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Issue 129, Friday 8th August 1997I'll take my hammer and break the chain... I'll not remain in silence
Faslane Peace Camp has been watching the Clyde submarine base, home of Britain's nuclear weapons, for fifteen years. Now the new local council want to evict it. It is argued that the camp, a collection of painted caravans, tents, and benders, is an eyesore. The dozens of local people visiting with support and donations every day would argue that the eyesore lies just a few hundred yards up the side of the loch.
"You're travelling around the loch and you notice what looks like a huge battleship with cranes and searchlights. Then you see the cameras, every few feet, and the miles of razor wire in triple-thickness rolls. You might notice the dogs, and the police with machine-guns. But when you come around the back of the base, and look down from what ought to be a classically beautiful Scottish valley, you see the Trident shed. It's big, and menacing enough to ruin the view. But when you know what it contains and what that means - well, when I show people they usually cry." - Faslane Peace Camper
The Trident programme costs [sterling]30 billion - the shed it lives in alone cost [sterling]800 million over budget.. This in a country where 70% of people are opposed to nuclear weapons, and with a New Labour election manifesto promising to improve quality of life - not to mention promising "prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" and "a new momentum on arms control and disarmament."
But the real cost of nuclear weapons is in the kids with leukaemia around nuclear `power' stations - most of which are just factories for the ingredients of nuclear bombs. And that's a global problem - more and more countries are rushing to develop their own nukes. Hardly surprising since Trident's post-Cold War role is to float around keeping an eye on `potential insurgency' in `third world dictatorships'. They've even developed a concrete missile, to use as a macabre warning shot.
The new local council are just flexing their right-wing muscles - pigheadedly refusing to debate the eviction, even after a petition containing 2,500 signatures was handed to them. But with the niggling concern that their budget does actually have better places to go, such as schools and housing, they've admitted they can't afford a "Manchester-style eviction". So who you gonna call?
Work has begun on tunnels, lock-ons and tree-houses, and one resident has even set up his entire caravan as his lock-on. Scaffolding and other tat is still badly needed, though (please note, all you people with vans!) and of course bodies arriving with moral support are always welcome. There is communal space at the camp, although it tends to fill up so bring a tent or be ready to get bender-ing!
This weekend - the 52nd anniversary of the first aggressive use of a nuclear bomb by the US against Japan - sees co-ordinated campaigns against Trident at sites of crime throughout Europe and the USA.
Youth CND are running a peace camp at Aldermaston bomb factory this weekend, and at Faslane, events will be tied in with the event to evict the camp. A rally at 1pm will be followed by a boat trip and... other events!
"Behind the quasi-glamorous world of fur lies this stinking, putrid scumbag- infested hellhole of abhorrent cruelty called Windmill Farm." - Un-named animal rights activist
40 Animal Rights protesters gathered outside the Dorset premises of T.T. Smith, Britain's most notorious and barbaric fur farmers, last week in the first of a series of protests that have they have vowed to continue until the place is shut down. The farm, one of 13 in the UK, in Child Okeford near Blandford, houses hundreds of mink in appalling, stinking conditions. One protester told SchNEWS: "Mink are solitary creatures living in a territory of up to two kilometres whereas on this farm they are kept in tiny cages without any water to swim in. They live cruel, short lives and display signs of madness."
Protesters turned up at the farm to find it guarded by a horde of meat-headed village idiots employed as `security', and requests to see the owner were met with refusals and threats, before one 26-year old activist, attempting to video proceedings, was assaulted. "A man struck me with a large PVC bar, which narrowly missed my eye. It was totally unnecessary; we were trying to carry out a peaceful protest."
The cops arrested a 43-year old man in connection with the attack and bailed him until September pending enquiries. The `security' later drove at speed through the crowd, narrowly missing protesters who were forced to dive out of the way and the threats and intimidation carried on later outside a local pub. The protest, timed to coincide with National Anti-Fur day, comes in the wake of rumoured links between the farm and a local beauty parlour and extensive media coverage highlighting the horrific conditions.
When the ball started rolling at Consort it led quickly to the kennel's closure, T.T. Smith could be the next to go. "Some of the staff said we'd be dead if we came back and protested again. The farm is stinking and the animals are kept in terrible conditions, and we won't stop until something is done."
20 acres of Ashton Court, a public park on the western edge of Bristol, has been leased by the city council to Pioneer Aggregates - an Australian multi-national - in order that they can expand Durnford Quarry. A beautiful wildflower meadow - home to a wide diversity of plants including Scabious, orchids and adders tongue fern - will be replaced with a 100 metre deep hole. Calls for a public enquiry have been declined by John Prescott. A local resident told SchNEWS, "We are deeply disappointed that such a wonderful place could be lost."
Get down there for some fun on 26th August when locals will show Pioneer the same due respect that the Oz multi-national has shown the residents of Bristol.
The Metropolitan Police are planning to install a dense web of spy cameras covering their entire area of jurisdiction following the success of trial schemes in the Square Mile of the city. The cameras use the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, which reads the reg. plates of every single vehicle passing and checks them instantly with the Police National Computer- and then alerts the control room with a beep and a screen message when it comes across anyone it considers `dodgy'- and we all know the broad potential of that definition. The City set-up, instigated in February, has already led to over 1000 police actions. As Commissioner Condon says, this system will `detect and prevent many different crimes and help us protect the people of London against the ever present terrorist threat.' Hmmmm........
The tree camp in Newton Abbott set up in protest against clay quarry in July received possession orders this week, despite the DoE and John Prescott putting the whole scheme on hold until they decide whether to hold a public inquiry. WBB Group want to divert 1km of teh rivers Bovey and Teign, in an area that houses otters, kingfishers bats and rare fish. They are in County Court on 29th August. Postal address: Aqua, c/o Coral Cottage, Ventiford, Teigngrace, Nr Newton Abbott TQ12 6QL. Please send donations as they are totally skint!
Scumbag PR firm Burson-Marsteller (the outfit who persuaded India's supreme court that Union Carbide weren't responsible for the thousands of deaths when their Bhopal plant blew up) have been hired by the biotech industry lobby group EuropaBio. B-M's brief is to use any means neccesary to convince the great European public that five-legged sheep that shit soya beans are healthy and natural. Why not tell them what you think? Burson-Marsteller Ltd : (0171) 831 6262. Managing Director (UK) - Paul Philpotts: (0181) 467 5485, International Chairman - Robert Leaf: (0171) 262 4686. These may be their home numbers, so please try not to call at inconvenient times. Genetix Update c/o PO Box 9656, London N4 4JY.
Political Cabaret. Saturday 14th August, 8:00 p.m. The Lift, Queen's Road, Brighton
A cop- bashin' boxer dog named Floyd gets a special SchNEWS pet rosette this week after trapping two terror- stricken WPC's in their car (appropriately a Rover) in Uttoxeter, Staffs. Called to investigate reports of a canine attacking a horse, the coppers ended up cowering as the hate-fuelled hound turned on the more deserving target, finishing the job off stylishly by eating three of their tyres.
And as if CCTV madness wasn't over-the-top enough in the real world, management at a model village in Ramsgate, Kent are installing the much-loved spy cameras in their miniature streets after naughty tourists have indulged in pilfering the town's hand-carved populace- including a the village football team and churchyard ghost.
SchNEWS readers warn the disclaimer posse not to drink, smoke, or ingest strange substances after they achieve high office as they'll press the wrong button and we'll all then feel safe, snug and content. Er...honest!
Next Justice? meeting on Tuesday 19 August with a representative from The Friends and Families of Travellers
Last updated 29th August 1997
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