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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 as possible."

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.

  • 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.
Send urgently needed donations to Hillingdon Strikes, c/o 27 Townsend Way, Northwood, Middx, HA6 1TG Tel : 0956 135311



"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.

Web: http://www.gn.apc.org/caat/ Email: enquiries@caat.demon.co.uk



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… as 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 622827.


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].


1-2-3 OUT?

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 http://www.five.org.uk/ [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 507858

  • 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 i-contact@gifford.co.uk

  • Benefit Ceilidh for Ashton Court Quarry Campaign 30 Jan, St. Werbughs Community Centre, Horley Rd, Bristol.8 - 12pm £3/2 More info 07970 423834

  • 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, 7.00pm

Come and meet new friends and hear what your local direct action groups are up to...



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 peace camp… Hmmmm, not as inappropriate as their next door neighbours from Hell… Contact TP 2000, 42-46 Bethal St., Norwich, NR2 1NR email tp2000@gn.apc.org

  • 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, Thamesmead, SE28.
  • Martin Wright, one of the Birmingham Relief Road protest prisoners has been released. The other three remain inside (see SchNEWS 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 301978

  • 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 WC1N 3XX.

  • 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 8432333

  • 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 office…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) 344-8004 Email: earthfirst@igc.org.



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 Drugs.'

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).



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