Home | Archive | Party and Protest Guide | DIY Guide | Contacts and Links | Subscribe | About SchNEWS


Previous | SchNEWS 303 | Next | Index | PDF Version - download and distribute ! |  notes on PDF files


wake up! wake up! It's yer underground, overgroundSchNEWS

published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

Issue 303, Friday, 4th May, 2001

THREE THOUSAND CRAP ARRESTS

"The dice reflect the myth of the 'free market' within the Monopoly system. But this is an obvious lie; the dice are loaded from the start." Mayday Monopoly Game Guide.

After all the media hype and threats of rubber bullets, about 5,000 anti-capitalist protestors turned out to play Mayday Monopoly in London. Police did what they do best, herding people and bashing skulls, but yer suicidal SchNEWS hacks were still there, dodging the video cameras and truncheon blows to bring you the true story.

"I say I've never seen anything like it - I lie. Back home in South Africa, we had something very similar once. It was called the State of Emergency, and that too allowed police total freedom to detain and arrest and harass and intimidate under some draconian "special" anti-terrorist law. In Johannesburg, they used these laws to help people commit suicide out of police station buildings, miraculously losing their fingernails on the flight down - how long will it take for that to happen here?" - Cookie, one of those bloody protestors

Some would say we didn't even need to turn up. Oxford Street had been boarded up and thousands of police replaced the shopaholics, while opinion polls revealed even normal people think multinationals have too much power and are uncaring. The Financial Times meanwhile lamented "Business needs to do more to demonstrate the benefits. Governments must defend globalisation more vigorously. Otherwise, [the protesters] may win the battle for public opinion."

Top

Media Circus

"I was led to believe there was going to be absolute chaos and see lots of blood. But this is all very good natured." A bemused Canadian journalist to SchNEWS.

SchNEWS would never suggest that the media build up was over the top, contradictory and, predictably, rubbish. But apparently "Unorganised- but highly trained- anarchists are intent on causing trouble, under the command of 'hardcore anarchist ringleaders'. But they'll be difficult to control, as they haven't got any leaders. Police warned all those intent on criminality to stay away, while 'legitimate' protestors should also stay away because of all the violent thugs. Politicians fear a repeat of last year's violence when 150,000 anti-capitalists rampaged through the streets causing bloodshed. But then, anti-capitalists are not a threat 'cos there are only a couple of thousand of them." And so the media circus continued until the SchNEWS bullshitometer blew its fuses.

The police fed titbits of so-called intelligence to selected mainstream journalists to scare everyone away. On the day BBC journos had been instructed to search out violence and confrontation; they even had a helicopter up along with the three police choppers. Overseeing it all, was a command bunker in Scotland Yard with 24 screens on one wall, where top police chiefs could control everything in true Big Brother stylee.

"The day started peacefully enough..." Critical mass cyclists and skaters were up early, picking up free veggie burger breakfasts outside McDonalds and more revellers along the way, with numbers swelling to 1,000 by 10am. Police used a tactic they would repeat all day, namely the 'kettle'. Pen people in for a few hours, and if they try to get out hit 'em over the head. By now actions had sprouted up all over the capital but as 2,000 people converged on Oxford Circus they were detained for nearly eight hours including bemused tourists vainly waving passports at police. Smaller groups met up and a samba procession snaked round, gathering a posse of over 1000, breaking a few police lines, but never quite getting to Oxford Circus. Police eventually hemmed them in too, but thankfully, for once we didn't need to worry too much about pissed idiots throwing bottles from the back of the crowd cos all the off licences were closed.

Top

Wombling Free

More successful at breaking police lines were the Wombles. Using re-inforced banners and kitted out with shields, padding, hard hats and white overalls for protection against the inevitable truncheon blows, they gathered a crowd and the first line of cops retreated in fear. The next police line tried to stop them, but the padding and shields stood up to the onslaught and the cops retreated to the jubilation of the crowd. Two more police lines were broken. These people are not super heroes or martial arts experts and none of them have been trained in guerrilla warfare in the U.S. but 30 Wombles made a big difference to May Day. Imagine if there was 300 or even 3000 Wombles at the next demo?

Top

Advance to Go

We need to build a mass movement of people to ignore state scare tactics and get out on the streets. To do this we must try to get our message across a lot better. SchNEWS hasn't got any delusions about the mainstream media but our refusal to talk to the press this time mean't that academics and wannabe politicians whinging "We voted for Labour and they let us down" got airtime and are seen to represent us. When Justice? did the Squatters Estate Agents we had up to 10 people talking to the press which meant that no-one could be seen as the 'leader' and we got loads of ordinary people on side.

More importantly behind the media spectaculars, anarchists and and the like are busy working in their communities doing everything from turning empty buildings into social centres, organising kids events, setting up community gardens and co-ops, etc. Not always as sexy and adrenaline filled but essential none the less, and living, breathing anti-corporate examples of how we can show capitalism the door.


PIG PEN

Section 60 of the Criminal Justice Act '94 gives police blanket powers to stop and search anyone in a certain area where they 'reasonably suspect' there will be incidents of serious violence. They can't read anything of yours (address book, bank cards etc) and you don't have to give a name or address. The police may also detain people to prevent a breach of the peace where they fear one is imminent. The legality of this is questionable and Liberty are compiling reports of people penned up on the day. Email your story to: info@liberty-human-rights.org.uk or write to 21 Tabard St., London, SE1 4LA. If you were arrested, injured or saw arrests/police assaults contact the Legal, Defence and Monitoring Group, 020-82452930, ldmg@altavista.com

Top


CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK

Fare dodging, wearing sunglasses and a bike mask, having a teenth of cannabis, carrying a spray-can, sitting on a curb - these are some of the hate filled crimes people were nicked for on Mayday.


MAY BUG BALL

A day of free fun and frolics for all ages in central Brighton. Carnival dragon, bugs, bands, DJs and lots of live samba! Sunday 6th May. Meet at St Peter's Church, 2pm, or phone 01273-298192 on the day for venue.


Mayday Roundup

Dublin: a very successful and well-attended demonstration forced the Dublin Stock Exchange to shut early. Bristol: demos took place outside the Army's recruitment centre (a poster 'To kill or to be killed: that's the Army' was pasted up), the ever increasing number of 'employment' agencies, the Job Centre and Mucky D's. Only one arrest was recorded, an activist, trying to stop the coppers filming demonstrators, touched their camera - with a piece of Swiss Roll!

Birmingham: The police stopped any protest of strength occurring. The first arrivals to the protest were immediately surrounded and penned in under Section 60. There were about 40 people in this group, but it was clear that there were more people outside the police lines who could not reach the protest.

Glasgow: Over 1200 people participated in peaceful demos and a very successful recycling system was set up to deal with the copious amounts of empty bottles and cans being produced by the notorious Glasgow thirst!

Top

Throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of people took part in May Day actions, often hindered by police (unless they're fascists!)

Germany: Despite the fact that only fascists had state permission to demonstrate, in six major cities across Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Essen, Augsburg, Mannheim, and Dresden), anti-fascist demonstrators still showed their strength. Police throughout sided with fascists, including attacking a family street party at Mariannenplatz, firing a watercannon at the children's merry-go-round.

Greece: Thousands took part to protest against plans by the government to reform social security payments, as well as the threat of globalization.

Poland: In Warsaw over 1200 anarchists took part in a May Day march that lasted over 4 hours, stopping by many government offices and the US embassy to have a chat.

Slovakia: In the capital, Bratislava, hundreds gathered from several revolutionary groups and were visited by many unorganized people who showed interest in ideas of revolutionary anarchism.

Czech Republic: In Prague hundreds of people gathered with anarchist literature, magazines and stickers, as well as music from a soundsystem and free vegan hamburgers. On the demo, nazis came and started shouting nationalistic slogans, but cops protected them and then attacked protestors with batons and horses.

Pittsburgh, USA: 200 costumed people, children and pets celebrated mayday with chants, cheers, flags and a mobile maypole. Although starting peacefully enough, the police seemed unsure of what was going on and how to respond to it. Eventually finding their feet, at least 150 cops with dogs, motorcycles, horses, and paddywagons tried to direct the march. 6-10 arrests were made and police used pepper spray and physically beat several other demonstrators.

Long Beach, USA: With cops outnumbering protesters by at least 3 to 1 at times, it is unsurprising that there were over 60 arrests. Cornered demonstrators were shot at close range with rubber bullets. Bystanders who had no idea what Mayday was about were very alarmed at the "cops shooting kids for no reason".

New Zealand: Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators held the Carnival against Capitalism in Wellington, with several well organized groups protesting against privatisation of NZ's water services, free trade and globalisation.

Australia: Thousands took to the streets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Protesters three deep linked arms to block the entrance to Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) buildings in Sydney and Melbourne. A McDonalds restaurant near the Melbourne ASX was forced to close after being splashed with paint and slogans such as 'McFilth' and 'Would you like lies with that?'

Top


Kurds Get Dumped On

Whatever next? First lorry drivers, then farmers; now it's the turn of Tornado pilots to get a little miffed with 'inconsistencies' in government policy. Information coming to light about the RAF and USAF's 'humanitarian' role in patrolling the No-Fly zone over Kurdish areas in northern Iraq has set some stiff-upper-lips twitching: Pilots on patrol have been ordered back to base in Turkey- so that Turkish Air Force planes can go bomb the very villages the allies have been protecting!

Pilots have been speaking in confidence to Dr Eric Herring of Bristol Uni, an Iraq sanctions specialist. "They were all very unhappy about what they'd been ordered to do, and what they'd seen", he said. In the US, pilots' dissent has become an open secret. "You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound, loaded to the gills with munitions," said one. "Then they'd come out half an hour later with their munitions expended". Upon resuming their patrols, pilots would find "burning villages and lots of smoke and fire". Predictably, no official explanation has been forthcoming, but Dr Herring reckons it's classic 'divide and rule': "They have no desire for the Shi'ite majority to take control or for the Kurds to gain independence. Their policy is to keep them strong enough to cause trouble for Saddam while ensuring that Saddam is strong enough to keep repressing them."

Top

More than 10,000 Turkish troops invaded Iraq in December. Again, air patrols were 'suspended' while the Turks killed masses of civilians and fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK. In Turkey itself, the government has displaced millions of Kurds, killed thousands more and forbids them to learn their own language.

Blair & co look the other way, 'cos Turkey is a member of NATO. On the other hand, thanks to Jack Straw's Terrorism Act the PKK have become one of the new 21'outlawed' organisations in the UK- despite obeying a cease fire for the past two years.

To make it worse the Home Office has admitted a 'change of practice' in the way it deals with the huge number of Kurdish refugees. 78% (in Feb) are being denied asylum because northern Iraq is now deemed 'safe' for Kurds. Kurdish refugee Ali Namik said "I was tortured psychologically and physically. They're going to kill me, I know what they're like. I won't let them, I'll kill myself." Another man who worked at a power plant and refused to cut off power to Kurdish areas was arrested, beaten and tortured with electric shocks and a mock execution. He escaped to the UK, to find that Jack Straw regarded him as fleeing 'prosecution rather than persecution' and that his arrest was 'valid'! Fact: In 1999, Britain received one asylum seeker from Turkey for every 47,898 Turkey spent on UK arms.

Fact: In 1999, Britain received one asylum seeker from Turkey for every 47,898 Turkey spent on UK arms.

Top

* There's a demonstration Against the Terrorism Act and the banning of 21 organisations this Tuesday (8th) noon at the Home Office, Queen Anne's Gate, SW1. http://go.to/ta2000

* The death toll for hunger strikers protesting the inhumane isolation cells in Turkish prisons has reached 47. Letters of protest to: Prime Minister B. Ecevit 0090 312 418 5743; Justice Minister H.S. Turk 0090 312 417 3854. Contact The Campaign For Human Rights In Turkey 020 7275 8440 www.daymer.org/humanr

* Kurdish shareholders protested at Balfour Beatty AGM this week against the planned Ilisu dam which would flood the ancient city of Hasankeyf and leave 72,000 homeless. The Friends of the Earth motion that they adopt the World Commission on Dams guidelines was rejected - but 40% of shareholders abstained, while BB's Chair whinged "If we had known then how controversial this project would be we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble by not taking part in it." www.ilisu.org.uk.

Top


SchNEWS in brief

  • US anti-corporate journalist Greg Palast will be speaking at the Globalisation and its Disontents conference this Sunday (6) at Sallis Benney Theatre, Pavilion Parade, Brighton. Starts 9.30am, cost 5/2 students www.brighton.ac.uk/globalisation/index.html
  • RIP. Ron Stainer had a massive heart attack last week. For years Ron helped Travellers get permission for sites. He was also the owner of Wick Quarry where travellers sought santuary after the Battle of the Bean Field in 1985.
  • The fash will be once again trying to march in Bermondsey, London on the 12th May, meeting at South Bermondsey train station at 2pm. There will be a massive counter demo. Anyone for Wombling? Info: noplatform@antifa.net

INSIDE SchNEWS

Editor of Basque magazine 'Ardibeltza', Pepe Rei has been unlawfully imprisoned without charge since the 18th January - under the order of the Spanish Home office. While the publication is not part of ETA - the militant Basque separatist organisation - the government are using 'conspiracy with ETA' as an excuse to nullify a prominent voice of Basque autonomy. Then last Friday (27th April) the office was raided and Judge Garzon ordered the closure of Ardibeltza - a judge who had been exposed in a book by Pepe Rei two years ago for colluding with the Government torture of 200 Basque people suspected of ETA activity. Pepe Rei has suffered two heart attacks since going inside in January, and must be released now - another hearing is due for the 3rd of May. Like many radicals, anarchists and people trying to protect the culture, language and autonomy of the area, Pepe Rei has been lumped together with ETA - even though inevitably there is a large cross-over in beliefs, and the magazine did mention them. There have been many arrests in the past two years amongst the squatting and anarchist movement in Basque on suspicion of ETA membership - some just for having copies of 'Ardibeltza'. www.euskalinfo.f2s.com

Top


...and finally...

Among the MayDay communiques, SchNEWS received this anonymous one which we have edited due to space and decency: 'Tired of lock-ons, sit-ins, and street parties? Why not consider a few new ideas for action? How about a fuck-off? Imagine a fuck-off blockade in Shell headquarters. Or perhaps a mass May Day fuck on Oxford Street. The cops wouldn't know what hit 'em if they came across a couple of hippies going at it, let alone a whole pack of perverts humping in the capital. Now one for the vegan police, how about a sustained campaign of cannibalism? Not only is it a solution to over-population and global starvation, but eating the rich frees up much needed resources. Of course the media won't approve, so we say, eat the lying bastards. So it's broil a bureaucrat, roast a republican, pass me a cop-dog and feast on fascist-flambe with capitalist custard and papal source. Of course, sometimes the best action is inaction. Don't participate- watch it on TV! If something gets you worked up, refuse to leave your sofa until your demands are met! Better still, organise you friends to watch TV with you, you could even chain yourselves to the TV. Imagine the effect of millions of people, sitting in front of their TVs, refusing to leave... why the entire economy would crumble.' Honest.

Top


disclaimer
SchNEWS warns all police officers you've made your point and had some fun, now it's time to go home. Please don't take part in any illegal round-ups or criminal activities, in fact just stick your feet and yer shields up, watch TV, go on endless truncheoning sprees.then you'll feel content.


Cor-blimley-they’re-practically-giving-them-away book offer SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 5 inc SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 5 inc. SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more 6 + 1.20 postage (US Postage 4.00 for individual books, £13 for all four). In the UK you can get the fist three for 15 inc. postage. And finally.... The Schquall book at only £8.00 inc postage. In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. All the above books are available from the Brighton Peace Centre, saving postage yer tight gits.



Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or 15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, 1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners. You can also pick SchNEWS up at the Brighton Peace and Environment Centre at 43 Gardner Street, Brighton.

To unsubscribe to SchNEWS email, send a message to listproc@gn.apc.org with only "unsubscribe schnews-l" (without the quotes) in the body. This must be sent using the name and from the email address you originally subscribed from.

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 2DX, England
Phone/Fax (call before faxing): 01273 685913
Email: schnews@brighton.co.uk Web: http://www.schnews.org.uk/ and http://www.schnews.com


Last updated 4th May 2001
@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!

SchNEWS Web Womble Worshippers (webmaster@schnews.org.uk schnews@riseup.net)