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Issue 170, Friday 5 June 1998


In an announcement yesterday that is sure to shake the very pillars of our society Paul Gascoigne broke down in tears and announced that he is the father of Ginger Spice's love child. The dumped England soccer star blamed his recent poor form on the pitch, on the extra time he was putting in the bedroom. Ginger's recent 'walkabout' was blamed on morning sickness.

Do you care? No, nor do we really, but you'd think there wasn't much else going on in the world recently. Well, there has been...



While currencies collapsed and financial institutions filed for bankruptcy in East Asia, the world's press bemoaned massive stock-market losses. The people who lost their jobs were mentioned only occasionally. Despite the Asian Tigers' 'miracle economies', most people live in abject poverty. According to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions over 950 million people in South east Asia struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day. Now the majority of East Asians are having to pay for the excesses and corruption of years of economic boom.

"Working people in South East Asia are angry and resentful that they are having to pay the heaviest price for the incompetence and corruption of a few very wealthy individuals and their international backers"
- Spokesperson for the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

On May 27 some 120,000 Korean workers downed tools and took to the streets to protest about mass redundancies and to demand reform. The government responded by issuing a statement that the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) strike was illegal and vowed to crackdown on its leaders. Employers have also threatened to sue unions for losses and damages caused by the "illegal strike".

This is a bit rich coming from people that have overseen an economy in free-fall. According to the KCTU an average of more than 200 companies have shut down each day since the beginning of the crisis, with an average of 4,000 workers a day being made unemployed! Union leaders have responded by promising to increase strike action if the government harasses, arrests or penalises unionists. The KCTU declared "The government and the big business - supported by media who have become the mouthpiece of the rich - have exploited the good will of workers and ordinary people by forcing them to shoulder the entire burden of the crisis and the cost of recovery." Other resolutions have called for the reduction of the working week, reduction of military spending and more accountability of corporate practices.

June 10th now looks set as the date for a general strike in South Korea after talks collapsed between unions and government.



On 22nd May, fifteen of the twenty Ogoni political detainees who have been held in the same cell since May 1994 were granted bail by the Nigerian High Court. A ruling on bail applications by another five prisoners is expected on June 15th. They face the same politically motivated murder charge which sent MOSOP President Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight other Ogoni leaders to the gallows in November 1995.

Since MOSOP began its campaign in 1993, Ogoni people have suffered shootings, rapes, arbitrary arrests, mass looting, extortion, torture and imprisonment in degrading conditions at the hands of a military that is armed by and paid for by Shell. The Nigerian regime's use of military tribunals to silence political opponents has been universally condemned.

The Ogoni 20 have been in prison because they opposed Shell's dirty operations in Nigeria and the devastation of Ogoni land through 30 years of oil drilling. These men stood up for their rights when death squads began to sweep through their homeland in response to their protests. Shell has its own private police force operating in the region, an elite detachment of the Nigerian police, paid by and taking orders from the company.

For news on Ogoni, Shell and Nigeria contact Delta,Box Z, 13 Biddulph Street, Leicester LE2 1BH, UK Tel: 0116 255 3223 Web: www.oneworld.org/delta



Radical alternative to Eurosummit and its corporate agenda. Over 2 days in June, the leaders of the European Union will be dictating the direction of EU policy for the next six months in Cardiff. Lots of activities including on the Saturday 13th a massive demo followed by a. PARTY! (Coaches are going from Brighton leaving at 8am from St. Peter's Church. Tickets £6/£5 from Peace Centre)and on Tuesday Reclaim the Streets. Meet Cardiff Central train station at 4pm Tel: 0122 220347 Web: www.geocities.com/RainForest/5581



SchNEWS presents The Killer Corporations versus People's Global Action. Eyewitness accounts of four days that 'shook Geneva in an orgy of party, protests and riots'. Mon 8th June 7pm, Hobgoblin Pub, London Road.



"All Travellers should be tagged like cattle to monitor them". This little gem from Irish Fine Gael Councillor John Flannery.



Sandwiched between Serbia, Albania and Macedonia, the once-autonomous province of Kosova, home to a 90% ethnic-Albanian population, was invaded in 1990 by Milosevic's Serbian troops. Ever since, Kosova's Albanians have been denied education and healthcare, and now even basic medicines and food which are being looted or halted by Serbian police. Despite a massive underground resistance including schooling for 400,000 kids, healthcare and even an elected government, the population is now at risk of starvation. In the UK Workers' Aid for Kosova are planning to take 40 tonnes of medical supplies and food in July. Help, donations and support are needed. Call 0181 555 7045 or go to the next public meeting: Wed 24 June at the Camden Irish Centre, Murray Street 7.30pm.



"Greeks have been at the receiving end of economic austerity measures since 1986, we can't keep up with the break-neck speed of these reforms. They are inhumane. Brussels will have to wait."
- Christos Polyzogopoulos, Confederation of Workers

Employees of Ionian Bank, Greece's third largest state bank, have been on strike since May 11 demanding the canceling of privatization plans. They oppose the ruling Socialists' plans to sell off the country's fourth-largest state-owned bank, while other trade unions are furious at moves to restructure Olympic Airway. The industrial action, including violent clashes, illustrates growing opposition to privatisaion, which the government says it has to do in order to 'streamline' its economy and make it qualify for Europe's economic and monetary union (EMU) by 2001. Solidarity strikes have begun at other banks as fears of mass lay-offs mount.

  • If you wanna know more about stories that don't make the news, subscribe to New Internationalist PO Box 79, Hertford, SG14 1AQ Tel: 01992 822899 Web: www.newint.org
  • If you wanna read about nasty corporations get Corporate Watch, Box E, 111 Magdalen Rd, Oxford, OX4 1RQ 01865 791391
  • SchNEWS & Squall have produced a little booklet United Colours of Peoples Global Action - interviews with people involved in global resistance from East Timor to India. For a copy send SAE to SchNEWS.



Two thousand copies of a book called Liberating Cyberspace are being pulped for 'naming' UK companies that sell military computer technology, surveillance equipment, and auto-fingerprint recognition systems to Indonesia and Third world military juntas.

At the risk of libel action, joint publishers civil rights group Liberty and Pluto Press, have decided to block the book's publication, and called for authors to return all original copies for reprinting.

The 'offending' material comes from "Big Brother Incorporated", a report produced by surveillance watchdog group Privacy International. The 'hall of shame' in the report identified over 200 sources, which included police-military fairs - Copex, Farnborough, IPEC, defence catalogues, export licence papers and company documents.

Privacy International estimates that $10 billion worth of surveillance equipment is sold every year to the Third World. Millions of these dollars are made up in corporate sales to the likes of Indonesia, China and Turkey - by the same companies being erased from the "Liberating Cyberspace" book. One of the P.I. report researchers told SchNEWS, "There is a slim risk of libel action, but when you've seen the UK company directors shaking hands with Indonesian police chiefs! The UK is the world no 1 for police-intelligence surveillance exports, it seems bizarre ".

UK companies have been supplying Suharto with snooper tools to track, identify and monitor anti-government activists and East Timorese civilians for well over a decade. Here's a few we wormed out in the SchNEWS UK-Indonesian Supermarket Surveillance Sweep:

  • ICL. Manchester, UK. Sold 10 million pounds worth of computer equipment to Suharto in the early 1990's. Same company that kitted out South Africa with its apartheid passport computer system. Phone 'em on 0161 2231301
  • De La Rue Printak. Hampshire, UK. Sold auto-fingerprint recognition equipment to the Indonesian police/security services 01256 29122
  • Marconi, Radar, and Control Systems. Surrey, UK. Sold "electronic equipment" to Indonesian military. Supplied Turkish infantry with "thermal imaging system" 01276 63311
  • Siemans-Plessey Defence Systems. Essex, UK. Sold "command & control info systems" to the Kopassus (Indonesian SAS). 0181 4783040
  • Ampex. Reading, UK. Sold "TV and recording equipment" to Indonesia. Incorporates a CCTV facial capture system for storing mugshots. 01734 875200
Spy surveillance exports, cloaked in Orwellian double-speak references will be flowing into the hands of the Indonesian military and security services like treacle under Robin Cook's all new flexible 'Arms Code of Practice'. So would ICL & Co have chosen to damage their lucrative technology contracts at the risk of another "Mc Libel" by dragging the book publishers through courts? Well SchNEWS think not, cos like their arms dealing buddies they are a pack of gutless wonders. Ooops!!... so sue us.

"Is it not odd that the slum dwellers of Jakarta figure in television coverage as 'looters'? Shouldn't this term be reserved for their president, who has trousered $40 billion since seizing power?"



SchNEWS has had reports from all over the world about the Global Street Parties on May 16th (see SchNEWS 168) but HOUGHTON COUNTY in America was surely the cutest. Two people put out a dining table in the middle of the public highway by their isolated farmhouse on the Sunday (it was raining on Saturday) and had lunch. One lorry was scared off in the process!



  • The anti-Genetix occupation at Kirby Bedon (see SchNEWS 169) are in Norwich Crown Court today (Friday 3rd), hoping to precede the 10am eviction hearing with a demo. They're calling on anyone attending Strawberry Fayre to drop in afterwards. Buses from Norwich run near the site - call 0831 332520/ 0961 517324 for more info or try www.dmac.co.uk/gen.html

  • Don't forget SALISBURY Reclaim The Streets Sat 20 June meet 12 noon train station- and Stonehenge Free Festival June 19-28 bring what you expect to find (how about wire-cutters and a pole-vault?!)

  • It's time to Reclaim the Pavement folks. One BRIGHTON resident is so hacked off with cars, display boards and the like congesting our pavements that she has arranged a meeting - Monday 15 June, 4pm upstairs in the Hobgoblin pub, London Rd - to discuss the first ever Lift Off Day

  • As part of Green Transport Week, on Sat 20th June, the streets of WORTHING are to be brought alive by community street parties. Worthing Friends of the Earth are calling on residents to group together with their neighbors to make the day a social event. Call Sophie Kempin on 01903 210351 for info pack

  • Still in SUSSEX, for two Mass Trespass Walks, on Sundays 14th June & 5th July. Meet 12 noon @ Brighton Railway Station to travel out of town (bus tickets £3/£2 from Peace Centre) on a magical mystery tour of the Downs - walks will be 3-5 miles (with shorter kiddie route) with picnic stop halfway. Call SchNEWS office for more details

  • A SEED Activist Gathering in Bulgaria, July 5-12, will take place in the beautiful Bulgarian mountains, focusing on activism in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Corporate Rule and Globalisation. Contact A SEED for an application for limited places (to be completed by June 12th): A SEED Europe, Postbus 92066, 1090 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • The McLibel trial film is still on sale after the BBC and Channel 4 were both prevented by their lawyers from showing it. If you want to buy it, or better still, hold a public showing to coincide with the national Anniversary Days of Action on June 19th & 20th, send dosh (£12.99 waged, £9.99 unwaged + £2 p&p, payable to 'One-Off Productions') to: BCM Oops, London, WC1N 3XX, UK 0171 2478881

  • Stop-press phone call from Paris - occupation of Eurocopters who sell to Mexico and Turkey. 23 bottles of champagne drunk during the occupation, lots of things trashed...



In June 1993, Rita Porter,a black mother was assaulted by police in a London Electricity Board showroom. She had waited all the previous day in a freezing flat with her children, (aged 3&3 months), for her electricity to be connected. In desperation she went to the showroom to ask to be connected that day. LEB refused unless she paid an additional charge, so Ms Porter refused to leave until the matter was resolved.

The police were then called to evict Ms Porter When a van of police officers arrived, they pulled the children from her arms, wrestled her to the ground, handcuffed and carried her to the police van. So outraged at the police actions were the large number of passers-by, that many contacted the local paper in protest. The Camden New Journal reported at the time: "An unprecedented number of eyewitnesses expressed 'outrage, horror and disgust'. Several said that the police were 'racist' and all said that the police were laughing while making the arrest and that they used 'unnecessary force and brutality."

The Police Federation then sued the local paper for libel and tried to get Legal Aid withdrawn for Ms Porters civil action. Those concerned with justice are urged to attend Central London County Court on Mon 8th June when the civil action will be heard. Legal Action for Women: 0171 482 2496.



Reclaim the Land at Ryeloaf Camp, Bingley, on Sat 13th till Mon 15th June.

The protest camp was set up to prevent a £64m road scheme, and has recently teamed up with Residents Action Group for the Environment, stopping building work on a nearby controversial housing site. On the Saturday, it's the anti-road campaign's 2nd Anniversary, so PARTY from 8pm onwards. Then on Sunday there's a discussion workshop - Greenbelt Housing: the second eco-war? followed on the Monday by a day of ACTION against greenbelt developers. More info call 0961 367421.



1. Sack your staff

Hot on the heels of the letter sent out by Brighton Federation of Small Business who wrote to firms about the New Deal asking "Have you ever thought how profitable your business would be if you didn't have to pay out any wages?" comes a one day seminar by Lloyds Associates. It's all about how bosses can sack staff without being taken to an Industrial Tribunal for unfair dismissal. Topics include how to dismiss an employee with a 'bad attitude', dismissing a senior employee with long service, and dismissing during maternity.

If you want to find out more, go to Royal Hotel in Winchester (June 11th), Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, London (June 16th) and the Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport, Gwent (June 30th). It will only set you back £217.38 - give 'em a bell on 01778 423890 and see if they can put you on the guest list.

2. Hassle them on the dole to take any crap job

Big round of applause for Brighton Against Benefit Cuts who have swamped the Employment Service with 50,000 high quality spoof leaflets about the New Deal.The Leaflets are so realistic that they went unnoticed in 40 Jobcentres around the country for a whole month until jobseekers brought them to the attention of staff.

"The New Deal is just that - a deal, a raw deal" reads the subverted text. "The Employment Service has been contacting...[companies] with offers of free labour and hopes that they will form a network of local slave labour employees". It helpfully explains that the New Deal is "a program to help us cut unemployment figures and social security spending and to force young people into badly paid (or not even paid at all) jobs". Asked whether you will be able to go back on Job Seekers Allowance if you don't like the deal, the leaflet says "No, of course you can't, what do you think we are - a charity?"

The claimants group said that the aim of the stunt was to "mock, ridicule, demoralise, panic and disturb Employment Service management and amuse claimants and benefit workers across the country".

3. If we don't do nothing it'll happen here

In Canada, the Ontario government has just introduced the 'Prevention of Union Act' which bans people who have to work for their dole from joining a trade union, having work conditions determined through collective bargaining, or going on strike! A High Court has already ruled that the so called 'Employment Enhancement Programs' (workfare to you and me) violates the Charter of Rights with non-existent training, and job displacement dispelling the pro-workfare propaganda which paints workfare as beneficial to claimants. Still, one government minister has brushed aside threats of more legal action and union picket lines against firms that take part. "Union opposition will not deflect us from our goal," he said, which is of course, to get people to work for peanuts.



SchNEWS warns all readers not to attend any illegal gatherings or take part in any criminal activities. Always stay within the law, sit indoors, watch TV and go on endless shopping sprees, filling your lives with endless consumer crap. Then you will feel content. Honest.


Big thanx to chumbawamba! Going to any parties and protests this year?, why not take a bundle of SchNEWS to dish out? Ring the office if you can help.

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Last updated 5 June 1998
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