| SchNEWS 158 | Next | Index
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER NICE ETHICAL POLICY ROBIN, MATE
Published in Brighton by
Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 158, Friday 13th March 1998
ActiveFM 106.6 - from 6pm Fri 13-Sun 15 (SchNEWS Sat 4pm)
He's broken loadsa UN resolutions. He's a ruthless dictator who has murdered
hundreds of thousands of people. He has invaded neighbouring countries and is
armed to the teeth. His name is General Suharto - the butcher of Jakarta, and
dictator of Indonesia for the last 33 years.
So are the UK about to declare war on him and his people...er, no. In fact he's
coming to Britain in April for the Asia European Summit Meeting (ASEM).The
summit will be focusing on trade and investment, however it is rather doubtful
if other more humanitarian matters will be on the agenda. He's resposible for:-
But all is not rosy for 'the Butcher', with commentators describing the present
situation in Indonesia as 'one of political, social and economic free fall'.
The rupiah is worth less than a quarter of its value of a year ago. Ninety per
cent of Indonesian companies have become technically bankrupt, leaving tens of
millions of people out of work. This has led to widespread unrest, with food
riots in East Java and daily demonstrations in the capital, Jakarta. So why is
Britain gung-ho when it comes to Saddam Hussain but rather less outspoken when
it comes to Suharto? Well, Britain is currently one of the main arms dealers to
Indonesia - remember the Ploughshare's women smashing up British Aerospace hawk
jets destined for Indonesia? Or Alvis and GKN, the Royal Navy, Vicars and
Royals Royce...it seems inevitable that Britain will be using the opportunity
of Suharto's presence at ASEM to further their sales of arms to the country,
despite the rhetoric of our foreign policy.
- The deaths of up to one million members and sympathisers of the PKI (the
Indonesian Communist Party) in a state-sponsored massacre, after he came to
power in a military coup in 1965.
- The deaths of 200,000 East Timorese (a third of the population) after
Indonesia invaded the country in 1975.
- The deaths of 150,000 people of West Papua (the Western half of New Guinea,
also known as the Indonesian province of 'Irian Jaya'), after Indonesia invaded
the country in 1963
- The thousands in jail without trial for political and religious beliefs.
- The logging and mining of huge tracts of tropical rainforest, massive
forest fires which have been burning across large parts of the country creating
smog like conditions
- Lining his own and his relatives pockets with the ill-gotten gains from
these corrupt operations, making Suharto one of the richest men in the
Suharto's fate is uncertain, but it is clear that the Indonesian military,
thoroughly armed and trained by the United Kingdom are the real power in
Indonesia, and will have a major say in who runs the country in the future.
- Demonstrate on Sat 4th April @ 11 am meet at Jubilee Gardens,
passing by the QEII Centre where ASEM is taking place 0171 281 0297
- If you
fancy a bit of direct action meet at 8 am Victoria Station (outside Smiths) on
Friday 3rd. Contact 0171 739 2301
- Indonesia is the world's fourth largest country, made up of 17,000
- Support 6 East Timo rese exiles and 3 British peace activists up in court
for trespassing on British Aerospace land @ Lytham Magistrates Court on March
23-27th. There'll be a 9 am vigil each morning. More info 'phone Liverpool
Catholic Worker 0151 264 8741
- Easter Faith and Resistance Gathering against
sales of Hawk jets to Indonesia 11-13th April 0151 264 8741
are holding HAMMERS & SPANNERS, 18-19 April in Oxford. 0161 226
March 21st-22nd, B'ham. A MUST for UK people wanting to take
direct action against globalisation. Targets: forthcoming G8 summit & EU
Summit in Cardiff. Contact 0161 224 4846.
DAUGHTER OILS THE SLAUGHTER
SchNEWS talked to Ceu Brites from East Timor Relief Association, who has
been in exile for 22 years.
"In 1998 East Timor is still under military control. We have to ask permission
to move around. They used to use sticks, but since the Dili massacre they use
gas. We are forced to sell our land because Tutu, Suharto's daughter, is
selling this oil-rich land, our land, to multinationals to exploit it. We also
have the rarest marble in the world. The health situation is very bad. We can
send only 2 doctors to East Timor who can stay for just three months.
Tuberculosis is rife because of lack of treatment and expensive medicines.
In Lisbon this May we will hold the Timorese Congress - like the African
National Congress - to look forward towards forming our own government. It
could happen in just a few years time".
Turkish riot cops - 'Steel Force'- are to be piped classical music to
soothe their "paranoid and twitchy" moods as they sit in coaches
waiting to beat people up. Asst. Police Chief Kutlay Celik said: "The music
will have a calming effect on the brains of those who are not so polite. We'll
play Mozart, Beethoven but definitely no Wagner".
Decadent Action - the consumer terrorist organisation- have called the second
World Phone in Sick Day for 6 April 1998. This is the first day of the
financial year - and DA are out to destroy the monetary system...at their
leisure! Last year the group was credited with inspiring 2,000 British Airways
workers to phone in sick instead of striking, in a dispute with management. The
idea of World Phone in Sick Day is to damage the economy - costing employers
millions and contributing to inflation. The aim of the group is the destruction
of capitalism via hyper-inflation caused by excessive spending and employee
disobedience! Workers calling in sick costs UK industry over £13 billion
each year. For more info send sae to Decadent Action, BM
Decadence, London WC1N 3XX.
With the annual nuclear waste railway season fast approaching in Germany,
naughty trainstoppers have been at it again. In the early hours of March 2nd,
three main railway tracks in northern Germany were sabotaged, delaying train
circulation for half a day. Tracks around Berlin were also wrecked the week
before. German Rail wonder whether they should continue transporting as it's
getting a bit expensive, help them make up their minds. It's confirmed now that
the authorities would like the waste to reach Ahaus on the 25 March. Anyone
interested in going please ring up the SchNEWS office, there might be
transport organised, or let us know about spare places.
Bristol City Council has leased 20 acres of the Ashton Court park to Pioneer
Aggregates, an Australian multinational, who want to expand Durnford Quarry,
against the wishes of locals. The project is scheduled to begin any day and
will destroy 20 acres of land, leaving a 100 metre deep hole. Pioneer have
agreed to transplant parts of the park, which supports a diverse habitat,
including several rare species, however RSPCA officers have stated that there
is an badger sett in this field and the heavy machinery needed to prepare the
site will traumatise the badger cubs. A camp has been set up. Contact (0117)
939 3039 Write c/o 10-12 Picton St. Montpelier, Bristol BS6 5QA
Two days before the shooting of three Palestinians by the Israeli army led to
rioting, 1,500 soldiers and police signed an open letter to Netanyahu's
government. The letter, published in an Israeli newspaper this week, called on
the government to "choose peace with the Palestinians".
Mystified prison officers spent thousands of pounds on changing the locks at
Castington Young Offenders Institute in Northumberland after a spot check
turned up a set of high quality keys. Turned out one of the wily young tykes
had a photographic memory and memorised the shapes of master keys "within
Manchester Earth First! have set up a squat cafe in the former local temperance
lodge. EF! initiated the squat to be run as a non profit making cafe, meeting
place, entertainment venue, and information centre. A local businessman, who
alleges he is the owner, obtained a swift eviction order, which may be served
at any time, but considering that the O.K.asional Cafe is only intended to stay
in any one place for only a month, this is unlikely to happen. And Mancs have
welcomed the cafe in their hundreds, making it a resounding success. Contact
305 Oxford Rd, Manchester, mobile phone 0966 464606.
- This year's BRIGHTON DANCE PARADE is off, due to
££losses last year. But fear ye not! Dance Parade UK 99 promises to
be even 'bigger, smoother and more colourful'. Hardened addicts look out for a
CD - The Vibe, A Decade of Love Parade 1989-1998, in September, and regular
club night @ the Honey Club, Seafront Arches, Brighton: Thurs 19th March.
- RANT AND RAVE is back @ the Rocket, Holloway Road, N7 on
21st March, 10 til 6. It costs £8 or £6 concs (inc. SchNEWS readers)
and b4 11pm and promises a cheap bar and trillions of fab acts - all in aid of
Squall magazine. For info on Squall call 0181 5093353/0171 7131494
- An alternative infoshop and reading room has just opened in Ljubljana,
Slovenia, holding info on everything from direct action to bioregionalism(!!).A
space for like-minded people to meet and they're in need of donations of
reading material. Send stuff to: Skrati c/o Retina, Metelkova 6, 1000
Ljubljana, Slovenia or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sat 28th March is a Global Day of Action against veteran vivisectors
PROCTOR & GAMBLE. 17 countries will be involved, with 30
events in the UK alone. Contact 0114 2350020
- MAYDAY98 conference in Bradford (1st-4th May) big parade
kick off, promises to be real food for thought.Write to MayDay 98, PO Box HH57,
Leeds LS8 5XG
- FORUM FOR SOCIAL CHANGE in Southampton at the Joiners
Arms, St Mary's St on the 5th of April 01703 570509. Bands, talks, workshops.
(This is a SchNEWS benefit )
- Alternatively, try the GATHERING VISIONS, GATHERING STRENGTH
II conference at Manchester Uni, 3rd-5th April, a forum for activists
to gather and pool ideas for social change. Fees depend on income
(£3-£18) and there will be cheap vegan food and free accommodation
0161 8348301, email email@example.com.
- The CENTRE for ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY's Eco-Cabins, a
project which in 7 years has housed 11,000 school children for a week of
interactive learning about energy and nature is in urgent need of renovation.
If you can spare £5, £10 (or all £40k needed!!) you won't find a
worthier cause! Write to CAT, Llwyngwern, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ or call
- Faslane Peace Camp's SPRING GREENING FESTIVAL 20-27th
March with Equinox celebration a demo and action, workshops from shiatsu to
gardening. 01436 820901
- Interested in PERMACULTURE? check out Naturewise's
'Design for Sustainable Living Now'. The introductory weekend is 21st-22nd
March, 10-5.30 Fees variable according to income. Call 0171 2813765
- THAT STUPID CLUB presents 'Homo-phoney?' @ 8pm, The Lift,
11-12 Queen's Rd, Brighton on Wed 25th March. Starring The Divine David, Tania
Glyde, Neil Cross and others, it costs £3.50/£3 in aid of the 'Bolton
7' campaign, tickets from Paul Bearer and Waterstones
- A reminder not to miss Bristol Earth First!'s pro-fun, freedom and
friends LOVE AND ROCKETS. Starting @ noon on Good Friday 10th
April, (meet Band Stand, Castle Park) there will be workshops on the theme 'the
city' until 8pm then a FULL ON FREE PARTY (check @ Grapevine or meet 10pm in
the foyer, Temple Meads train station) going into all-day URBAN DIY
ACTION early on Saturday 12th - meet 12 noon @ Castle Park if you
oversleep. Info: 0831 657985.
- The case of the M25 THREE, who are
currently in jail for a murder they didn't commit, is the subject of Rough
Justice, BBC 1, 10 p.m 25th March.
- RECLAIM YOUR RIGHT TO ROAM! The Land Is Ours are
organizing a Mass Trepass,March 28th/29th.Meet @ Luton Station,1.30 pm on 28th.
Info 01865 722016.
Remember the Poplar trees Fairclough Homes wanted to trash because they spoilt
the view of the Thames from their newly built luxury development? Well,
Fairclough are really pushing for a decision because although they've sold the
homes they can't move anyone in till the trees are safely (sic) removed. A
SchNEWS source says that 2-300 security have been booked from 16th March
onwards, (SchNEWS note: Although the company is called Project Security it's
actually Reliant hiding behind a subsidiary name). There is a Council meeting
on the same day, and with a large presence from the 16,000 locals who signed
the petition promising to attend, it should be a fun day out. Canbury
Gdns, Kingston 0378 498 257
A group of DIYers in Israel are producing publications in Hebrew. They need
info on how to stop roads, organise street parties and network with local
communities. Any'web sites, publications, etc. contact DIY Alternative Press
POBox 3607 TEL AVIV 61036 ISRAEL email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- MIDLANDS AGAINST SUPER HIGHWAY need people to squat
buildings along the route of the proposed Birmingham North Relief Road.
Clearance work begins 3rd April.Info 07970 932224
In their opening statement in Washington, the defense representing Pacific
North Construction & Lumber Corp, argued that their client was not at fault
for the rape of 30,000 acres of virgin forest, claiming that the forest led the
company on with, "...an eager and blatant display of its rich, fertile
bounty . While obviously it is extremely unfortunate that this forest was
raped, it should have known better than to show off its lush greenery and tall
strong trees in the presence of my client , " said the defence attorney
"if you're going to tease and encourage like that, openly flaunting your
abundant natural resources, don't be surprised by the consequences." The
situation is being closely watched both by timber-industry lobbyists and
victims' rights groups across the U.S."The P. N. C. & L Corp. had every
reason to believe that forest wanted it bad," said one logger. "What
were those trees doing in that kind of remote spot if they weren't looking for
trouble? Believe me, this is no virgin forest," Those siding
with the timber company also cite the forest's history, claiming that it
has"A reputation for being easily exploited".
"Have you ever thought how profitable your business would be if you didn't
have to pay out any wages?"
- Letter sent out by Brighton &
Hove Federation of Small Businesses
In April New Labour's Welfare to Work will go nationwide promising to put
hundreds of thousands of the unemployed back to work as part of Tony Blairs
'full monty' welfare reform. But welfare to work is in reality a major step
towards the introduction of a US style workfare system. The government are
selling the scheme as the answer to all our problems, but as every new scheme
to 'benefit' the unemployed has been announced, the politicians begin sounding
like a Persil advert - 'Yes, it's our new improved brand which will
really get rid of those nasty greasy unemployable stains this time.'
With the Adam Smith Institute, who have always opposed the Welfare State and
the NHS, calling Welfare to Work "the most successful public policy initiative
of the century " then alarm bells should start ringing!
Initially aimed at putting 18-24 year olds into subsidised jobs or training,
there will be an 'intensive job guidance and counselling' programme lasting up
to 4 months, before people have to choose one of four schemes.
1. Work with an employer. The employer gets a £60 a week subsidy to employ
someone for six months at a standard wage. The job must include a one day a
week training for which a grant of £750 is paid.
2. Full time study on an approved course for up to a year.
3. A six month job in the voluntary sector (Any voluntary organisation taking
part will get paid £3,200 a person.)
4. Working for the Environmental Task Force.
THESE SCHEMES ARE COMPULSORY.
REFUSE AND YOU'LL LOSE YOUR BENEFIT.
"It's a new National Service, there is no fifth option
apart from drugs, crime and homelessness."
- John Fillis,
Lancashire Labour councillor
"SO WHAT, I'VE GOT A JOB!"
But it's not just the unemployed who will be affected. The New Deal is a
massive extension of "casualisation" - creating a whole section of the
workforce who only have a six months contracts, which will undermine everyone's
wages and conditions. Employees will inevitably take advantage of the scheme to
replace workers with cheap labour taken off the dole queue. Even the Employment
Policy Institute director John Philpott warned that employers with a high
labour turnover were bound to try to use the subsidy "There is a risk that the
scheme could end up validating the revolving door labour market." This is
already happening in trial areas of the scheme. For example, in Eastbourne
Anglo Dutch Meats have taken on 20 people under the New Deal - despite making
10 staff redundant before Christmas.
"We have become incapable of making judgements about what is useful work.
The profit motive drives our economy so anything that makes money is considered
work, even when it is socially and environmentally destructive. Conversely,
anything that does not make money or is not paid is not considered work,
regardless of its real human value.
New Labour's vision of work is fantastical. To suggest that selling
hamburgers and cleaning cars is a panacea for social ills is a fairy tale
solution. The real challenge is to decide as a society what work is important,
and then to share it, and the proceeds, fairly."
- Molly Scott
Cato, Green Party
While France debates the 35 hour week, the UK lags behind with
the longest working hours of any European country, an average of 45 hours a
week. Despite a recent report by the TUC which found that nearly half the
workforce is suffering from some forms of stress New Labour talks about the
work ethic with an almost religious zeal. The reality is unemployment is here
to stay...after all wasn't this meant to be the so-called 'age of leisure'?
People in the creative industries - bands, theatre, festival organisers etc. -
have used the dole as an informal system of support to gain artistic and
technical skills. But this is seriously threatened by the New Deal. Key figures
in the music industry for example, such as Alan McGee, (Oasis' label boss) and
the International Managers' Forum, have already voiced grave concerns about it.
They even praise the current system because it allows people to be
"creative without being bureaucratised."
The New Deal doesn't just affect the £50 billion-a year-creative
industries. Smaller projects which run on a voluntary basis and which make
considerable contributions to community life may well be decimated. Any change
to the welfare system should recognise the contribution of the creative
community without destroying it.
"Hadie Hartgrove was laid off from her part-time custodial job with the
Nassau County government. As a result, she ended up on welfare - and back at
her old job as part of her workfare assignment, with far less pay and no
- The poorest 10% of the population get £13 a week less than 20 years
ago. Yet, thanks to tax cuts the top 10% get an extra £900.
- The Economist
In Ontario, Canada the government has passed a law
which now makes it legal to force the unemployed to work for less than the
minimum wage with no breaks or holiday pay, no right to start or join a union,
no health and safety protection, or protection from discrimination. In other
provinces that have already legalised workfare, hospital workers, teachers and
other public and private sector employees are being replaced by workfare
participants. Thousands of jobs are lost in favour of replacing them with
unemployed persons on welfare and Employment Insurance. In Saskatchewan for
example entire shopping complexes are built by unemployed carpenters, plumbers,
In America, the city of Baltimore has replaced an estimated
1000 of its workforce with workfare 'trainees' who earn less than the minimum
wage. The Baltimore public school system alone has 208 'custodial trainees' who
earn the equivalent of £1.50 an hour.
New York City budget cuts in 1994 forced the Department of General Services to
eliminate half its 300 full time cleaners, replacing them with 140 people on
workfare. New York has 75,000 currently on the Work Experience Programme with
eventually half the City Council's workforce expected to be employed on the
programme. One workfare administrator admitted that while he knew workfare
slots weren't supposed to replace real jobs, it does happen.
In Britain as part of the Project Work for-your-dole-scheme,
The Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh's main general hospital, is using around 30
placements in catering, portering and cleaning.
The American Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation compared
people on normal benefit with those who were required to work for their
benefits, in a study lasting 5 years. The results concluded that people who were
required to work for their benefits were no more likely than the other welfare
recipients to get real, paying jobs. Most workfare programs do not create real
jobs. If anything they replace real jobs with free labour.
"One Work Experience Program worker from New York city area described
it not as an experience in work but an experience in slavery."
Sandra White is a young women who began work at 14 until 1995
when she was 'downsized.' Unable to find a job, she was forced onto welfare,
and sent to the Sanitation Department. At 7 am the Work Experience Program
workers are taken by van to a location, from which they are to sweep their way
back to the Sanitation Department. One sweeps the street, while the other
pushes a wheeled garbage can and picks up the material. These workers are
outside all day, They receive no uniforms or protective clothing and no
sanitary or eating breaks. Any person complaining about their conditions is
threatened with the sack and loss of unemployment benefits.
Nick Lebrow is a middle-aged man. In the Work Experience
Programme (WEP), he is assigned to the Bronx Parks Department where he does
maintenance work on the parks. He uses gas operated mowers and trimmers, trash
compactors and other power equipment. Despite constantly dealing with dead
animals, broken glass, hypodermic needles and other toxic and dangerous
materials he receives no protective equipment. During the winter weather, he
and other WEP workers were given ex- prison uniform coats!
Henry Dlugozima Jr.a middle-aged man with a 30 year skilled
work record was sent to a Recycling Centre. He received no job training and
given no protective clothing other than a pair of cloth gloves. It is dangerous
work. At least one worker has lost a hand after being caught in the conveyor
belt. Mr.Dlugozima works 20 hours a week/80 hours a month for $120 in food
stamps. This amounts to $1.50 an hour! (about 95 pence)
There are 1 million Businesses in the UK and with just 2 weeks to go before the
launch of "New Deal"only 2,000 companies have signed up. In other words 99.8%
"So I guess it's just a cult then??"
Labour say "there will be no fifth option". We say there is -
In France thousands of unemployed people have been marching in the streets and
taking direct action demanding amongst other things, an increase in benefits.
It worked, with the government recently announcing £5 billion worth of
extra cash. Meanwhile, in Brighton the claimants group helped make sure that
many charities in the area wouldn't touch the Project Work-for-your-dole
scheme with a barge pole.
But Welfare to Work is the cornerstone of the government's programme, and is
going to be a lot harder to defeat. While some of us might find individual
solutions, it is only through collective action that things for change. Don't
leave it to someone else - get involved!
Haringay Solidarity Group PO Box 2474, London N8 Tel: 0181 802 9804
Edinburgh Claimants Peace & Justice Centre, St. Johns, Princes
St, Edinburgh EH2 Tel: 0131 332 7547
Groundswell OUWCU East Oxford Community Centre, Princes St.Oxford OX4
1HU. Info on groups around the country.
Sheffield Claimants PO Box 446, Sheffield S1 1NY
Unemployed Workers & Claimants Belfast Tel: 01232 439 869
Brighton Against Benefit Cuts meet every Tuesday 6 - 7 pm at George
Beard Pub, Gloucester Road, or you can contact them at: PO Box 2791, Brighton,
** A NEW DEAL OR RAW DEAL? CONFERENCE **
Saturday 28th March at Friends Centre, Ship St., Brighton 10am -
SchNEWS warns all readers never to talk to strange dictators covered in dodgy
medals especially if they start talking about a New Deal in a tree burning
Hello Gail Curly-Wurly
Readers - we need you recycled or new A4 envelopes please.
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 20 March 1998
@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!
SchNEWS Web Team