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

Issue 155, Friday 19th February 1998

New Labour's Welfare to Workfare Roadshow is coming to town this Saturday (21st).
Meet 12 noon Pig & Paradise, Queens Rd.


"The best way to hurt him is his core infrastructure. We're not going to leave that alone as we have in the past. But there will be far fewer bombing runs than during the last Gulf war - probably less than 400 a day."
-Senior US officer

The US and Britain are preparing to let loose their war machine on the people of Iraq in order to maintain their dominant position in the Middle East. Having crippled Iraq with seven years of sanctions that are estimated to have killed two million Iraqis, half of them children, Clinton and Blair are concerned that world opinion is increasingly calling for sanctions against Iraq to be lifted, allowing Iraqi oil to compete with US and British controlled oil. The war being prepared for - and the horrors it will hold for the Iraqi people - will have nothing to do with standing up to an 'evil dictator'. It will all be about profits.

The excuse for going to war being fed to the public in Britain and the US is that Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted with 'weapons of mass destruction'. While there is enormous doubt about whether Iraq has any such weapons there is no doubt about who does.

The United States and Britain have massive stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The US and Britain arm, train and subsidise brutal dictatorships throughout the world. They are currently amassing a force of 30,000 troops, aircraft carriers, stealth fighters, B52 bombers, cruise missiles and much more in order to bomb Iraq, "back into the stone age", as they did in 1991. The 'smart bombs' sent to Iraq in 1991 hit 28 hospitals, 52 community centres, 676 schools and 56 mosques. 400 civilians were burned alive in a bomb shelter in Amirya. Now who was it that can't be trusted with 'weapons of mass destruction' again?

There is growing opposition throughout the world to US and British war plans. The idea that a country should be bombed into oblivion for breaching United Nations resolutions is viewed with interest by Cubans, who have seen the UN pass five resolutions in the last five years calling for the US to end its crippling embargo against Cuba only to see the US ignore them all. A clear majority of Americans oppose military action. Explaining France's opposition, their foreign minister said, "That is not just the French position. It is the position of all Europeans apart from the British. Obviously it is also the position of the Arab world, the Russians, the Chinese." One lot of people still keen to go to war, however, are own politicians - in a vote on Tuesday less than 4% of MPs voted against the goverment's plans for war.

Opposition is strongest, of course, in the Middle East. Last Sunday, Palestinians in the Deheishe refugee camp took to the streets to oppose US and British war plans. Referring to continuing US support for Israel's illegal occupation of south Lebanon for the last 20 years, one of the protesters said, "The US is pulling out all the stops to make Saddam comply with UN resolutions, yet could you imagine the difference it would make if the US applied the minimum of pressure on Israel to comply with UN resolutions?".

The current attack against Iraq is the latest chapter in the long history of the carve-up of the Middle East by the superpowers. The United States, with its ally Britain, maintains its dominant position by arming countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey so they can suppress popular, democratic movements in the region. From the Palestinians and Kurds denied their right to a homeland, to the Iraqi child dying for lack of medicines banned by sanctions, the peoples of the Middle East suffer poverty, displacement and war as a result of this continuing carve-up.

Before sanctions were imposed, Iraq was one of the most developed countries in the Middle East. For years, Saddam Hussein was supported by Britain and the US in order to 'contain' Iran, the threat to 'stability' at the time. Up until February 1996 British taxpayers paid £696m to arm Iraq. Things only changed when Iran became less anti-American and Saddam Hussein showed signs of independence from the US. The 1991 Gulf war took place to ensure that an autonomous, oil-rich Iraq did not emerge to challenge US and British dominance of the oil market.

Since the war, sanctions have cost Iraq over $90bn in lost oil revenues. Iraq currently owes Russia $7bn and France $4bn, money that these countries can only recoup if sanctions are lifted. An independent Iraq trading its vast oil reserves in alliance with France or Russia or any other European power would undermine US dominance of the region. This is why the US and Britain are so keen to decimate Iraq, whatever the human cost.

Last week 7,000 Turkish troops, backed by US-made Cobra attack helicopters, invaded the Kurdish part of northern Iraq killing around 20 PKK guerillas. On Monday Israeli troops evicted dozens of Bedouin families from their homes on the West Bank, where they have lived since the 50s, to make way for the expansion of a Jewish settlement. Iraqi children continue to die from sanctions and next week could be dying from missile attacks on their homes. If they do, it will be one more chapter in the superpowers' war against the people of the Middle East.


While the media would have us believe that the country backs another Gulf War, people have been demonstrating. On Valentines Day anti-war protesters encircled the Ministry of Defense in Whitehall, whilst on the following Monday, protesters blockaded Northwood Joint Deployment Force HQ .

Rapid Response: If an attack is launched by there will be demos at noon on the day, and noon every Saturday @ Downing St.

The National Peace Council have set up an emergency response network: 0171 354 5200 npc@apc.org

  • In Brighton there's a serious of meetings against the drive to war. The first one on Monday (23 Feb) 7.30pm The Cricketers Black Lion St. For details of other meetings contact the Peace Centre (01273) 620125
  • Faslane Peace Camp, protesting outside the home of Trident for the past 15 years, have been given an eviction date 1st April Ring 01436 820901.
  • ARROW (Active Resistance to the roots of War) has been deliberately and openly breaking the sanctions by taking medical supplies directly to Iraqi hospitals. 0171 607 2302

There are more nuclear waste transports planned at Ahaus in Germany. The convoy is due to arrive between 23 - 26 March. The nuclear mafia hope the half-forgotten Ahaus site will attract less protest than Gorleben, scene of massive protests last year with a 20 year history of resistance. So.... Spread the news: 0031 (0) 4645 24803 (Rampenplan) or 0049 (0)2561 9617-91/-99 (Ahaus activists)


Chicken in the Kitchen

Alan Bowkett, chairman of the company that owns Magnet Kitchens, is suffering from some noisy neighbours. A chicken farm (un) officially opened by sacked Magnet workers next to Bowkett's £ 1.5 million estate is driving the poor old fat cat mad. The farm was set up to evade the secondary picketing laws, and to annoy the man who gave himself a £124,000 pay rise last year. Unfortunately, one of the feathered protesters met an untimely death on the A428 after escaping and his surviving brothers have staged a coop sit-in to mark his death. A medieval 'pageant' is also planned in the fat cat's village this Saturday, complete with a karaoke session featuring 40 years of chart songs with chicken references! The cockerel capers are the latest episode by the 350 sacked workers, who have been on strike now for eighteen months over a three-year wage freeze and deteriorating working conditions. They need your support - Don't buy a Magnet Kitchen and check out their web-site at http://www.gn.apc.org/magnetstrikers/ or give 'em a call on 01325 282389.


(GO) SLOW Learners

On Wednesday 4th March, there will a be an educational shut down, with possibly two million students walking out of lectures nationwide, in protest of the new tuition fees. The Government plans to introduce fees of £1,000 a year as part of the teaching and Higher Education Bill, but this money will not go back into education. Applications for further education have dropped by 20,000 since these plans were first unveiled - the equivalent to the intake of 4 Universities. If you want to support the shutdown contact your local Students Union. Locally, Northbrook College, Worthing will be holding a party in the car park at the Durrington site on the Littlehampton Rd, Worthing contact Jo or Jim on 01903-207888

  • Sussex University will have picket lines, workshops in the S U and trade nion speakers, a party to unite with colleges across the south. Donations on the door, all monies to a local children's Educational Charity.


3 Strikes, you're out

A claimant has been found guilty of Breach of the Peace in Edinburgh for delivering a "3 Strikes" warning letter to a dole office worker who has been consistently abusive to claimants. A demo outside the court, included 20 people wearing masks made from a photo of the said interviewer! Sentencing the claimant to 150 hours community service, the judge described the claimant as a 'Robin Hood figure' and said that he had been considering a 3 month prison sentence, as this was a "premeditated and clearly illegal attempt to undermine the operation of the Welfare Benefit System".

Edinburgh Autonomous Centre 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5HA


Anarchist Doughnut

The Anarchist Teapot has moved to the old Dunkin' Doughnut, on the London Road near the Open Market.


SchNEWS in Brief

  • Greg Sams, that waggish Stonehenge Campaigner, inventor of the Vegi-burger (true) and Chaos Theory Fractal explorer has written a book called Uncommon Sense (The State is Out of Date). Published by Chaos Works at only £6.99 a jolly good read, with chapter headings such as 'Emptying the Corridors of Power' and 'What Would an Alien Think' http://www.xaos.demon.co.uk/

  • Calling all Britonians and all you 'dahn fer the week-end-(ers)' following our piece on the Zap Club (Ish153/4) we were sent this info on the owners; Simon Kirby is a Conservative Councillor for Rottendean and Martin Webb used to be in the Metropolitan Old Bill, those well known 'custodians' of free party parties.

  • The free festival of Global Rights is holding a benefit gig at The Rocket (Halloway Road Tube N7, £8/£7) on Sat, 28th of February. The Party is called The Big Sexy Festy Part, it combines Circus, Techno, Dub and House and all proceeds go directly to the free festival of Global Rights.

  • Bradford Festival 98 there will be a public planning meeting at Conway Hall Red Lion SQ London WC1 26th Feb 7.30pm

  • The Land is Ours Mass Trespass 28th/ 29th March 1998 Meeting point 1pm Luton Railway Station by the taxi ranks. At 1.30 coaches will take people to the mystery site, all the usual stuff, Bring tents, musical instruments, banners and food to share. Contact the office on 01865 722016 so they can book coaches.

  • 'Disappearances' are a popular state tool for suppressing dissent and occur in dozens of countries worldwide. To join in the International Committee Against Disappearances campaign, go along to their vigil in Trafalgar Square @ 5-6.30pm this Saturday' 21st Feb. Also coming up is a meeting: Political prisoners and Human Rights in Chile, provisionally @ 7.30pm, Tuesday 10th March, @ Conway Hall, London, WC1

  • The Police Review have bravely published New Orleans Police's catalogue of errors. Amongst their 1400-strong force, ten are suspended for bodyguarding major cocaine dealers, one is under investigation for 200 serial murders and one faces trial for shooting a colleague.

  • Reading Roadbusters were back at the Newbury Bypass on 9 Feb. They blocked the site entrance with crap collected from the verges + heartily insulted Costain

  • Check out the Big Blether on March 28-29 at Monimaie in Fife for a "DIY" weekend promising fun and frolics. Try your hand at drumming, take part in workshops, share experiences and generally indulge in some good ole blethering! For more info call Grace on (01555) 820555.

  • Free Rob Cannabis was arrested on 11 Feb outside the Home office during a press conference outlining "The truth about Cannabis" info 0966 396444

  • New Norwich Newsletter 'The Butterfly' 01603 661038 a very cool banana.

  • Arooga LYMINGE FOREST eviction day very close 01303 265 737/0410 536 592


Right on Arrest !!!!

During a mass trespass at an airbase, a copper who stole a banner found himself under citizen's arrest. He was led to the back of a van until other police were summoned. Whilst being informed that his right to silence had been eroded by parliament, the alleged criminal exclaimed. "I wish I hadn't come out now.". He returned the banner and was released.


Witches Spell Trouble

White witches gathered at Hillgrove Farm (suppliers of cats for vivisection) and performed a 'cleansing ritual' on owner Christopher Brown by burning his effigy, "Dispeling any murky black energy around and evoke the Earth Mother".

  • Demonstrate outside Hillgrove on 22nd February - transport from Brighton 8.45 am outside Harvest Forestry, behind Sainsburys
  • The campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences (animal testing) have temporarily disbanded the camps to concentrate on demos and target supporters and investors in HLS such as the Co-operative Insurance Society (yes, the Ethical Bank). Campaign No. 0589 026 435
  • A National Demo against Live Export in Dover (which handles up to 8000 sheep in a day.) is set for 20th March, 10.30am


and finally

A couple of SchNEWS scribes were surprised to find themselves 'special guests' of Chumbawumba at the glitzy Brit Awards last week. We'd been outside with the Revolutionary Communist Group and other trouble-makers, throwing eggs at the stretch limos and playing British bulldog with security and celebs as part of the Reinstate Nigel Cook Campaign. While the celebs were sitting at the £5,000 a table awards, packers for Polygram CD's earn as little as £3 an hour, have to stand for 12 hour shifts, with no sick or holiday pay. Nigel was forced under the Job Seekers Allowance to take the job. When he complained about the conditions and tried to organise a trade union he was sacked. Polygram in 1996 made £3 billion and paid its directors £6.2 million! As Polygram are behind the Brits, we thought we'd join the picket to let the stars know, what's really behind the glitz. The plan was if Chumba won an award, two sacked Liverpool dock workers would accept. They didn't - so SchNEWS crew headed for the stage with megaphones, while Chumba's Danbert NoBacon headed for John Prescott with a bucketful of ice. SchNEWS got spotted and thrown out the door, Mr. NoBacon was more successful and the rest, as they say, is history.

  • We wonder if Mr.Nobacon knew that last week was National No Bacon Week organised, not by the Prescott fan-club, but by animal rights group Viva ! and Babe - that great film about a talking pig. According to Viva ! the film's sequel shows that Babe is into direct action, rescuing factory farmed piglets.
  • An animal-rights activist was nicked last Friday after throwing a pie in the face of John Pepper, Chief Executive of Procter & Gamble at an awards ceremony. His company likes a bit of vivisection, so Melynda Duval from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), let fly. PETA commented "Sometimes a polite word doesn't get you anywhere."
  • Meanwhile, Noel Godwin renowned anarchist ringleader of the International Brigade Patisserie has been at it again. A group of 30 attacked Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, hitting him 4 times in the face with cream pies. "We are comical terrorists and the pie is symbolic. The victim is only injured in his self-esteem."



Do not attempt to read SchNEWS. It is intended to be used only as an ornamental table mat and not as an organ of serious philosophical debate.


Whilst you're questioning everyone and everything don't forget to question yourself.
Happy Pancake Day everyone.

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Last updated 24 February 1998
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