Published in Brighton by Justice?
- Brighton's Direct Action collective
ISSUE 251, FRIDAY
17th MARCH, 2000
"The object of the exercise is not just to secure convictions but to secure
The Prevention of Terrorism Bill took one step nearer to becoming law on Wednesday, when MPs voted 210 to 1 in favour of the new legislation.
Former Labour Northern Ireland spokesman Kevin McNamara led a bid by Labour rebels to overturn the new definition of terrorism after warning it was so wide that protesters against genetically modified food and even striking fire-fighters could be classed as terrorists. While another MP argued that the Government's proposed wording was "very dangerous, misguided and inadequate".
Still, why does that matter?
The original Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was an emergency measure introduced in 1974 for Northern Ireland. And like the old PTA, campaigners reckon the new laws will be used for general information gathering and intimidation of activists.
Take Clauses 38 and 41 which gives the police a general power of arrest without a warrant for anyone whom they "reasonably suspect" of being a terrorist. PACE (that's the usual detention rules and regulations) does not apply. Instead you can be held for up to 48 hours without being brought before a Court or given access to a lawyer. And that can be stretched to 7 days without charge if the Court, which can meet without either the lawyer or the defendant being present, so decides.
More telling is a recent comment from the Crown Court Recorder John Rowe, arguing earlier this month for the old PTA to once again be renewed: "The exercise of the powers given by the PTA will affect civil rights. There may well be some restriction of personal liberty, or a suspension of one or more of the usual aspects of a fair trial, or an invasion of privacy and family life, or a restriction on the freedom of thought, or freedom of expression, or freedom of assembly and association. But that is the price a community is obliged to pay."
The Bill now goes to the Lords and could become law by the end of April.
(18th), people from around the country will get together to discuss the future
of the campaign against the bill from 1 - 5pm @ The Old Redhill Motors Community
Centre, 104 North Rd., Brighton.
Meanwhile last weekend, international terrorists (sorry world leaders) were busy cementing relations...
"We are desperate for the West to know that this Russian war is a war to exterminate the Chechen people. We are not fighting for gain, for prosperity or for political reasons; we are fighting in order to survive." Akhiad Idigov, a representative of the Chechen government
As the breakaway republic of Chechnya continues to be pounded into the ground by Russia, Tony Blair took the opportunity to visit Russia's acting president Vladimir Putin. Blair said the man was "impressive" and "highly intelligent with a focused view of what he wants to achieve." He certaintly seems very 'focused' on what he wants to achieve in Chechnya, where the country is being bombed back into the dark ages. 20,000 civilians have been killed, and at least 60,000 seriously injured - 15,000 of them children. 20,000 children are now orphans, having lost both parents during the fighting. 50% of all houses have been destroyed, along with the water supply, roads, sewage and power systems.
As an open letter from the Campaign to Stop the War in Chechnya points out,
"The war is not a response to 'Chechen terrorism'. It is an attempt to divert
attention away from the social and economic crisis in Russia. Its goals are
to restore the standing of the military in Russian society, and to secure Russian
control of the oil and gas pipelines running through Chechnya."
WHO KILLED KENNY?
"Sunday will be the last night that we will open the pub. We are extremely
sad about this, as we have loved working in the Kenny for the past five and
a half years. We have made a great many friends and have had a wonderful time.
We would like to thank everyone for their love and support."
"It's a battle of money against the true spirit of what a pub should be
about. Real landlords have real spirit."
Last orders were called for the final time at two of Brighton's best loved boozers last week, when the New Kensington closed and the Gladstone changed hands. Yer on-the-spot Evening Anus was there to try and probe into why two popular watering holes have been closed down.
The New Kensington was one of 800 pubs who took action against their old owners Inntrepreneur. The company were forcing publicans to buy barrels of beer from their own suppliers, which would cost up to £100 more a barrel than they would be charged on the open market. One publican likened it to the old feudal system, when workers would be given vouchers, instead of wages, that they had to spend in their bosses shops! Another landlord, who had enough of this, and knowing a bit about law found that the 'beer tie' was, in fact, illegal - Britain's first pub strike was born.
As for the New Kensington, as it became more popular, and sold more beer, the owners kept trying to put up the rent.
Then, just to make the story even more complicated, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission told the big breweries that they had to sell off some of their pubs; which they did to small subsidiary companies that were owned by the .er big breweries! Then, drunk with power, Inntrepreneur began a war of attrition with court case after court case against any landlord or landlady that had dared to stand up to them. The Kenny was in and out of court until Inntrepreneur finally got the eviction notice they desired.
The most tragic part of all this, is that Miki along with other publicans, have taken Inntrepreneur to the European Court, in the belief that the beer tie is probably illegal under E.U. competition laws. But the case isn't due to be heard until 2001, when there's a very good chance the publicans will win. However, by then most will have been declared bankrupt and lost their pubs and homes.
What really sticks in peoples' throats is that both these pubs were more than just boozers.
One Kenny regular told the Anus, "The sole purpose of these large corporate pubs is to make money; although the Kenny and the Gladstone are still businesses, they provided a valuable community service. Call me old fashioned, but isn't that what a Public House is meant to be?!"
The New Kenny is in a prime location and will no doubt be ethnically cleansed of its old clientele - just look at what's happened to some of the pubs in the North Laine recently. Will it go the same way as the Green Dragon in Sydney Street, which has been sanitised and turned into The Office. Maybe it's called this in the hope that employees will see this as an extension of their work day instead of a relaxing lunch hour. Or what about The George, who ditched its comfy sofas in exchange for some interior decorating more in keeping with a railway waiting room.
The town boasts more than 280 pubs, but the range of establishments is diminishing. We are currently subject to a tidal wave of beer carrying with it a new Breed of Super-pubs and huge, faceless chains washing away hostelries of character, diversity and genuine local feel. Another angry drinker told us "In the days of yore, pubs used to be the focus for relaxation and community need. What we are being offered is stagnant, sterile clones. Dolly the Sheep eat your heart out."
It's not been all plain sailing. One place which went down the pan was Hot Shots, a bowling alley and bar in the centre of town, which closed after just a year and a half. But not before they'd ripped out the beautiful interior of an old 1930s art deco building that would have been perfect for a much needed large music venue and theatre in the town.
Yet it's not all doom and gloom. The Evening Star on Surrey St and the Hand In Hand are independent pubs that make their own beer on the premises and are still going strong (much like the beer). Pubs like these prove that there is no need for corporate take-overs. Give them your respect and support as these are examples of DIY public access buildings, and serve a bloody good pint as well!
DIRTY MARKET BLEEDERS
There are two names in Brighton which could be called 'market leaders' (although quite a few people told the Anus they we're more like 'market bleeders'.) C-Side (formerly Webb Kirby) own 15 pubs, 3 clubs and a gymnasium, while Zel own 23 pubs.
C-Side had the dubious honour of winning the scrooge bosses of Brighton two Christmases back. Bar-workers who tried to get a petition asking for more wages were told by their bosses that if they didn't like it, they could get lost. Throughout the town, people have horror stories of bad pay, being treated like dirt and being sacked on the spot for no reason.
What is even more galling is that Kirby was a Tory councillor who seems to have used his influence on the New Labour Council to push the C-Side vision of Brighton's pubs. The cheeky bastards even got grants from the Council to do up some of the pubs they acquired!
Of course, the Kenny and Gladstone regulars are not best known for lying down (unless it's been a particularly long drinking session) and taking the corporate shit that's thrown at them, and plans are afoot for a permanent autonomous space.
Meanwhile, in case you've missed it get down to the THE OLD REDHILL MOTORS COMMUNITY CENTRE, 104 North Road, Brighton. The centre has been opened to highlight the Prevention of Terrorism Bill that is being rushed through parliament, and which could effectively criminalise protest in this country. This is the last weekend. For details pop into the centre or ring 07720 486124.
PUBS U LIKE?
Already posters declaring Pubs-U-Like (more like fuck over the Pubs-U-Like) have been plastered all over the front, offering "new appearance, new landlords. and above all new atmosphere". The Anus asks everyone to welcome the new owners on the opening night. Remember to stay all day (or until they chuck you out) and encourage others to join in.
The Anus has been unable to contact Pubs-U-Like, so maybe our readers would like to have a go. Give them a call or send a fax on 01273 558748 or ring the mobile on 07702 333976. Obviously we wouldn't want you to waste their time with irrelevant questions or black faxes. Nor would we encourage you to engage them in a drunken debate.
Our sister pulication SchNEWS' main distribution point will now be at the Peace and Environment Centre in Gardner St (at the back of the shop). Please feel free to take bundles of this scurrilous rag and distribute at random.Anus disclaimer
The Evening Anus warns all patrons not to do anything slightly enjoyable in these new order pubs. Please don't have a laugh with your mates. In fact just sit down and be bored, don't talk politics, drink your beer then hurry up and fuck off. Then you will feel part of the community. Honest!
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Last updated 17th March 2000