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Issue 164, Friday 24 April 1998


Last Saturday three thousand people held a rally nr. Stevenage in the latest battle to stop a new 10,000 house development.

The houses are due to be built by Persimmon Homes, the third largest house builder in the country. If they get the green light it will be the largest release of land for a new town in the UK since the end of the 1950's, and will destroy the Langley Valley, which is set between rolling chalk hills with ancient woodlands, hedgerows and green lanes. Persimmon are clearly worried about the protests - on Wednesday they moved its AGM from York to Edinburgh- and hired everybody's favourite Brays Detective Agency as security! Tim Akeroyd of the Campaign Against the Stevenage Expansion said "We know new housing is needed, but not in the green belt. We must regenerate decaying cities instead."

Meanwhile in Newbury anti-bypass protestors are having their worse fears released. with the council are planning to build some 21,000 in-fill houses on the land alongside the bypass.

But it's not all doom. In the sleepy village of Peacehaven, Sussex it wasn't yer usual rent-a-mob dole scrounging tree huggers who had come to save the day! NO...It was the Mayor, teachers, families and veterans in their 80's all pledging to "Lock on and be arrested" if governments proposal to build commuter homes in their valley went ahead. They decided upon direct action as the only option and got in touch with local Earth First!ers inviting them to a meeting to discuss tactics, where a unanimous decision was taken for a bulldozer pledge. Outraged by John Prescott overruling the council, they took their battle to the High Court, where a judge ruled that Prescott had failed to abide by his Governments own guidelines. This is the first time the government has faced and lost a High Court challenge to a greenfield housing decision.

So, is this the second eco-war?

According to Urgent! magazine one thousand square miles of countryside are under threat of being covered in concrete. Four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have already disappeared under new housing developments and small sites such as allotments, common land and wildlife habitats all over the country are being trashed unnoticed by anyone other than locals. But unlike road protests where you are often up against government, green belt campaigning is against individual companies and although they may spend a couple of million on one campaign, multi-site campaigns could seriously damage their pockets.
  • According to the Empty Homes Agency there are 804,000 plus empty properties in the UK
  • Stevenage: 01438 605 9710
  • Newbury: 01635 455440
  • Bangor: The campaign continues with protesters moving on to the next section of the development as soon as they were evicted. 01248 353 0800
  • Oxford: 35,000 new homes planned yet the council don't even know how many empty properties they own. 01865 437 661
  • Friends of the Earth: `Stopping the Sprawl' £7 from 56-58 Alma St., Luton, LU1 2PH
  • Urgent! newsletter £5 for a years subs Box HN, 11 Magdalen Rd Oxford OX4 1RQ



This week it's the turn of the Earl of Spencer (Di's Bro'). Originally he was going to hand over the running of Althorpe House to English Heritage but then his sis died and the ££££'s possibilities became obvious, £9.50 per adult, children £5. Whilst the grounds and Diana's grave are private, the house is still fair game. Spencer has reduced the visiting times since getting his 40% tax break so if you think this is unfair, complain to: The Inland revenue Capital Gains Office 0115 974 2490
  • Althorpe House, Althorpe, NN7 4HQ. Visitors requested to apply in advance. Max Admission 6 per household. No admission without invitation.



Spotted in Kirkby Job Centre, Liverpool: Apprentice Hairdresser, Man or Woman, Six days a week inc Saturdays... £45.50 a week. Duration: Perm!!



For eating a piece of toast. A motorist was charged with `driving without undue care and attention', whilst munching on his breakfast! Is the car in front a toaster?

For non-payment of fines. Manchester veteran Inverness John was nicked last Saturday night. Perhaps the reason he hadn't paid his fines was because he'd been in prison for the last six months!



The camp at Bury St Edmunds set up to stop a proposed access road for local brewery Greene King, disbanded three weeks ago. The camp tatted down before their eviction date, much to the surprise of the bailiffs and cops who turned up the next day. Trees were chainsawed, despite some being off route The council are prosecuting the brewery, and the campaign continues 01359 240365



MayDay98 conference from 1-4th May, 01274 734160 http://www.geocities.com/picketfence/1155/



Unity Hall, Arundel Street, Hampshire Details from Box M, 167 Fawcett Rd., Southsea, Hants, PO4 ODH Saturday 2nd



Take picnics, instruments and festive spirit to the top of Causewayhead on May Day @ 12 noon, and on Saturday 2nd



Sunday 3rd May, Scottish TUC (0141 332 4946) or Glasgow Trades Council for info.



Following on from last week's SchNEWS, we're happy to report that the 1,400 sacked Australian dock workers have won their federal court case and have been reinstated. Hooray! 2,000 dockworkers, wives and children gathered outside Patrick Stevedore's East Swanson dock in Melbourne, to hear the ruling over a live broadcast. "This is a great night for the family of trade unionism - those who thought we were dinosaurs, well we came back with a vengeance," ACTU president Jenny George later told the crowd. He added "If we're dinosaurs, this is Jurrasic Park!" Union leaders were quick to caution their members that the fight was not over. "The federal court victory tonight is sweet and we are satisfied, more than satisfied. But we have pledged to every worker employed by Patrick that they will get their job back," said ACTU national secretary Bill Kelty. SchNEWS wonders if the decision was anything to do with the fact that the cast of Neighbours gave them their support.



"We've now got a Government who think beef on the bone is too unsafe for people in Scotland to eat but that Dounreay, a plant which is totally decrepit, which hasn't reprocessed anything for the past 18 months because it's literally falling apart, is a convenient dumping ground for nuclear waste."
- Alex Salmond, Scottish National Party

5kg of weapons grade uranium and spent nuclear fuel from Tbilisi in Georgia was this week heading by plane to the Dounreay nuclear plant in Scotland. The government decided in secret to take the material to `promote international security'. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, countries in the region are seen as economically unstable and often on the brink of civil war, and that nuclear material could be sold on the black market `to an enterprising terrorist or dictator.' As the Government is pointing out, there are real problems with the material falling `in the wrong hands', but SchNEWS asks just what are the right hands?

According to George Monbiot "Dounreay is the most dangerous nuclear plant in Britain; possibly the most dangerous plant on earth, outside the former eastern bloc. Last year, it was forced to reveal the assistance of a shaft above the crumbling coastal cliffs, into which it had been dumping uranium plutonium and a number of potentially explosive materials." It already has the equivalent of 14,000 drums of waste, (the stuff from Georgia will add two more) expected to rise to about 19,000 when the plant is decommissioned in 100 years time. Then what?

As a CND spokesperson pointed out, "A crucial point that has been missed so far in this debate is that reprocessing is not a magic recycling system that gets rid of nuclear materials. Reprocessing itself produces both uranium and plutonium - to be added to our stockpiles."

  • Saturday 9th May Welfare before Warheads outside Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire. Contact 01703 554434



Fancy a great Summer on an excellent site, already complete with walkways, 12 tree houses, lock-ons communal bender and nearby squat? Well, get to the Bingley Anti-Road Campaign. The decision to build the A650 has been constantly postponed since the Tory road-building scheme collapsed in tatters. Numbers at the camp have slowly dwindled but another appeal is to be heard this Spring, and a decision possible in August. People are now urgently needed. The road is to service a proposed greenbelt housing development of 10, 000 properties. There is massive local support and good relations with residents. "This is such an easy site to live on, plenty of local skipping to be had, within a bus ride of Bradford and Leeds."

Phone 01274 504626/ 0961 3674211



  • THESPIONAGE, those people that brought us `Tatting Down' have a new play on called `Grief Encounter', a tale of mistrust, beer and benefit fraud. 8pm Mon 27th-Wed 29th April at the Komedia, Brighton Tickets Mon £3/2 T&W £5/4-01273 388 079
  • Issue seven of Do or Die - voices from Earth First! is out now, and as usual is jammed packed with in depth articles on everything you ever wanted to know about the direct action movement. If you gonna read any magazines then we recommended this £1.80 + SAE PO Box 2971, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 2TT
  • Nine members of the Corporate Action Network occupied an office at the Chamber of Commerce for half an hour this week, in protest against the MULTINATIONAL AGREEMENT ON INVESTMENT, described as the crudest form of globalisation yet (SchNEWS 161).
  • There's an ANARCHIST QUIZ NIGHT in aid of Movement Against Monarchy (MA'M) on 9th May a the Acton Arms, 296 Kingsland Road, Hackney, 7.30pm. £1 each entry.
  • There's a protest outside the 1998 British Aerospace AGM on Wednesday 29th April, outside the QEII Conference Centre in London (nearest tubes Westminster and St James Park), between 9am and 3pm. There'll be speakers (including Mark Thomas), Kurdish street theatre, non-violent direct action, banners, props, and media. The protest is against BAe's continuing sale of arms to repressive and genocidal regimes around the world. Contact Campaign Against Arms Trade (0171 281 0297).
  • As live exports continue so does the opposition - Sat 9 May sees a National Demo starting at 9am with Vet Inspector David Smith - 58 Union Rd, Deal (take A258 from Dover); then a home visit at 11.30 - Finglesham Deal (A258 Deal to Sandwich, left to Northbourne Court, right into The Street); then Uffington Court lairage (B2046 from A2, signposted Wingham) at 1pm; and finally Lydden Court lairage (signposted Lydden from A2 towards Dover)
  • WEST COUNTRY ACTIVIST Newsletter are having a training day on Sat 2nd May (10.30-5ish) so anyone who wants to see how it's put together and where it's going call Luke on 01225 464539
  • Fancy partying with the BRITISH FIELD SPORTS SOCIETY? Their AGM is coming up on Wednesday 13 May at the Royal Inst. of Chartered Surveyors, 12 Great George St, London SW1 (Westminster Tube) and London Animal Action (0171 2783068) have called a demo outside at 1pm.



  • Chris Garrett has been put on remand after charges brought against him during the Manchester airport evictions. Drop him a line CL4664 HMP Walton, 66 Hornby Road, Walton, Liverpool L9 3DF
  • Matthew Cowern, four years for possession. He and is miles from home, without family visits and on 23 hour bang-up. MF2800, HMP Preston, 2 Ribbleton Lane, Preston, Lancs, PR1 5AB
  • Anarchist Black Cross, who have recently issued a new prisoner list, are selling a 90 min benefit tape `Jail Break' crammed with fab tunes for just £2+30p p&p (60p Europe, £1 elsewhere). Send cash, cheques, P.O.'s (payable to R Taylor) or stamps to ABC, PO Box 381, Huddersfield, HD1 3XX. Another benefit compilation, on CD, for American Indian prisoner Leonard Peltier features Australian and Native American Bands. To order or for bulk order info write to same address
  • Pablo Locke (SchNEWS 135) has had trouble with his mail. If you have written to him and received no reply contact Justice? office.



"Some way has got to be found to end this evil practice."
- Ted Cooper, Local Councillor

Last Saturday saw the largest protest yet at Hillgrove Farm, the cat breeders for vivisection. An estimated 3,000 turned out to tell the owner Chris Brown what they think of him.The long term campaigners have been met with regular violence and harassment from the workers at the `Farm' while the police have just stood by. So with a large presence from `heavy' forces such as the Met, West Mercia, Gloucestershire and mounted police it was pretty certain this demo could get a bit heated, and heated it certainly was! "Attempts by a significant minority to impose their will on others by violent means will not be tolerated" said top cop Tim Davidson. Things kicked off as demonstrators started to pull down a 12 foot security fence a la Glastonbury complete with police watch towers erected around the site. After some serious tussling both sides resorted to lobbing lumps of concrete from the wall at each other unfortunately Zab Phipps, the brother of Jill who was fatally injured at Shoreham, was seriously hurt by a missile launched by the Boys in Blue and rumoured to have since had a finger amputated. As usual when their leashes are slipped, the police went totally over the top, and people witnessed children separated from mothers being pushed over an embankment and run down by police horses, other groups of people away from the protest were also trashed. One local journalist horrified by what was happening to the children said "I'm going to make sure this placed is closed down". Perhaps one of the reasons for the police behaviour can be explained by Supt. Davies "We are defacto becoming a private security force for Hill Grove Farm. People might start asking, what are you doing there when you should be helping me over here". Despite the violence and seven people being arrested on criminal damage and violent disorder charges campaigners said. "This is still on the whole a peaceful campaign and today has not put us off, we will continue and this place will close". Next Demo is on Sunday 31st May at 12.00 noon. Contact: 01386 833846

  • Animal rights campaigners were not singing in the rain last week, as the fourth camp for justice outside Huntingdon Life Sciences was flooded out during the Easter downpour. Despite this, the campaign against our favourite vivisectors still remains strong. There's a demo on May 15th, 1pm, outside Death Sciences, More info...0589 026 435



Peace activists are being given some strange directions from the law lately. One Swedish activists Cecilia Redner, a priest in the Church of Sweden, was found guilty of damaging a cannon on its way to Indonesia, and sentenced to fines and three years of correctional educational (sounds fun, whatever that means) Meanwhile in America ploughshare prisoners are not being allowed to return home! Steve Baggarly was told after a spell in the nick, he could not return to his Catholic Worker community on the grounds that its environment was not "conducive to becoming a productive citizen"!



SchNEWS warns all readers thinking of starting a newsletter. Never get connected to e-mail. Always rely on mates in the pub to tell you what's going on, then you won't drown in news. Honest!!


Next week is a may day double issue, and we are gonna do a comprehensive list of camps/protest/party dates, get your details into the office NOW!

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Last updated 24 April 1998
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