24,000 people, mostly children, die from poverty every
day. This is the true terrorism and it is aided and abetted by politicians
from rich, privileged and powerful countries who, in the cause of
profit and reigning respectability, are salesman of death.
- John Pilger.
Were sorry dear SchNEWS readers to interrupt your enjoyment
of the World Cup and the right royal knees-up, and we know that
for most of us its a very long way away, but it looks like,
a nuclear war could be just around the corner.
With a million battle-ready soldiers facing off against each other
on the India-Pakistan border and nuclear warheads at the ready;
India is talking of a decisive victory whilst Pakistan
rattles its nuclear sabre by carrying out missile tests as the rest
of the world looks on, strangely powerless. Neither Pakistan or
India seems to care that a nuclear war could see 12 million dead
and 7 million wounded in the space of a single hour an instant
slaughter unprecedented in the history of mankind.
Still, we in England can be proud of the role we have played. No,
not by the last minute diplomatic visits by the Foreign Secretary
but by our generous arms dealings. In 2000 the Government approved
nearly 700 export licenses to India and Pakistan, showing how we
havent lost our sense of fair play by flogging weapons and
military equipment to both countries. Is this what Neo-Labour meant
when they talked about an ethical foreign policy when
they first came to power?
In January, as the two countries prepared for war, a Presidential
Blair arrived in the subcontinent on what was called a peace
mission which coincided with the UK flogging 60 Hawk
jets to India for a billion pounds some peace there. Three
weeks later, the British High Commission in New Delhi threw a party
at an arms fair for a group of arms salesman licking their lips
at the Afghanistan and Kashmir crisis. In fact so keen has the Blair
government been to exploit this opportunity of war that a British
official has the full time assignment in New Delhi of defence
As for our Foreign Secretary calling on the two countries for restraint,
Defence Minister Geoff Hoon showed good old British reserve (or
hypocrisy) when he recently told the Defence Select Committee There
are clearly some states who would be deterred by the fact that the
United Kingdom possesses nuclear weapons and has the willingness
and ability to use them in appropriate circumstances
can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would
be willing to use our nuclear weapons. Which makes all of
us at SchNEWS Towers sleep a lot more soundly at night.
So even if our boys dont bring back the World Cup, we can
at least all be proud of the fact that this country is still up
with the best in the world (second behind the good old US of A)
when it comes to selling weapons to anyone who wants them, especially
if they are on the brink of war.
The leaders of India and Pakistan have now appropriated to
themselves, as others had done before, the power that was Gods
alone to kill mountains, make the earth quake, bring the sea to
boil, and destroy humanity. - Eqbal Ahmad, political activist
As the British Empire crumbled British forces withdrew from the
Indian subcontinent, leaving a country divided, primarily on religious
grounds, into India and Pakistan. At that time Kashmir was said
to be part of India, but this has been contested ever since. The
major stumbling block has been religious, as Kashmirs population
is predominantly Muslim, which sets it apart form the Indian population
which is predominantly Hindi.
In 1947 a United Nations resolution called for a referendum in Kashmir,
but it was never carried out, the probable reason being that the
Indian government feared the population would support Kashmirs
unification with Pakistan.
This lack of any decision over Kashmirs sovereignty has made
it the obvious place for Pakistan and India to play out their differences,
with Kashmir becoming a part religious part political football cum
Over the last 11 years around 30,000 people have died in the Kashmir
conflict and what happens there is at the heart of the continuing
tension between the two nations. Since the attack on the Indian
Parliament building in December 2001, this tension has grown considerably
with India accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorist groups; while
Pakistan, in turn, pledges its support for Kashmiri freedom fighters,
proving that one states terrorist is anothers freedom
fighter. There have been three India/Pakistan wars since 1947, the
difference this time round is that both sides have nuclear weapons.
to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the price of one Hawk bomber
is roughly the amount needed to provide 1.5 million people with
fresh water for life.
* Stop the Arms Trade Week: 8-16 June organised by Campaign Against
Arms Trade. This year the focus is on the public funding of the
arms trade - both the £760m of government subsidies per annum
as well as the estimated £1 billion of local authority investments
in arms trade companies. For an info pack email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 020-7281-0297 To check out your favourite arms companies
operating in the UK see www.caat.org.uk.
* 13-18 June Trident Ploughshares Disarmament Camp, outside Aldermaston
Atomic Weapons Establishment near Reading, Berkshire. Aldermaston
was recently involved in nuclear weapon tests in America and they
want to carry out more tests in Britain to refine and develop the
current bombs ensuring they will have the biggest bang! 0845-4582544
* Bypass the Corporate Media: http://india.indymedia.org
* Recommended reading: John Pilger The New Rulers of the World
(Verso 2002). Salman Rushie Midnight Children.
Arrest of the Week
For naming children
Nine families in the Turkish town of Izmar have been charged with
being a tool of propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK) for the treacherous act of giving their children traditional
Kurdish names. In its tyrannical fight against the PKK, the Turkish
government has drawn up a list of banned Kurdish names, even though
some of the names, such as Helin and Baran, are common in Turkey
and are used by Turks as well as Kurds. And while another case,
held just one day earlier in the town of Dicle, saw similar charges
against seven parents dropped, the Izmar families are not so lucky
- its likely theyll be forced by the courts to rename
Nike, Reebok and friends are all expecting to net fat profits from
the World Cup, but they have yet to clean up their act on child
labour and working conditions. Although FIFA and UNICEF are joining
forces to dedicate the World Cup to the children (bless em).
Child labour is still common and other labour standards are
still grossly violated despite the fact that the contracts between
FIFA and sporting goods companies promise the opposite, so
says Kailash Satyarthi, from the Global March Against Child Labour.
We hope that FIFA and the sporting goods industry will take
the leadership to make football truly a fair game for all,
declared Satyarthi. If Nike were to reduce its publicity and promotion
budget by just 3.4%, it could double the pay of all employees working
for Nike contractors in China and Indonesia. In Indonesia, production
line workers earn an average of 80p per day. David Beckham earns
£110,000 a week, more than enough to keep Posh in dresses.
Nike has spent $73 million to buy the right to use an Elvis song
in its World Cup marketing campaign. But in the dodgy, subcontracted
factories Nike uses around the world, starvation wages are paid
to the thousands of workers who produce their goods. Instead of
paying their workers a living wage, Nikes profits (over $400
million a year) are helping their chairman Phil Knight increase
his $6 billion personal fortune, and paying for flash advertising
campaigns to keep the cash rolling in.
So, NoSweat is bringing the struggle to NIKETOWN, the flagship UK
store. Forget Nikes 3-a-side tournament and come to Oxford
Circus to shut down NIKETOWN. Bring your mates and a football for
the 3-a-side No Sweat Match of the Day. Lets turn Nikes
advertising blitz into an own goal. On Saturday June 15th 2pm, Oxford
Circus, Central London. Theres also a 5-a-side tournament
the weekend after the World Cup (7th July) to raise funds for Indonesian
trade unions. Rob Newman and Billy Bragg will be there and it is
rumoured that the winners will have to face comedian Mark Thomas
in a croquet match. More info: No Sweat 07904-431959 www.nosweat.org.uk
Tomek Wilkoszewski, a Polish student, is currently
serving 15 years in a Polish jail after been framed for murder.
Tomek, who was studying in Radomsko, was subject to regular attacks
from local Nazis who started fights with people that didnt
come from the town. During one of these fights, those being attacked
decided to defend themselves and one of the Nazis died after bleeding
to death whilst waiting for an ambulance. Tomek was accused of the
murder after a flawed trial. He was sentenced to 15 years whilst
the Nazis involved in the incident received only 8 years each.
Tomek has been refused parole. His supporters now want the president
to look at his case. In the meantime, they would like to raise funds
for a lawyer who may be able to help make conditions in jail better
for him. Write to (in English preferably) Tomek Wilkoszewski, Zaklad
Karny, Ul. Orzechowa 5, 98-200 Sieradz, Poland. The 25th June is
a day of action for Tomek Wilkoszewski and the campaign is asking
people to protest outside Polish Embassies on the day. www.tomek.most.org.pl
*A protester at this years May Day who was arrested for allegedly
throwing a bottle at police urgently needs witnesses, otherwise
he could be facing 6 months in prison. The alleged offending plastic
bottle was in fact a harmless punctured football. If you saw the
incident please contact the SchNEWS office or email email@example.com
REBEL ALLIANCE: Brightons get together
of Direct Action groups and individuals, 7.30pm 11th July at Harvest
Forestry squat, New England Street.
** Free Alternative Jubilee Alldayer 4th
June noon-dusk, Concorde2, Brighton - Jamaican & Italian food,
DJs, Bands, fire jugglers, steel drumming, stalls and fun
** Any holiday plans? Get hold of The Good Alternative
Travel Guide with info on ethical tourist projects. Tourism
Concern, 020-7753-3330 www.tourismconcern.org.uk
** The government in a momentary fit of sanity has
refused permission for the expansion of an incinerator in Edmonton,
North London which would have turned it into one of the largest
in the world. www.greenpeace.org.uk
** A Hungarian Radical Bookshop is facing
closure unless they can raise over 1000 Euros to pay their rent
(thats about £600). Theyd really appreciate any
donations. Postal address is Goldolko Auntonom Antikvarium, Budapest
1066 O u40, Hungary. www.geocities.com/subesipu/
** Envision is trying to recruit at least
30 people to help schools in London develop their own eco-projects.
More info check out www.envision.org.uk
** A new Social Centre has just been opened
at 227 Deptford High St, London.
** In a report published this week, Amnesty
International have accused the British Government of using the
attack on the Twin Towers to rush through legislation unparalleled
in Europe which seriously erodes our human rights all
in the name of national security. Amnesty rated the UKs civil
liberties-robbing reaction to the Twin Towers alongside those of
India and South Korea, who knows what further steps are being dreamt
up in the Home Office, all in the name of the war against
It has been 25 years since the Peace Tax Campaign was established,
encouraging people to withhold 10% of their taxes from the government,
roughly the estimated amount that is spent on the military in the
UK. One man who is refusing wrote in an open letter to the Inland
Revenue withdrawing financial support for the war seems to
be the only means of objecting to the bombing... Every week, civilians
including children are maimed or killed by unexploded cluster ordinance
left in Kosovo by American and British forces more than two years
ago. Their use in Afghanistan is unforgivable and I wont pay
for it. Peace Tax Campaign 0870-7773223 firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, May 21st at a conference for Australian accountants,
a representative of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced
that his organisation was going to dissolve and reform, and begin
to assist the worlds poor. The Australian accountants, after
the initial shock had worn off, soon came around to the idea of
giving something back to the countries weve been doing
so well from. Hearing of the announcement, the Canadian government
discussed it in Parliament, but couldnt decide how theyd
cope without the WTO to tell them who they could trade with. The
Canadians were therefore pleased to hear that the whole thing was
a hoax. Although the Australians thought they were listening to
somebody from the WTO, it was in fact an impostor from the now infamous
Yes Men whose parody website http://gatt.org
has managed to fool unsuspecting capitalists to book them to represent
the WTO delegates at conferences. Despite being discovered, the
Yes Men believe the jokes on the WTO. Weve already
demonstrated that audiences of experts will accept anything whatsoever
so long as it comes from the mouth of the WTO.
Malawi the sixth poorest country in the world is
on the verge of famine, and if nothing is done, it is expected that
at least 2 million of its 11 million population will die.
But the Malawian government are trying to keep their problem under
wraps so it doesnt put off tourists.
The famine has been blamed on excessive rains and
prolonged drought. But this is only part of the picture. Just three
months before the crisis began the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
ordered Malawi to sell off the grain it had in storage the money
they made then undoubtedly went straight back to line the pockets
of the IMF. Now Malawi are facing a severe grain shortage and are
being forced to import grain at three times the cost of that they
sold a few months ago. Doh! 70% of the population can no longer
feed themselves and are starving. A small minority of the population
though are doing very well out of the IMFs screwed up economic
policies and the country now has the second highest disparity between
rich and poor in the world. The IMF have refused to help the Malawi
government anymore, so theyve been forced to plunge themselves
further into debt with another bunch of dodgy loan sharks. www.wsws.org/articles/2002/mar2002/mala-m14.shtml
Grants are now available towards installation costs of solar panels.
By applying you could save yourself between 40 and 65% on total installation
costs. For more information see www.solargrants.org.uk
or call the Application Helpline 0800-2983978
The Polices attempts to stop protesters taking part in last
weekends protest at Titnore Woods near Worthing in Sussex were unsuccessful
as hundreds of people still turned out and managed to block Titnore
Lane for a couple of hours. In the run up to the protest, police had
spurred on the local rag to run a story entitled Dont
walk into trees trouble with warnings that militant eco-activists
were going to take over the protest, and then tramp across fields,
damage crops, and disturbs wildlife. Which of course is going to cause
a lot more damage than the bulldozing of the woodland to build 895
A European Union report has blasted all the myths governments are
using to justify their racist immigration policies. The report concludes
that refugees far from coming to Europe to live a life of
luxury on benefits, are largely fleeing war and persecution
in their own countries. The report also goes on to say that Europes
flood of refugees is more like a trickle compared to
other much poorer countries. This year the UK is expected to get
78,000 asylum application. Rather insignificant compared to the
2 million refugees in Pakistan and 680,000 in Tanzania.
The European No Border network was set up to bring together campaign
groups across Europe to protest against the harmonising of brutal
immigration policies in Fortress Europe while countries
put up barricades to asylum seekers they are pulling down barriers
to trade so we can be swamped by sweatshop consumer crap. This summer
a chain of border camps is taking place across Europe. The camps
aim to create a space for people to gather, discuss and take action
against militarised borders and racist immigration policies. Seven
camps are so far planned for this year in Germany, Poland, Finland,
Slovenia and France.
The No Borders camp in Strasbourg, France (19-28 July) is described
as a ten-day laboratory of creative resistance and civil disobedience
to reinforce demands for freedom of movement and settlement.
Strasbourg was chosen as the location of the camp because it is
home to the central database of the Schengen Information System
(SchNEWS 312). A European wide computer system that can be consulted
to determine whether a person is wanted for deportation or arrest,
as well as providing other information used to monitor an individuals
movements and activities. www.noborders.org
Attention walkers, ramblers, and lovers of the great outdoors!
Are you bored, restless, looking for something NEW to spice up your
treks? Do your countryside hikes lack a pervading sense of danger,
aggression, and militaristic threat?
If so, SchNEWS has found the book for you - the newly published
fourth edition of Walks on MOD Lands. Always helpful,
the Ministry of Defence assures hikers that walks through danger
areas are only open on non-firing days, and has
even developed a sunny grading system for its walks, including such
categories as Walk on the Wildside, Sunday Stroll
and A Taste of the Sea. Top tip for your MOD lands experience:
Do not approach, touch or pick up any metal objects lying
on the ground. Otherwise you could be doing a bit of flying.For
more info on this exciting new outdoor opportunity, visit www.defence-estates.mod.uk/access/walks_index.htm
or write to Wendy Molyneux, Agency Secretariat, Defence Estates,
St. Georges House, Blakemore Drive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands,
B75 7RL and tell her just where she can put her disused metal objects!!
SchNEWS warns all readers theres nothing like a big bang
at the end of a garden party. Honest.
No SchNEWS next week too busy flag waving for the Jubilee
and watching the World Cup in our nuclear bunkers.
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