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

Issue 186, Friday 9th October 1998


This year sixty nine year old Thupten Ngodup, a Tibetan refugee, set himself on fire in Delhi for a Free Tibet.

Has last words were:

"May all beings live in peace, long live his holiness, Dalai Lama. May Tibet soon be free."

New Labour showed once again this week, just how much they are in bed with big business during Tony Blair's trip to China.

Human rights abuses? The invasion of Tibet? Were these subjects hot on the lips of our Prime Minister? Er, not quite. Blair was more interested in what he called "softly, softly" diplomacy, despite China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji telling Blair "to say anything on your mind."

Alison Reynolds, Director of the Free Tibet Campaign asked "We are being told that there are other parts of the Sino British relationship that are more important than human rights, but what could be more important than freedom?"


China's population of 1.2 billion represents 'massive market potential' - hey, even the marbled Great Hall now boasts a Coke vending machine.So instead of denunciations 21 business leaders join Blair hoping to sell the United Kingdom plc, while the launch of the UK-China Forum joint-chaired by former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine is announced.


"The real Tibet is on the brink of disappearing. These events may be taking place in a land so far away that is hardly seems real. But pain, torture and anguish are real."
- Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has spent 33 years of his life in Chinese prison and labour camps.

China invaded Tibet in 1950 and since then 1.2 million have been killed - that's more than one out of every six Tibetans. With the Chinese settling in their millions, the policy is clearly one of ruthless ethnic cleansing. Their religion is brutally surpressed while young Tibetans are being 're-educated' about the history of their country. School textbooks don't even mention that Tibet was once independent.

Meanwhile natural resources are being stripped away. Half of the country's forests have gone since Chinese occupation. Ironically, this deforestation helped cause the recent massive flooding in China.


"The gulag system has become an increasingly important part of the country's developing economy...the multi-million-dollar rush to invest in mainland China by companies across the world has marginalized concern for the abuses of human rights in China's 'laogai' system. As trade increases, so does a demand for products made with a 'stable supply of labour', better still, at 'zero labour cost'."
- Kate Saunders 'Beneath The Iron Crust'

When someone in China disappears, their family says they have gone for laogai, reform through labour. The laogai consists of a vast network of prisons and labour camps stretching across China. It is the largest system of its kind in the world, with the Chinese government admitting to 684 'reform through labour' centres, 155 prisons, 492 rehabilitation centres and 37 social reintegration centres for young offenders.

Since the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, an estimated 30 - 50 million prisoner have died from exhaustion, disease or torture in these camps, while an estimated ten to sixteen million prisoners still work on the grim production lines of farms, factories, and prison camps, or are held for years without trial in detention or shelter centres.

And even if you're not in prison, conditions at work aren't exactly rosy. Barbie and Sandy dolls, Power Rangers and Fisher-Price toddlers toys are made by mostly rural girls working 12 to 16 hours a day for the legal minimum wage of £27 a month, if they're lucky. Many will suffer from chronic industrial diseases, caused by the effects of plastics, paints and glues used without protection or ventilation.

The Third Way? Looks more like profits first, people second to SchNEWS.

"Freedom began the day I escaped from Lhasa (17th March 1959). Then we could openly criticise the Chinese. That was the first time I appreciated freedom of speech. Although I have refugee life I have complete freedom of speech, expression and thought. That I love."
- The Dalai Lama

Pity Blair can't use his freedom of expression to speak out.

  • This Saturday the worlds 'biggest ever dance floor link-up' EarthDance, takes place in 30 countries raising funds and awareness for Tibet. More info: http://www.earthdance.org/
  • Free Tibet Campaign, 1 Rosomon Place, London, EC1R OJY Tel: 0171 833 9958. Web: http://www.freetibet.org/
  • One World Week 18 - 25th October."Your chance to help shape the global landscape - to work for justice, peace and respect for the earth". Send for info pack/details of events in your area to PO Box 2555, Reading RG1 4XW Tel: 0118 9394933.
  • During the Labour Party Conference UNICEF were asked to take down a poster calling for a boycott of Nescafe, after the company complained. Nestle aggressively market their powdered milk products in the third world, telling mothers it's better than breast-feeding. As Victoria Scott of UNICEF pointed out "There's nothing we can do, they'll be here next year because they can afford it. We're only here because we were lucky in a ballot "




Full time £130 per week
(must have own full tool box)

Spotted in Blackburn Job Centre.

It should be pointed out that a full tool box costs up to £300!



Ever wanted to know just what's inside that high - tech building MI5 and MI6 live in besides the Thames? Well you can, for some bizarre reason they have put the blueprints for the entire building on public display at the Westminster and Lambeth planning office! The blueprints detail all the entrances, fire escapes, lift shafts, and air conditioning shafts. Documents accompanying the maps include not only the names of top MI5 bosses but descriptions of the counter terrorist measures protecting the building. So, is this a display of arrogant invulnerability or are our spies just plain stupid?



Will be taking place in London on the 26th Oct. Privacy International are calling for bad government, corporate or policy nominations. To vote for your Big Brother:

E-mail: bigbrother@privacy.org or write to: Privacy International, c/o on-the-fiddle, PO 2600, Brighton, BN2 2DX.



"We love you fatherland, with us you are stronger, with us you are secure."
- Jingle on Serbian state TV

The t-shirts on Sundays solidarity march for Kosova read 'Nato-air: Just Do It'. In the past six months nearly 300,000 people have been driven from their homes, and up to 1,500 killed in fighting as Serbia troops attack the province. Currently, 50,000 displaced people are living in makeshift camps and hiding in forests, scared for their lives who risk freezing or starving to death in the fierce Balkan winter.

So SchNEWS asks should we support air strikes against Serbia?

"It cannot get any worse. At the risk of civilian casualties, at least it would be quick and painless with the possibility of peace rather than being chased by Serbian army or dying of starvation and cold."

A 70 year old Kosavan woman speaking at Sundays demonstration, who declared she would take up arms if she could.

Serbia has always seen Kosovans as second class citizens, but tension escalated in 1989 after a one week underground hunger strike by miners. Serbia reacted by closing the Kosavan Parliament. Then in 1990 workers were expelled from their jobs and replaced by Serbians. Language, culture, education and science was banned., while hospitals, schools and newspapers were shut down. Later 100,000 refugees from Bosnia and Croatia arrived with the offer of lucrative jobs, 10 times the wages of fellow Kosovans.

Kosova remains legally part of the extreme right-wing federal republic ruled by scumbag President Milosevic. It's lands are extremely fertile and rich in minerals and Milosevic needs Kosova to keep Serbia financially afloat, So once again he is praticising "ethnic cleansing" to shore up his country. The two million Kosovans want independence, and world attention has now been focused on this small province with the threat of air strikes. However, in Turkey, the Kurds are demanding the same as the Kosovans, but because Turkey is an ally of the West and a member of NATO it is allowed to get away with savage repercussions without any threat of action by the Western powers. Can someone please explain the moral principles that NATO follows? As one Kosavan refugee told SchNEWS: "NATO's intervention is more to do with Clinton's sexual desire than his desire to help Kosavan people"

For once SchNEWS remains ambivalent, is this one of those rare occasions where air strikes are they only option? We leave you to make your own desisions.

A week ago a Red Cross car hit a land-mine, killing one doctor and seriously injuring another. They have now stopped sending help to the villages because of the threat of land-mines.

Workers Aid for Kosovo are planing a convoy to the country in the next couple of weeks and donations are urgently needed such as tinned food, warm clothing, waterproofs, boots as well as cash to buy staple food. Another convoy will be leaving in a couple of months time. Tel: 0181 674 2528



Reclaim The Streets are putting together a book and need material. Provisionally entitled "Who Are These Lunatics? The Pleasures and Politics of Reclaim the Streets." It won't be a heavy academic or historical tome - but a very alive piece of propaganda. So if you've got decent street party photographs or press cuttings send them to JJ Reclaim the Streets book, PO Box 9656, London, N4 4JY. Deadline in Dec 1st 1998
  • Reclaim The Streets - the movie is being shown in Brighton on Wednesday 21st October at Cinematique, Ship St. 7.30 & 9.30pm. Tickets £2.50



Saturday 17th Oct 10:00 am, Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq. London
Web: http://freespace.virgin.net/anarchist.bookfair/



  • As announced in SchNEWS 184, Diverse Nature Alert (DNA) are now occupying the old Neighbourhood office opposite Islington Town Hall in Upper Street. Toxic Planet runs from Monday 5 October until Sunday 11 October, as part of Gene Week. Events for the week include a cinema, a multi-media exhibition, a genetically modified-free café with organic vegan food, a permaculture garden, an indoor playground for children (and adults), street theatre, as well as talks, workshops & up-to-date information for action against genetic engineering. Toxic Planet 'provides a springboard for people ... to take positive direct action against the likes of Monsanto et al". Directions: Nearest Tube: Angel, Highbury Islington. Buses: 4,18,30,43 Tel. 0171-226 8672/0831 817 584

  • Happy birthday to 'The Pork Bolter' Worthing's monthly news-sheet digging the dirt on the town while putting a smile on your face at the same time. The latest issue 11, is the best yet. Every town needs one! SO START ONE!! Send a SAE to PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7NZ http://members.xoom.com/porkbolter/

  • Movement against the Monarchy has a brand new web site: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/1793/Index.html

  • And don't forget any new Brighton stundents out there who'd like to get involved in SchNEWS, should come to our training day next Wednesday (14th). Starts at 12 noon - ring the office and book your place now.



"The numbers of protesters will dwindle and fade away."
- Chief Inspector Charles Pollard

"We've put a counter on the phone and last month we had 5,000 inquiries."
- Hillgrove campaign

Obviously wishful thinking on the part of the old bill as the costs for protecting the cat butcherers at Hillgrove farm, near Whitney, have now passed the £1.25 million mark! Hillgrove farm supplies cats and kittens for scientific, cosmetic and military vivisection and has been the subject of sustained demo's for months. Despite the ridiculous policing bill, at one demo' the police built 12 foot walls around the farm complete with watch towers (SchNEWS 164, 167), Thames Valley Police continue to throw large amounts of their resources into protecting the ailing company, (is the fact that Home Secretary Jack Straw goes to church with Hillgrove owner Chris Brown anything to do with it?). In fact, since the protests started in September of last year, the numbers have anything but dwindled, 1,000's of people have protested, profits have plummeted and staff have left in droves. From a staff of 11 there are now only 5-6 and the farm is reduced to employing 17 year olds from an agency. With over a thousand cats caged up at the farm this gives each cat just 45 SECONDS OF CARE a day.

  • Next vigil is on Wed 14th October 7am-5pm, Next demo on Sat 17th Oct. Transport is going from Brighton. Pick up at is 9am outside Harvest Forestry. Hillgrove Campaign: 0121 632 6460



"If you can't get out the wheelchair, you can't get on the bus."

A spokesperson from Stagecoach buses of Hull, constituency of John Prescott, delivered this statement at their main garage during the 'Disabled Action Network's' three day 'Hell in Hull' demo last week. For many of DAN's members who cannot leave their wheelchairs, let alone fold them, this is little help. Earlier in the day activists crawled up John Prescott's front path and pushed their petitions through his letterbox. The Minister for Transport continues to refuse to comment, probably because he never has to rely on some of the worst-run buses in the country to get around. DAN activists also handcuffed themselves to a double decker in front of Hull University, and were joined by a number of students who, along with the Mayor of Hull, accompanied them on their protest march through the city centre. Hull City council have promised to end their contract with Stagecoach Buses if issues such as access are not addressed.

  • Contact DAN, 3 Crawley Road, Wood Green, London, N22 6AN, 0181 889 1361



Last Wednesday demonstrators against the COPEX arms exhibition at Wembeley, occupied the offices of GEC calling for an end to GEC's involvement in the arms trade. A banner drop declared ARMS=PROFIT=MURDER. Two people were nicked on suspicion of criminal damage to a fire alarm system and theft of electricity via telephone calls, but later released, COPEX are behind arms fairs and exhibit all forms of surveillance and military hardware to some of the world's most oppressive governments (Whatever happened to New Labour's ethical arms sales policy?). Meanwhile, a beat copper regaled ejected occupiers with his theory that the only way to really change things was through world revolution. Strange but true, now if only we'd thought of that...

Contact CAAT on 0171 281 0297.



Britain's police are the first to be equipped with "spy on the street" CCTV which can recognise faces within seconds. The system, which is going on a six-month trial in east London from next week, is capable of checking 1,000 faces every second, and its developers reckon it can see through disguises, hats, glasses and facial hair. But civil rights campaigners warn that the "facial mapping" system - Mandrake - may lead to an increase in wrongful arrests, as innocent people are mistaken for villains. Mandrake works by checking key features on the faces of people and comparing them with photographs held in a database. The system has been tried out at football matches, but the trial being carried out by the Metropolitan Police in partnership with Newham Borough Council is the first time it has been used on the streets. 140 CCTV cameras and 11 mobile camera units will be installed in Forest Gate, East Ham and Stratford.



When 'something of the night' Michael Howard M.P. & 200 other assorted Establishment 'luminaries' were banged-up a night for a cancer charity (not a prisoner one!) the call to 'throw away the key' on these criminals was mysteriously muted.

SchNEWS hopes their spot of stir was spent reflecting on increasing prisoner suicides especially. among young inmates, the many fit-ups and health problems. so don't forget prisoners need constant contact and always appreciate a letter.



Confucius warns all readers not to fly off to repressive regimes with their big biz chums. otherwise there'll be fireworks and only the sound of One hand clapping to face. Zen you will be content. Honest.


Anyone fancy a bit of painting and decorating the hallway outside the SchNEWS office? Paint, brushes and choc hobnobs provided.

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Last updated 11 October 1998
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SchNEWS Web Team (schnews-web@brighton.co.uk)