Thousands took part in last Thursdays nationwide day of
action against the threat of war on Iraq. In Brighton, SchNEWS joined
in with hundreds of others for the best bit of direct action on
the city streets since the heady days of Reclaim The Streets parties
way back in 1996.
The Brighton demo started at 3pm with a critical mass bike ride
from Sussex University with the Peddlers for Peace blocking both
lanes of traffic and, despite the best efforts of the cops, riding
triumphantly all the way to the war memorial at the Old Steine.
Over 500 people from a range of backgrounds - students, Christians,
greens, socialists, anarchists and a peace choir were entertained
with speeches, MCs and some crazy dancing people before they set
off to block the main roundabout by Palace Pier. Seeing as it was
Halloween the cops, who had obviously done their PR training with
the Seattle police department, were busy dishing out their own special
trick or treats - a pre-emptive blast of pepper spray, boots and
batons for all the poor protesters who were just too tired to carry
on and ended up having to sit down in the road. Still, what did
the demonstrators expect? They were only trying to protest that
thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians could be killed, while the
police had the much more important task of keeping the traffic moving.
And contrast this response to the Citys small traders, who
for the past few months have been disrupting traffic by driving
through town at a snails pace in protest at increased parking fees,
without a whiff of pepper spray or baton in sight.
One man was taken to casualty after being pepper sprayed twice.
The weapon in his hand was a notebook in which he was recording
police ID numbers, many of which werent on display. He told
SchNEWS Ironically one of the justifications given for attacking
oil-rich Iraq is Saddams brutal treatment of dissenters in
his country. He has been accused of using chemical weapons such
as mustard gas to suppress rebellion. How lucky we are to live in
a civilised country where pepper spray is used instead.
According to their own rules cops can only spray when they are physically
threatened and apparently people sitting cross-legged in
the road posed such a huge threat but the heavy-handed tactics
only succeeded in partly clearing the roundabout and nudging the
crowd into going on a walkabout. The demo outmanoeuvred the cops
for hours, heading towards key spots around the city, with riot
wagons scurrying to get numbers to block-off roads.
Even the local rag, The Argus, said The fact that so many
people in Brighton alone were willing to take to the streets shows
the strength of public opinion and that cannot be ignored by politicians.
The cops capped off a great day with the old chestnut that it was
a small minority of troublemakers who had spoiled it for everybody.
We agree and they are based at John Street Police Station.
* Next Wed (13) Sussex Action for Peace Benefit Night with various
DJs at Club New York, Dyke Road, Brighton £5/£3
* The next Rebel Alliance, Brightons get together of direct action
groups, will also be about Peace and Pepper Spray with
a discussion and short film about the anti war demo. Monday 18th
Nov Brighton Unemployed Centre, 6 Tilbury Place 7pm
* March for Peace in Brighton on 23rd November. Meet 12pm Preston
Park. 07815 983022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Were you baton charged or sprayed?
Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to see any CCTV
footage of yourself. This would include both footage from static
CCTV cameras (there are loads in Brighton, including one above the
roundabout by the pier) and hand held cameras carried by police
evidence gatherers. All you need to do is send a letter with your
name and address, a description of yourself, where you were and
at what time. You will also have to send £10 to cover costs.
(cheques payable to S.P.A.) Send to Data Protection Officer, Sussex
Police, Malling House, Church Lane, Lewes, East Sussex. Tel: 0845-6070999.
More info and a sample letter can be seen at www.mtcp.co.uk/campaigns/dataprotection.htm
There were an estimated 150 different anti-war actions and events
across the country this Halloween. Here are some of the highlights:
London Before sunrise No war on Iraq was projected
on Parliament in massive letters.
Bedford The Britons V Bush demonstration attracted 150 people
the largest protest in the towns recent history.
Cardiff On the 30th, protesters halted the Welsh Assembly
and scattered Mass Destruction Flyers about. One of the protesters
zip-tied himself to the speakers desk as security and police bundled
the protesters out of the chamber.
Cambridge Women in Black supporters died outside
Great St Marys, while 230 students occupied the Defence Evaluation
and Research Agency building on New Museums Site. Some lecturers
cancelled their lessons in solidarity.
Essex University: Air raid sirens played over a sound system!
Hundreds gathered to watch as the deafening crash of bombs rolled
over the campus and 50 performed a die in.
Leeds Students disrupted lectures, occupied the Business School
and local BBC studios, then joined the main Leeds protest outside
Liverpool Students backed by the lecturers union walked out
of lessons and some occupied Senate House, the main finance and
administrative building of The University of Liverpool.
Manchester Despite heavy handed police and use of police
horses Oxford Road (one of the main streets) was occupied for an
hour by up to 1000 protestors, accompanied by a samba band.
Sheffield University occupied, Bikes not Bombs ride, large
rally and a samba procession.
Walthamstow: A Territorial Army base graffitied with Fight
the rich not their wars.
More reports: http://uk.indymedia.org
* The Stop the War Coalition have called another mass London demo
on February 15th 2003.
* Plans are still underway for widespread civil disobedience as
soon as any military action against Iraq begins.
Pepper Spray is not in fact made from pepper, but from a synthetic
substance called PAVA which when sprayed causes burning to the skin,
eyes, nose, mouth and breathing passages. The good news is that
the effects are temporary. But for infants, the elderly, people
who suffer from respiratory diseases, etc. the risks are possibly
If the police carry on behaving like this on demos it would be a
good idea to start carrying goggles. If you are sprayed the best
treatment is to wash your eyes with a solution of half-liquid antacid
(like Maalox) and half water, or failing that just use water. To
treat skin wipe with a cloth saturated with vegetable oil, and immediately
wipe off the oil with alcohol (But dont get alcohol in your
eyes, it will hurt as much as the spray!) For more info on pepper
spray and first aid see www.blackcrosscollective.org
For doing as you're told!
At an anti-war demo outside Yorkshire TV in Leeds, a policeman asked
a protestor to move his bicycle backwards, which he did. In doing
so, the cyclist bumped into an officer who had suddenly appeared
behind him, and was arrested for assaulting a police officer!
BRIGHTON ALLIANCE OF SOUND SYSTEMS
SchNEWS 8th Birthday Party
with DJs and films.
Sun 17th November, 8pm-1am
@ The Ocean Rooms
Tickets £2.50 in advance from Klick-Klick records,
Trafalgar St. Or £4 on door.
Our guess is that youve never heard of the investment firm
the Carlyle Group. Well theres a reason for thateven
Business Week describes it as, One of the most powerful, well
connected and secretive organisations in the world. Founded
fifteen years ago by Ronald Reagan aide David Rubenstein, the company
shot to the top when Frank Carlucci, former US Secretary of Defence,
joined the team and started acquiring a list of staff thatll
leave conspiracy theorists with unpleasant stains on their trousers.
Carlyle now boasts the likes of James Baker, former Secretary of
State, Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission,
and Karl Otto Pohl, former president of the Bundesbank. The list
also includes former presidents of South Korea and the Philippines,
and our own man of morality, John Major. But wait! Theres
more! CEO Carlucci is a close friend of Donald Rumsfeld,
current US Secretary of Defence, and also sits on a board of independent
defence analysts. Bush Senior also holds large interests in the
company. Add to this the fact that Bush Jr himself was given a seat
on the board of one of the Carlyle groups first companies
in 1990, and you begin to wonder exactly how big this revolving
door between government and politics really is.
But this isnt just your average love affair between business
and government. Carlucci and chums have used their extensive political
connections to acquire control of heavily regulated industries at
bargain prices, most notably defence companies. At present Carlyle
owns United Defence, the fifth biggest arms contractor in America,
Bofors, a Swiss munitions manufacturer, and since September the
3rd of this year, a substantial stake in Qineteq, the research branch
of the MoD. What does this mean? Basically as the bombs fall and
the sabers rattle, Bushs mates and his family are getting
rich. Dont believe us? Ask them.
Carlyle sold United Defence stocks on the stock market only one
day after Congress ratified Bushs new Defence Budget for the
War Against Terrorism (a wee $11 billion more than the previous
defence budget). Carlyle cleaned up $237 million in one day and
spokesmen for the company admitted that the timing was fully intentional.
Not to mention the renewed contracts that United Defence received
to the tune of $2 billion.
So daddy Bush is doing very well out of the new crusade. Sickening,
but not really unexpected, nor in this system of ours, illegal.
What has got the watchdogs howling, however, is the fact that the
Bin Laden family themselves were stakeholders in Carlyle until October
of 2001, as part of a deal brokered by Bush Snr himself! Funny that
when the administration was freezing the assets of any organization
with links to terrorism this didnt include daddys piggy
Work has started on construction of a privately financed road at
Bilston, 8 miles south of Edinburgh. The road will destroy a local
woodland, part of which is an SSSI. The woods contain many mature
trees and a medieval bridge and tower. A protest camp was set up
in June this yearthey desperately need more people and more
tat! Directions by car - take the A701 towards Pennicuik until you
get to Bilston. Search for a metal gate on your left (opposite VW
garage), go through & follow the path. By bus - take the 37A
from Eburgh towards Pennicuik, get off at the 1st bus stop
Contact the site mobile 0798663249 or email: email@example.com
- SchNEWS is really desperate for people to help with the
mailout for a couple of hours on Friday afternoons. Give the office
a call if you can help ** On Wednesday, Clive Codona, Chair of
the National Travellers Action Group, lost his appeal at the High
Court and so the travellers who bought Woodside campsite
in Bedfordshire are once again facing eviction. Bailiffs are expected
5pm today (8th) where Clive will ask them just where he and the
other 27 families are supposed to go? Tel 01767 681 651 www.f-f-t.demon.co.uk/fft/WOODSIDE.HTM
** Brightons premier pirate radio station Radio 4A
is on the air this weekend (8th 10th). 107.8FM and www.piratetv.net,
details at www.radio4a.org.uk
** RIP. John Moore, primitivist writer and poet, died suddenly
on October 22. John was one of the UKs leading primitivists
and frequently wrote articles for Green Anarchist and other publications.
** Around 200 people reclaimed the streets in Copenhagen
last Friday, protesting against big business & private cars
and demanding the right to party! ** Copenhagen is also the setting
for mass protests against the EU Summit there from the
12-14 December. www.disobedience.dk
** Greenpeaces Rainbow Warrior ship is currently
on a three month educational tour of UK ports including Trinity
Quay Plymouth Wed 13th, Poole Quay 16th-17th, Liverpool, Greenock,
Belfast, Dublin, Cardiff, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Ipswich
and London. 020 7226 6059 www.greenpeace.org.uk/rainbowwarrior.htm
** The Berkshire Citizens Inspection Agency (CIA) will be visiting
2 nuclear weapons establishments this weekend, where they
will demand to carry out inspections to ensure that the weapons
establishments are complying with international law. The team
will be visiting Aldermaston today and RAF Welford on Saturday.
0118 966 8328/07790 409339 ** Some people from Brighton will be
taking a mini-bus up to Harrow on the 15th. If youre interested,
come to the next Brighton No Borders meeting, Monday the
11th at 7:30pm, Unemployed Centre, Tilbury Pl.
The COP 8 UN Climate Change conference in New Delhi fizzled out
last week the latest in the series of meetings which benefit
the five star hotel industry more than the environment. Each time
the UN climate folks meet they tinker with their declaration
and now it doesnt even mention the Kyoto protocol!
Kyoto was supposed to be a pledge for the US, Europe, and Co. to
reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2%. Sounds good, except
when you consider that experts agree this figure should be 60-90%.
In short, the New Delhi conference was a complete sham. But as a
sidenote, the USwho cause 25% of worldwide emissions and arent
even signing up for Kyotowere said to be happy with the progress.
01865 241097 www.risingtide.org.uk
While thousands of UK residents took to the streets this Halloween
to fight against the impending war, people in North and South America
were making their voices heard against yet another Big Business
trade agreement. In the Americas, October 31st was a Hemispheric
day of action against the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas),
a pending trade agreement between every nation in North and South
America barring Cuba. Based on the model of NAFTA and the WTO, the
FTAA goes far beyond the trade liberalisation schemes brought about
by those models, giving multinational corporations sweeping authority
over virtually every aspect of life in the Americas. By promoting
IMF-style Structural Adjustment, the FTAA will bring about the privatisation
and downsizing of public services such as health care and education
and will also ensure that all public utilities - water, power, and
telecommunications - come under the control of the private sector.
Many in South America are certain that the FTAA will also wipe out
small farmers and hand corporations a sweeping new set of tools
to evade environmental and labour laws.
On October 31st, Quito, Ecuador was the unfortunate home of a FTAA
Trade Ministers meeting. In response to this meeting, 15,000 people
took to the streets. The crowd was nearly 90% campesinos (peasant
farmers) and indigenous peoples, and chants of No queremos,
y no nos da la gana, ser una colonia, norteamericana, (We
dont want, and it doesnt do us any good, to be a North
American colony) were heard everywhere. After being met by
seas of teargas, the demonstrators marched to the Suissotel, where
the trade ministers were meeting with assorted CEOs and trade
lobbyists. There the crowds stood outside the gates and demanded
that some of their representatives be allowed to speak with the
ministers. Eventually, 40 representatives of social movements from
across the hemisphere were allowed in. What followed were two amazing
hours of the FTAA trade ministers being forced to stare real people
in the face. The protestors who had been allowed in chanted and
yelled at ministers, aiming much of their noise at Bob Zoellick,
the US Trade Rep. One woman from Nicaragua seemed to sum it up when
she addressed the trade ministers, Dont think you can
simply take your picture with us and push forward. We will stop
the FTAA. www.indymedia.org
* Solidarity demos against the FTAA Trade Ministers meeting in Quito
took place in many cities across the Americas. On the 31st, 5,000
marched against the FTAA in Sao Paolo, Brazil. On the same day,
10,000 marched in Montreal, Canada. A few days earlier, on the 28th,
13 San Francisco activists occupied the entrance to the world headquarters
of Bechtel Corporation. Bechtel, one of the worlds largest
engineering firms, was targeted by the San Francisco activists because
of its strong support for the Free Trade Area of the Americas and
its frontline position in the rush to commodify and privatise the
worlds dwindling supply of fresh water.
During last weeks anti-war actions, protesters in Swansea
chose Sainsburys to make their protest taste better. They
invaded the store and occupied certain areas. Customer service obliged
them by announcing the following over the intercom: Sainsburys
apologise for the inconvenience, there is an anti-war protest going
on in aisles 6,7,8,and 9. ...www.indycymru.org.uk
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