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

Issue 146, Friday 5th December 1997



Although Mike Foster's anti-hunting bill looks like being scuppered this time around by a Government more obsessed with cutting single mums' benefit, the days of hunting with hounds are almost certainly numbered and the long-awaited second reading last Friday in the house of commons was the occassion for a number of big hunt sabotages across the country. keen to raise the profile of the cruelty-free alternative of drag-hunting (where hounds follow a fake scent `dragged' by a running hunt lackey), Chiltern Hunt Sabs - past masters in the art of innuendo - chose to engage in high-heeled high jinx on Saturday.

So, amid high-pitched squeals of "Chase me! Chase me!", about thirty sabs, demurely attired in evening gowns and little black cocktail numbers, descended upon the Vale of Aylesbury Foxhunt in Hertfordshire. Casually flicking mud from their flimsy slingbacks, sabs informed the flabbergasted hunt staff that if sabs could do drag hunt sabbing, then the hunt could jolly well do drag hunting After an initial demo, where banners proclaiming "Panty-hose not Tally-Ho's" were waved amid much eyelash-fluttering before the bewildered yokels, sabs casually attracted the hounds away with a mischievous, teasing whiff of alluring cologne. The cross-dressing cuties then proceeded to spoil the day and steal the limelight from the (for once) comparatively un-ridiculously attired blood junkies. " I'd like to wrap my lips around your big brassy horn", "Get off your horse and whip me properly" and similar epithets cooing from seductively-lipsticked mouths, however, only aroused the more conservative of rural passions, for the boys in blue arrived and randomly nicked two saboteurs, unleashing a fresh wave of lewd double-entendre ribaldry. "Ooh, what big, strong manly hands", "I'd like to take down your particulars!" and "Quick cuffs and chains? I didn't know you were into ruff stuff" were among the comments levelled at the stiffly-uniformed officers as they carted away the glamourous queens.

Elsewhere, sabs didn't have such a fun time of it. A mass sab on the Portman Foxhounds in Dorset, attended by sabs from six different groups, resulted in the protesters being violently attacked by heavies brought in specially. Sabs from Reading had their vehicle rammed by a hunt Landrover, which disgorged several large lads armed with pick-axe handles and wearing balaclavas. Sabs stranded in a field were assaulted in the first of several skirmishes that day, ending with a pitched battle in a village street where upwards of 30 gentle, `sport'-loving rural types- tore up a gate and garden walls to hurl at saboteurs. Sabs did, however, manage to prevent the huntsmen- who were also wielding pick axe handles- from hunting all day. At least two sabs were hospitalised, though none arrested the local constabulary ensured they were well out of the way as the colourful local characters `dealt with' the townies.

Such violence is far from unknown and a far cry from the ludicrous picture of nature-loving countryside dwellers that the pro-hunt lobby seeks to promote. Well, until recently, that is. The violence last weekend- and other `coincidental ` things like injunctions served on well-known sabs- could well be the start of a last ditch campaign by hunts who know their time is up and plan to go down fighting- literally. Mike Foster was at one point under police protection after a huntsman threatened to "rip out his entrails and feed them to my hounds". Another, "he would not live to see his bill become law." Earth Dog, Running Dog - the magazine for the discerning terrier man- warned Foster: "Don't force the most law-abiding citizens to become terrorists or you and your party will live to regret it." The rag also hinted at forests becoming `charred wastelands'. Janet George, the Jabba The Hutt-featured Australian defender of all things English (spokeswoman for the British Field Sports Society) announced: "The battle lines are being drawn - and this time it's not only the foxes blood which will be spilt." In the wake of the GANDALF `incitement' trial, SchNEWS awaits arrests of such provocative undesirables. These are crucial times: get out there and get sabbing! Contact the HSA on 01273 622827 for details of your local group.


Reclaim The Pumps

Reclaim The Streets have squatted a petrol station to highlight the Kyoto Summit on climate change. Re-opening the building as 'Oil Strike', they are busy transforming the space into a petrol free zone.The petrol pumps have been turned into art installations, a sustainable energy source in the form of windmills are being erected and unexpected support from passing motorists is adding to on-site hilarity. They are holding a Hooley on Saturday, beginning with a Global football match at 1.00 and festivities later !!! `Oil Strike' is at the corner of City Rd and Wellington St. Nearest tube is Angel. More Info 0171 281 4621


Reclaim The Meats

Last Sunday saw yet another section of society finding direct action the best means of defence. Welsh Farmers `confiscated' a 40 ton lorryload of Irish beef burgers and fed it to the fish from Holyhead dockside in Llandudno, closing down the Port for ten hours and turning lorries away every night since. By Wednesday over 3,000 more farmers were blockading docks at Liverpool and Strathyre after more scientific evidence that beef is totally inedible and a ban on the sale of `meat on the bone".) Farmers from Shropshire are making their way to Liverpool and groups of farmers intend to blockade docks at Heysham, Felixstowe and Dover.

The Consumers' Association are telling people who want to avoid risk not to eat any meat and in typical panic factor mode, the Government can't make up it's mind, banning things like fresh oxtails but not Oxtail soup. On Wednesday night at Liverpool, police stood by watching, as the farmers stopped any lorry they thought was carrying meat. As SchNEWS went to press, sacked Liverpool dockers have pledged solidarity and will be joining the picket lines. The National Farmers Union told SchNEWS "Whilst we sympathise with the deep feelings involved, we condemn any breaking of the law". Hmm... according to the Welsh Farmers Union "last night's events show that our farmers have had enough and are prepared to take the law into their own hands". Since the beef ban, the only market for British Beef has been in Britain and farmers incomes have dropped to nothing, making subsidised assistence vital. But whilst every European government including the Irish government have claimed the subsidies available for farmers, British farmers cannot make a claim directly, only the government can do that, but neither New Laboured or the Terror Tories before them have made any attempt to claim the £480 million in benefits and grants from Brussels. As contentious veggies (there's even a few vegan police in the office!) SchNEWS aren't in favour of the `product' the farmers are protesting about, but we applaud the realisation of yet another community that justice is DIY!


Inside SchNEWS

A multi-faith memorial service for the dead of East Timor recently took place outside Warton, home of British Aerospace who continue to supply Hawk jets to Indonesia. The service commerated the 273 East Timorese civilians massacred by the Indonesian military during a funeral service Following entry into BAe's site carrying a child's coffin, 3 Britons and 6 East Timorese were arrested for trespass and obstruction. Only the Britons have been released on bail, and the others are refusing to give their names in solidarity with the nameless dead of East Timor, killed by British supplied weapons. On the same day 3 young students taking part in a similar memorial in East Timor were shot dead.

Letters of support to `Los Pallos Lads' c/o Catholic Worker, 1 Horne St, Liverpool. Call Preston Prison to enquire about their welfare - 01772 257734.

  • Witness Appeal. Ian Austin Williamson is awaiting sentence for allegedly assaulting a police officer during the Manchester airport campaign, and could face five years inside. Anyone on site at Manchester II on the 23 March at dusk between gate 1 and 2 please contact Andy Fitzpatric 01612 489799
  • There will be a picket for framed black prisoners Winston Silcott and Oliver Campbell on Saturday 13th December outside Maidstone Prison, County Road at 12 noon. Send messages of support to them both at HMP Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1UZ


Against Nature - Against You

Last Sunday, and for the next two weeks, Channel 4 are broadcasting Against Nature, a "documentary" series about how the environmental movement are, amongst other things, wrongheaded, patronising to the peoples of developing nations, and, to add insult to injury, fascistic. SchNEWS scribes saw the first of the `programmes', and thought that it was the biggest TV stitch-up in living memory (at least since that elephant shat on the studio floor during Blue Peter). It was gratifying to read in Broadcast magazine that producer/director Martin Durkin was hit very badly by a stomach bug whilst filming in India. It was a pity it wasn't bowel cancer. Others disgusted by the show should be aware of the following contacts:
  • RDF TV, St Johns Hall, 374 North End Rd, London SW6 1LY. Phone: 0171 385 9200. Fax: 0171 385 3131
  • Channel 4: 0171 396 4444
  • To complain, phone: Independent Television Commision 0171 255 3000
RDF was also responsible for Dr Satan's Robot in 1996, an Equinox film espousing the benefits of head transplants, male pregnancy and genetic engineering.

A 45 minute debate about the series is being scheduled for Dec. 16th.


No Shop Day Report

Last weekend saw lots of anti-consumer fest activity. In Manchester Arndale Centre shoppers were greeted by a bizarre Millenialist Cult chanting slogans such as "It Could Be Me" and "McDonalds have got time for me". Other spectacles included selling cans of "Happiness" in Birmingham, various Shop-A-Holic Clinics, rubbish sculptures and several Rat Races. In Edinburgh and Oldham, Alien beings came down to Earth and were most perplexed by the concepts of advertising and consumerism.

In Canadia Adbusters were unsucessful in their attempt to pay for a Buy Nothing Day advert for TV, one channel CBS said that the ad was "in opposition to the current economic policy in the United States."

  • Coca-Cola has clearly found a visionary in their new chief Executive, M. Douglas Ivester. Ivester has urged his fellow executives to "expand the horizons of our businesses, and the horizons of our thinking." To demonstrate his point, he told his audience the typical person drinks only 4 ounces of soft drink out of an average of 64 ounces of liquids per day. "That still leaves our industry "with 60 ounces to go after."
  • Enough, One World Centre, Mount Street, Manchester. 0161 226 6668. (Local Friends of the Earth groups also got involved in the event this year.)
  • Adbusters Magazine: 1243 West 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6h 1B7, Canada. Web: http://www.adbusters.org/


SchNEWS in Brief

The not dull any more SOAS students who occupied their library for 12 days in protest (see SchNEWS 145) over having to pay to use the service, have won, sort of. Although there is still a charge for using the library the university will now cover the cost forall students
  • 30 trees in Hounslow need help. A 24-screen cinema complex is being opposed by local residents, who are calling on bored Eco-warriors to come to the rescue and help swing the council's decision on Dec 16th. Call Rose on 0181 568 1892

  • 50 people erected an 8-foot fence in front of Jack Straw's house last Saturday to symbolise the plight of 200 asylum-seekers imprisoned in Campsfield Detention Centre. Despite a large police presence, members of the Close Campsfield Detention Centre Campaign approached Jack Straw - but he ran away! They then received a police escort to his front door to deliver a bundle of letters. 30,000 asylum seekers enter the UK every year and their claims can take up to 23 months to process. They are often detained in centres like Campsfield during this process, and 80% are ultimately rejected.

  • Sussex Chicken Sanctuary need carpenters, builders or anyone who wants to feed or cuddle rescued battery hens! Call HSA on 01273 622 827

  • The Cornish Alternative Community Project are setting up a sustainable community, including alternative education, eco-housing, co-ops, a LETS scheme and organic produce. They need land and office resources. Contact Stevie on 01872 553835

  • Overheard on the radio...a JobCentre was closed last week due to a lack of staff

  • Anarchist Graphics is `anti copyright graphics for social revolution', and is hoping to become a collective in near future if more people want contribute their revolutionary scribblings. Box 5, 167 Fawcett Rd., Southsea, Hants, PO4 ODH

  • Faslane Peace Camp are hosting a Christmas weekend Party plus Actions on the 20-21st December. Bring yer instuments and something very warm!

  • The campers at Lyminge Forest protesting against plans for Rank to build a massive lesiure development, are also having a Winter Solstice bash - same weekend as Faslane, ring 0467 604409 for directions

  • Yesterday we received 127 emails - ahh! We like to be informed but not drowned!!!

  • FOOD NOT BOMBS took poor activists out for a posh meal in Monteal on Wednesday. Two school buses drew up outside a hotel and `commando's' from the Comite des Sans-Emploise de Montreal-centre (commitee of unemployed of central Montreal) stormed the restaurant,within minutes a steady flow of steaming food platters were being handed around the 110 + unemployed people invited to the party. The hotel specialises in business trade and the food came from a conference finger buffet. Riot Police soon surrounded the demonstrators and flushed the `commandos' from the hotel, closing it and a major road for two hours, during which 110 people were placed under arrest, searched, cuffed and filmed before being stuffed into paddy wagons. Most are still in jail on charges ranging from participating in a riot, mischief, assault and conspiracy.


SchNEWS Sofa Appeal!

We only exist because of your donations, A BIG THANK YOU!!! but we are having difficulties funding the next SchNEWS Book (issues 101-150) for launch on Valentines Day. So now we are asking you to look one more time down the back of the sofa and send us all that loose change, pretty please with cherries on!! Any sound systems or bands wanna do a benefit bash please feel free to get on the case `Coz we need it maan'.


Undercurrents 8 is Out!

If you'r feeling a bit lost for a right-on Christmas prezzie, why not get someone a copy of the new Undercurrants - "the news you don't see on the news" ...No.8 is now out including the Gandalf trials, increasing police surveillance, Wyndham Hill £12.95 from 16b Cherwell St, Oxford OX4 1BG Tel 01865 203662 E-mail: underc@gn.apc.org


and finally

(in association with Crap arrest of the Week)

Zero tolerance is in the same mentality as `cannabis leads to hard drugs' - litter bugs and kids riding their bike on the pavement are seen as the potential burglars and muggers of the future, and are dealt with accordingly. So when champion of Z.T. Ray Mallon became head of Middlesbrough CID late last year, he made an announcement that if crime did not fall by 20 per cent within 18 months, he and his two detective inspectors would ask the chief constable to relieve them of their jobs. A year later and DI Mallon has been suspended on full pay after the disclosure of confidential information. This follows on from investigation by Northampton CID into Middlesborough cops bribing suspects with heroin in order for them admit to other crimes. As Mallon told Police Review "If a football team is relegated the manager is blamed, not the players. It should be the same with a police force." Looks like you're going down with the Doncaster mate.


finally, finally

In memorium, Alex Balchin `Squatter extrodinare' a very dear friend of all in Brighton who died in a tragic accident at the G.L.C. party this time last year. Hope the parties up there are kicking Alex!! Much loved,much missed.



SchNEWS warns all readers not to drag their heels in opposition to hunting with hounds. Always kiss and make up with those who disagree. Never get your knickers in a twist and that way you won't feel like a big girls blouse, you'll feel like a dog. Honest.


Calling all Brightonians, council decision on Braepool traveller site, Thurs 11th 1.30. Be there!

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Last updated 5 December 1997
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SchNEWS Web Team (schnews-web@brighton.co.uk)