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

Issue 137, Friday 3 October 1997


As Labour Party delegates enjoyed the sun in Fortress Brighton, the country witnessed its busiest week of actions since Labour came to power...


Barry Horne, on remand for alleged animal rights activities calls off his six week hunger strike. Barry refused food after the Labour Party began to back-track on pre-election pledges about vivisection. Now the Government has agreed to talks with three of Barry’s representatives, starting in two weeks.


2nd anniversary of the Liverpool dock dispute. 5,000 people march in support.


Thousands of people march around Brighton slogan-slogan-slogan stylee.

The Gaelic Earth Liberation Front destroy the first genetically-engineered crop grown in Ireland.

About 200 activists gather at Hillgrove Farm, Oxfordshire, in the latest demo against this notorious cat-breeding colony for vivisection. The presence of vast numbers of tooled-up Thames Valley cops prevents any serious action, but the pressure is kept up on nasty Farmer Brown. Home visits to Hillgrove workers follow; at the second, locals run a car into protesters- the police response is to knock a Swansea hunt sab over the bonnet and under the wheels, refuse to give an exact location for an ambulance, then pretend to arrest the driver but drive him away from possible vengeance and let him go.


Bristol Earth First! organise three days of action against the expansion of Durnford Quarry in Bristol, which has been given the go-ahead to expand into Ashton Court Park. After a hundred-strong mass trespass and mudbath on Sunday, 5 people D-lock onto a security landrover blocking the entrance gate and closing the quarry for 4 hours.

The Liverpool dockers & Reclaim The Streets mystery tour splits in two. Dozens of people pile into a Dept of Trade & Industry building shutting it for over 4 hours. Snowstorms of paper flutter earthwards as police shut off Victoria Street and evacuate two nearby buildings. 40 riot vans of cops eventually arrest 50 people, but most are released without charge. Down in Kent, 70 Liverpool dockers and a handful of activists picket Medway Docks, owned by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, those nice people who sacked all the Liverpool dockers in the first place. No cargoes unload.

In Brighton claimants groups and the Welfare State Network are seriously outnumbered by cops expecting a Reclaim The Streets. People march with the cops to the Labour Conference, shout a bit, get bored, and go shut down a local jobcentre for an hour.


The first permanent animal rights protest camp is evicted, but another is quickly set up on land which may be bought if funds can be raised. The camps are outside the Huntingdon Research Centre, run by Huntingdon Life Sciences, a multi-national animal testing company. They’ve been under intense pressure following two undercover investigations earlier this year, which outraged the public and knocked £80 million off their share prices overnight. The government has given them until Nov 30th to show improvements or have its licence to vivisect withdrawn. As SchNEWS went to press one person was still down a tunnel, and two more are in Holloway prison.


On the second anniversary of the sacking of 53 Hillingdon Hospital workers, 500 people attend a march and rally in the town. Later activists invade the Labour Party command centre in Walworth Road, London.

Police tell Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), that they no longer want to police the COPEX arms trade expo following the days peaceful gate blockade. Victims of the torture trade, led by a Tibetan Monk, lead a silent procession of 300 to the main gate of exhibition at RAF Farnborough. Police refrain from a repeat of the mass arrest of 89 people at the same site one month ago, and allow three gates to be blocked with only two arrests. The Labour Conference, which this week refused to revoke arms licences to Indonesia, has nothing to do with it, of course.

In purple robes, Palden Gyatso, imprisoned and tortured in China for 33 years, shows the electro-shock batons which had been smuggled out, and which British Aerospace were exposed for selling to Saudi Arabia at COPEX in 1994. Delegates from Turkey, Algeria, Colombia, Iran and Sri Lanka along with Indonesia and China are regular visitors to buy such goods as UK-made mortar launchers, grenades and civilian surveillance systems. COPEX say peaceniks are racists and funded by the Russians!

  • Britain is the worlds fourth biggest arms exporter and CAAT are to target 1,500 arms companies on its database. Go to the first Factory Action Network Day on Oct 12th.


Barry Horne Support Campaign
Box M, 111 Magdalen Rd., Oxford, OX4 1RQ
Tel: 0171 278 3068
Website: http://village.vossnet.co.uk/m/miggi/barry.htm
Email: barry@londonaa.demon.co.uk

Reclaim The Streets
0171 281 4621

Liverpool Dockers
0151 207 3388

Bristol Earth First!
c/o Box 51, Greenleaf Bookshop, 82 Colston St., Bristol BS1 5BB
Tel: 0117 939 3093
Durnford webpage: http://www.gn.apc.org/cycling/ashtoncourt

Hillingdon Hospital Workers
27 Townsend Way, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 1TG Tel: 0956 135311

Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Tel: 0171 281 0297


Golden Shower

Any readers with scabies or other parasitic infestations should go and stand on top of a hill on Monday. NASA’s Cassini probe is due to explode on launching and shower us all with plutonium, which is noted for its effectiveness in eradicating crabs, and indeed all other lifeforms. The plutonium we are told, is only there to provide electricity for some of the scientific instruments on board - which could work as easily utilising solar energy. It is thought that the material is so toxic that just 1lb of it would induce lung cancer in every person on earth.

Since the 60’s, the US has launched 24 space craft carrying nuclear material. Of these, three have crashed. Alan Kohn, a former emergency operations officer, called the housing of the plutonium "indestructible, just like the Titanic was unsinkable..."

  • More details - Manchester CND: 0161 834 8301


Stop Press

Frank Field MP misses scheduled Labour Fringe meeting as organisers announce that ‘single parent anarchist mums’ have been disrupting Labour Fringe meetings all day!


Irish Action

Camden Irish Centre has banned Anti Fascist Action (AFA) from holding an international conference of anti- fascist groups, on the grounds that "political" events might jeopardise the Centres charitable status. This is a bit of a mystery since the centre regularly hosts meetings associated with the Irish republican movement. AFA has a long history of defending such meetings against fascist attacks, and the booking for the conference was made openly under AFA’s name nearly six months ago. AFA are calling for people to contact Camden Irish Centre by letter or phone to let them know what you think of their decision.
  • Camden Irish centre, 52 Camden Square, London NW1 Tel: 0171 916 7272
  • AFA BM1734, London WC1N 3XX. Tel: 0976 406870


Doing anything on Wednesday?

Peabody Coal is strip-mining Navajo and Hopi sacred land in Northern Arizona. It’s transported to the generating station via a "slurry line" (a pipe carrying a coal and water mixture), for which Peabody extracts 1.2 billion gallons of water a year. This is drying up springs which have been relied upon by local people for generations. An International Day of Action has been called for this Wednesday (Oct 8th). Possible spontaneous assembly points at 10.30am: The Energy Group plc, 117 Piccadilly, London W1. Hanson plc, 1 Grosvenor Place, London SW1. Eastern Group plc, Wherstead Park, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk. Contact: Big Mountain Support Network, PO Box 3412, Tucson, AZ, USA.


SchNEWS in Brief

  • Some people who set up camp in Devon to stop a developer trashing two rivers (so we can all have clay toilets) are on a protest walk to Houses of Parliament. A mere stroll at 235 miles, they hope to do it in just 12 days. They are gonna hand in a letter from the local people to John Prescott demanding a public enquiry. If you’d like to join in ring 0467 622825. If that’s a bit much why not join them on the last leg: Thursday 9th Hyde Park Speakers Corner 1.30 pm
  • SchNEWS was chuffed to receive the premier copy of the Cruxifier, an anarchist newssheet written from within a psychiatric hospital. This is an ambitious project, and they need up to date information from anarchist groups around the country. Can you help? Contact the Cruxifier, CCA, c/o Scott-Moneriff, Harbour & Sinclair Solicitors, Signet House, 49-57 Farringdon Rd, London EC1M 3JB (send an SAE if you want a copy of the first edition)
  • On the same theme, try reading "Prisoners, Patients, or People" available from London ABC, c/o 121 Railton Rd, London SE24 - a graphic account of life in a psychiatric hospital. Scary stuff.
  • 18th October is the 100th birthday of Shell. Why not blow their candles out? Call Corporate Watch 01865 791391
  • Talking of birthday parties - the Job Seekers Allowance is one year old next Tuesday (7th). Huddersfield against the JSA are having a demo. Meet 12 noon at the Train Station
  • This Saturday, 4th October sees the Visions of Peace day at the Corn Exchange in Brighton. 11-5pm. The event has been organised to raise the profile of peace and justice issues
  • Lambeth Council are trying to close the 121 Centre in Railton Road, which has been a squatted bookshop and information centre for 16 years 0171 274 6655
  • Forget New Labour - what about New Class War. A while ago the federation split with an excellent ‘last’ issue 73 saying why. However, just to really confuse you, some people decided to carry on and a new issue of CLASS WAR is out now. If you want a SchNEWS ‘highly recommended’ copy of issue 73 or want to keep in touch send SAE and some stamps to BM Box 5538, London, WC1N 3XX Better still go to the ‘What we’re doing and where we’re going ‘ meeting at the Anarchist Bookfair, Conway Hall, London on 18th October
  • Spirit of Freedom, produced by the Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, lists all known direct action prisoners, those on remand and dates of forthcoming trials. Contact: ELP, c/o BM HEAL, London WC1 3XX

Dates for yer Diary

  • 2-16th October - Global Days of Action against genetically engineered food. GEN: 0181 374 9516
  • 9 - Demonstration Against Genetically Manipulated Crops at the National Farmers Union. Meet 11am @ 164, Shaftesbury Avenue, London
  • 9 - At the centre or the margins? Discussion on the welfare state in radical new politics. Economic and Cultural Justice Group - Tel: 0171 278 4443
  • 9 - London Forum meeting, Brownswood Library, Brownswood Rd., London N4, 7pm onwards. Bring: literature & info (stall space available), open minds, creative ideas. More info: London Forum, BM 5588, London WC1N 3XX
  • 9 - Benefit night for ARCH (Autonomous Refugee Centre in Hackney) and ASS (Advisory Service for Squatters) at The Point, 79 Stoke Newington Rd., London N16. Bands, stalls, comedy, 9pm ’til "very late" - £3.50/£2.50. ARCH: c/o ASS, 2 St. Paul’s Rd., London N1, 0171 713 1269
  • 10-12 - Sellafield Women’s Peace Camp, opposite Sellafield Visitors’ Centre - wimmin only from dusk till dawn, but visitors welcome in the day. More info on 0113 262 1534 or 01482 443829
  • 11 - 9am: mass demo at the vet’s practice of Andrew Scott, the chairman of the British Veterinary Assoc.’s Animal Welfare Foundation, whose day job is signing live export certificates: Edgewood Veterinary Practice, 8 Wantz Road, Maldon, Suffolk
  • 16 - World-wide Day of Action Against McDonald’s. Details: 0171 837 7557
  • 18 - Welfare State Network are holding a conference on October at the South Camden Community Centre in London. More details 0171 639 5068
  • 18 - Anarchist Book Fayre, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London Tel: 0171 242 8032
  • 23-26 - Wanna learn how to make a yurt? This is yer original yurt-weaving course - you’ll never be homeless again. The course will take place at Tinker’s Bubble in Somerset October 01865 722016
  • 25-26 - Strike Oil - a weekend event at a surprise location in London, organised by RTS as part of the 100 days of action against the oil industry. 0171 281 4621
  • 31 - No Opencast Action Hallowe’en Treat. Combined nation-wide actions to coincide with direct action in Australia. Details: 0171 603 1831.


and finally

"You ain’t got a security tag, then you’re not coming in"

Greetings from sunny Brighton where the Labour Party are leaving nothing to chance. A 6 foot perimeter fence, police surveillance airship, extra CCTV cameras, cops on every corner, crash barriers concreted into the road... now what was that about "open government"?

  • So, just what are they scared of? Surely not the left-organised demo on Sunday when cops kept a very low profile. Around 8,000 marched through Brighton before the Conference had really begun, ending up at a rally nicely out of sight. One paper spoke of Labour "fraying at the edges." Yeah, with 93% of the public thinking Blair is cool - according to a recent poll - we’re sure the leadership is shaking in its boots. SchNEWS wonders just what those eight thousand people could have done had they instead joined in with the solidarity actions in support of the Liverpool dockers on the Monday...
  • SchNEWS tried to stop laughing on Monday at everybody’s favourite Brighton bobby Sergeant Gary Keating of the town’s Public Order Unit (the people who go round harassing activists.) It seems that Keating had thought Reclaim The Streets (RTS) were planning to visit Brighton for the day. So he gathered his troops (plus a few from the Met) in their nice black boiler suits, so suitable for this weather, and surrounded a rather small demo against benefit cuts. Demonstrators were handed sheets threatening anyone on the RTS/Job Seekers Allowance protest that if they so much as sneezed or did anything effective they would be nicked. SchNEWS wonders how much explaining our luckless bobby had to do to his superiors after telling them there was going to be a street party in Brighton! Better luck next time Big Gary, and if you want your SchNEWS on time without having to piss about furtively in all those disreputable places that give it out in Brighton, why don’t you subscribe and we’ll stick you on our "free to prisoners" list!
  • On Monday, bored of chanting "Labour, Labour, give us some crumbs," claimants demonstrated outside a Job Centre instead. After about half an hour a couple of people arrived looking very bleary- eyed for so early in the day. It transpired that those kind people at the Shooter’s Rights fringe meeting had been giving away wine to draw people in. Word got out and everyone had a few, which helped to loosen vocal chords as they shouted the meeting down, before getting ejected.
  • How did they know about the meeting? Well it seems a leaflet had been circulated telling everyone which fringe meetings had free drink and food. "The Blaggers Guide to the Best of the Labour Party Conference" encourages you to "exercise your right to free speech by going along to them, and make sure that you take advantage of the free food and drink available from the Labour Party!"
  • On Monday evening we were treated to a reminder of what it was like when Labour was last in power, and had a spot of bother with the unions. There was a huge power cut on the sea-front, and most of the hotels hosting Labour delegates were blacked out! Seeboard says it was very sorry, but this didn’t stop cries of "New Labour- no Leccy" from revellers outside Brighton Centre that evening, as worried delegates scuttled around in the dark, fearing terrorist attacks!
  • Delegates have been keeping themselves cool with fans bearing the Manchester Airport logo. We could have told them about the airline industry and global warming, but they wouldn’t let us in.
  • And finally finally back to those new police toys which really came in handy when a bomb cunningly disguised as a bicycle was destroyed for the audacity of getting too near the exclusion zone.



SchNEWS warns all readers not to desist from resistance, but to fight for the right and don’t Copex out. Then you will be armed. Honest.


8pm £2.50/£2 - minute manifesto + unslug + anal beard + unbelievables + no legs

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Last updated 6 October 1997
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