"Bush, Blair, Belusconi - they don't speak for the people.
We speak for the people. And we the people are going to stop this
war. - Speaker at European Social Forum, Florence.
Last Saturday over half a million people marched through Florence
in Europes biggest demonstration yet against the forthcoming
US invasion of the Middle East. Maybe it was a million as some reports
have said, but SchNEWS ran out of fingers and toes to count on after
four hours of seeing people stream along the well-reclaimed city
bypass that was the only road in town big enough for the protest.
The march took place during the European Social Forum meeting in
Florence and was always going to be a big march, with communists
and anarchists, unions and peace groups, and social forums from
across Italy taking part. But it was more than that. It was another
example of the growing, often unreported movement against Bush and
Blairs war plans that is sweeping the US and Europe.
While Britain was represented by everything from Essex Students
to Dundee Trades Council, the march was largely Italian, young and
unaligned. Local residents clapped and cheered, hanging out anti-war
banners. The conference before the march saw meetings in aircraft
hangers overflowing with people 60,000 turned up for the
Forum instead of the expected 20,000 - wanting to discuss anti-capitalism
and the coming war. At one meeting of 2,000 people, a Vietnam war
veteran told the crowd, We didnt start protesting about
the Vietnam war until it had been going on for years. This movement
is much bigger, and you can stop them too. During the conference,
a local Caterpillar factory that makes vehicles used to crush Palestinian
homes was occupied and its contents rearranged. Demos, discussions
and direct action are all part of the growing global movement against
this war and the crazy system that is making it happen.
In order to regain control of Iraqs oilfields, the US is
willing to let the Iraqi people pay a very high price. According
to a new report by British health professionals, a war against Iraq
could kill half a million people, mostly civilians. 260,000 are
likely to die in the conflict and its immediate aftermath, with
a further 200,000 dying later from famine and disease the
US will target bombs on water systems and other infrastructure to
cripple the country and will ensure these deaths. In the reports
worst case scenario, nuclear weapons are fired on Iraq in response
to a chemical or biological attack on Kuwait or Israel, leaving
a massive 3.9 million people dead.
But all thats just for starters. US Deputy Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz has said that a US-imposed regime in Iraq would cast
a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran, but across the
whole Arab world. Iran is a country with a population larger
than that of the UK and was described by Bush as part of the Axis
of Evil, perhaps making it the next country to be made safe
for US vital interests. The brutal Israeli occupation
of Palestine could become the norm for the rest of the Arab world
as a foreign power imposes its will by military force. The people
of the Middle East are about to pay a very high price for capitalisms
addiction to oil.
The diverse, growing movement against war knows all this. A new
generation of activists in the rich countries of Europe and North
America who want to live in a sustainable and just world are challenging
their own governments and finding friends and allies in the countries
attacked in their name. There have been over 400 major demonstration
in the US against an attack on Iraq. This was described as a
burgeoning national anti-war movement, by the Washington Post,
with protesting by people who have never protested before.
Many US and European activists, often Jewish, have gone to Palestine,
risking their lives in order to provide Palestinian families with
some protection from Israeli attacks. In Florence, groups discussed
blockading US airbases across Europe, jamming airbase radar systems
with balloons and tinfoil, taking direct action to stop the supplies
necessary for war. As one protester told SchNEWS, If Bush
and Blair think this movement is going to write letters, march politely
and then go home, theyre in for a fright.
* To read about the report on Iraq deaths www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993043
* Recommended reading War Plan Iraq by Milan Rai (Verso
SchNEWS poser of the week:
How come Neo-Labour has got enough money to bomb Iraq, but cant
afford to pay striking firefighters a decent wage?
* The Brighton Firefighters support group is meeting Wednesday 20th
at St. Georges Community Centre (Crypt of St. Georges
Church), St. Georges Road, Kemptown 7.45pm to discuss what
steps they can take to support the strike.
* For more on the strike www.30kfirepay2.co.uk
Veteran peace activist Lindis Percy totted up yet another arrest
at the beginning of this month. Lindis was peacefully praying at
a Quaker meeting outside Fylingdales airbase (soon to be part of
the Americas Star Wars programme) when the MOD cops swooped in and
arrested her for breaching her bail condition of not going within
50 yards of the base. www.caab.org.uk
* The peace camp at Fylingdales is facing eviction and they need
more support!! 01947896481
BASS Alliance of
SchNEWS 8th BIRTHDAY PARTY
with DJs and films
Sunday 17th November, 9pm-1am @ The Ocean Rooms, Brighton.
Tickets £2.50 in advance from
Klick-Klick Records, Trafalgar St.
Or £4 on the door.
On 6th October, three American nuns disabled a US nuclear missile
silo in northern Colorado. Dressed in white boiler suits with Disarmament
Specialists written on the front and CWIT (Citizen
Weapons Inspection Team) in big letters across the back, the Dominican
sisters bashed up the silo lid and the tracks that carry the lid
to its firing position, cut cables, and cut through the surrounding
fence. The action, which took place on the first anniversary of
the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, is the 79th ploughshares or related
disarmament action since 1980 in the United States, Europe, and
Australia. In a statement carried with them onto the site, Carol
Gilbert, Jackie Hudson, and Ardeth Platte stated that they had come
to Colorado to unmask the false religion and worship of national
security... We hope in the light of [Gods] Word to name things
what they are, to unmask the lies, abuses, and racism hidden in
the rhetoric of patriotism, security and moral superiority.
All three have been charged with Sabotage and Malicious Destruction
of Property of the United States and each faces up to 30 years in
jail. Write to them at: Clear Creek County Jail, Box 518, Georgetown,
CO 80444, USA. For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display_printable/2065/index.php
The get together of Brightons Direct
Action Groups. With a discussion and short film about the
Brighton Halloween action against the war on Iraq - where
police attacked protesters sitting in the road with batons
and pepper spray. Plus a speaker from the Middle East. Monday
18th November, 7pm @ Brighton Unemployed Centre, 6 Tilbury
Groups in a number of places including Brighton, Leicester and
Bristol are planning Stop the City, Stop the War demonstrations
if war is declared on Iraq. Check out the full listings on the Party
and Protest section of our website and if we dont have your
event listed, let us know what your plans are. ** The Stop the War
group at the School of Oriental and African Studies have launched
a new website: www.soasstopwar.org
** Disobedience Anti-war Benefit with Citizen Fish, P.A.I.N.
and Subsister, plus DJs, Food & Stalls. 23rd Nov. 7pm,
Chats Palace, 42-44 Brooksbys Walk, Homerton, E9. £5/£3.50
** Discussion on war coverage and the risks faced by journalists.
In memory of BBC journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan who was killed
two years ago reporting from the war torn Sri Lanka. NUJ, 308 Grays
Inn Road, London WC1. 25th Nov, 6pm. www.rsf.org
** NATO war-mingers will meet in Prague, Czech Republic (21st-22nd
Nov) to discuss, among other things, the so-called War on
Terrorism and the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe. Actions
are being planned against the Summit. Border actions are also planned
in the likely event that protesters are stopped from entering the
country. Latest info: www.antinato.cz
Since the late 90s the Indigenous Mapuche people, whose ancestral
lands have been occupied by the states of Chile and Argentina since
1885, have been occupying land and engaging in other forms of nonviolent
direct action to defend their communities. More recently they have
been involved in campaigning and land occupations to defend the
environment from forestry companies and large dams. These actions
have sparked a violent response from the state at levels that would
make General Pinochet proud! Hundreds of Mapuches have been arrested
under State Security and Anti-terrorism laws. Two community leaders
have been murdered, and last week 17-year old activist Edmundo Alex
Lemun Saavedra was shot in the head when police attacked a non-violent
land occupation of the Mininco forest. He later died in hospital.
- ScHelp! SchNEWS needs people to help with the mailout
on Friday afternoons for a couple of hours. And with desk top
publishing on Thursday evenings. There will be a DTP training
evening Thursday 28th, give the office a call if yer interested
- Aspire have opened a new social centre in Leeds and
promise a week packed with workshops, film shows, food and other
groovy stuff. Buckingham House, Otley Road, Leeds. Also a free
shop where you bring anything that you dont want and take
things you do.
- Woodside Caravan Park, the travellers who brought their
own site, have managed to delay eviction. They have lodged an
appeal and are safe until then (although the appeal date has yet
to be set). www.f-f-t.demon.co.uk/fft/WOODSIDE.HTM
If you want to be on their Red-Alert list ring 01206 523 528
- Undercurrents BeyONd TV 3rd Annual Video Activist Festival.
23rd Nov. noon-9pm, Swansea Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea.
- Mad Pride have a benefit night Tuesday 19th, Bull And
Gate, 389 Kentish Town Road, London NW5. 7.30 pm. £5 on
the door with performers and comedians 020 7388 8679
- Good SchNEWS McDonald is closing lots of its restaurants!
Many of these are in the Middle East, where a boycott of US goods
and services is having an impact. A total of 175 restaurants in
10 countries are closing, and McD shares worth £31 two years
ago are now worth only £10!
- Anti-Capitalist Social Night, Nov 19th, 9pm upstairs
at the Princess Louise, 208-209 High Holborn, London. 07944 586416
- On November 7, over 2500 people in Chicago marched in protest
of the annual meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue
(TABD). TABD is yet another government in bed with big
business think tank and is made up of the 100 most powerful
captains of industry from the EU and America. Their mission is
to remove obstacles to trade between the EU and US,
including such nuisances as the restrictions on marketing GM products.
According to US officials, up to 80% of TABDs recommendations
have been turned into official policy. www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news284.htm.
- Women Speak Out Gathering next weekend (22-24). A gathering
of women activists from all kinds of movements and backgrounds
to meet and exchange experiences, views and ideas. MERCi Centre,
22a Beswick Street, Manchester. Children are welcome and theres
even crash space. £10 donation requested for the weekend
including vegan food. 0161 227 8086/07753 606723 www.bellow.org.uk
- Sweatshops, Globalisation and International Solidarity Sat
23rd Nov. Conference to bring together campaigners and campaigns
from the anti-sweatshop movement. 12-6pm, School of Oriental and
African Studies, London. £5. 07904 431 959 www.nosweat.org.uk
- Say no to US training of terrorists!! The US Army School of
the Americas has been training Latin American soldiers in counter-insurgency
(read: torture, oppression, and genocide) since 1946. Protest
against the School of the Americas Sat 16th from 1-4pm at the
US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London.
- Week of action against Newchurch Guinea Pigs (who breed
them for vivisection) 18th-24th Nov. www.guineapigs.org.uk
- The new Sussex Anti-Corruption Alliance want groups and
individuals to get involved www.sac-a.human-rights.org
- Riding the Dragon, a new book highlighting
the abuses that Shell oil company have committed, was published
on Tuesday accompanied by protests outside some of Shells
worst refineries. The book and other facts about Shell can be
seen at www.shellfacts.com
Neo-Labour promised to get tough on criminals this week - but if
you happen to be a company director who kills one of your workers,
youre in luck! This so-called justice for all
doesnt include you. Five years ago, the Labour Government
promised that it would do something about corporate crime. Unsurprisingly,
victims and their families are still waiting. Chris Jones, father
of Simon who was killed at work 4 ½ half years ago, told
SchNEWS, This is the same old Blairite crap: go for soft targets
and easy results. Graffiti artists havent killed or injured
anybody. Yes, paedophiles are nasty, but corporate cowboys killed
Simon at work, and at least 1500 people since him. Neo-Labour has
done nothing about it. The Home Office is fast becoming the political
wing of the CBI. Apart from ratting on their promise to bring in
the corporate killing bill, they are also trying to sneak in the
removal of compulsory inquests into work-related deaths, and have
specifically excluded victims of health and safety crimes from the
much-hyped Victims Charter. The cover-up goes
So remember - tough on chewing gum and spray paint, but not on corporate
Centre for Corporate Accountability 020 7490 4494 www.corporateaccountability.org
Another node of international resistance has sprung up in Caracas,
Venezuela, with the opening of the Libertarian Social Studies Centre.
The centre which runs along the lines of promoting self-organisation,
anarchy, and solidarity free from party politics has opened
a vast library and hopes to buy a printing press for some pamphleteering.
But it needs donations (in US$$) for rent and resources! email@example.com
Robert Seth Hayes, a former member of the Black Panther
Party and in prison for the past 30 years, has been moved from the
hospital ward where he was receiving treatment for Hepatitis C and
Diabetes and has been transferred to the general prison. He is suffering
from dizziness, weakness, headaches, and loss of feeling in his
extremities. The prison has cut off all monitoring of his medical
status, claiming that it is no longer needed. They have also refused
to purchase personal blood sugar testing units for Seth or any of
the 40-50 other diabetics in the prison. Please write to Dr. Lester
Wright, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Correctional Services,
Albany, NY, 12226, USA, to demand Seth be given adequate medical
care. Letters of support to: Robert Seth Hayes #74A-2280,
Clinton Correctional Facility, Box 2001, Dannemora, New York, 12929,
USA. Full details: www.wildgreens.ca/110402-3.htm
Security services in German whod been secretly tapping the
phones of 50 people got caught out recently after the people whose
phones they were eavesdropping on got charged for the privilege!
One confused customer complained to the phone company about a mysterious
phone number on his bill that he was supposed to have made calls
to. But when he called the number he was told by a message that
he did not have authorisation! Oops! The security services admitted
there had been some error and said it was caused by a software glitch.
Any geeks out there know how to cause the same problem
SchNEWS warns Florence not to mess around with Dougal or else
Zebedee will go boing!
issues 51 - 100 £4.00 inc. postage. - Nearly sold out...
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SchNEWS and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures
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You can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the
ISBN 09529748 4 3.
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