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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER YIPPEE! WE'RE GONNA GET A HOLIDAY...
Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 196, Friday 18th December 1998We're gonna take a three week break now - thanks for all your support - see you next year for some more Baddie Bashing!!
- Tony Blair announcing missile attacks on Iraq
On Wednesday night the United States and Britain launched their latest military attack on Iraq. Cruise missiles were launched from US warships and from American B52 bombers based at British-owned Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The next night British Tornadoes joined in. So far, the casualties are not known. But one thing can be sure - it will be the poorest and most dispossessed people of Iraq who will suffer the most.
The 1991 Gulf war saw the equivalent of seven Hiroshima bombs being droppedon Iraq killing a quarter of a million people. Since then, The US and Britain have maintained crippling sanctions against Iraq. On Wednesday Tony Blair repeated the lie that these sanctions do not cover food and medicine - baby food, enriched powder milk, bandages, refrigeration for antibiotics, animal feed equipment and much more are banned. As a result of sanctions, only half of Iraq's 8,000 farms are currently operating and those that are are doing so at 20% capacity. The consequences have been inevitable - over
1,200,000 Iraqi children have died since 1991 as a direct result of the sanctions that Tony 'our-quarrel-is-not-with-the-Iraqi-people' Blair so strongly supports.
The excuse for the latest attack on Iraq is to stop Saddam building chemical and other weapons for use in the region. In fact, Britain was the first country to use chemical weapons in the middle east when Winston Churchill ordered the gas bombing of Kurdish villages in the 1920s. For years, Britain and the United States have built Iraq up as a military power, supplying Saddam with chemical, biological and other weapons. Saddam's possession of gruesome weapons was never a problem when he was a faithful local puppet of the west. There were no air strikes when Saddam gassed 45,000 Iranian soldiers during the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s or gassed the entire Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988. It is not Saddam's brutality or firepower that the US and Britain hate - it is his independence.
The attacks against Iraq are all about one thing - oil. The middle east has two thirds of the world's known oil reserves and control of these oilfields is crucial to the superpowers. Britain and the United States have traditionally dominated the middle east through their support for Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other puppet regimes. These countries have horrific records of human rights abuses, genocide and illegal invasion of neighbouring countires - but the only jets sent to these countries are the ones we sell to their airforces to control 'insurgency' amongst Palestinian, Kurdish and other democratic movements in the region.
Since this attack is supposed to be about defending potential victims of Saddam's chemical and other weapons, SchNEWS phoned the Kurdistan Information Centre for their views - if anyone has been oppressed by Saddam's regime it is the Kurds. Funnily enough, no one else from the British media had bothered to ask them what they thought.
Yado Roz of the centre told SchNEWS, "Saddam is a criminal oppressing his own people Nobody knows that more than the Kurds. He gassed 5,000 Kurds in Halabja in the 1980s and continued using chemical weapons against Kurdish villages for months. When people fled to the mountains he used gas against the caves people hid in. While all this was happening, Britain and the United States did nothing".
In the last 15 years Turkey has burnt 3,000 Kurdish villages to the ground creating three million refugees and 10,000 political prisoners. Kurds are not allowed to speak their language or show any sign of their national identity without being sent to prison or killed. But Turkey is a member of NATO and a friend of Britain and the United States so again they do nothing.
"This attack against Iraq has nothing to do with helping the Kurds. They gave Saddam the weapons and now the monster has turned against them. They only want to show that if anyone opposes the United States and Britain they will be dealt with like this. That is the message they are giving the world with this attack."
Come and meet new friends and hear what all about the local direct action groups have been up to in Brighton (and scoff some lovely vegan brandy-chocolate cake).
- Statement of Solidarity
Oil companies operating in the Niger Delta in Nigeria are getting the same treatment that bio-tech giants Monsanto are currently on the recieving end of in India, (SchNEWS 195, Cremating Monsanto).With the same determination to remove their country from the grip of multi-national profit-scum, 24 groups and the representatives of 500 communities from Ijawland resolved, at the end of a 3 day meeting, that the robber oil barons "must leave the Niger Delta area within two weeks or face the wrath of the people".
The practical side of this 'notice to quit' is to be carried out by an Ijaw youth council. Companies on the 'eviction forthwith' list are sHell, Chrevron, Mobiland, Texaco, Elf...
A statement made by Ogoni students reads
"We condemn Shell's collusion with the Nigerian military regime, its theft of resources, contribution to poverty, racist double standards, devastating pollution and delays on compensation claims, within Ogoni and across the Niger Delta. We also condemn its attempts to re-enter Ogoni against the people's wishes... it is also important to re-affirm the ideals of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People".
Youth activists have been have been to the forefront in the Ogoni and Ijaw mobilisation against environmental and human rights abuse,but during the Shell-backed military attacks on Ogoni many were forced to flee to refugee camps across West Africa.Moral and practical support for the Ogoni is crucial at this time because Shell is planning to re-enter Ogoni and it's people are expecting militery retaliation to their protests
Thames Valley police defended the arrest of two photographers and a Television camera-crew by claiming that Press cards mean nothing. Thames Valley Police press officer Janet Malcomson claimed "Press cards are forged by animal rights activists and they pose as reporters." However, all press cards are registered at Scotland Yard with PIN digits known to the reporter in the event of any police query.
In response to the Police claims that protesters are posing as journalists photo-journalist Andrew Testa said, " The only people posing as anything else are the Police , when they dress up as activists." Undercover police wearing balaclavas and dark shades were spotted using hidden jacket video cameras to secretly videotape Hillgrove protestors. Only later did Thames Valley Police find out, the undercover cops were from the Met Police; What's going on here then?
So - the battle continues with a Christmas Day Picket 9 - 11 am outside Hillingdon Hospital. More details c/o 27 Townsend Way, Northwood, Middx., HA6 1TG Tel 0956 135311
Meanwhile the eviction of the Moneymore cottages continues with two people remaining in tunnels after 10 days. The police compound was dismantled by protesters yesterday,while Security guard defector Dean Smith was arrested for obstruction following his debut tunnel eviction when he stayed underground for 3 days.
A mass e-mail to newspapers and the Dept.of Transport is planned for next week to call for another public enquiry. Local Methodist Minister, David Shawcross, known as the "Manic Tree Preacher" is set to resist eviction at the Greenwood site, by D-locking himself to a tree. Massive potential for the campaign remains with 27 miles of predominantly greenbelt land for new camps and squats. The road is planned to be three times the length of the recently opened Newbury Bypass at a cost of £700 million. Site Mobile 07970 301978 The alliance against the BNRR: 0121 6326909.
AROOGA - Eviction papers have been recieved at CRYSTAL PALACE protest camp where the Council plan to build a massive leisure complex in the park. A security compound has been built next door and lotsa police have turned up filming everyfink and everyone. To get there by train, Crystal Palace stn, by tube, to Brixton then no.3 bus (20 mins) Tel: 0181 761 7826 Site mobile: 0961 832472.
You recently maliciously published the number 0800 622872 claiming it was Hackney Council's Emergency Squatline. This is incorrect, it is in fact the number for MADAME HARUNA (all fetishes catered for). I am most concerned that the unwashed layabouts and anarchists to whom your grotty publication is addressed appear to be blocking Ms Haruna's important freephone number. I have even heard that the number is being rung from isolated rural phone kiosks, where it might be weeks before anyone comes by to put the receiver back on the hook. This disruptive hooligan behaviour must cease immediately, so that Madame Haruna can provide her legitimate services to the community without impediment. Please ensure this is made clear to all your toe-rag friends without delay.
Apologies Mr.Pympe, we printed the above number thinking it was the squat busting hot-line of Hackney Council. PS. How much for a golden shower?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANET SEE YER ON THE 10TH
Last updated 23 January 1999
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