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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER BED-PAN...
Published in Brighton by
Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 198, Friday 22nd January 1999
"How can you have partnership with management that can sack you?
Sure when we can sack the manager, or personnel, then we can talk about
partnership. Partnership is between equals."
- Carolann Duggan,
assembly-line worker and trade union activist
Hillingdon hospital workers who were recently told by an
Industrial Tribunal that they should have their jobs back - on their old terms
and conditions - are still waiting to be re-instated.
Fifty three, mainly Asian women, were sacked in September 1995 for refusing to
accept worse pay and conditions, such as a £40 a week pay cut (they were
already earning less than £7,000 a year). The media ignored them, their
Union kept trying to abandon them, but they carried on fighting. Eventually
their former employees Pall Mall admitted unfair dismissal, then the Tribunal
ruled in their favour.
The problem now is that the hospital contract has been taken over by Granada
Services who say that the women have been 're-structured' and that their jobs
no longer exist. Which in plain English means that Granada have got people
doing the same work for less pay.
Strange then it would seem, that Granada's Stephanie Monk has a seat on the
Governments Low Pay Comission - you know, the people that said the minimum wage
should be £3.60 an hour. However a spokesperson from the Public Sector
Privitisation Unit (!) told SchNEWS, "Even though Granada are on the Low
Pay Commission, they're actually fighting hard to keep the minimum wage as low
But while the Hillingdon Hospital workers' fate is uncertain, Granada's
fortunes are blooming thanks to their Labour chums. Aside from a £4
billion turnover from hotels, service stations and Cornonation Street, they've
recently been given a whopping £60 million Millennium Dome catering
contract, 49% of the Post Office's catering arm, and permission to sell cream
teas at the British Library.
As usual, New Labour talk of partnership and labour flexibility, but behind
the sound bites its big business that they really work for.
Send urgently needed donations to Hillingdon Strikes, c/o 27 Townsend Way,
Northwood, Middx, HA6 1TG Tel : 0956 135311
- Wed 27th January: Meeting at Parliament to discuss
Granada's role on Low Pay Commission.
- Wed 17th February: Lobby Granada HQ 12 - 2pm 13 Cleveland
Row, off St.James St., SW1.
"When the dust has settled, the result will be a company even more
aggressive in peddling death and repression around the world."
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
British Aerospace, everyone's favourite dealers in arms and
torture equipment, is to take over GEC Marconi electronics division, to become
the biggest arms seller in Europe and third largest in the world. This will
give them even more power to lobby the guv'ment and dilute even further
Britain's "ethical foreign policy". This is the Company that sells Hawk jets to
Indonesia, and assault rifles to the Turkish military which is involved in
brutally repressing Kurdish people in disputed land in the south.
The Merger precedes calls by activists for an immediate arms embargo in the
Public Gallery at the House of Commons yesterday after it was confirmed that
British-built tanks and armoured vehicles have been used in East
Timor,Indonesia. This information came from the dim-witted Indonesian defence
attache,Col.Halim,admitted to allegations of torture and the use of UK
equipment in East Timor on Mark Thomas Comedy Product after Mark posed as a rep
from a PR company.
BAe is holding an AGM, 28 April, QE2 Conference Centre, Victoria Street, London
(nearest station Westminster) There will be a protest and vigil outside, and
direct action inside. You won't be able to get in unless you're a shareholder,
but shares are available from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (donations very
welcome as shares cost £15 each).
Open planning meetings for AGM actions: 6.30pm, 13 Jan, 10 Feb, 10
& 24 March, 7 April @ CAAT Office, 11 Goodwin Street, Finsbury
Park, London N4.
Mark Thomas's Comedy Product, Wed 10:55pm, Channel 4. If Bill Hicks was right
that TV's function is to keep us all stupid, this programme kidnaps the screen
and wrests it from its purpose
A new series in which Mark tricks his way
into the corridors of power and exposes those who are shafting us all (all hail
the slayer of Indonesian officials' dignity).
Beware of power-dressed executives who have mates with dreadlocks
staff at construction firm Amec learnt the hard way, when on Monday a couple of
apparently respectable business visitors let in through the window about 50
activists who engulfed the beautiful Cheshire country house headquarters. But
the company responsible for building Manchester airport's second runway were
already entertaining, so as the new guests mingled with those who had been
invited, pommes frites were washed down with wine. Amec managers could
only stand by and mourn their lost nibbles.
For wearing a khaki shirt! Earth First! activist Melissa Fridlin was nicked at
an anti-Forest Service demo in America on the grounds that she was
impersonating a Federal official during some street threatre.
Goes to P.C. Fudge of West Mercia for assaulting a disabled hunt sab in a hail
of punches, breaking his camcorder, arresting him for possession of an
offensive weapon (the camcorder), and stealing
his woolly hat! The sab was released without charge and
is suing with support of a Staffordshire Inspector! Earlier, P.C. Fudge
informed 2 sabs he'll fucking kill them if they didn't get
out of their car, as well as threatening sabs with C.S. gas if they tried to
follow the hunt. Meanwhile in Berkshire 3 sabs had 60 police to contend with,
while on Salisbury Plain sabs were followed in hot pursuit by an Air Support
Unit helicopter! Hunt Saboteurs Ass. P.O. Box 2786 Brighton BN2 2AX Tel: 01273
A law-abiding Newcastle high-rise resident woke at 8am to the sound of
mysterious clanks and thumps. Looking through his spy-hole he saw Northumbria
constabularies' finest. He opened the door and 3 Keystone Kops fell in a heap
through the door, along with their hydraulic ram. After they had searched his
laundry basket, he checked the warrant more closely. The kops became red-faced
when he pointed out they had the right flat number, but the wrong
block of flats. Doh!
On Tuesday the genetiX snowball campaign rejected the Green Ribbon award for
'Best Political Campaign by an Environmental Organisation'. The awards are
sponsored by Norsh Hydro. GenetiX spokesperson Andrew said at the Awards
Ceremony "Norsk Hydro is continuing to exploit new oil reserves despite
concerns over Global Warming, and manufactures PVC despite concerns over human
health and pollutants; and is the largest manufacture of artificial
fertilisers, which have no part in sustainable agriculture. There is a fine
line between promoting environmental good practice and being a showcase for
corporate 'greenwash'. That line has been crossed with these awards."
- Iceland has decided to become the first country in the world to sell the
rights to the entire population's genetic code to a biotechnology company.
Roche Holding Ltd. has signed a $200 million, five-year deal to develop new
drugs and tests from the data
- Activists in Hulme, Manchester have called off a supermarket sweep planned
at their local ASDA store after the supermarket agreed to fund independent
testing of their own brand of baked beans to ensure that they are free of
genetically modified orgasms [hey, good typo - online editor].
The World renowned 121 Autonomous Centre in Brixton, South London has been
given its marching orders by Lambeth Council .
The doors could finally close on the squatted info-shop next Thursday which has
been based at Railton Road since 1981.
The Centre is also used for local squatters aid, regular cafes, community
meetings, regular parties and music shows, a print resource, and an archive.
It's eviction seems to go hand in hand with the on-going gentrification of
Brixton. Currrently mass evictions are taken place, two community arts centres
along the Wandsworth Road are being sold off, short-life housing co-ops are
being hassled and a £50 a night hotel and indoor shopping centre is
planned which will destroy the outdoor market.
- Next Monday there will a meeting about the evicition 6.30 pm at 121 Railton
Road, Brixton, SE24. Tel: 0171 2746655 Crash space is available.
Eric Mattocks was one of the best loved activists in the
squatting movement in London for 25 years until his sudden death on Monday,
aged 70. The struggle for housing in the '70s, where there were thousands of
squats, was conducted under the full gaze of the media. Whilst others vied for
"leadership", engaged the bureaucracy in arguments over the future of empty
homes, or contested court cases, Eric just got on with the practical
necessities. An expert "cracker", he opened innumerable squats, connecting
services and taking endless time and trouble to help the most vulnerable
homeless people who turned to the squatting movement when all else failed. Many
others received brisk advice on how to do it and the loan of a crowbar.
He was a unique, deeply-loved, spikey character who lived his life for others,
and one of the unassuming, genuine heroes of our time. The Guardian newspaper
will print a full obituary on Monday 25th January 1999, the day of his funeral..
- Teachers at almost 1400 schools across nine regions in
Russia are currently on strike after authorities in
Novosibirsk tried offering some teachers three bottles of vodka in lieu of
their wages! (Shurely not from Yeltsin's copious stash
- About 500 anti-fascists in Barcelona broke into a Nazi
bookstore and dumping and burning fascist material in the street, before being
dispersed by the police.
- If you can prove that you are being spied on from your TV by the
security services then £5,000 could be yours. "I am making a
pledge for information directly leading to the exposing of the BBC Newscaster
Conspiracy. The exposing would specifically need to lead to a legally binding
admission from Martyn Lewis or Michael Buerk" Check out the Web site at
[graphics heavy site - online editor].
- Denis Halliday, former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in
Iraq is touring the UK from 23-28th Jan. He resigned, calling the sanctions "a
totally bankrupt concept" and says 5 to 6 thousand kids die each month because
of them . For a list of venues ring Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq 01223
- i-Contact are in the process of listing video
activists/journalists so people can get in touch with them if they want an
event covered. If interested send info to
- Benefit Ceilidh for Ashton Court Quarry Campaign 30 Jan,
St. Werbughs Community Centre, Horley Rd, Bristol.8 - 12pm £3/2 More info
- The next National Demo at Hillgrove cat
vivisection farm is Sat 20th
Feb, 12 noon. More info 0121 632 6460
- There's a new Travellers Legal Advice Team emergency 24hr
Helpline 0468 316755
- Happy Birthday to Swedish Anarchist Magazine Brand, 100
yrs old! Box 15015, S-10465, Stockholm, Sweden.
- The Hillsborough Justice Campaign is
issuing an urgent appeal to survivors of the Hillsborough tragedy to
contact their office in Liverpool after a Stoke man was awarded £50,000 in
the High Court after originally being paid only £3,000.The Hillsborough
Justice Campaign are urging survivors or families of victims to come forward.
For details call the campaign on 0151 260 5262.
- Corks are being pulled, replaced by plastic ones.
Cork is the stripped bark of the Quercus Suber tree from the
Mediterranean, a sustainable crop. The end of cork would see these forests
disappearing. U.S. manufacturers Supremecorq claim their Thermoplastic
elastomers (TPE)! are recyclable. Put a cork in it!
Wednesday Jan 27th upstairs at the Hobgoblin Pub, London Road,
Come and meet new friends and hear what your local direct action groups are up
This Valentine's Day Trident Ploughshares 2000 invite you to a weekend of fun
and frolics in Glasgow, culminating in a mass blockade of the nuclear base at
Faslane on the 15th. The action is part of TP2000's aim to disarm the Trident
weapons systems by the year 2000 through non-violent direct action.
While there, blow a big sloppy Valentines kiss to the MOD who have complained
about the "inappropriate" use of woodland at TP2000's occasional Coalport
Hmmmm, not as inappropriate as their next door neighbours from
Contact TP 2000, 42-46 Bethal St., Norwich, NR2 1NR email
- 3 Swedish peace activists that have been held on remand for Ploughshares
actions in Barrow were released on bail yesterday, despite refusing bail
conditions. The judge complained he didn't "like people holding a gun to
the courts head"!
It's Satpal Ram's birthday this coming Monday. He will be 33
years old. He's been in prison since he was 20, after being given a life
sentence for defending himself in a racist attack in a restaurant, when one of
his attackers died after refusing medical treatment. Send birthday cards
(recorded delivery) to Satpal Ram E94 164, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way,
- Martin Wright, one of the Birmingham Relief Road protest
prisoners has been released. The other three remain inside (see
197 for details) and will be back in court in the next couple of weeks. To
visit any of them, phone the site mobile on which they are co-ordinating
solidarity, as well as welcoming newcomers at the sorted visitors camp. 07970
- Attention all prisoners! Haven Distribution have a new
eight-page catalogue out, available for an SAE or 2nd class stamp. The
distribution service exists on a shoe-string budget (just one monthly standing
order and one donation last year) so if your feeling
flushed send dosh/stamps to 27 Old Gloucester Street, London
- Two years ago, Michael Manson a 30-year old black man was
set on fire by youths in North London. He remained conscious for almost a week
but died on 13 Febuary 1997. The jury later ruled that he had been unlawfully
killed in an unprovoked attack, but due to police blunders the exact details
aren't known. Yet again the Met police admitted fundamental errors in their
investigation including assuming Michael set fire to himself and that his
injuries weren't life threatening. Contact: The Michael Menson Family
Campaign, C/o SMG Unity, PO Box 304, Southhall, Middlesex, UB2 5YR. Tel 0181
- Following the Stephen Lawrence outrages a
major National Civil Rights March on Sat 6th Feb will go from Brixton to New
Scotland Yard and Downing St .Assemble at noon opp. Lambeth Town Hall. For
info: 07957 696636
The Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) have claimed responsibility for an arson
attack on Boxing Day, resulting in over $500,000 worth of damages. A communique
from the E.L.F. stated, "To celebrate the holidays we decided on a bonfire.
Unfortunately for U.S. Forest Industries it was at their corporate headquarters
This was retribution for all the wild forests and animals lost to
bloat the wallets of greedy fucks ".
This latest action by the E.L.F. comes just two months after the arson
attack on Vail Associates' ski resort expansion site in Colorado where they
caused over $12 million damages in protest at a development of the last
habitat for the endangered lynx in Colorado. For more info on the Vail arson
and the usual debate over nonviolence/violence of property destruction read
Earth First! Journal at PO Box 1415, Eugene, OR 97440, USA. Tel: +44 (541)
A company in America became all flustered after anti-drug messages on its
pencils seriously misfired. A sharp-eyed ten year old in New York noticed that
when the pencils are sharpened the slogan: 'Too Cool to Do Drugs',
turns into 'Cool to Do Drugs' . A bit more sharpening and it becomes 'Do
The company, The Bureau For At-Risk Youth, have now recalled the pencils.
Ooh, Matron! SchNEWS warns all readers not to rummage around in Granada's dirty
washing. You'll only come out stinking rich and have to hang around with Tony
Blair and his cronies (a pint of Tony's Kronie please Mickey).
DIG DEEP! SCHNEWS IS TOTALLY SKINT
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Last updated 4 February 1999
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