Home | Friday 27th June 2002 | Issue 361/2

WAKE UP! It’s yer Glastonbury mud slingin’...
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SUMMIT OUTTA NUFFIN | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Earth First! Summer Gathering | SchNEWS OF THE WORLD | Party & Protest | Free Party Quickie Guide | Daily Refugee | BOOKED | SchNEWS In Brief | YEW FOOLS | ANIMAL FACTORY | E$$OLES | Inside SchNEWS | ...and finally...



“It is dangerous to assume that the goals of the private sector are somehow synonymous with those of the United Nations, because most emphatically they are not. Business and industry are driven by the profit motive…The work of the United Nations, on the other hand, is driven by a set of ethical principles.” - Carol Bellamy, Executive Director UNICEF.

Oil companies, chemical corporations and mining multinationals will be heading to Johannesburg, South Africa in the next few months – because they want to help save the planet with a new brand of greenwash.

The biggest United Nations Conference for a decade will take place from August 26th to September 4th when over 60,000 delegates are expected to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development – or Rio + 10 because it is 10 years since the first UN Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil. Ten years on and the planet is in more of a mess than ever.

Issues on the agenda include poverty eradication, unsustainable patterns of consumption, sustainable management of resources and how to make globalisation work for everyone, but it’s the profit-hungry corporations who are muscling-in to make sure that instead of agreeing real solutions it will be ‘carry on profiteering’ for big business.

Major lobby groups like the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and their latest offspring, Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD) will be flying the corporate flag. BASD’s main task is to make sure that business interests are secured at the summit, so they’ve been busy finding examples of good business practice to use as proof of good ‘corporate citizenship’. Just because there are some examples of companies doing some good, for the sake of PR doesn’t mean they promote these values all the time. Still, who cares about all that – these good examples are being aggressively marketed to show these companies as ‘good guys’ and used to demand that there is no need for any legally binding agreements at the summit, because the environment is safe in their hands. It’s all about partnerships, but as Erik Wesselius from Corporate Europe Observatory comments “The most vocal supporters of the partnership approach are generally corporations from some of the most environmental and socially dodgy industries - namely oil, gas, chemicals and mining.” For them the so-called partnership approach is an ideal marketing opportunity for what is known in the business as greenwashing.

Green-wash is the term used for corporations who spend millions on adverts telling the world how green they are, while behind the scenes they do everything they can to oppose or avoid any social or environmental law that might harm their profits.

Former Shell boss Sir Mark Moody Stuart is now head of BASD and knows a thing or two about greenwashing. After being taken to the cleaners over the proposal to dump the Brent Spar oil rig in the sea and its oil exploration of Ogoni land in Nigeria, Shell have been busy re-branding themselves as a responsible company. Their ‘People, Planet, and Profits’ report has been heralded as ‘ground-breaking’, with this new type of ‘environmental and social reporting’ all part of the greenwash process. As one of the business lobby groups admits, the reports give “increased credibility” while not requiring companies to fundamentally change anything.

Green Wash and Go

So in the lead up to Johannesburg we get BASD pushing partnerships like the Energy and BiodiversityInitiative, the Global Mining Initiative, and the Responsible Care program. But as Corporate Europe Observatory point out “These projects are largely an attempt to improve the corporate members’ tarnished images. They are also a reaction to pressure by campaign and community groups or as a move to pre-empt binding regulation.” For example, the Responsible Care program, long criticised as greenwash by campaign groups and academics, was established by the chemical industry after the Bhopal disaster where a Union Carbide plant leaked poisonous gas killing 4,000 people instantly and injuring tens of thousands more (see SchNEWS 238). The move effectively killed off efforts to toughen regulations.

We get sustainable mining reports funded by er... mining companies, among them notorious companies such as Rio Tinto and Freeport McMoran.

We get the European Union pushing the World Trade Organisation’s so called ‘Doha Development Agenda’ (SchNEWS 332) agreed back in November last year, with claims that it will benefit the world’s poorest countries and so contribute to ´sustainable development´. Forget the fact that corporate globalisation has increased poverty and environmental degradation around the world.

We get the UN, working with some of the world’s most notorious human rights and environment abusers.

We get warnings from BASD that anyone who dares calls for tougher regulations on corporations must be part of the lunatic fringe.

And we get thousands of delegates being wined and dined and put up in posh Sheraton hotels, nextdoor to the black shanty towns of Alexandra and Soweto.

In fact we’re sick of it. - As Corporate Europe Observatory tell us “The world’s leaders need to start listening to the demands by civil society groups and ordinary people, that business can not be allowed to continue as usual. Unless a dramatic U-turn in policy and approach is made soon, Johannesburg risks becoming little more than a propaganda circus.” Or as Jens from ASEED puts it “The World Summit promises to be a shambles but will no doubt be promoted as a success…the immense amount of money and time could have been spent on something a lot more useful.”

  • For more of the above see www.corporateeurope.org/observer11/rio
  • Recommended reading: Codes in Context by Corner House 01258 473795 http://cornerhouse.icaap.org
  • A SEED have called for a Global Day of Action on August 31st against big business muscling in on sustainable development. www.aseed.net To find about more about their campaign against the privatisation of the UN email uncorp@aseed.antenna.nl
  • The Greenwash Academy are looking for nominations. www.earthsummit.biz
  • The South African government has warned groups not to protest and spoil the Earth Summit, but demonstrations will happen whether they like it or not. Keep an eye on http://southafrica.indymedia.org
  • The recently published Global Environment Outlook predicts the destruction of 70% of the natural world, mass extinction of species and the collapse of human society in many countries in the next 30 years unless radical action is taken. Written by over a thousand scientists and compiled for the UN, partly as a wake up call to world leaders in the run up to the Johannesburg summit, the report also paints ‘four environmental scenarios’. One includes the current pattern of free trade and short term profit at the expense of the environment, which they say will lead to disaster. www.un-ep.org Copies available from Earthscan 0207 278 0433 www.earthscan.co.uk

Crap Arrest of the Week

For looking happy!
In Iran, on the anniversary death of Ruhallah Khomeini, the main man who turned the country into an Islamic state, police and military arrested anyone who “looked happy” or seemed to have “enjoyed” the date.

Earth First! Summer Gathering

From the 10th to the 14th of July Earth First! are holding their Summer Gathering in the West Country. It's an opportunity for anyone interested in non-hierarchical environmental direct action to get together and spend five days in the countryside learning new skills and discussing campaigns. With a range of practical workshops and theoretical discussions on everything from ‘how to do an office occupation’, facilitate meetings and run a newsletter to self defence, land collectives and community organising. Discussions on past, present and future UK campaigns, the implications of the global economy and building international resistance. www.eco-action.org/gathering


The new SchNEWS book will be out in a few weeks, featuring SchNEWS issues 301-350, and 200 more pages of good news from all round the world about how well the plan to sell off the whole planet to big business is going. Read about... Genoa, Argentina, Palestine, September 11 and loads more global and local stuff. Plus loadsa photos, graphics, cartoons, subverts, and a newly updated contacts database. Order yours for £8.50 (p&p included) now from SchNEWS.

Party & Protest

  • Check out our Party & Protest pages for up to date information about the festivals and demos going on around the country and around the world.
  • To find information about interesting groups in your area take a look at our Your Area page.
  • There are details about regular protests and events on, you've guessed it, our regular events page.

In the real world, as opposed to here in cyberspace, this weeks issue is a four page extravaganza. The middle pages are a festival and protest guide for the coming months. If you want to get your own copy, just download the pdf (you'll need Adobe Actobat to view it) and print it out. If you've got nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon why not print out a few (hundred?) copies and stand on a street corner giving them out? It's surprisingly good fun.

Free Party Quickie Guide

Despite the best attempts of the authorities free parties still happen up and down the country every week. Here’s a few quick dos and don’ts:
- Be prepared to be self sufficient, facilities could be minimal
- Park sensibly, keep site roads clear
- Don’t be a dirty scumbag - bury your shit and don’t drop litter
- Fires - use dead wood, not green (which won’t burn anyway)
- Make a donation - if someone passes round a bucket don’t be sick in it, but hand over some cash. It costs money to put on free parties.
More helpful tips www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/howtohaveafreeparty.htm
To get in touch with free party systems around the country see www.guilfin.net/extra/freeparties.php3

Daily Refugee

Another EU Summit - this time in the Spanish city of Seville. There were massive protests against a ‘Europe of Capital’, and a Spanish general strike against welfare cuts.

Tony Blair’s plan to use “financial and economic clout” against countries that did not co-operate on migrants was rejected but plans for a Fortress Europe march ahead. Because its OK for governments to go on about the free movement of goods – but not the free movement of people. OK to sell arms to countries, helping to fuel conflicts, displace people and create refugees, but not ok for those refugees to try and come over here. OK for industrialised nations to pump greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, but not OK for environmental refugees whose land has been devastated by climate change to try and find somewhere else to live.

Seven of the top ten countries of asylum seekers arriving in the European Union over the past decade have been from war-torn regions, according to the data from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. And in any case if you look at the numbers of asylum seekers coming to Europe, you’ll see that this is nothing if you compare them with developing countries that receive hundreds of thousands, or in the cases of Iran and Pakistan, millions of refugees. If people had a bright, rosy future in their homelands, would they need to seek asylum elsewhere?

* A Palestinian held without charge for six months in Belmarsh high security prison under all the UK’s new Terrorism Act is too seriously mentally ill to remain there a judge has ruled. Mr Rideh came to Britain in 1995 as an asylum seeker and was being treated for severe post-traumatic stress disorder following torture at the hands of Israeli’s when he was a teenager living in Gaza. His detention in Belmarsh caused flashbacks: The rattling of keys and the sight of guard uniforms brought back memories of torture. His illness was not taken seriously by prison staff and he had been described as a “malingerer”.

* Who said this? “‘The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage.’ In these words, Mr Herbert Metcalf, the Old Street magistrate, yesterday referred to the number of aliens entering the country through the ‘back door’ ­ a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.” Why it was the Daily Mail in 1938. Now go and read the bile from them now about refugees and see how much has changed.

* There will be a No Borders action camp in Strasbourg 19-28 July www.noborder.org


Two independent bookshops, Housmans and Bookmarks, in London are currently in the middle of fighting a libel case, which if they lose will ruin ‘em. The case is one of a number filed against them by someone criticised in a 1993 edition of the anti-facist magazine, Searchlight. At the time both bookshops stocked Searchlight and under a warped British law it is possible for the person who thinks they’ve been libelled to sue a shop, distributor or library handling the alleged libellous publication, as well as or instead of suing the author, editor and publisher. Both bookshops feel it is important for them to make a stand on behalf of other independent bookshops, which are few and far between these days. But this will mean massive legal bills. A legal fund has been set up and contributions are desperately needed. Send money to the “Bookshop Libel Fund” c/o Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX. Phone 020-7278 4474 blf@housmans.idps.co.uk

SchNEWS in brief

  • Can’t afford a ticket or unimpressed with Glastonbury going to the Mean Fiddler Dogs? Check out a multi-rig gathering for the right to party... Call 07092310245, 07813620336 or 07811906642 after 11pm on Saturday night Expected to be on a piece of land not far from the Pilton Farm site. And the Druids of Kaos present a Midsummer Nights Moot, phone 07870 489123 www.systemprojectmayhem.cjb.net However, after the 10,000 strong free festival on Steart beach during Jubilee weekend the Chief Superintendent of Somerset got so much shit that he’s apparently on a personal mission to nick rigs. www.network23.org Has Glastonbury sold out? See www.corporatewatch.org/news/glastonbury.htm Why the Mean Fiddler are such tossers www.urban75.com/Rave/raverant
  • The London Social Centres Network have set up two new email lists. To subscribe to the discussion group send an email to londonscn-forum-subscribe@lists.riseup.net For the events listings and newsletter group e-mail: londonscn-events-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
  • To Coincide with the EU Summit in Sevilla over 1000 people Occupied a Dutch Motorway in Utrect for seven hours. The protest was in response to the Dutch governments plans to expand the motorway network www.groenfront.nl/english
  • Ned Ludd’s News the independent radical newsletter in Nottingham has been resurrected and is available from the Sumac Centre (245 Gladstone Street) info: nottingham_freedom@hotmail.com
  • Globalisation and the Media is a new video from undercurrents exploring the role of the media in the corporate led take over of the planets natural resources. It’s £10 - details from www.cultureshop.org


Campaigners against the Stourbridge, Wolverhampton and Southern Dudley Bypasses are mourning the death of a 2,000+ year old yew tree which was on the proposed route. The tree was on top of Wychbury Hill, site of an Iron-Age Hill Fort, on the site are another 28 yew trees up to 2,000 years old. The bypasses run virtually exclusively through the region’s green belt and link with the Birmingham Northern Relief Road and the M5/M42 to form a massive Super-Highway around Black Country and Birmingham. Once again the authorities are building a road that is environmentally damaging and won’t solve traffic problems. The Anti-Bypass Campaign meet every Thursday at 8pm in The Crispin, Church Street, Stourbridge. Or Phone 0789 0973458. www.tararabeat.worldonline.co.uk www.antibypasscampaign.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

* Get a copy of all the lovely new proposed road schemes by emailing andreww@transport2000.org.uk


After a year of undercover filming across the country, a coalition of animal rights groups are marching to demand an end to factory farms. The march coincides with the release of the shocking film which shows the horrific conditions endured by billions of animals all over the world. As well as the usual offenders the film rips the lid off the RSPCA’s “Freedom Farms” and the bogus quality assurance stamps that supermarket suppliers slap onto every corpse that comes their way.

Viva!’s national march and rally against factory farming will be held on Saturday July 13th, noon at Kennington Park, London WC1. Info: 01273 777688 www.viva.org.uk

* Badger killing is expected to start soon on Exmoor National Park and North Wiltshire. Find out how you can help stop it: 07779 442395 www.badger-killers.co.uk


Oil giant Esso, the world’s richest corporation and premier league polluters, are suing Greenpeace about the French StopE$$o campaigners using their logo. The StopE$$o campaign is a world-wide alliance united against Esso’s dirty fuels, tricks, money and lies. Esso has a history of throwing money around to buy researchers to deny the existence of global warming. They also bought themselves a president by donating more cash to the Republicans than anyone else.

The company says the replacement of the middle two letters of Esso with dollar signs makes it resemble the Gothic-scripted symbol of the SS and this is confusing to the public.

Stephen Tindale, Greenpeace UK director, explains: ‘We simply replaced two letters in Esso’s logo with the internationally recognised symbol for the US dollar. We find it ironic that the richest corporation in the world can’t recognise the dollar sign and confuses it with a Nazi symbol.’”

Esso (or ExxonMobil in America) pressured Bush into backing out of the Kyoto agreement on global warming and were caught out this April when secret memos to the White House were leaked. One asked Bush Jr to get rid of top UN climate scientist Dr Watson and replace him with someone “less biased”. Under Watson the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had concluded that “most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities” and predicted that average global temperatures will rise between 3 degrees C and 10 degrees C by the end of the century.

Bush did just as his oily friends told him and led the charge to get Watson out. He has now been thrown out of his job and is not even allowed a position on the panel. Bush’s top climate negotiator now refuses to take stock of climate change until 2012.

Inside SchNEWS

Malachie Nichols has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for trying to stop a fascist paper sale in Leeds. Please send letters of support to: Malachie Nichols, JN4126, HMP Wealstun, Weatherby, W Yorkshire, LS23 7AJ.

...and finally...

SchNEWS has found a web site concerning geneticall modified (GM) crops but this one won’t tell you where the frankenstein ‘food’ is being grown - quite the opposite. This site was set up by a PR company who go by the name of the Centre for Food and Agricultural Research (CFFAR), a shadowy organisation who are funded by, amongst others, our old muckers Monsanto, the bio tech multinational. With their liberal usage of terms like “terrorism” “violence” and “acts of terror” the real purpose of this site is to associate anti-GM activists with something like Al-Qaida. In one ridiculous statement CFFAR likens people who pull up dodgy crops to rapists. While talking about newsletters like Genetix Update and how they write about actions on GM food, CFFAR says it’s like them saying “I do not approve of rape but I’m going to give you some tips on how to find your victim and pin her to the ground. Then you can tell me about it and I’ll tell the world”. How sick is that? Surely pulling up GM crops is better than being on the pull. Anyway SchNEWS always thought that multinational corporations like Monsanto were the real earth rapists and just what are they pulling? The tossers. Check it out. www.cffar.org/vandalwatch

SchNEWS warns all greenies not to get browned off and feel blue when the future looks black and nothing’s going white. If you’re seeing red about the grey monotone around you, don’t be yellow – be purple with rage. It’s crystal-clear. Honest.

Cor-blimley-they’re-practically-giving-them-away book offer

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SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures from the direct action frontline. £7 + £1.50 p&p. You can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the ISBN 09529748 4 3.
In the UK you can get 2, 3, 4 & 5 for £20 inc. postage.

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