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

Issue 184, Friday 25th September 1998


Last Friday at the High Court in London, bio-tech giants Monsanto were granted what has already been dubbed the most 'wide ranging injunctions ever seen in British law.'

Five women from the Genetix Snowball campaign along with the press officer have been effectively SLAPP'ed. SLAPP's are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation and are a common weapon frequently used by American companies. Andrew Rowell author of 'Green Backlash' said the SLAPP was intended to "intimidate its critics into silence."

The injunction orders the six not to trespass on Monsanto's land and premises; uproot, destroy or otherwise damage or interfere with any of the companies plants or crops; plant or insert into the land or leave any crop or other article at a Monsanto site, or attempt or conspire with others to do any such act. In addition the six will be liable for any damage caused at Monsanto's sites by other 'members' of Genetix Snowball. This despite the fact that the campaign has no membership. In effect this means the six could be liable for damage done to genetically engineered (GE)sites without them even knowing the people involved!

The injunctions were rushed through last week to stop a planned mass Genetix Snowball action where plans were afoot to plant an organic garden on a GE test site.

The bio-tech industry obviously feels it's a little under siege. This summers favourite past-time for the direct action movement seems to have been 'hunt the gene field' before trashing it! So far 38 have been 'de-contaminated'. However these often late night activities differ considerably from the snowball campaign in which people are up front about their activities telling the landowner and bio-tech companies what they are about to do.Dubbed 'a campaign of non-violent civil responsibility' they dig up GE plants and put them in biohazard bags. People are prepared beforehand in case of arrest. Those participating then hope to incite at least two other people to do the same thing - and so the snowball gathers momentum. However, the SLAPP could stop the campaign dead in its tracks...or will it ? Rumours have also emerged that the bio-tech industry may even announce a 5 year voluntary moratorium in the UK to show they are listening to public fears. In a recent MORI poll 77 % of those questioned wanted GE crops banned. However, even if its stopped temporarily in the UK, it doesn't mean we won't be eating GE foods. For example 60% of processed foodstuff we eat contains soya - and this could be genetically modified, but with no effective food labeling it is impossible to tell.

More telling is a comment by Tom McDermott, head of Monsanto's public affairs in Europe "Our genes are incorporated into approximately 19 million acres around the world, covering an area larger than Switzerland and the Netherlands combined. Can Europe at this point really resist?"As Jim Snail from the American Earth First! movement explains "It may be at the end of the day that Europe can stay GE free, but unless resistance spreads there is still the rest of the world to lose."

Because even if you're not bothered about scoffing Frankensteins food, the wider implications should set alarm bells ringing. As environmentalist George Monbiot points out, if Monsanto get their way then " a small number of companies will be controlling the biggest commodity market of all:food."

And that's just scary.


To find out more about Monsanto, get a copy of the latest issue 'The Ecologist', which is entitled the 'Monsanto Files'. Order a copy from your newsagents or send £4 to Unit 18, Chelsea Wharf, 15 Lots Rd., London, SW10 0QJ

Genetic Engineering Network
PO BOX 9656, London, N4 4JY Tel 0181 374 9516
E-mail: genetics@gn.apc.org Web: http://www.dmac.co.uk/gen.html

GenetiX Snowball Campaign
c/o One World Centre,6 Mount St., Manchester, M25NS Tel: 0161 834 0295 (SEND a large SAE for a copy of handbook and strategy paper).
E-mail: genetixsnowball@orangenet.co.uk

Third World Network
228 Macalister Road, 10400 Penang, Malaysia. Comprehensive legal and scientific reports on the perils of biotech are available on http://www.twnside.org.sg/

Girona 25, pral, E-8010, Barcelona, Spain http://www.grain.org/ [Turn your autoloaded images off first though - the home page is a nightmare! - Online Editor]. Publish Seedling, a quarterly newsletter promoting sustainable agriculture / people's control over genetic resources and local knowledge.


  • For a list of GE release sites go to http://www.envirolink.org/shag/info/location/grid1.html [Where's this gone? - Online Editor]. Not everyone thinks the snowball campaign is such a good idea - for a critique send a SAE c/o Leeds EF!, 16 Sholebroke Ave., Chapeltown, Leeds, LS7 3HB

  • Last Sunday the largest snowball action to date targeted the UK headquarters of AgrEvo at East Winch Hall near Kings Lynn. The testing ground was planted with organic seeds and flowers in protest at the fact that the company intend to begin commercial plantings of genetically engineered oil seed rape in the UK next year. There were no arrests.

  • Three people from the Scottish GenetiX Snowball were arrested last Sunday and charged with theft and housebreaking after taking sample plants from a GE potato crop to send off to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Apparently a poly tunnel is now classifed as a house!

  • Wednesday 30th September 8 pm Public meeting about GE food with speakers from Genewatch, The Soil Association and Totness Genetics Group at Barton Hill Settlement, Ducie Rd., Lawrence Hill, Bristol 0117 942 0129

  • As part of Gene Week a loose collective of people called DNA, are setting up 'the Toxic Planet' - a cafe, cinema, permaculutre garden, discussion forum, art exhibition,theatre,indoor playground...'to explore the problems and solutions to the biotech future we are facing.' It's happening between 3 - 10th October somewhere in Central London. Ring 0181 374 9516 for location nearer the time.



For posession of herbs (more sharp-eyed coppers clamping down on suspect plants). Forty-nine year old George Singleton, runs an organisation called HOPE LA-USA who promote organic gardening in American inner cities. As an African-American with dreadlocks down to his waist, he's used to being stopped in states such as Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and California and searched for drugs. Those stops have turned up nothing and he can go on his way. However, in February he was driving through Oklahoma when he was once again stopped and his car searched."The officer found some mullein and rosemary in my car. I take them for my tuberculosis. I told him it wasn't marijuana."

However, he was arrested and spent the next 25 days in prison until a lawyer could get his bail costs reduced and get him out of jail.

You see, Oklahoma has an unusual law under which it is illegal to possess any substance that a reasonable person might think was an illegal substance. George, who holds a doctorate in herbology, makes many cross country drives carrying herbs, as part of his job. Both the 'substances'that he was carrying and using are widely used and freely available over the counter. But hey, so what! George is set to return for trial on charges of possessing imitation illegal drugs on October 8th and could face a year in prison. God bless America.



CARE ASSISTANT IN BOOTLE £2.75 PER HOUR Age 25 + Experience essential to bathe, dress, feed and tend to the needs of elderely residents in a residential home.

Courtesy of Kirkby Job Centre.

Don't forget to send us your crap arrests and crap jobs of the week.



This is the voice of a logger, "A.E." He is yelling at an activist in a small group protesting in Humbolt County nr. California.Among them is David Chain. (transcribed from video)

AE: (Raging) Get the fuck out of here! You've got me hot enough now to fuck!

Activist: (Apologetically) We don't want to cause you any problems.

AE: (Angrily) You already have! So get out of here! You cock suckers! I mean it!

AE: (Threateningly) Get outta here! Otherwise I'll fuckin', I'll make sure I got a tree comin' this way!...

AE: (Raging) Ohhhhh, fuck! I wish I had my fuckin' pistol! I guess I'm gonna just start packin' that motherfucker in here. 'Cause I can only be nice so fuckin' long. Go get my saw, I'm gonna start fallin' into this fuckin' draw!

Hours later this same logger felled the tree which this week killed peaceful Earth First! activist David Chain. The video, taken by Earth First! activists in Grizzly Creek, captured the hostile voice of a Pacific Lumber faller threatening their lives less than an hour before David "Gypsy" Chain was killed by a falling tree. The video blatantly contradicts the company's claim that they "had no knowledge" that Chain and others were nearby in Grizzly Creek. In fact, the logger who later cut the tree that killed David Chain can be heard furiously shouting obscenities and vowing to get his "pistol." Several other Earth First! activists were just six feet away from Chain when the tree came crashing down.

Witnesses to the tragic death of their comrade David Chain will cooperate with a full investigation into the incident and its causes. A memorial is planned for next week, and Earth First! will continue in David's name to protest Pacific Lumber's illegal logging in Grizzly Creek.

For copies of the video send what you can payable to "Earth First!" and send to Earth First! Media Center, P.O. Box 324, Redway, CA 95560



The European Court of Human Rights gave judgement in favour of theapplicants in two Liberty cases; Steel & others v UK,& McLeod v UK

In Steel & Others v UK the court held that the rights of three of the applicants had been violated under Article 5 (unlawful detention) & Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention of Human Rights.This is the first time that anyone has ever won a public order case against the UK Government in the European Court of Human Rights.Breach of the Peace dates back to 1361, but has never been defined by Parliament and its precise meaning is hard to define, making it a handy 'catch all' for the police.Individuals can be arrested because of something they might do or even for provoking others to violence, and imprisoned for refusing to be bound over - thus losing their freedom without having even comitted a crime.A Law Comission report published in 1994 concluded that the effect of breach of the peace and bind over powers was 'to make it difficult for those who wish to involve themselves in protests...to know what they may or may not do'.

Applicants included Helen Steel,arrested during a protest against a grouse shoot,Rebecca Lush,arrested &detained during a protest against the M11 extension & Andrea Needham,David Polden & Christopher Cole,arrested demonstrating against the arms trade outside the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre.Andrea Needham said 'I hope it will bring an end to the continual harrassment of peaceful protesters like us.'(Somehow we doubt it)

One solicitor told SchNEWS that the ruling would make it harder for the police to make more trivial arrests.



  • Free Rob Cannabis,manager of Glastonbury Hemp Shop In Harmony With Nature' received first prize in the First Time Entry Catagory of the 1998 Glastonbury In Bloom competition. However, cops didn't share in the celebrations and arrested him after removing 13 cannabis plants from the prize winning display.

  • Whitehawk, an area of Brighton which has just become the first estate in the country to get CCTV, got itself a new crime wave as kids lobbed stones at the spy cameras, waited for the police to arrive then legged it. Just as well they didn't do it Saturday evening or they would have been waiting all night. Still fear not, curfews-for-kids are being introduced at the beginning of October as part of the Crime and Disorder Act.

  • The 17th Anarchist Book Fair is on 17th October at Conway Hall,London (nearest tube Holborn). http://freespace.virgin.net/anarchist.bookfair.

  • Campaign Against the Arms Trade.. 22nd-24th September are 3 days non-violent protest & resistance to COPEX.. (particulary nasty characters who design electro-shock batons etc) at Wembely Conference and Exhibition Centre in North London where lots of nasty arms exporting companies, known torturing states and human rights abusers meet up to do business. .. stop the torture & repression trade - contact 0171 281 0297 / email: caat@gn.apc.org.

  • Citizens Inspections Sept. 26th-Oct. 3rd.During this week 'Peoples Inspections' will take place all over the world-people will inspect their local nuclear weapon & related sites.Info c/o CND,162 Holloway Rd.,London N7 8DQ. 0171 700 2393 Disgrace the Base, 1st October is the National Anti-Nukes Action contribution to Global Abolition Day to rid the world of nuclear weapons- all 36 000 warheads of them which, (it is claimed) are essential to security!! Meet at Secular Hall, Humberstone Gate, Leicester Town Centre at 8pm 30th September. Contact 0113 262 9365.

  • On Friday 2nd october there will be a picket of the Mexican emassy to protest against State Terror In Chiapas! Between 12.30 - 2 pm Friday 2nd October, 42 Hertford Street W1 (and the first Friday of every month) nearest tubes: Hyde Park Corner.

  • Fuck the monarchy!March on Buckingham Palace-Saturday 31st October; Hyde Park,London 2pm. Contact MA'M ,P.O Box 14672,London E95UQ.Pager hotline:12523 160145.

  • Couple of animal rights demos coming up: Friday 2nd Oct. 11 am. Webbs Poultry Slaughterhouse,Moorland Road,Winnall,Winchester(Exit junction 9 M3)info Marjorie Pooley 01962 773673. Also one against animal laboratory Merck,Sharpe & Dohme Sat.3rd Oct.11am.Meet outside M,S&D,Pye Corner.nr Harlow,Essex. Info 0181 3510086

  • The Free Tibet Campaign are having a demonstraion on 5th Oct.12pm at 10 Downing St. Give Tony Blair a last reminder before he goes to China to not forget occupied Tibet. 0171 8339958



"The lesson of our fight has been stand firm and you will win"

On Saturday 3rd October there's gonna be a third anniversary march in support of the Hillingdon Hospital Strikers. 53 hospital workers were sacked in 1995 after they refused to take a £40 a week pay cut (they were already earning less than £7,000 a year) and worse working conditions. Against all the odds, like a near media black-our of the dispute and being abandoned by their union they eventually forced their old employees Pall Mall to admit to unfair dismissal. Now they are waiting for an Industrial Tribunal decision for reinstatement on old terms and conditions. Assemble 1pm: Hillingdon Hospital. Contact 27 Townsend Way, Northwood, Middx., HA6 1TG Tel: 0956 135311



Rostock , North East Germany , August 1992: A huge fascist mob attacks a tower block which houses mainly Vietnamese families with stones and molotow cocktails. Locals watch cheerfully, police don't really bother to stop the mob for three days.

Same place, September 1998: The militant right wing NPD party wants to hold a rally around exactly this estate -where they tried to burn innocent families six years ago- to demonstrate for "Work for Germans", "Foreigners out" and the like. The publics response? Business as usual in reunified Germany: Established parties see the bigger danger in the antifascist counterdemo and order 6,000 police to maintain what they consider to be public order. Public order on this day (the 19th) meant 3,000 fascists, most of them men in their early twenties, marching unhindered through the streets of Rostock and getting shitloads of publicity for their 'cause' (They had to content themselves with another part of town though, a court ruled), and a 2,500 strong autonomist antifascist demo being constantly harrassed by police which led to 140 arrests, baton and CS gas charges. The saddest event of that infamous day was a fascist car running over an antifascist- cold-blooded and deliberately, as eye witnesses claim, by accident say the police who let the driver walk free. The victim suffered a fractured scull and is still in a coma.

On the estate where the NPD originally wanted to rally, a multicultural friendship party (including a classic concert from a full scale philharmonic orchestra) was held, organised by a liberal mainstream coalition and attended by 8,000 people instead of the expected 20,000.

  • Learn your lessons: Battle of Cable Street Anniversary. 2nd/3rd/4th Oct. Anti-Fascist Action presents 3 days of meetings,music & films. Info AFA, BM 1734,London WC 1N 3XX tel. 0976 406870. Cable St was the place where 25,000 anti-fascists stopped Oswald Moseleys fascists marching though the East End of London



Fancy a free breakfast at the Grand, or a piss-up courtesy of the police? That was the offer last week as a group calling themselves as the Society of Proletarian Gourmets produced what is becoming an annual freesheet last week called the "Blagger's Guide to the Lib Dem conference", listing over 20 free places to eat and drink."Aspiring gourmets will surely find themselves on the horns of a dilemma over this evening's top choices. Policing Solution with the Police Federation offers free drinks and hot food, or have a little chat about Running the UK economy with the Corporation of London (hot buffet)". Brighton blaggers took full advantage of the gratis nosh while grilling the cops about street parties, video surveillance or anything else they could think of after necking the fourth bottle of Vin de plonk. Our favourite, though, was debating with the deputy drugs tsar at a meeting organised by Addaction, a charity working for people with alcohol or drug problems - they were giving out free wine. Red or brown, sir?



Welcome - to the SchNEWS Deposition. The SchClinton cock is out, communi-jaculating wordy spurts deep into the Lewinsky gullet of infospace. Like some weird cigar as sex toy, our reportage is inserted into the genitalia - or readership - having inappropriate news-contact with the breast or inner thigh of fact. We don't know about sexual relations - that would be hideous - but this is one publication that we hope does fit into the definition of a newssheet. Lets hope we don't find impeachment proceedings launched against us after lying about whether it does! I'm sure that won't happen. Honest!


BAD NEWS: Oxford Reclaim the Streets is off. Technical difficulties. arrrrrrrr.
Help with mailout needed every Friday please.

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Last updated 1 October 1998
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