Thank-you and goodbye
Saddams statue in Baghdad was pulled down by a US tank for
the benefit of the Western corporate media, who fell all over themselves
to show a crowd of happy Iraqis on the scene (Who wouldnt
be happy that a scumbag tyrant had been overthrown?). But if the
TV cameras had panned out just a little, youd have seen that
the square was really quite empty. Maybe it was because those who
had been maimed or killed by US bombs (well never know how
many cos the US cant be bothered to find out) just couldnt
be asked to join in welcoming their liberators.
And now the army of liberation is all too quickly and
predictably becoming an army of occupation. No to America,
no to Saddam, no to tyranny, people chanted in Arabic on Tuesday
during a religious pilgrimage organized by Shia leaders in Iraq.
In the city of Kerbala on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Shia
protested at Americas first attempt to put together a puppet
government, while in Mosul thousands protested and the pro-American
governors car was torched. American soldiers killed at least
10 Iraqis and wounded dozens of others when they fired on the rally.
One Iraqi demonstrator warned, If the US prevents us having
a religious leader as president, we will reject it. If al-Hawza
[the Shia leadership] orders us to turn ourselves into bombs, we
can make the US leave Iraq. We say, Thank you for getting
rid of Saddam. Now goodbye.
Respected journalist Robert Fisk observed, All across Baghdad
you hear the same thing, from Shia Muslim clerics to Sunni businessmen,
that the Americans have come only for oil, and that soon - very
soon - a guerrilla resistance must start. No doubt the Americans
will claim that these attacks are remnants of Saddams
regime or criminal elements. But that will not be the
case. As Dr Wamid Omar Nadmi, a leading political scientist
at Baghdad university commented What were faced with
today is not a choice between secularism and religion. Were
facing an invasion and foreign rule. We have to work together to
* Read War Plan Iraq by Milan Rai (Verso 2003)
OIL AVE IT!
Fancy that! Amnesty International has accused US-led forces of
better preparation to protect the oil wells than to protect
hospitals, water systems or civilians. Ever since US forces
rolled into central Baghdad, one of the sole public buildings untouched
by looters has been the massive oil ministry, which is under round-the-clock
surveillance and guarded by 50 US tanks, with sharpshooters positioned
on the roof and in the windows. They came from the other side
of the world. Do you believe theyre going to do much for me?
Theyve just come for the oil, fumed Salam Mohammad Hassan,
a doctor who lives near the ministry. Just next-door, the Irrigation
Ministry has been torched, with US soldiers apparently unable to
do anything to help.
* The US is demanding North Korea halt its nuclear weapons programme,
but the US has, after a 14-year break, recently resumed production
of plutonium parts for nuclear bombs. Wheres Hans Blix when
you need him?
Next Thursday is May Day, when hoards of rioting anarchists try
to bring the very foundations of our society crashing to the ground
something like that. This year its time for our very own war
on terror, with pre-emptive strikes and an attack on the real
weapons of mass destruction: oil companies, the arms manufacturers,
multinationals and banks. In London there will be a number
of autonomous actions with main meet ups at 2pm at Lockheed Martin
- the biggest arms company in the world whose F-16 and F-22 fighter
jets were used extensively by the US during the war in Iraq and
whose profits have shot up accordingly. Meet 2pm Berkshire House,
corner of High Holborn & Endell St. There will also be a critical
mass bike ride meeting 11am under Waterloo Bridge, South Bank, and
a 1pm Mayday Picnic at Queen Annes Gate. There is also a 2pm
meet up at the Home Office, Birdcage Walk, SW1. Later, everyone
will be meeting up at the headquarters of oil company Shell UK,
on The Strand, 4pm.
- London Class War have called a picket of the Wilkinson store
in Stratford, London. Wilkinsons use prison slave labour
to make many of their goods, picket 11.30am-1pm at Wilkos,
78-102 The Broadway, Stratford.
- To help your day run smoothly send an SAE to BM Mayday, London
WC1N 3XX www.ourmayday.org.uk
- For the incomplete history of the origins of Mayday www.midnightnotes.org/mayday
- Theres a Mayday benefit this Saturday (26), music featuring
Headjam, The Lams, Fusing Naked and the Serum Soundsystem. At
Eton Mission Social Club, Hackney Wick, London E9. 8pm till late.
Crap Arrest of the Week
For jumping in puddles!
A twelve year old boy was arrested in Florida for purposely
stomping in the water. For his crime, comitted on school grounds,
he was handcuffed on his way back to class, taken to jail, and charged
with disruption of an educational institution. The boy spent two
hours sitting by himself in a police holding cell before being released!
As Tony Bliar presses the IRA to provide crystal clarity
as a prerequisite for restoring devolution in Northern Ireland,
his own government continues to ensure that the £10 million
Stevens 3 report - which details how senior-ranking British army
officers and police helped Ulster Defence Association (UDA) paramilitaries
commit murder - will never see the light of day.
Last Thursday, a 20-page summary was all that was released
of the massive 3000 page report (the result of 14 years of investigation)
which centres on the murder of human rights solicitor Patrick Finucane
in 1989, and details how this was just one of many killings by UDA
paramilitary murder gangs acting on direct instructions from the
British armys Forces research Unit (FRU), targeting IRA
sympathisers. In other words, the kind of state-sponsored
terrorism that Bliar is so busy criticising when it happens anywhere
else in the world.
The report also proves conclusively that MI5, Special branch (RUC),
and the army colluded to ensure that nobody was ever investigated,
let alone prosecuted for what Finucanes son, Michael, has
described as a policy of state-selected assassination.
The report is known to contain the names of at least 20 army and
police officers who, if the evidence ever reached the public domain,
would certainly face prosecution.
One such prominent army figure is former head of the FRU, Brigadier
Gordon Kerr, recently spirited away to the theatre of war
in the Gulf. Whats more the key witness in any such prosecutions
would have been the main double agent, Brian Nelson (codenamed 1033),
who infiltrated the UDA whilst working for the FRU. Conveniently
he passed away last week just days before the Stevens
3 report was due to be released. What a strange coincidence!
Metropolitan police commissioner John Stevens (who headed the investigation
detailed in the report) has openly complained of obstruction, being
spied on, and betrayed by police and army colleagues. An arson attack
destroyed his first report Stevens 1, in 1990.
As early as February this year, N. Irelands Chief cop Hugh
Orde predicted that the Stevens 3 report - which has cost £10
million in tax payers money - would never be published in
full due to intelligence issues. With Human rights groups
protesting this blatant cover up, the call is out for justice and
a full, transparent public enquiry. Now surely crystal
clear Tony Bliar cant have a problem with that? Can
Read all about it in the book they tried to ban: The Committee:
Political Assassinations in Northern Ireland by Sean McPhilemy
and Ten-Thirty-Three by Nicholas Davies.
Find out more: www.relativesforjustice.com
PEACE ACTIVIST SHOT
British peace activist Thomas Hurndall is still in a coma after
an Israeli sniper shot him in the head two weeks ago as he shielded
children from the line of fire in the Israeli occupied Gaza strip.
Thomas is the third International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist
to be killed or seriously injured in the region over the past month.
The Israeli military has so far refused to comment.
It now appears that international peace activists may be being
specifically targeted by the Israeli military, but volunteers are
still continuing their work in the region.
London ISM: 07817 554 814 www.palsolidarity.org
After a 30 month battle, the animal rights group Uncaged have overturned
a court order and won the right to publish over 1000 leaked pages
of details on animal experiments.
The leaked documents relate to xeno-transplantation, the use of
animal organ transplants in humans. The company involved, Imutran,
now part of Novartis, had claimed back in 1995 that it was on the
verge of successful xenotransplants. But the documents, detailing
work done at Huntingdon Life Sciences, reveal a different picture
- pig hearts were transplanted into baboons, who all showed signs
of organ rejection. The baboons then suffered spasms, vomiting,
diarrhoea, grinding teeth and uncontrollable eye movements.
The research was sloppy, fraudulent and cruel - all with the backing
of the Home Office inspectors whose job it was to regulate the experiments.
At least 520 errors and omissions occurred in the research and Imutran
made lots of false claims - so that they would be granted more licences
by the Home Office. The Home Office then failed to prosecute for
breaches in the law, instead sending letters of admonishment
and working with Imutran to underestimate the degree of suffering
Read the reports at www.xenodiaries.org
* The campaign to close Huntingdon Death Sciences continues: 0845
458 0630, www.shac.net
Now that weve liberated their country, the UK
government has started to draw up plans to bribe Iraqi asylum claimants
in the UK with offers of £3000 to go back to their once beautiful
but now barely functioning country. A similar scheme that was put
in place after theyd flattened Afghanistan unsurprisingly
didnt get many takers, so instead the Home Office has now
had to resort to forcibly repatriating Afghanis, despite aid agencies
describing the situation in Afghanistan as far from safe. The Home
Office are hoping that by declaring Iraq and Afghanistan safe, they
will be able to kick out enough people and increase their chances
of meeting the target of halving the number of asylum applications
* On Wednesday the trial of eleven asylum seekers, accused of involvement
in the fire that destroyed part of Yarlswood Detention Centre in
February last year, began at Harrow Crown Court (See SchNEWS 348).
The eleven face charges of Arson and Violent Disorder, the trial
is likely to be totally biased as many witnesses to the events on
the day have since been deported. The case is expected to last 8-12
weeks. The Campaign For Justice in the Yarlswood Trial desperately
need volunteer observers to watch court proceedings each day - 07786
* Over Easter a camp was set up against the Baxter refugee detainee
centre in the South Australian desert. The camp was forced to move
3km away though after police rode their horses over peoples
tents. At the new site police arrested one person for flying a kite!
- Kite flying was banned under the Taliban, who obviously no longer
in control of Afghanistan now run the Australian police. Armed police
also stormed the camp when they mistook a camera tripod for a gun!
Detainees inside the centre, were subject to a lockdown during
the weekend. http://adelaide.indymedia.org
Two Danish activists who threw paint at their Prime Minister in
protest at their countrys involvement in the war on Iraq have
been remanded in custody awaiting trial. Messages of support can
be sent to them- Lars and Runes at email@example.com
SchNEWS in brief
- Anarchist punk band CONFLICT will release an anti-globalisation
anthem Carlo Giuliani on Monday (28), a call to arms
in memory of the protester killed by Italian police at the G8
summit in Genoa. Order it through your local DIY record shop or
- On Workers Memorial Day, Monday (28), there will be events
around the country, www.tuc.org.uk/h_and_s/tuc-6445-f0.cfm
- Film showing of Evolving Minds about psychosis,
spirituality and mental health, this Saturday (26) 7pm at Cinemateque,
Middle St., Brighton. Donation
- Tribute concert for friends of Pete Shaughnessy, May 4th at
the Foundry, Great Eastern Street, London (Old Street tube). Pete,
a legendary figure for all those involved in the world of mental
health, died tragically last Christmas. Check out the new website
in honour of him www.peteshaughnessy.org.uk
- Annual Cannabis march and festival, Brockwell Park, London.
Saturday, 3rd May, Carnival style march from Kennington Park,
meet at noon. Festival starts 1pm, £3 donation. Info: 07931
243 855 www.ccguide.org.uk/cannabisfestival.html
- The peace camp at Welford in Berkshire has been re-established.
Bombs from Welford are regularly transported to nearby Fairford
to be loaded onto B52s which are still flying missions over Iraq.
Campers have vowed to stay at the camp until the B52s leave the
UK. More people are always welcome. Info: 07736 964653/ 07984
- In the run-up to Mayday, Campaign Against the Arms Trade Direct
Action Network is organising a series of protests in London aimed
at stopping the corporations that are profiting from the war on
terrorism, including a visit to BAE Systems AGM next Wednesday.
Meet 30th, 9.30am at QEII Conference Centre, Tothill St, London.
More info on other actions 020 7281 0297 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enraged by local newspaper magnate Sir Ray Tindles decision
to stop printing anti-war stories once the war began in the 100
local newspapers he owns, a group in Totnes have produced their
own anti-war spoof newspaper Troubled Times Copies
or send an SAE with 44p of stamps to the SchNEWS office.
- Taking Sides is a website that takes a critical look at news
about the war from around the world http://takingsides.blogspot.com
- The producer of a US television mini-series called Hitler:
The Rise of Evil has been sacked for comparing the situation
in Germany which gave rise to Hitler and his evil plans to the
current situation in the US. In an interview he said, I
cant think of a better time to examine this history than
We all know that anti-French frenzy in the US of A has led some
Americans to rename French Fries Freedom Fries, but
now theres an American online petition dedicated to Sending
back Liberty. No not THAT kind of Liberty - they mean the
Statue of Liberty! The designers of the petition are claiming to
want the New York landmark, which was once a gift from the French,
returned to France. And what do they want to replace Lady Liberty
with? Why a giant statue of Ronald Reagan, of course-The greatest
president the world has ever seen.
The website also recommends that patriots chuck out
any French wine and cheese theyve got stored, just one of
many helpful deFrenchyfying self-help methods. Surely
its a piss take, isnt it?
See for yourself at www.sendbackliberty.us
SchNEWS warns all weapons inspectors not to go looking for weapons
of mass destruction at Faslane. Honest!
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