This Week |
Previous | SchNEWS 142 | Next
| Index | PDF
UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER PEACH MELBA...
Published in Brighton by
Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 142, Friday 7th November 1997
SchNEWS Training Day: Wednesday 12th November 12 Noon @ Justice? Office.
Ring For Details
"Every thinking person must reject the racism of the government
and media response to a desperate people living in fear of racism and
persecuted by their own governments."
Belsham, president, Allied Roma Council International.
Thanks to the hatred whipped up by sections of the media, Kent
National Front and the British National Party have felt confident
enough to organise a demonstration against Romany Gypsies (Romani) who
have been seeking asylum in Britain.
The fascists plan to march through Dover next Saturday (15th) and
rumours have it that they plan to swell their ranks by bussing nazis
in from as far away as Manchester. Local anti-fascist activists told
SchNEWS, "We're worried that normally apathetic local rednecks are
looking to the BNP to `deliver them from the gypsy hordes.'"
So why are the gypsies seeking asylum in Britain?
There have been
28 racist murders of Romani in the Czech republic in the last 7 years,
including a boy of 6 who was strangled, and countless injuries and
firebombings. According to a recent report by the US State Department,
skinhead violence against Romani in the Slovak and Czech republics is
"a serious and growing problem," with monitors reporting that police
remain reluctant to take action - sometimes displaying an open
sympathy for the attackers.
In the Slovak Republic, 17 Romani were
killed and several hundred injured between 1990 and 1996. In one
instance a Roma house was set on fire killing one person, while
mentally handicapped Romani children from an orphanage attending a
hockey game were attacked by skinheads yelling "we will kill all
A survey in 1996 in Slovak Republic found that 22% of respondents
favoured "giving more room to skinheads", while 45% would support
"moving the Roma out of the Czech Republic if possible."
are constantly stereotyped as `work-shy', `problem tenants', `petty
criminals' and `unhygenic'. Romani children have been banned from
public swimming pools on the grounds that they might spread
disease. It is against such hostility that some gypsies have decided
to try to make Britain their new home.
Lee Jasper of the National Assembly Against Racism
(NAAR) told SchNEWS, "We are calling on the Home Office Minister,
Mike O'Brien, to withdraw his statements that Romanies are coming to
Britain to abuse asylum procedures and take advantage of the benefits
system. Such comments whip up racism and threaten to deny them a fair
asylum hearing. The Labour government appears to be following in the
Tories' footsteps in playing to the tabloid press on asylum and
immigration policy. This approach will lead to genuine asylum-seekers
being turned away, perhaps to their deaths."
- A counter demo is being called against the
fascists, meeting at 12.30pm at Pencester Gardens in Dover Town Centre
(where all the buses stop), supported by, amongst others, The Campaign
For Asylum Seekers and the ANL. Contact Anti Nazi League 0171 924 0333
for more details
- Today (Friday 7th) the National Coalition of Anti
Deportation Campaign are organising a demonstration outside
Oxford magistrates Court in support of 13 asylum seekers. The trial
follows the alleged riot at Campsfield Detention Centre on 20 August
1997 (see SchNEWS 132.)
Defence lawyers fear that it will be show trial at the insistence of
the Home Office with the defence anticipating that the present charges
of violent disorder will be increased to riot.
Contact the campaign at: 22 Berners St., Birmingham, B19 2DR Tel 0121
554 6947. Website: http://www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/
Last Saturday of each month 12 noon picket outside Campsfield (next
one Saturday 29 November)
- Nigerian asylum seeker Joyce Onibiyr has won her
appeal to stay in the country. The ajudication officer has also
recommended that the Home Office should allow her husband and son back
into the country.
- Travellers who are currently taking legal action against Brighton
and Hove Council who want to "drive them out of town" have put forward
a plan for creating a greenfield site which will enable them to live a
low-impact, environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Come to a meeting
organised by Brighton Friends, Families and Travellers Support Group
next Thursday (13th) 8pm Friends Centre, Ship Street, to find out
A planned dusk till dawn curfew for under 16's has
been scaled down after just over a month in operation. Three areas of
Hamilton - Whitehill, Hillhouse and Fairhill - have been targeted by
Strathclyde Police to highlight "the after-dark dangers faced by
youngsters allowed out without adult supervision." Anyone under
16 caught on the streets after dark will be picked up and taken home.
If there are no adults at home, the youngsters will be taken to the
local police station, shown videos and given soft drinks and crisps
until their parents or carers collect them.
However, on the first night hundreds of youngsters poured onto the
streets. "If we are all out on the streets what can the cops do?
They cannot run after us all can they? There just aren't that many of
them", said one. Cops still lifted eight kids.
Police denied the initiative was a "draconian curfew," with Chief
Constable John Orr commenting, "Strathclyde police do not think
young people are Public Enemy No1 and this Force is not anti young
people. On the contrary we are taking this approach because we really
care that our young people live a safe and crime free life." But
as one resident said, "Some of those youngsters are a
menace... but putting them all under house arrest is no answer. The
root of the trouble is that there's nothing for them to do, but
instead of investment in decent facilities, all we get is
For eating a yoghurt... Swat teams of vegan police
staged a daring daylight raid and arrested 47 people on suspicion of
burglary, after a pot of yoghurt disappeared from a fridge in the
occupied offices of reviled opencast mining firm H.J. Banks. Thus in
the wake of what must be one of the largest amounts of blatant
criminal damage ever committed under police officers' noses (see next article), Derbyshire coppers had by the end
of the day taken people in only for the eating of a dairy product,
holding them for 24 hours. Scraping the legal barrel? It is not
known whether the yoghurt in question was strawberry or black
On Friday 31, Hallowe'en, a nasty big opencast coal mine in Derbyshire
was put decidedly out of action by the amassed forces of miners,
ex-miners, radical ecologists, ghosts, witches and vampires. The
action kicked off at 6am at the Doe Hill House site, and enjoyed the
passive co-operation (if not support) of the Derbyshire constabulary,
whose scant number of officers looked on as an estimated
£350,000 of damage was joyously wreaked upon machinery.
One activist told SchNEWS "machinery was dismantled, engines
clogged, windows broken, tyres slashed and wiring ripped from
vehicles. Several generators and the security lighting rigs `fell'
over the side of steep cliff edges as bemused workers stood back and
laughed." Rumours that the larger scale damage only began after
the proprietors of the mine refused to proffer up sweeties to trick or
treating activists are unconfirmed. What is known, however, is that
by the time the protesters made good their escape after two or three
hours of industrious activity, the site had been pretty
comprehensively trashed; a spokesperson for mine owners HJ
Banks confirmed, "every item on site was damaged."
Opencast mining is nasty - it continues to devour as many acres of
prime UK countryside as it did miners' jobs when the deepcast mining
industry was killed off (see SchNEWS 139) After a clean get away from
the mine, some of the activists moved on to occupy the firm's regional
offices where they were eventually arrested on suspicion of burglary -
see `Crap Arrest' box. On the day tasty vegan fare was laid on by
Manchester's very own Counter Culture Collective - caterers for the
- Contact No Opencast on (0171) 603 1831 Also a
weekend camp for action against Ashton Court quarry near Bristol will
take place on November 15-17; phone (0117) 9420 129
A Harrier jump jet crashed a few hundred yards from four load-carriers
of Trident nuclear warheads - packed with
conventional explosives - at 4pm on Hallowe'en at RAF Wittering, near
The convoy had arrived two hours earlier and was
parked overnight in flimsy prefabricated garages at RAF Wittering,
between the runway and the crash site, 100 yards south of the A47.
"This is exactly the accident scenario the MoD dread", says
Di McDonald, Nukewatch Southern Co-ordinator.
"If the jet had hit one or more of the loaded carriers, the high
explosives within the warheads could have detonated, causing them to
jet plutonium and other toxic material into the environment. Was the
pilot directed to ditch his ailing aircraft in order to avoid a
Chernobyl-type nuclear accident?"
The MoD would neither confirm or deny the incident. Juliet MacBride
was later arrested and charged with aggravated trespass for
"interfering with the movement of a military convoy" as it moved out
the next day.
- Anti-nuclear actions approaching... Nov.17-19; Faslane Peace
Camp, near Glasgow. Tel: 01436 820 901.
- Bi-monthly women-only peace camps at Sellafield Cumbria. Phone
Laura or Tracy on 0113 2621534. From 28th-30th Nov. they are
celebrating 7 years of resistance against BNFL.
A Worldwide Reclaim The Streets (RTS) linkup on November 1st saw 3
parties go off (as simultaneously as differing time-zones would allow)
in Oxford, Sydney and Berlin. After
escorting Rinky Dink soundsystem out of the county, impounding Sparky
the solar rig under section 63 of the Criminal Justice Act., Oxford
cops graciously offered potential revellers a back street to party on,
but, the crowd seized Cowley Road instead. A sound system got in amid
a police charge, and the party was on- hard house, techno and a few
bands too, with pensioners, crusties and shopkeepers all joining in
the fun which finished at 7pm with a big litter-pick, leaving only
police horse-shit to foul the street. Meanwhile, the first RTS down
under was a total success: nearly 3000 people blockaded Sydney's
Enmore Rd, a sound system was wheeled in in a metallic tower like
Mediaeval siege equipment, and a permaculture garden was constructed
in the middle of the street. RTS are keen to establish a working group
to ensure the road is regularly closed down for parties, no doubt to
the annoyance of the local petrol station owner who decided the whole
demo was directed at him personally! And Berlin? We're still waiting
to hear from `em!
Police went totally OTT last Saturday after squatters occupied
Thelverton Hall, a country house near Diss in Norfolk that has been
left to rot for seven years by wealthy landowner Sir Rupert Mann. A
Halloween night house warming party was busted at 4.30 am by cops who
told partygoers "We don't care about the law, we're going to get
you out. Don't you know who owns the house?" 50 officers, many in
riot gear, evicted the ninety or so fancy-dressed folk by force. Two
black landrovers containing armed police were also spotted at the
Refusing to hand over the sound equipment the next morning the
Inspector smirked, "You win some, you lose some". Brighton
based Innerfield Soundsystem, were told they would
face charges of `abstraction of electricity' (though only generators
were used), `trespass', `conspiracy to supply controlled substances'
(eh?) and criminal damage (for damage to doors caused by the police on
their way in!). When asked whether it was right that such a beautiful
listed house should be allowed ro remain empty and rotting for seven
years The Inspector responded "That's freedom. The freedom of the
owner to do what he likes with his house. He can't afford the heating
This is not the first free party to fall foul of Norfolk
constabulary's rabid clampdown; some weeks ago they prevented another
from taking place, apparently because it happened to be on the same
day as Princess Diana's funeral(!)
On Monday afternoon Sir Rupert's
lackeys burnt all the bedding and clothes belonging to the occupiers
on the lawn in front of the house. That's freedom.
Andre Pusey was arrested at Bristol RTS on 21 June
1997 at about 7.20pm. He is alleged to have thrown a traffic cone
towards police at the end of the party, at the Bond Street junction
with the M32. During his arrest an "unknown officer" put Andre's left
arm into a rear arm lock, resulting in a severe fracture. Andre has
been charged with affray (obviously). If anyone was in the area at the
time of his arrest, please call Bindman Solicitors on 0171 833
- Brighton and Hove Council yesterday turned down the first
application by Sainsbury's to build a massive new
superstore on a disused railway site. Local Green Party councillor
Pete West enthused "it was swung by the tremendous level of
campaigning against the application by local people and businesses"
More info contact BUDD, Tel: 01273 622727
- Dave Callender, the Animal
Rights activist who got 10 years for bugger all, had his appeal
against conviction heard on Nov.6th - which resulted in his sentence
being reduced by 2 years, the judge refusing to even consider
overturning the conviction. This makes Dave eligible for parole next
- Thespionage are holding two workshops for their
new play `Grief Encounter' next Tuesday (11th) and Thursday (13th)
between 2-5 pm @ The Lift, Queens Road
- There's going to be another national demonstration against
Hillgrove - the place that breds cats for
vivisection. It's on 16th November Meet 12 noon at the farm
Dry Lane, Witney, Oxon
- The president of the Spanish Confederation of Plastic
Businessman, visited the small town of Bustillo del Campo
last month and demonstrated the safety of PVC - by sucking the window
frames of a house using the toxic material!
Brighton Council, enemy of undesirables, could do well to learn from
the state of Tennessee, where a crackdown is being instigated against
the number one U.S. social problem: unlicensed hair
braiders. Across the country, evil hordes with a follicular
bent have been setting up (or sitting down) shop on street corners,
without first obtaining a cosmetology licence. "Our concern is the
health and safety of the public", quoth Dianne Watson of the
Tennessee Board of Cosmetology, and Tennessee is taking up her advice,
insisting all hair-braiders obtain full licences...requiring up to
2,100 hours of study! "We want people to follow sanitary
measures" went on Ms. Watson, as braiders across the state tore
at their dreadlocks in horror...
SchNEWS advises all readers not to travel from country to country
stealing yoghurt from people trying to extract it from large holes in
the ground, but to live in detention centres where you can weave
yoghurt into blankets to keep yourselves warm. Then you will be safe
from prosecution. Honest.
Tune into to Radio 5 Live! this Sunday 11 am to hear about Flannel, police
misconduct, and banned meetings
Subscribe to SchNEWS:
Send us first class stamps
(e.g. 20 for the next 20 issues) or donations (cheques payable to
"Justice?"). Or £15 for a year's
subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for
"original" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to
prisoners. You can also pick SchNEWS up at the Brighton Peace and
Environment Centre at 43 Gardner Street, Brighton.
SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 2DX, England
Phone/Fax (call before faxing): 01273 685913
Last updated 17th November 1997
@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!
SchNEWS Web Team