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  Home | Friday 26th April 2002 | Issue 351
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! It's yer read under the bed...
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Story Links:
Maybe Mayfair Mayhem | Throwing a Wombly | London Calling | May Procession | Crap Arrests of the Week | Close Chavez | SchNEWS in Brief | Kissing Ass | RIP | Caterpillars of Society | Lodgers Wanted | ...and finally...



Two weeks ago the Radical Dairy, a squatted social centre in Stoke Newington, was raided by the cops on the pretext that drugs and electricity were being used illegally. No arrests were made but two computers were taken as ‘evidence’ that electricity was being smoked, and just for good measure the leccy board then dug up the road and removed the centre from the National Grid! This sort of over-the-top activity can only mean one thing - May Day will soon be upon us. It’s that time of year again - when anarchists climb out of their winter gutters and threaten the very fabric of our society.

The raid on the London centre follows increased activity from the cops, which has been steadily building over the past few months. The Met Police threatened to raid any internet servers who dared host the website for this year’s ‘Mayday Festival of Alternatives’ while at MayDay meetings and fundraisers cops hang around outside like a bad smell snapping pictures and putting pressure on landlords of any venues that are being used. Meanwhile the corporate media have talked about the most violent May Day for decades and running battles with the cops.

Throwing a Wombly

Seven WOMBLES (whose dress sense makes the police break out into hot sweats and reach for their truncheons) are up in court at the beginning of next week after being nicked on Hallowe’en. They were arrested while walking down Oxford Street on their way to a party, many wearing white overalls to symbolise ghosts (the original context of the white overall movement in Italy) and Halloween masks. The cops involved were part of “Operation Calm”, an anti-terrorist response to September 11th who calmly started pushing people up against shop windows, arresting them for complaining then holding them for up to 19 hours. By some amazing co-incidence the trial will be going on during May Day and it looks like the judge will be Roger Davies who was in charge of all last years Mayday trials. This is the man who sent down someone for three months for throwing a crumpled up piece of paper at a cop and told a Romanian woman that he’d put their children into care if they were caught begging again. Last summer the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG) uncovered secret Mayday Sentencing Guidelines that instruct Judges to hand down heavy sentences to those arrested during May Day actions. The document titled “Mayhem” first came to the attention of the LDMG at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court. The defence barrister asked to look at the document, but the court refused this on the grounds that it was secret! As for the Radical Dairy – well the centre is still running thanks to generators, candles and a lot of local goodwill. The centre has proved very popular with local residents who have seen Hackney Council shut down and sell off community assets in order to try to pay off its debts. One local resident said, “The people here have been nothing but good for the local community. This place was empty for three years, that’s bad for everybody: it was unsafe and it was unhealthy. It is now clean, occupied, safe. It’s used for socially constructive purposes.” One local 15-year-old girl added “I think the Radical Dairy is a good place for the community. It’s a better place for us kids to go because we can play on the decks and also learn new things like yoga and shiatsu which are fun …the police should not be bothering the people in The Radical Dairy when there is so much criminal activity happening on the streets of Hackney. We can use the computers here to do school work and use the Internet free for research.”

So, while the police are no doubt scanning the computers for links between the anti-capitalist movement and Al-Qaeda, a few local pissed off kids are wondering when they will get their homework back.

* The Wombles Trial is from 29 April - 3 May at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court, SW1. Demo outside everyday wear a white overall/white armband in solidarity. Details: 07960 973847 sevensupport@temporary.org.uk www.wombles.org.uk

* The Radical Dairy is at 47 Kynaston Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 Tel 020 7249 6996

London Calling

Full list of the ‘Mayday Festival of Alternatives’ from 26th April till May 6th and “attempting to provide constructive ideas and alternatives to commercial and corporate Britain” check out www.ourmayday.org.uk or call 07786 716335.

* 7.30am Critical Mass – from the south (Camberwell Green) and north (Camden Town Tube), to meet up at 10am outside US Embassy, Grosvenor Square.

* 9am Breakfast Against Routine Fit-ups. - Vegan breakfast outside WOMBLES trial at Horseferry Road, SW1.

1pm Mass Action: “Mayday in Mayfair” - Multiple Meet-up Points with four themes - Travelling Circus, Wake for Capitalism, Carniball! (old fashioned footie) and Critical Mass bike ride.

“Now one of the most opulent and cloistered areas in the capital, full of luxury pads, exclusive shops, fancy hotels and national embassies, (Mayfair) takes its name from the fair which was held every year from 1 May for 15 days until its suppression in the mid-18th century. Mayday in Mayfair will be a fluid, spontaneous and exciting return to the Mayfayre, happening everywhere at once, without a fixed starting point or finish..! We all need to take the initiative in Mayfair... keep moving and don’t let the cops trap and surround you! This way our festivities will not be crushed.”

* 5pm “Nobody is illegal” Sexual Freedom Coalition event in Soho, with sex workers union & samba band - meet Cambridge Circus.

* 8pm - 1am Comedy and magic night at Chats Palace, 42 Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton, E8. Nearest train station: Homerton.

May Procession

Brighton April 30th Sainsbury’s go to court to evict the Locomotive Works Community Project. Demo against Sainsbury’s meet Sat 27th 1pm at the Loco Works (1 New England St). Mayday - events at the Loco Works, with Beltane Bonfire show at 9pm. 01273-622727.

Liverpool Noon from St Lukes (bombed out church) on Bury St. Nightime. Play about Tolpuddle Martyrs at Casa, Hope Street followed by bands and entertainment. www.peoplenotprofit.co.uk
Bradford 12.30pm Infirmary Fields, Westgate (adj Beehive pub) march through town to Centenary Square. www.1in12.com

Edinburgh Noon onwards in Princes Street Gardens (West) 0131 557 6242 www.ourmayday.org/edinburgh/

Glasgow Noon outside Buchanan tube in the city centre. www.ourmayday.org/glasgow

Haringey 10 days of Mayday activities & a spoof newspaper Tel. 0208 374 5027

Mayday Mayhem against the Fur Trade 10am outside Fairheads, 60-64 Cranbrook Rd., Ilford. Call day before to check event is still happening 12pm Philip Hockley’s, 20 Conduit St., W1 - biggest fur shop left in London. London Animal Action 0845 4584775 laa@londonaa.demon.co.uk

Noon Sat 4th Nottingham Carnival from Forest Recreation Ground to The Old Market Square, live music stage and speakers till 4.30 pm maydayuk@yahoo.co.uk

Crap Arrests of the Week

For not paying library fines. An American woman who failed to return her 3 library books was jailed for 10 days and fined $125. Hopefully that will teach her not to renew them.

For stickering. 8 people were arrested for criminal damage after one sticker was put on the window of a worker from the Newchurch Guinea Pig farm. All 8 were bailed to return to the police station, in the meantime police are undertaking forensic anaylsis of the offending sticker. www.guineapigs.org.uk

Close Chavez

“There isn’t a single political person in Latin America who does not believe that the CIA was involved in some form, and in the same way, as it was in Chile. Those responsible for Latin America in the state department are the most extremist, off-the-wall team - 7 out of the top 12 officials in the Latin American department are Cuban-Americans” - Larry Birns Director of the Council of Hemispheric Affairs.

The Venezuelan people stuck two fingers up at the US this month and reinstated President Hugo Chavez, less than 48 hours after a US backed coup had overthrown him. Chavez, who led his own failed coup in 1992, was overthrown by a military junta following violence at an anti-Chávez demonstration. The coup had all the hallmarks of a classic CIA-backed plot with misinformation, black propaganda and agent provocateurs casually shooting demonstrators, creating a situation of fear and panic which would allow the military to step in, overthrow the president and bring calm back to the country. Unconvinced? A cable sent from the CIA to its station chief in Chile during the overthrow of Salvador Allende read: “Re: Coup. Activities to include propaganda, black operations, disinformation, or anything else your imagination can conjure...” The coup began with an Anti-Chavez demonstration with over 150,000 people gathered in E Caracas; the wealthy homeland of his opponents, in support of striking oil workers. When the protestors decided to march on the presidential palace word got out to Chavez supporters who mobilised to stop the march. Violent clashes broke out during which gunmen casually fired from rooftops and bridges into the crowd killing at least 14 people and wounding over 100 more.

Anti-Chavez supporters claim it was the Chavez supporters who started firing at them yet eyewitnesses have said the shooting began from a roadway overpass controlled by the anti-Chavez Metropolitan Police, and the first to be killed were pro-Chavez demonstrators. Confirmation of the eyewitness reports came from the secretary of health for metropolitan Caracas, who reported that of those who died ‘the most serious wounds were in the cranium and cheek... they appeared to be shots from above’. According to the military they intervened to stop further bloodshed. When confronted over the shootings Chavez resigned and handed the presidency over to the junta. No resignation note has been produced. With the Junta in command the presidency went to Pedro Carmona, head of Venezuela’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry and organiser of the oil strike. He immediately operated like a dictator dismissing the entire Congress and Supreme Court, abolishing the constitution and the right to fire any elected state or municipal leader.

With the newly imposed president sipping champagne in the presidential palace the US Ambassador visited to give the coup the US’s blessing. At the same time neighbouring Latin American countries condemned the coup and refused to recognise the illegitimate, un-elected president. Worse still Venezuela was not going to sit there and allow a govt to be imposed on them by the US and so set about getting their real and democratically elected president back. Protests broke out through Venezuela. The middle-ranking members of the military influenced by the demos and the international response changed their mind about the coup, had the 5 senior members of the junta arrested, forced Carmona to resign and handed the presidency over to Chavez’s vice president who then handed it back to Chavez- the 3rd president in 3 days!


SchNEWS in Brief

  • 12 towns and cities took part in Wednesday’s day of action against casualisation organised by the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign. In Brighton 80 people including a band, lots of balloons and an old dragon demonstrated outside Personnel Selection, the temp agency that sent Simon to his death. The company decided to shut down for the afternoon as a mark of respect. www.simonjones.org.uk
  • 75,000 marched in Washington DC last Saturday. Originally planned as a mobilisation against the World Bank and IMF, people also marched against the wars on drugs and terror and for Israel to withdraw from Palestine. http://dc.indymedia.org
  • Choke on It demo outside Downing Street where the Queen, Tony Blair and ex-Prime Ministers will be having a tea party. Meet 6pm, Monday 29th www.fuckthejubilee.com Tel: 07931 301901
  • Cold Bath Times is a new alternative monthly newsletter currently being set up in Southampton. If you’d like to get involved coldbathinfo@yahoo.co.uk
  • Stourbridge ABC are campaigning against a bypass that will destroy 37m of green belt land. They would really appreciate any help/advice kari@cauldron90.freeserve.co.uk
  • April 16 saw the first general strike in Italy for 20 yrs with the country brought to a halt by over 80% of union workers stopping work for 8 hrs, and over 2m people took part in street protests against govt labour policies.
  • Five acres of GM crops in the Highlands have been mysteriously destroyed. The incident comes only days after a Scottish parliamentary committee called for the crop trial, which had just started to flower, to be ploughed up www.genetixactionscotland.org.uk
  • A pink castle has appeared on a field near Littlemoor estate, Weymouth, which is due to be planted with GM maize soon. Castle residents are vowing to stay to prevent the crop being planted. Support is urgently needed Tel: 07815 925214 www.sayhi.to/thecastle
  • Sheffield Toxic Avengers were stopped by police from building a 13’ model of an incinerator in the front garden of Councillor Peter Moore. A spokesperson for the group said “Peter Moore wants to build an incinerator in our front yard, so we thought we’d build one in his.”
  • Manchester’s 2nd radical bookfair is happening on the 5th May, 1-5pm, at Merci, Bridge Mill, 22A Beswick St, Ancoats. www.radicalbookfair.org.uk
  • Two ex-Black Panthers, one who spent years in American prisons are on a tour of N England over May Day week, inc. a date at the Manchester Bookfair. See SchNEWS party and protest site for details

Kissing Ass

Demonstrators turned out on Wednesday to greet Henry Kissinger who was in London to give a talk at the Institute of Directors’ conference. Kissinger served as US National Security Adviser from 1969-73 and as Secretary of State between 1973-77 and has been described as the world’s biggest war criminal. A Spanish judge unsuccessfully sought to have Britain send Kissinger to Madrid to testify about his alleged involvement in “Operation Condor,” a concerted plot by former military dictatorships in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to persecute and eliminate their opponents during the 1970s and 1980s. Outside London’s Royal Albert Hall demonstrators held a mock trial with a huge effigy of Kissinger. The road outside was blocked for a while before heavy handed police moved in, two people were arrested. As one protester said “Despite a huge policing operation, Kissinger was not arrested”.



* Pablo, who died in his sleep two weeks ago. Well known around the old protest camps, living life on the fast lane. * 22 year old Beth O’Brien died after falling 150 ft from a tree at Eagle Creek tree protest site in the Mt. Hood National Forest Oregon, USA. Beth’s death came as protestors were packing up camp after winning their battle to save the woodland from road developers. www.cascadiaforestalliance.org

Caterpillars of Society

On April 11th pro-Palestinian activists occupied the Caterpillar HQ in Desford, Leicestershire in protest at the bulldozer-building company profiteering from the murderous Israeli activity in Palestine. Activists gained access to all parts of the site, occupied the managing director’s office, and leafleted the 1,500 workforce some of who helped by handing some out to their colleagues. Israel uses Caterpillar bulldozers to wreak enormous destruction in the Occupied Territories - bulldozing Palestinians’ homes, creating roadblocks, and digging mass graves.

* Check out what’s really going on in Palestine www.electronicintifada.com/diaries/index.html ** Peace activists who’ve recently returned from Palestine are holding a meeting on Monday (29th) Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James St, Sheffield ** The Sussex University Students who took part in international solidarity actions in Palestine are giving a talk next Saturday (4) 2 pm. at the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton** From 24th June- 7th July the International Solidarity Movement are organising non-violent direct actions in Palestine alongside the Palestinians. As they say “We do not know what the situation will be like this summer. If the Occupation continues, we will resist. If it ends, we will joyfully reconstruct”. To prepare for this there will be a UK training weekend. uksolidarity@yahoo.co.uk, www.palsolidarity.org

Lodgers Wanted

The Forest Lodge Collective squatted housing project in Nottingham has been renovating its grade 2 listed building since 1998. The lodge has been housing homeless people, providing them with a stepping-stone to save money for more secure accommodation. The lodge is now facing eviction by the council, who own the building, and who have refused to say what they are doing with the property. The Collective are desperately trying to gain an order of consent that will allow them to stay until there are definite plans for the building. They’d greatly appreciate any help/advice. theforestlodge@hotmail.com, www.forestlodge.150m.com

And Finally...

aving the cheek to fight for a better world, the mass media focuses on protests in Seattle and Genoa, while burying news of general strikes and mass protests in countries like Argentina. But we know that it will only be people around the world working together and linking up with international struggles, that can defeat capitalism. As one of the speakers at last year’s National Assembly of piqueteros, put it, “Argentina is part of a world-wide crisis – all over the world piqueteros are arising. And last week, 300,000 piqueteros invaded the city of Genoa to say ‘no’ to world-wide imperialism.” Others have taken up the slogan ‘Todos Somos Argentinos’ – ‘We Are All Argentineans’ –because people know that what is happening now in Argentina will be happening in a country near you soon if the IMF and their big business mates carry on destroying the planet in their never ending search for profit. Unless of course, we stop ‘em.

SchNEWS warns all readers now Commander Paddick’s seen the anarchist light he’s gonna be May Queen with Druids dancin’ round his pole. Honest.

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