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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER BURSTIN' WITH INFO...
Published in Brighton by
Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 197, Friday 15th January 1999
"We are the stubborn dreamers."
- Gerard Winstanley, An
Tinkers Bubble won an historic victory last week, when they were
granted planning permission for their low impact homes. The residents have been
living in canvas homes and other low impact dwellings for the past five years,
fighting every inch of the way to get planning permission, after having the
audacity to want to live on their own land. South Somerset District Council
gave the 10 adults and 3 kids a five year trial period to carry on growing
vegetables, tending their orchards and feeding their goats.
During the epic struggle, Simon Fairlie, one of the
residents, wrote a book ,'Low Impact Development', to help other
people pick their way through the UK's complex planning process.
"This is extremely good news and may become a precedent for this kind of
sustainable development", said George Monbiot.
The decision dramatically shows the conflict between our archaic planning
policy, which makes the building of low impact dwellings largely illegal, and
Agenda 21 which states its aim 'to provide access to land for all
households...through environmentally sound planning'. Despite all the
politicians fine words it seems it's OK for developers to get away with
building ugly Wimpey-home sprawl but the idea of environmentalists building
sustainable homes...? Well. thats a bit much.
However, opposition in the nearby village of Norton-sub-Handon is high with
local residents accusing Bubblers of 'lowering the tone of the village'! A
hard-core group of villagers promise to appeal against the decision, and
despite the tentative support of Paddy Ashdown, the local Lib Dem councillor,
Andy Jacobs, was so outraged that he resigned! Still, SchNEWS
has it on good authority that he was going to resign anyway. "This
is a foolhardy and dangerous decision," he puffed, "that is likely to
open the floodgates for other such projects to be repeated elsewhere ".
And so say all of us!
- It is 350 years since the Diggers squatted a piece of barren land at St.
George's Hill, Surrey, erecting huts and housing over 100 people. To
commemorate this, there will be events from 30 March - 4 April, where people
will unite under the banner of Diggers 350 in an attempt to reclaim land and
develop long term sustainable communities. For more details of training and
educational workshops: The Land Is Ours 01865 722016 or email:
- Brith Dir Mawr in North Wales houses a collection of low
impact dwellings. The tipis, strawbale house, roundhouse and geo dome have sat
happily nestling in the Valleys for over three years before a National Park
Authority helicopter spotted them, and are now the subject of eviction
- The Natty Trust was set up to promote high standards of
sustainable, ecological design and development for the benefit of the public.
They have a new office and excellent library of books on sustainability,
permaculture appropriate technology and organics. Contact them at Unit 11,
Level 5, New England House, New England Street, Brighton BN1 4GH
- Stepping Stones Housing co-op in Wales have secured
funding from Radical Routes to help buy a small farm. They aim
to provide social housing in both separate and communal living areas, alongside
workers' co-ops which will provide products and services to help pay off the
loan. Want to know more? Call Alex Begg on 0870 733 2538
- Low Impact Development - planning and people in a
sustainable countryside. £10 from Low Impact, 20 St Michael's Rd Yeovil,
- Diggers and Dreamers - the guide to communal living '98 -
'99, published by Diggers and Dreamers Publications (0-951-4945-4-6)
We need decent photographs of actions for inclusion in our next SchNEWS book
(Remember to write your name on the back! )
Wanna keep fit? We need someone who wants to keep fit by distributing SchNEWS
round town on a Friday afternoon
We need people who want to help run a stall and give out SchNEWS in Brighton on
We need someone to finish sorting out our filing and magazine system.
We need a heater cos our office is freezing.
We need people to bring more biscuits into the office.
Newbury Police arrested a protester for chalking her name on the tarmac of the
bypass. She was later released without charge - is that cos evidence would be
washed away when it rained?
Last Sunday, on the 3rd Anniversary since work began on the Newbury bypass 250
protestors pedestrianised the road by playing cat and mouse bulldog with the
police (who weren't very good at it)and their riot vans. On what was an
emotional day protestors returned to the trees to hang banners. Even Delboy's
wife parked up her Robin Reliant and joined the campaign. However, she was
later denied entrance to a nearby pub for being a protester (fact!). Four
people were nicked but three were released without charge. One man however was
charged with hurling rocks up at the helicopter, SchNEWS doesn't know if his
name was Hercules. Infill developments look set to line the bypass. Vodaphone
have even threatened to leave Newbury if they can't get their own way and
build a massive new HQ on greenfield (see
Newbury's Liberal MP Rendell commented "They seem determined to prevent
people enjoying the huge environmental benefits the by-pass has brought."
SchNEWS has been unable to find out if Mr Rendell means protesters or the
police. The road was closed till the early hours of Sunday night.
AVON RING ROAD People are needed NOW to stop the Avon Ring
Road - which if built will be Bristol's answer to the M25. Work has started,
actions are underway and camps have been established. So choose an eco "des
res" with loads of good support and supplies: an activist's adventure
playground. As Rowlan Dye of Bristol Cycling Campaign points out "This road
has very little to do with relieving local traffic congestion, but is designed
to open up vast areas of green belt for development." Just like at
Newbury. This campaign is still legally winnable. Camp mobile phone 0797 999
EPSOM The authorities were left a little red faced and
£100,000 out of pocket last week when they staged a dawn raid on a protest
camp in Epsom, Surrey. Up to 500 cops including Met police and local officers
flanked by bailiffs, the Forward Intelligence Team, specialist tunnellers and
climbers, and the under-sheriff of Greater London arrived on the scene to find
the camp empty - apart from one homeless man living in a van! The camp had been
set up to stop an access road and car park destroying woodland but had been
abandoned a month ago. One local councillor said that the operation was
necessary because they "didn't know how many people were going to be on
that site." This, despite the local cop shop being opposite the camp!
Wednesday 20th January 1999
Book your place now! 01273 685913
On January 4, the first work day of this year, 13 people invited themselves
into the London headquarters of sHELL and refused to leave. That Monday was the
anniversary of Shell's forced retreat from oil-rich Ogoni in Nigeria in face of
mass grassroots resistance. And in the last couple of years, the Ijaw ethnic
group of southern Nigeria have been upping the anti; occupying oil facilities
and slashing Nigeria's oil output by up to a third.
Last Monday (4th)12 smartly dressed 'executives' entered sHELL
House in London and in a shockingly professional manner barricaded themselves
into the management's offices, relaying updates via digital cameras, lap-top
computers and mobiles. 6 hours later riot cops sledgehammered through the walls
to get them out. All were arrested but later released as sHELL didn't want to
The action was in solidarity with the Ijaw people of Nigeria whose land and
lives are being totally fucked up by the actions of sHELL and other oil
companies.in the Niger Delta. Despite the huge profits being made by the oil
industry in the region, no oil money is coming back into the communities, the
continuing use of outdated equipment results in serious pollution, compensation
claims are delayed and the past few years have seen a continuing military build
up in the area. On 11 Dec 1998 young activists from 500 Ijaw communities issued
an ultimatum giving the oil companies 2 weeks to leave the country. Naturally,
instead of paying any attention to the wishes of Nigerian citizens, the
sHELL-backed military administration declared a State of Emergency,in Bayelsa
State, with the suspension of civil liberties and a dusk to dawn curfew. So on
1 Jan the Ijaw activists started 'Operation Climate Change', to shut down oil
flow stations and gas flares in the Delta. Since then up to 200 have been
The activists in London said that this year will be "the turning point that
will see the end of corporate dominance"
Contact DELTA 01958 795198; Box Z, 13 Biddulph Street, Leicester LE2 1BH. Web
http://www.kemptown.org/shell (link removed because page no longer there 4oct2005) or
- Open meeting with speakers including Prof. Nanjundaswamy
from Karnataka State Farmers Association (whose members are currently burning
down Monsantos genetically modified crops in India - see
194) 6.30pm,Fri.Jan 22 @ Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 (nearest
tube Holborn).Further info on Peoples Global Action:
- This is part of the build up to the Inter-Continental Caravan
(22 May - 20 June) and the massive JUNE 18 international day of action
against global capitalism. contact Reclaim The Streets 0171 2814621 email
The GREENWOOD site on route of the Birmingham Relief Rd is
being evicted. Only 3 people are on site. However, all is not lost for
the SPINNEY site is still there, though very low on numbers.
FOUR activists have been remanded for alleged burgulary and criminal damage to
a nuclear bunker (!) on route of the proposed 27 mile private toll motorway.
A fifth person has been remanded to a bail hostel in Newcastle. All four are
due to appear at Tamworth Magistrates on Wednesday 20th January. Tel 07970
- (Local) John Mycroft CE 7919
- (Cider) Paul Wood CE 7920 HMYOI Brinford New Road
Featherstone Wolverhampton WV10 7PY
- Martin (Manic) Wright BR 9345
- (Disco) Dave Dragonetti (date of birth 09/07/68) HMP
Winston Green Road Winston Green Birmingham B18 4AS
- The campaign to support the three hunt sabs charged with
"conspiracy to commit violent disorder" after a days sabbing the Hursley
Hambledon hunt are holding a series of public meetings on 25th Jan.,8th
Feb.& 22nd Feb. at 8.00p.m. at Scotts Bar,Eldon St.,Portsmouth. Don't
forget the National day of action against all blood sports called for 1st
March,the first day of the trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.There's also a
benefit tape on sale featuring 'an hour of quality techno trance'. £4-
available from Portsmouth Hunt Sabs, Box H,167 Fawcett Road,Southsea,Hants.PO4
0DH.All Cheques payable to The Portsmouth Three Defence Campaign.
- Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal-Public meeting on
Thurs.28th Jan. 7.30 at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Tel.0171 3260353. Web:
as this page crashes some browsers].
- Movement Against the Monarchy are holding a party to
celebrate the execution of Charles I on Saturday Jan 30th. Civil War dress code
of Diggers, Levellers, Ranters or New Model Army Fighters encouraged. Starts 11
a.m outside Banqueting House, Whitehall. Contact MA'M P.O.Box 14672, London E9
5UQ Tel: 0956 506 946.
- General Pinochet Picket in front of the Lords (Houses of
Parliament) starting Monday 18th Jan 9a.m. to Weds. Also Sat 16th Jan a
march/visit to his home in the country, 300 people from Europe showing up. And
Sun 17th Jan a march Millbank, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, starting
11a.m meet at Dean Ryle St, SW1 followed by a rally at 12 noon in Trafalgar
Squarewith speakers and music.
Send support messages to Taj and Roberto, who stood up to fascist BNP bully and
parliamentary candidate Andrew Wearden who "ended up knocked out and in
hospital" after people decided they'd had enough of him and his mates harassing
Asian youths . The two anti-fascists have been found guilty of actual bodily
harm and are in prison awaiting sentence. Send letters of support recorded
delivery: Taj Ahmed, BT9173, HMP Preston, PR1 5AB;
Roberto Brollini, CC5829, HMYOI Lancaster Farms, Stone Row
Head, off Quernmore Rd, Lancs. LA1 3QZ
Last Saturday the National Front held their third march
against asylum-seekers in Dover. Despite barely three days notice,
anti-fascists were able to mobilise some 60 people to oppose the fascists' -
twice the number mustered by the NF. Some 300 police (equivalent to 10% of the
entire Kent County police force) came equipped with dogs, horses, riot vans,
riot gear, photographers, numerous video Evidence Gathering Teams, and a motor
launch to ensure the fascists could march. Anti-fascists however were stopped,
searched, photographed, videoed and asked for their names and addresses.
Despite the overwhelming police presence, thanks to the efforts of the
anti-fascists it took the NF more than three quarters of an hour to march the
half-mile from the Eastern Docks to the Western Docks. The NF reckon they will
continue holding marches in Dover every few months, so stay in touch. Dover
Residents Against Racism c/o Refugee Link, PO Box 417, Folkestone, Kent CT19
For an excellent read on how fascism was stopped by direct action in the mid
1940's read 'The 43 Group' by Morris Beckman.
- Nick Hudson, Editor of the Dover Express/Folkestone Herald, has been warned
by police about inciting racial hatred in his papers. Hudson who used to work
for the Daily and Sunday Sport was told some of his newspapers coverage was
"inflammatory". Apparently letting the NF march through Dover isn't
On the same day activists were busy occupying Shell's London offices, people
from Reclaim The Streets (RTS)occupied the head office of
Underground, St. James' Square, in protest at plans to privatise the tube. Tube
workers had voted to go on strike today but
their action was called off by their union after London Transport management
got a court order under the anti-strike laws. Dee Locke from RTS said . Despite
the fact that the privatisation of British rail is now recognised as a disaster
New Labour is proceeding with plans to sell off parts of the tube network. In
December John Prescott signed papers allowing private companies to start
'shadowing' London Transport management to get an idea of what sort of business
they will be taking over, what corners can be cut, what workers they can sack.
It's estimated that the privatisation process will cost around £100
million - money that could be better spent on improving the service.
Whenever transport workers go on strike the Standard and other rags talk of
'Misery on the Roads and on the Rails'. But we know the reality is the
opposite. Strikes are good for the spirit. Commuters get the day off work, tube
workers get to socialise on the picket lines and down the pub instead of
working. Business leaders talk of damage to London's economy. But what is that
economy really about? It is about lots of people working hard just to survive
while making profits for others to live at their expense. We say fuck the
economy! We want to damage that which damages us. The economy is a human
misery. By striking tube workers reduce the misery! Anyway, only by using their
economic muscle can the tube workers defend their own interests against the
attempt to make them work harder for less, which is what privatisation is
about. However London Transport's legal move and the RMT's call off of the
strike action shows that tube workers need to consider their tactics.
Understandably workers often feel that only by taking legal official action can
they be safe. But their only real safety lies in sticking together. If strikers
respect the union laws they are unlikely to win, that is what the laws are all
about. Recently in an ongoing fight with management, electricians on the
Jubilee Line Extension have shown that by not listening to their union when it
tells them to obey the anti-strike laws workers win. They have learnt that it
is not through legalistic union methods but by direct action and solidarity
that workers can defend their interests. Today RTS are saying that we stand
with workers against their bosses, against New Labour and for autonomous direct
action for a better world. Reclaim the Streets: 0171 281 4621; Email:
- Last year Virgin Trains received 195,000 letters of complaint, and 7,000
phone calls each month
Animal rights activists are advised to be on the lookout for new weapons being
used by the forces of oppression. In Austria animal rights demonstrators had
their stall trampled by circus elephants-yes,elephants. Closer to home,Brighton
Animal Rights had their minibus trashed over Christmas by a runaway milk float.
Meanwhile spare a thought for poor old Percy the pigeon. Having beaten 1000
rivals in a 500 mile race,Percy flopped down exausted in a Sheffield loft-and
was promptly eaten by a cat.To add insult to considerable injury due to a delay
in the handing in of Percy's I.D. tag he was relegated from first place to
SchNEWS warns all readers that if yer gonna go for a stroll on motorways,
make sure you take at least 250 friends with you. The you can feel smug (not
We really need your old scanner for the next SchNEWS annual (SchNEWS Goes Forth)
Got any photos of the 'tank incident' at last years Salisbury Reclaim The Streets?
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Phone/Fax (call before faxing): 01273 685913
Last updated 23 January 1998
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SchNEWS Web Team