Home | Friday 31st May 2002 | Issue 357/8

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Kashmir Sweater | Hawking Jets | 20th Century Kashmir | Crap Arrest of The Week | Penalty Labour | Inside SchNEWS | SchNEWS in brief | 1 In 10 | WOT? | Grain of Truth | Positive SchNEWS | Bunch of Tits | NO BORDERS | ...and finally...



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.

We’re 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 it’s 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 haven’t 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?

Hawking Jets

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 supply.”

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… They 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 don’t 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.

20th Century Kashmir

“The leaders of India and Pakistan have now appropriated to themselves, as others had done before, the power that was God’s alone to kill mountains, make the earth quake, bring the sea to boil, and destroy humanity.” - Eqbal Ahmad, political activist and writer.

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 Kashmir’s 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 Kashmir’s unification with Pakistan.

This lack of any decision over Kashmir’s 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 time bomb.
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 state’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. There have been three India/Pakistan wars since 1947, the difference this time round is that both sides have nuclear weapons.

According 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: chris.cole@caat.demon.co.uk or call 020-7281-0297 To check out your favourite arms companies operating in the UK see

* 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:

* Recommended reading: John Pilger ‘The New Rulers of the World’ (Verso 2002). Salman Rushie ‘Midnight Children’.

Crap 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 - it’s likely they’ll be forced by the courts to rename their children!


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, Nike’s 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 Nike’s 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. Let’s turn Nike’s advertising blitz into an own goal. On Saturday June 15th 2pm, Oxford Circus, Central London. There’s 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

Inside SchNEWS

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 didn’t 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 Nazi’s 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 kubla.khan@ntlworld.com

SchNEWS in brief

REBEL ALLIANCE: Brighton’s 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, DJ’s, Bands, fire jugglers, steel drumming, stalls and fun 4 kidz.

** 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 (that’s about £600). They’d 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 UK’s 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 terrorism.’

1 in 10

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 won’t pay for it.” Peace Tax Campaign 0870-7773223 info@conscienceonline.org.uk


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 world’s poor. The Australian accountants, after the initial shock had worn off, soon came around to the idea of “giving something back to the countries we’ve been doing so well from.” Hearing of the announcement, the Canadian government discussed it in Parliament, but couldn’t decide how they’d 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 joke’s on the WTO. “We’ve already demonstrated that audiences of experts will accept anything whatsoever so long as it comes from the mouth of the WTO.”

Grain of Truth

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 it’s 11 million population will die. But the Malawian government are trying to keep their problem under wraps so it “doesn’t 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 IMF’s 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 they’ve been forced to plunge themselves further into debt with another bunch of dodgy loan sharks. www.wsws.org/articles/2002/mar2002/mala-m14.shtml

Positive SchNEWS

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 Police’s 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 “Don’t 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 homes. www.worthinga27.freeserve.co.uk


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 Europe’s ‘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 individual’s movements and activities. www.noborders.org

...and finally...

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 there’s 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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