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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WHO'S GOT THE SKINS?
Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 215, Friday 11th June 1999
- Formulary for a New Urbanism (1953)
Two weeks in the wake of police impounding the Exodus Collective's soundsystem, which had provided sounds at dozens of their renowned free parties, last weekend just one party rocked the North. The Hacienda, once epicentre of the country's burgeoning new dance culture, revered international music venue, and mecca for those of the chemical generation, was squatted last weekend for one final blow-out bash.
The thousand or so party-goers inside were matched by almost as many again outside, as police moved in at midnight to prevent any more people from gaining entrance to the building, squatted since the previous day. When their cheeky attempt at storming the building was repelled by vigilant party people, the cops went wild outside, randomly batonning anyone who seemed most lively. One particularly excited six and a half foot uniformed officer struck someone straight across the back, before this plain clothes guy cried out "I'm a copper you idiot!"
The soundsystem eventually was negotiated out at 8am. Until then overhead, the police helicopter spotlight swept over determined party-heads getting hauled up into windows or shuffling along ledges, and all those still circling the building.
Funny how things turn full circle. The Hacienda, whose name came from an obscure political tract written in the 1950s (quoted above, and, where unattributed, elsewhere in this article) was so-called by the club's original co-owners Factory Records and the band New Order, to echo those no-compromise situationist ideals of untrammelled desire and sensory pleasure.
"There will be rooms more conducive to dreams than any drug, and houses where one cannot help but love."
Pioneering in playing imported Chicago house music, in its 1988 heyday the club stood at the heart of the acid house scene, and fresh wave of dance culture - the second 'summer of love'. Venue for Madonna's first UK concert, now for a brief time the Hacienda was he world's most famous club, featuring on the front page of Time magazine. But things fell apart. The profit motive cut in as gangsters sought to control the drug trade; guns and fear, threats of closure. Then the demons took our space: after Factory records spectacularly crashed, the Hacienda closed in '97 as that same profit motive put it in the hands of property developers. The word is they are planning to turn the building into luxury flats. Ever felt the hardcore dance energy rush in a luxury apartment?
Not so luxurious, anyhow, as the Marquess of Tavistock's gaff, holed up as he is in one of Britain's largest stately homes, Wobern Abbey. We might be content to let him fester there for the time being, but that when the Exodus Collective came to put on their last big 'do' on a out-of-the-way bit of his land last May 29, the police turned nasty. After their strategically-planned operation seized the Collective's vehicles and rig at the tail-end of the party, and nicked seven, one senior Bedfordshire officer was unusually honest; "It is unfortunate that a telephone call from the Marquess of Tavistock receives more attention from high up than a complaint from a member of the general public. But that's the way it goes."
Exodus continued to receive plenty of attention the following day when, securing the release of their rig from a compound in Leighton Buzzard, they were trailed by two police helicopters and an armed response unit(!), while another helicopter buzzed over Exodus' HAZ Manor. Spokesperson for Exodus, Glenn Jenkins commented "Once again, improper political pressure on the police at a high level has made them jump like grasshoppers. Previous to this incident, we were in a situation of dialogue, discussion and no confrontation with the police...but when there are dodgy attempts to stop the dances then the consensus of the Exodus Collective and the people who come to the dances is that the frequency of the events should step up."
"Games are forbidden in the labyrinth."
For what would be the alternative to Exodus' exemplary determination? On the same bank holiday as Exodus got busted, Homeland's 'pay-rave' took place in Hampshire. 17 hours of corporate entertainment, yours for a mere £44 +booking fee (then pints £3 a go; burgers £4). Part-sponsored by the Mean Fiddler, the event's seven dance stages were all sponsored by such dance culture devotees as Ericson mobile phone company, Bud Ice and Strongbow. Meanwhile on the hill outside the triple fencing compound, a blacked out police van carried out surveillance to watch out for any 'dodgy looking geezers.' SchNEWS has learned they had instructions to move in if people hadn't spent enough money in the past hour (OK that last sentence we made up, but you get the picture).
"The roar of profit and plunder will be replaced by the sounds and rhythms of party and pleasure as a massive carnival of resistance snakes its way through the square mile."
Transport from Brighton leaves 9 am. Tickets: Peace Centre Gardner St. £4
There's a prop making day for the carnival this Sunday(13)at Brighton Unemployed Centre off Carlton Hill 12 noon - 6 pm. Everyone welcome - bring materials if you can.
The June 18th legal group now have a web-site: http://www.blagged.freeserve.co.uk/j18law/
Yep, all of them except SchNEWS are dodgy enterprises who take an active role in killing people, animals or the planet. What's more, they will all be participating in the "Manchester Graduate Recruitment Fair" run by the universities and The Guardian. So, if you're interested in clarifying the options for job-seekers to promote more ethical employment, there'll be a large demo outside the main entrance on Thursday 24 June 9:45am.
- Defend Council Housing
In March this year New Labour, following in Thatcher's foot-steps announced plans to privatise over 140,000 council houses over the coming year, thus continuing a policy that has seen 250,000 council homes sold over the past 10 years.
Of course, tenants have to be balloted first to see if they want a change in landlord - but unless there is a strong tenants group opposed to the sell-off, aggressive sales techniques such as glossy pamphlets, paid door to door canvassers and the promise of doing up run-down estates puts the pressure on people to switch.
The Tories hated council houses(rents have increased by over 50% in the last ten years). and building came to a standstill. Councils weren't even allowed to spend the money they received from selling their houses! To cap it all in the past 10 years over £8 billion has been taxed from council rents, thus starving councils of the cash to spend on carrying out desperately needed repairs. And whereas housing associations are able to borrow money to invest in decaying stock - local councils can't.
So does it matter who your landlord is? The people behind Defend Council Housing (DCH) obviously think so "Rents are higher in the private sector and in housing associations and tenants have much less security. " Even the Housing Corporation - the housing associations' own governing body - have slammed Associations for deteriorating tenant services!
Defend Council Housing are having a National Conference on Saturday 19th June at the Friends Meeting House, Mount St., Manchester City Centre
Contact them at DCH, c/o Haggerston Community Centre, Haggerston Rd., London E8 4JA Tel 0171 254 2312
SchNEWS 205, a Govt proposal will attempt to reclassify herbal remedies and vitamin/mineral supplements as medicines, potentially putting loads of small businesses out on their collective ears and paving the path to a toxic corporate future. For those balanced individuals whose ears can still hear what's going on there's a March for the Freedom To Choose on Sunday 20th June, 11.45 am from Hyde Park (Cumberland Gate) to Trafalgar Square. Coaches from Brighton leave at 8.30 am from St. Peter's Church, tickets £5. 01273 276648/0171 385 0012. if you feel like some direct action, 22nd June , 6 pm Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament, Consumers For Health Choice are lobbying 200 MPs at a meeting not open to the public.
These were the emotional words from Johnathan Aitken's mum as she revealed that she had to sell the story of her son's fall from grace so that she could pay for a water sprinkler system at her house in Ibiza. SchNEWS is greatly saddened to report the deplorable incarceration of the former Tory hot-shot. The once proud minister who secured arms deals with Saudi royals was given 18 months free accommodation courtesy of HM govt. (will he declare it as an interest?) this week. It all began when he promised to use the sword of truth to expose the terrible lies that the Guardian printed, concerning who paid his hotel bills in Paris. There was just one teensy problem- they were right, so his libel case against them collapsed, and he got done for perverting the course of justice, for amongst other things, getting his teenage daughter to lie to cover for him. So poor little Johnny ended up getting shafted by his own sword. SchNEWS feel it is wrong to gloat over the man's demise, and are organising an appeal to help raise money for his mum's sprinkler system. You can also write to him at Belmarsh prison, where he is currently residing, but he will soon be moved to Ford Prison. Please send only genuine letters of condolence, and definitely not anything along the lines of, "you deserve everything you got you tory bastard!"
Please donate generously to the Johnathan Aitken golden shower campaign., we may also be organising trips to visit him if there is enough demand.
Friends of Princes Park 0403 176 279
SchNEWS mailout crew needed every Friday!
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Last updated 17 June 1999
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