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

Issue 178, Friday 31st July 1998


"We live in the grip of an economy which encourages over lending and over borrowing. But the poorest are not just in the grip of this economy, they are enslaved by it. For every $1 that rich countries send to developing countries, $11 comes straight back in the form of repayments on debts owed to the richest countries. This is a form of economics that denies us our humanity, rich and poor alike."
Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town

Last Friday Jim Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank took to the stage at the world conference of Anglican bishops and defended his organisations' record on Third World debt.

Reacting angrily to attacks by Christian Aid, Wolfensohn warned bishops against naive, simplistic solutions, "We have expertise on development, you have expertise in people and in communities. Instead of fighting each other, we can work together to help alleviate poverty."

His outburst followed the voicing of almost unanimous outrage by the bishops at the meeting in Canterbury at the cost in human suffering of spiralling debt in the Third World. Many of the bishops are prominent members of Jubilee 2000 who are campaigning for the cancellation of unpayable debt by the millennium. In fact, virtually all the Third World debtor nations have now paid off the original sums they (or rather their dictators) borrowed - what they are now paying off is the crippling interest rates.

So what is the World Bank?

Set up at the end of the Second World War, its main role is to provide loans, with annual lending programmes to 'developing' countries of $20-25 billion for projects such as roads, dams and schools. European parliaments vote large percentages of their aid budgets to the World Bank yet it often operates with minimal scrutiny from parliamentarians.

It also provides general support loans for governments that are willing to make economic changes. It claims that its primary aim is alleviating poverty and that all its work emphasises the environment.

But that's not how others see it.

In 1991 India received structural adjustment loans with very harsh conditions from the Bank. Despite 'adjustment' India's debt burden rose from $72 billion in 1991 to $99 billion in 1996.

In an open letter to the World Bank signed by nearly 40 Indian organisations and numerous individuals they point out that the banks, "blind focus on privatisation and the mad rush for industralisation... the policies imposed by the Bank have significantly distorted development priorities, destroyed resources and impoverished millions. And now, the 'new' policies being promoted by the Bank, under the Structural Adjustment Programme and in the name of Liberalisation, Privatisation, Globalisation are aggravating these impacts many times over."

Some of its more recent dodgy activities include the Nemada Dam project in India, where it eventually had to pull out because of local and international protests; the Polonoroeste Road Project in Brazil which has destroyed large tracts of rainforest , and the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline, in partnership with such third-world-friendly companies like Shell and Exxon.

The World Bank has come under a lot of pressure in recent years - its rackets been rumbled, and there are growing calls for it to be closed down entirely. While the concept of "development" itself is a dubious and arrogant one, the World Bank can't even do this job properly, in a way that would truly benefit ordinary people in poorer countries. Instead it channels money to dictators and corrupt elite's, and provides a gravy train of contracts to Western corporations, imposing unnecessary and unwanted megaprojects on the poor. Meanwhile, structural adjustment programmes slash vital social services and gears production to export, rather than providing for a country's own needs. The country is then locked into a subordinate position in the economic new world order.

The World Bank can never be reformed - it does too good a job for global capital - it can only be abolished! (and while we're at, let's get rid of global capitalism?)



For being nice. A man stops to help a kid who had been hit with a baseball bat on the back of the neck, calms the boy and his mates and holds his neck in case there are any spinal injuries. Starsky and Hutch arrive, get all the kids hysterical again and arrest the kind gentlemen for refusing to leave the boy. 200 yards down the road they chuck him out of the van and tell him to fuck off. Good ole' community policing.



Just what SchNEWS readers have been waiting for 'Quality Parking Into A New Era' a two day Conference on...car-parking (co-sponsored by everybody's fave magazine Parking Review). Taking place at the London Imperial College in September, sessions include 'Car Parks are for People' (silly old us we thought they were for cars) 'What Does a Well Designed Car Park Look Like? (rubble with trees starting to grow back?), and 'The Problem of Older Structures: Coping with Decay and Preventing Collapse (!). Despite the blurb going on about 'contributing to traffic restraint and sustainable transport policies'.no mention is made of a simple solution t car- parking problems - a cheap and reliable public transport system so people don't need to drive everywhere.

To book your place ring: 0171 582 3872.

  • SchNEWS rang the London Planning Advisory Committee who gave us a very rough guestimate that there could be 100,000 car-parking spaces in Central London alone. 60,000 of these are for commuters

  • Gotta Conference you think our readers should know about?



After Dorset Hunt Sabs were returning from a demonstration outside an Ostrich Farm they were stopped by cops who said the police helicopter had seen the kingpin on the van wheel was loose. Obviously the entry requirements for Dorset police now include telescopic sight & x-ray vision!
  • Figures just released by Statewatch reveal that black people are eight times more likely to be stopped than whites.The average rate for stop & search per 1,000 people is 17; for blacks in Merseyside it is 189; in Cleveland 135 and the Met weigh in with 141. The police racist?...never!



How the mighty have fallen: Lady Thatcher is apparently going on tour with Rod Hull (he of EMU fame). Rod will 'shock' fans (?). by announcing that he wishes EMU had never been born: alas, 'tis only European Monetary Union, and not his noxious puppet. As well as sharing hairstyles and odiousness, it seems Rod and Thatch share the same political leanings- "She has a brilliant mind", quoth he, inaccurately- and the two will share a platform with Nazi alien John Redwood and mustached dullard Nigel Mansell on a national tour to highlight the tedious evils of Brussels.



"I was one unarmed middle-aged woman injured and alone in a police cell. How could I possibly be a threat to the police?"

Gravesham Borough News reported the police use of CS gas on Gill Emerson following her arrest during Prince Charles' recent visit to Gravesend, when police burst into her cell without warning and sprayed the gas in her face! They neglected to mention that Mrs Emerson, 43, of the Kent Socialist Alliance, also had her nose broken during the arrest (requiring 3 riot vans, and 20 of Kent's finest ) in which she and three others were charged with conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace by sitting on a wall. An additional charge of "criminal damage to a police camcorder" has also been brought. Mrs Emerson told SchNEWS "I was thrown down by several policemen so hard my face hit the ground... by the time I was handcuffed and put in the van I was covered in blood. Later, several policemen burst into my cell and sprayed CS spray directly into my injured face causing me to collapse in severe pain. It was agonising and I couldn't breath."

Could it be that the Plod were embarassed that four anti-monarchist demonstraters were able to penetrate their high security/surveillance operation shortly before Big Ear's eagerly-anticipated arrival? Long live the Republic!!!? Get well soon, Gill.

  • A couple of weeks ago Prince Charles was banging on about how evil genetics were, so it's ironic that he's the head of an environmentally friendly business regeneration charity called 'business in the community', whose past vice-presidents include Sir David Barnes of leading Genetic modifiers Zeneca Pharmaceutical and Sir Anthony Cleaver who used to run the unsafe Dounray nuclear plant! The current vice president is Steven O'Brien who is on the environment panel of Tarmac who trashed Twyford Down. The panel punt out glossy brochures boasting how environmentally sound Tarmac is yet they are at the moment building Runway 2 at Manchester Airport and have just been served an enforcement order for trashing trees and hedgerows.

  • A decision by the Chief cop of Merseyside police to issue CS spray to all oficers at Liverpool and Everton footie matches has not gone down well with local councillors. They have asked the Home Secretary to intervene after Sir Hames Sharples told the clubs they had the choice of officers carrying the spray or matches not being policied at all.



Protesters who set out to pull up genetically engineered crops at Manor Farm, Banbury, were delighted to discover that the farmer had stopped growing the trial crop of oil seed rape after discovering it was genetically engineered. He was not informed by the company that the trial was for G.E.and later pulled the crop out himself
  • A group calling themselves 'Wardens of Wiltshire' pulled up a genetically engineered crop of oilseed rape belonging to agro-chemical company, Monsanto. and then asked the farmer to tell Monsanto that "We will not stop until every one of Monsanto's genetically engineered crops are pulled out of the ground".This action brings the total of decontaminated genetically engineered release sites in the UK to 27. Until that is people at Totnes in Devon trashed a genetically engineered maize site - growing next to large organic farm.

  • Get clued up read 'Genetic Engineering - Dream or Nightmare?' The Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business' by Dr. Mae Wan Ho (Gateway)



  • Anyone with ideas, info or help for the forthcoming Big Brother Survival Kit should get in touch with Privacy International. The kit will cover the full surveillance spectrum including - CCTV action, DNA databases, crypto facts, Europol, Corporate Clones, Biometrics etc. Contact Privacy International c/o SchNEWS

  • Activists in Mexico have asked for help on to save an important nesting sitesof Green and Loggerhead sea turtles. The nesting site was recently sold by the Mexican government to the Sol Melia hotel development corporation of Spain. August has been chosen for a month of action at Mexcian embassies and the hotel company. Contact Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Earth Island InstitutePOB 400/40 Montezuma Avenue, Forest Knolls, CA 94933 Email: seaturtles@earthisland.org

  • A march is being held in London on Saturday, 8th August by the Animals Betrayed Coalition, to draw attention to New Labour's broken promises on animal rights. Starts at Kennington Park, (Oval tube), 12 noon. 0181-2083289

  • The Fightback Festival, a day of action against the New Deal, takes place in Blackburn on Saturday 8th August. Organised by the Reinstate Nigel Cook Campaign, the party kicks off in Blackburn Town Centre at 12 noon. Bring drums, banners etc. Info: 01254 679605/0171 8371688

  • 'anarchist leaf stirring its wooden spoon in Plymouth's punk/syndicate cake mix'. If you like the sound of that then you need a copy of A Nightingale Sings. Send an SAE to SchNEWS

  • PICKET THE MEXICAN EMBASSY! in support of the Zapatistas.12.30 - 2 pm Friday 7th August (and the first Friday of every month) 42 Hertford Street W1 (Hyde Park Corner/Green Park Tubes)Info:0181 6796930 Send Email Messages Of Protest to the Mexican Embassy: mexuk@easynet.co.uk and to PresidentZedillo: webadmon@op. presidencia.gob.mx



It's had two suicides, eight mini-riots and two officers taken hostage - and that's before it was even was officially opened by the Princess Royal on Thursday! Welcome to Parc prison near Bridgend, South Wales, Britains first hi-tech prison run by Securicor. The £266 million prison was mean't to be 'keyless' but SchNEWS reckons clueless might have been more apt. Keys have now had to been issued because of problems with the computer-controlled locking system, and at one point a group of young black teenage offenders thoughtfully transfered to Parc from Feltham in West London faced such racist abuse they had to be moved out again..
  • Prisoner Justice Day August 12th. Since 1975 prisoners in Canada have commemorated the anniversiary of Eddie Nalon's suicide in Millhaven Penitentiary whilst supporters outside have shown their solidarity in other ways. Since 1992 the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) have been organising events in the UK. This year London ABC have organised a demonstration on Saturday 8th August outside HMP Holloway, Parkhurst Rd., London N7 Meet 12 noon

  • 'Dark Night Field Notes' A highly recommended magazine on the privatisation and brutalisation of the American prison system. Send £5 which should also cover postage, cheques payable to Dark Night Press, PO Box 3629, Chicago, IL 60690-3629

  • Issue 13 of The Law - the magazine written by radical solicitors - is out now. Well worth a look. Send £1.30 + 50p SAE to PO Box 3878, London, SW12 9ZE Email: judge@lawpaper.demon.co.uk



People fighting plans to build a multiplex cinema on the site of the Crystal Palace, in South London, failed this week in their High Court battle to halt the scheme. Developers want to build a massive 1,000 foot long steel and glassbuilding on the highest point in London with 18 cinemas, 9 bar/restaurants and various retail outlets, and parking space for 950 cars on the roof ! 12 acres of the park and 150 trees will disapear under the building which has been likened to an 'airport terminal'. This has stirred up a hornets net of protest and a camp has been set up in the Grade II Listed Park for the past couple of months which could face evicition at any time.

Directions to the camp : It's at the corner of Crystal Palace Park Road & Westwood Hill.By train: Crystal Palace stn direct from Victoria, Gypsy Hill stn then walk up the hill, same line. Bus: there are many connections from all over London. Tube: Brixton, then no. 3 bus (20 mins) Balham, then Crystal Palace overground. Contacr 0181653 8977 Site mobile: 0467 355 381

  • RARR - Residents Against the Relief Road in Epsom, Surrey , desperately need people.at a camp set up to stop a road widening scheme. The local council don't have enough money to evict, so are playing a waiting game, hoping everyone will get bored and go away, so they can get vacant possession. Ring 0411 306330 if you fancy a new home.

  • The eviction of the second camp at Brewery Fields, went ahead last Tuesday. The people of Bangor, North Wales are trying to stop another greenfield site being swallowed up by housing. Contact 01248 3555821/Site Mobile 0836 563980 Email: judge@lawpaper.demon.co.uk



In San Francisco on 14 July, speakers from Food Not Bombs addressed a crowd of 150 outside the United Nations Plaza building to protest to against Human Rights violations in the USA. Speakers talked about how the elimination of Federal Welfare Programes was intensifying the war on the poor under the disguise of "Welfare Reform", the privatisation of public spaces and redesign of public parks were making them inaccessible to homeless people (such as the reconstruction of park benches that are impossible to recline or sleep on).

Following this, the final speakers urged those present to take direct action - protestors proceded to dismantle fencing along the grassy embankment at the UN Plaza subway entrance and walk about on the grass in an 'illegal fashion' ! But it was when a dozen demonstraters crossed to the other side of the plaza to liberate a further patch of grass that 80 San Francisco and Federal police in riot gear descended and beat the shit out of people (for a change). Following the attack 28 arrrests were made and everyone charged with "Failure to leave the scene of a riot" (which the police caused in the bloody first place).



Out of work and loving it? Fed up with being hassled by the dole? A group in Germany feel the same way. and have formed the Happily Unemployed. Crusading for idleness, their manifesto, 'At Last I Have Time', argues that the only pressure the unemployed face is being hassled to get a job, and that people should be rewarded for leaving jobs free for those who enjoy work. Too right!



SchNEWS warns all readers not to lend money to the World Bank as they will only go and spend on it on something very big and nasty that totally fucks up the environment and makes corrupt politicians and big multinationals even richer. Or maybe we are just too naive and simplistic and don't really understand global economics. We'd better just shut up, carry on consuming and watching TV. Honest.


Want to help us with sortin' out our email messages? Training day at the office next Tuesday (4 Aug) 1pm. Give us a call.

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Last updated 4 August 1998
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