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

Issue 179, Friday 7th August 1998



"This is Communism! My family had all its land taken away in Poland by people like you... But now that's changed - capitalism has given it all back."
Opera-goer to an activist who sat in 'her' deckchair

"If we can't have our parties then we'll gatecrash yours" was just one rallying cry last Sunday as the latest The Land Is Ours (South Downs)' Mass Trespass' rural shindigs ended with an impromptu lunch amid the horrified upper classes at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes. A motley band of 50 assorted activists, revolutionaries and social deviants - including SchNEWS - and even a few genuine ramblers took a stroll over 6 miles of Downland, once accessible to all but now denied us by the machinations of history, before invading the manicured lawns of Sir James Christies' country seat where penguin-suited toffs were enjoying a pre-opera picnic. With tickets for the gig - featuring Dame Kiri Te Kanawa - a snip at only £118, opera-goers were disgusted at the invaders' audacity: "Why can't you get a £5 an hour cleaning job and pay for a ticket?" (£5 an hour for a cleaning job??) "Why don't you just buy some land and have your own parties?" (Er, that's illegal under the Criminal Justice Act) and, of course, that old chestnut "What on earth are you trying to prove? You're pathetic."

Glyndebourne - an imposing manor with an opera house 'tacked on' the back as a rich mans' folly - was chosen as our lunch venue for its symbolic value. As our 'souvenir guide' pointed out: 'The Christies locally represent the untitled land barons, a group of around 1,500 families mostly owning more than 3000 acres each...families like the Christies have spent hundreds of years gaining profit and power from the war against the poor.' The land, once communally worked by the rural population has, through the processes of Enclosure (see SchNEWS 177) been gradually brought under the control of a few privileged people using destructive intensive agriculture to grow crops for the mass market. The rural poor were reduced from subsistence farmers to wage-slave farmworkers, vagrants, or forced to seek a new 'life' in the expanding factories in the towns, working 16-hour days for sod all.

Resistance and revolt were of course rife; most notorious were the 'Swing Riots' of 1830, where the disgruntled dispossessed, like their urban counterparts the Luddites, torched job-destroying farm machinery and buildings in the name of the mythical 'Captain Swing'.

"The Dispossessed have returned" was thus another cry that went up as the 'ramblers' commandeered lawn seats. Sir James himself, replete with wellies and gundogs waded amid the scruffy throng uttering oaths and attempting to turf the obstinate poor from his beloved chairs. 'To Captain Swing!' went the toasts as activists ignored remonstrations from Glyndebourne stage-hands sent out to appease the masses. "The only person you're upsetting is the landowner", "How would you like it if we came and sat in your back garden?"and, cleverly, "Are you going to stay here until you leave?" they scorned, to cheers, before the inevitable arrival of the boys in blue and our dignified departure in the direction of the pub.

Alas the cops, denied pickings at Glyndebourne, riot-vanned it to the hostelry. "No you can't get a beer- you're an anarchist" said Mr Plod to a thirsty 'rambler'; those already inside swiftly began passing pints through the window before a taunt of "Big Ears" saw the top cop 'lean on' the landlord to stop serving anyone who wasn't a local. Unwilling to upset the 'Squire', he said "He gives us lots of jobs, you know'". And you thought feudalism was dead...? Meanwhile, tippling members of the Royal Philharmonic raised a glass to protesters- the delays caused by the Glyndebourne disturbance meant they got another pint in before showtime!

  • Next Mass Trespass Sunday 23rd August Meet 12 noon Brighton Train Station
  • The Land Is Ours (South Downs) c/o SDEF!, PO Box 2971, Brighton, BN22TT
SchNEWS vocab watch: 'Aria' - Extended song in three sections. Common in 18th Century Opera.



For knocking on a door!

A freelance journalist covering the high-powered, secretive Bilderberg conference for the Daily Mail was arrested, handcuffed, kept in custody for eight hours and charged with a breach of the peace - after knocking on a flat door to get neighbours reaction to the Conference.Campbell Thomas, also a special constable was eventually released without charge. He winged "I was treated in an appallingly heavy-handed way, like a common criminal,"

For painting with water colours!

Two people involved in the campaign to stop part of Ashton Court Park being dug up were arrested this week for criminal damage after painting "hills not holes" on an eight foot high steel fence, with water based paint. A subsequent search of the protest camp by the police for evidence such as paint pots failed to uncover anything, which together with a downpour of English summer weather, left them with a lack of lasting evidence, and the water coloured artists were released without charge.
  • People are needed urgently as Pioneer Aggregates have started to bulldoze one of the meadow. There is a safe camp for people to stay. Also from Saturday 29-Mon 31st August workshops, discussions, actions, parties at the camp. For directions ring 0117 9399469/07970 423834



Police fired bullets and tear gas last Wednesday as ten thousand angry demonstrators set up burning barricades in Rio de Janeiro to protest against the sale of the countries telephone company, which they say is the property of the Brazilian people. Around 3,000 armed police arrived in the capital to help control demonstrators who had threatened to disrupt a one day 'bonanza' auction where the government hopes raise $14 billion in Latin America's largest privatization.



Now in its fifth year, this peaceful picnic for tokers, is expecting upwards of a 1,000 people of all ages and backgrounds to spend a day chilling with chillums on the Common. Yes, there has been Police presence but over the years there have been only a few arrests for possesion so put your principles where your roach pin is and go along. Laid back sunbathing starts at 2:00 pm on Sunday 16th August on Southsea Common, Portsmouth



August 10th is a way of remembering all those that have died unnatural deaths whilst in prison. It began over 20 years ago in Canada and has become an international solidarity event.

Last Friday the prison population of England and Wales reached a record breaking 66,570 - and is increasing by 200 a week. The Conservatives 'lock em up' philosphy has now been adopted by New Labour. Since they got in power a prison ship, childrens prison and two private prisons have been opened. Two more are in the pipeline. Labour also continued with a High Court appeal which bans prisoners from talking to journalists.

The Director General of the Prison Service has warned that more than 20 prisons will have to be built at a cost of £2 billion to meet an expected rise in jail numbers over the next seven years, possibly reaching 92,000 by 2005.

However, even Home Office research shows that the "incarceration effect" is so small that you need to increase the prison population by 25% just to cut crime by just 1%. Home Office surveys also show that the make-up of the prison population is overwhelmingly poor and that the vast majority of crime is directly or indirectly motivated by poverty. About one third are inside for non payment of fines, taxes and debts, this is particularly so for women. Thousands more are on remand, spending months inside only to be found not guilty. Many more are framed - think of the Guildford 4 or the Birmingham 6.


"I have had many letters of support and the support has given me the strength to get through this nightmare."
- Prisoner writing to SchNEWS

PHILwas recently found guilty of common assualt and affray at the Southdown and Eridge Hunt in September 96. He's been involved in direct action such as hunt sabbing, poll tax, prisoner support etc for the last eight years. He should be released on Nov 15th. AW6717, HMP Lewes, Brighton Rd., Lewes

MARK BARNSLEY was attacked by 15 drunk students when out walking with his six week old baby daughter and a family friend. He fought back, and injured five of the students. Despite the fact that every single independant witness said he was the person being attacked he was the only one arrested and eventually received a 12 years prison sentence. WA2897, HMP Full Sutton, York, YO4.

  • Mass phone in on Saturday August 8th to the Sheffield Star who've continually rubbished Marks' case: 0114 276 6666

GARY MILL and TONY POOLE are both serving life after being stiched up by the police, who killed a black man in custody then framed them. Gary is at HMP Erlestoke, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5TU. Tony is at Long Lartin, South Littleton, Eversham WR11 5TZ

PABLO LOCKE Inside for life after defending himself against 'a psycho with a multitiude of violent convictions'. Pablo admits he was no angle but the sentence should have been more like 8 years. MM2797, HMP Kingston, Milton Rd., Portsmouth, Hampshire (Pablo has also set up a Anarchist Black Cross group for prisoners inside).

Don't know what to write? Talk about your life, about the things you are doing. If you writing to people from political movements keep them involved in what's going on (but obviously don't drop people in the shit!) Most prisoners aren't the mad dogs you forever hear about in the press - they are ordinairy people - so get scribbling. If writing for first time its probably best to send letter recorded delivery.

MARK CHRISTIAN CULLINANE is presently serving a six year sentence in Tanger, Morocco, for possession of cannabis resin. Conditions in the prison are horrendous : 25 people in one cell measuring 5m x 7m (see drawing in top corner of this week's SchNEWS [not available on-line]) sharing one toilet between them, with one tap above the loo for use as a shower and for general food and clothes washing, one meal a day of vegetable soup and very little natural daylight. His girlfriend Deborah is having to bring up three children alone, as well as raise money to buy him extra food and toiletries. Money is also needed to help buy art materials for Mark which make his sentence more bearable.

  • Write to Mark No 21486, Chamber 5 Chartier C, Prison Civil Tanger, Marroccous-Maroc, North Africa
  • Donations to Deborah J. Hayes, Nationwide Building Society, Flex Account, No 0321/270370675
Don't know what to write? Talk about your life, about the things you are doing. If you writing to people from political movements keep them involved in what's going on (but obviously don't drop people in the shit!) Most prisoners aren't the mad dogs you forever hear about in the press - they are ordinairy people - so get scribbling. If writing for first time its probably best to send letter recorded delivery.



  • Sat 8th August Brighton ABC are organising a picket outside Lewes Prison 9:00am, get the 8.20 bus from the Old Steine.

  • London ABC picketing Holloway Prison, Parkhurst Rd., London, N7 12 noon

  • Aug 10th Meet 11am at Tyrls, Bradford City Centre (outside Central Police Station) in support of Michael Singh who has spent ten years inside for a murder he did not commit.

  • If you want a list of prisoners send a large SAE and some stamps to Brighton Anarchist Black Cross, PO Box 2971, Brighton, BN2 2TT



  • Protestors who have set up an anti-nuclear camp on Skin Rock in Russia, near the Kola nuclear power plant have been told by sanitarian inspectors that "camp is threat to the environment"(unlike the plant!)!

  • On the 24th August there will be a procession with a wreath layed on the Westmoor watercourse killed by intensive farming. The watercourse on the Somerset Levels suffered run-off, slurry and toxic fertilizers which depleted all the oxygen and killed all the fish in August last year. More details 01460 53633

  • Thirteen people were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of criminal damage to a genetically engineered (GE) site in Totnes, Devon. The trial crop of gentically engineered maize was being grown by Sharpes International Seeds next to a large organic farm. The trial site recently employed security guards in the wake of attacks on crops the previous week. Police also raided the house of a journalist who has been covering the unfolding story of direct action against ge crops, seized video tapes and his computer and held him for 24 hours.

  • Crystal Palace Park - Teddy Bears' Picnic Groups concerned to save the Park from a 20 screen cinema monstrosity invite YOU to a family day of fun and frivolity. Top site of Crystal Palace Park off Crystal Palace Parade Saturday 15th August 1998 From 11am onwards.

  • Sound and Fury.- eco protests 1997 now you can relive, through the sounds, a London Reclaim The Streets, Reclaim the Ballots Tony Blair slagging an unenvironmental farmer, the rants of Ben Elton at the Fuming Mad Rally and more £3 from Dream Power Pictures PO Box 521, Hove, E. Sussex BN3 6HY.

  • Don't forget Bristol Reclaim The Streets August 15th Meet 12pm Eastville Park (M32 Junction 2) 0117 939 3093

  • August 12th is the so-called 'glorious twelve' where thousands of grouse are blown out of the sky. If you don't think that's very nice, get in touch with the Hunt Sabs 01273 622827



The second suicide of an anarchist held in an Italian prison,sparked a mini riot in the "Campo de Fiori" square, Rome, last month. During the demonstration Teodoro Buontempo, ex- leader of Nazi groups and now a fascist congressman,emerged from a nearby restaurant and into the path of 200 anarchist. As they advanced on him, his two bodyguards legged it, leaving him on the receiving end of some quick 'justice'. He returned with 10 cops who also beat a hasty retreat after being pelted with bottles, chairs and tables. More cops arrived and, faced with identifying the anarchos among the 2,000 passers-by, did the only sensible thing, they began firing machine guns in the air, sending hundreds of tourists into panic. The anarchos once again attacked the police who drove off at high speed,crashing a couple of their cars into each other.The demonstration continued to another square before people scattered. There were 4 arrests. The next day the right wing press and TV launched attacks on the demonstrators, claiming the attack on their poor old fascist leader was"anti-democratic". The rest of the press stayed silent, because they remember Buontempo as a nazi.The moral of this story for the our Old Bill ? Be thankful you get nothing worse than wheelie bins full of drunken Crusties chucked at you! (Sorry Silva)



Kicking off with a 36 hours party attended by 800 people German activists have set up two new 'alternative' border crossings at the Neisse riverborder near the town of Goerlitz. The 'New' border crossings have been organized by the "No one is illegal" campaign. 300 people have gathered near the small town of Rothenburg to protest against the European migration policy and stress the right of free movement for everybody and free access for all to Europe. Each year especially in summertime the Neisse border is used by thousands of migrants and refugees, who are not allowed to enter Europe. However the area has seen ten thousand new border patrols being stationed to detect "illegal" border crossings..So far two activists have been arrested while trying to construct bridges, and the camps ferry boat has been seized.




Mexican prisoner Juan Lopez escaped from jail after saving up six years worth of Salsa sauce before using the stuff to dissolve the bars of his cell window! In the same country six inmates escaped during keep fit sessions in the exercise yard - using a trampoline to bounce over the wall. In the USA three prisoners were playing Monopoly in their cells waiting to go to court when they used thetiny wheel barrow playing piece to remove 'tamper resistant screws' on an airduct covering before crawling to the roof, lowering themselves down with a rope made of bedding and escaping in a stolen pick up truck.



SchNEWS warns all Brighton readers to stop lazing on the beach and come and help in the office a couple of hours a week, otherwise we'll have to join you. In fact there is no SchNEWS next week cos we've hardly any money to print, no one to write stories, no-one to check emails, no one to stuff envelopes..moan, moan, so we're off to the beach to get a suntan.And if you like yer SchNEWS we'll expect to see you in the office when we get back.It doesn't appear by magic. Honest.


Congrats to Emily who had a baby boy Ferdinand on Monday!

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Last updated 7 August 1998
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