. They
desperately need urgent assistance to reclaim the woods to prevent the
majestic oaks ending up as dashboards in expensive German cars. Contact the
campaign at Faslane 0143 682 0901 - party planned for this Saturday.
Peter Cuming, building an eco-friendly solar house in London,
was miffed when he had his application turned down to plant a grass roof.
Camden Council said the insulating roof was not permissible... because when he
came to mow the lawn, he would be looking directly into the windows of his
neighbours. Peter proposed that the introduction of rabbits grazing on the roof
would solve the problem. The Dept of Environment overturned the council ban and
Peter gets his rabbits. After this story was picked up by the international
press, Peter received a letter from a man in Chile... warning him of the danger
of eagles snatching the rabbits from his roof!
The SchNEWS advises all readers not to try to produce
newsletters about controversial issues. In particular, never do so whilst some
of the interested parties are in court, in their pyjamas or whatever else they
were picked up in. Do not drink. And then you will not feel the need to bomb
This issue brought to you by the number "3" and the letters
"a" and "m", and several pints of blood, sweat,
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SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 2DX, England
Phone/Fax (call before faxing): 01273 685913
Last updated 2 May 1997
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