SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 401, 25th April, 2003
US occupiers less popular than they thought they would be...

SchNEWS 400, 11th April, 2003
military spending skyrockets, international aid evaporates and millions in Africa face starvation. Coincidence?

SchNEWS 399, 4th April, 2003
US carve-up of 'rebuilding' contracts.

SchNEWS 397/8, 28th March, 2003
The 'humanitarian' war underway, we report the protests the media ignore so well...

SchNEWS 396, 14th March, 2003
Anit-terrorism protestors treated like terrorists...

SchNEWS 395, 7th March, 2003
A look at how America are trying to buy votes at the UN Security Council

SchNEWS 394, 28th February, 2003
With all the hot air about deposing Saddam, we check out what the U.S. has done for Afghanistan so far.

SchNEWS 393, 21st February, 2003
Reports from anti-war demos around the world

SchNEWS 392, 14th February, 2003
War mongering and anti war actions continue

SchNEWS 391, 7th February, 2003
Star Wars

SchNEWS 390, 7th February, 2003
Holocaust hypocrisy in the British Press.

SchNEWS 389, 24th January, 2003
Terrorism gets blamed on refugees?

SchNEWS 388, 17th January, 2003
Direct Action Stations
Protest - can it make a difference?

SchNEWS 387, 10th January, 2003
Oily Drums of War
George and Tony's oily war plan rumbles on

SchNEWS 386, Winter Solstice, 2002
Chompin' at the Bit
Noam Chomsky gives his views on the 'war on terror' and North America

SchNEWS 385, 13th December, 2002
UK government struck by road-building frenzy

SchNEWS 384, 6th December, 2002
Kissinger of Death
- America assigns known terrorist to investigate 9/11

SchNEWS 383, 29th November, 2002
Gone to the Dogs
- Police still suppressing sabs while hunt thugs get away with gbh...

SchNEWS 382, 22nd November, 2002
Firebranded - the Fire Brigade Union were planning an eight day strike over Neo Labour’s refusal to pay them a decent wage...

SchNEWS 381, 15th November, 2002
Florence of Arabia
- European Social Forum meeting in Florence - another example of the growing movement against Bush and Blair’s war plans that is sweeping the US and Europe.

SchNEWS 380, 8th November, 2002
Assault and Pepper
- Police brutality in Brighton

SchNEWS 379, 1st November, 2002
Putin the Boot In
- Chechen rebels attack in Moscow...

SchNEWS 378, 25th October, 2002
Tricky Treaty
- the EU Nice Treaty is here bringing enlargement and GATS - the green light to a neo-liberal Europe. Plus - Romanys under eviction, McDonalds day, Sangatte and more...

SchNEWS 377, 18th October, 2002
Sari Sight
- why Australia isn't such an innocent bystander in the Bali bombing. Also - Bougainville, Ukrainian nuclear protester murdered, Sizewell and more…

SchNEWS 376, 11th October, 2002
- Bush's self interested, pre-emptive National Security Strategy comes out as anti-war activity steps up. Also - Brazilian elections; US dock strike and more...

SchNEWS 375, 4th October, 2002
Acres And Pain
- comparing the two marches in London last week - Stop The War and Countryside Alliance. Also - cannabis cafes, polish road protests, Stop The War actions and more...

SchNEWS 373/4, 27th September, 2002
Weapons Of Mass Deception
- what is this war all about? Oil. Plus special report from Palestine, Stop The War listings, Unocal in Burma, Porton Down and more...

SchNEWS 372, 13th September, 2002
Silent But Deadly - a critical look at the US on the anniversary of September 11. Also - Xenotransplantation, Brighton Peace Centre, Lappersfort, Reclaim The Future and more...

SchNEWS 371, 6th September, 2002
Summit Rotten - report from Johannesburg Earth Summit. Plus - the new Criminal Records Bureau, latest from Chiapas, Meanwhile Gardens and more...

SchNEWS 370, 30th August, 2002
Apocalypse Soon - the suits are going to Johannesburg, as the global environment goes south. Plus - GM in Africa and Dorset, Bhopal and Union Carbide, Countryside Alliance...

SchNEWS 369, 23rd August, 2002
Return To Sender - Bush boycotts Earth Summit in Johannesburg, plus Indonesian villagers sue Exxon Mobil, Strasbourg No Borders camp arrestee Ahmed Meguini and more...

SchNEWS 368, 16th August, 2002
Gravy Plane - Snapshot of South Africa leading up to the Earth Summit - privatisation and structural adjustments. Plus Uruguay in trouble, UNICEF get together with McD's and more...

SchNEWS 367, 9th August, 2002
It's A Nuke Out - the h-bomb in Hiroshima shares its anniversary with another disaster - 12 years of sanctions in Iraq. Plus - airport stopped in Mexico, Commonwealth Games...

SchNEWS 366, 2nd August, 2002
Borderline Case - report of the No Border camp held in Strasbourg 19-28 July. Plus - anniversary of Genoa, free party bust-up near Bristol, Brighton's Earthship and more...

SchNEWS 365, 19th July, 2002
Beach Bummer Boozy Bottleneck - Fat Boy Slim has an abomination on Brighton Beach, while local free parties get oppressed. Plus - oil in Nigeria, AFC Wimbledon, Paraguay and more...

SchNEWS 364, 12th July, 2002
Last Supper - Lip service to the starving at the World Food Summit, Rome. Also - protests against Commonwealth Games in Manchester, oil pipeline to Caspian Sea, and more…


  Home | Friday 2nd May 2003| Issue 402/3

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Story Links:
BOMBS 'R' US | Crap Arrest of the Week | Inside SchNEWS | Own Up Dow | Information and Entertainment | Help! SchNEWS needs you | Pumping Lies | SchNEWS in Brief | Unsatis-Factory | Mutants | ...and finally...


“On Mayday, we propose a pre-emptive strike…an attack on the real weapons of mass destruction: oil companies, arms manufacturers, multinationals and banks.” - Mayday flyer.

Yesterday was Mayday and time for the traditional game of cat and mouse, with a few thousand anarchists and anti-capitalists trying to outwit and outsprint thousands of cops. Many of our favourite shops had either been boarded up or not even bothered to open up for the day while workers took the day off obviously fearing that hungry anarchists would eat them alive.

One of those who didn’t bother opening was Lockheed Martin, one of the main targets of the Mayday pre-emptive strike strategy. Lockheed are the world’s largest weapons manufacturer who make a killing out of, er, killing. The “defence” company’s share prices rocketed after September 11th and with their fighter jets very busy during the war in Iraq, they’ve reported a doubling of profits in the first few months of this year.
In late 2001, the company won what has been described as “the largest defence contract in history,” a $200 billion development contract to build a Joint Strike Fighter, which according to their own website, aims to “provide the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and the UK’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with an affordable and stealthy tactical aircraft for the 21st century.” One capable of killing thousands of civilians who happen to live in ‘rogue states’ no doubt…

Since lining its pockets through war, suffering, and destruction is what Lockheed Martin is all about - just check out its latest “Making Weapons For the World” advertising - it comes as no surprise that the company’s most lucrative export item is the F-16 combat aircraft. Since the mid-1970s, they’ve managed to flog over 3,000 of them to such freedom-loving customers such as Israel, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt.

But if your stomach for flying has weakened since September 11th, Lockheed are one of the only arms manufacturers still to offer a nice line in anti-personnel land mines, with a life span of up to one hundred years, which they flog for as little as £2 each - surely it can’t be good business to make them so they last that long? Across the world, landmines claim a new victim every twenty minutes, that’s more than 26,000, mostly civilian, deaths and injuries each year.

Lockheed are leaders in the design and development of nuclear technology and its by-products in the US and are responsible for the production and maintenance of British nuclear warheads at their Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire where they specialise in “state-of-the-art hit-to-kill” precision weapons. They receive $1 billion per year from the US Dept of Energy to help run the notorious Nevada Test Site where it carries out “sub-critical testing”, which attempts to exploit loopholes in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They are also heavily involved in the Trident programme in the US, as well as here in the UK which costs us £1.5 billion a year. British nuclear-powered Trident submarines are on patrol, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each submarine can carry 48 independently targeted nuclear warheads, each of which has seven times the explosive power of the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima, which killed 140,000 civilians.

Lockheed produce the AUP-3(M) depleted uranium missiles that have been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. These indiscriminate weapons are classified illegal by the United Nations. When a DU shell explodes, it sends out contaminated dust particles small enough to be inhaled - high doses kill, low levels cause cancer. Unfortunately dust particles are not smart enough to distinguish between civilian and military victims and since the last Gulf War incidences of leukaemia and Hodgkins disease in Iraq have increased tenfold, as has the proportion of babies born with birth defects, that is without heads, brains, spines and limbs.

With a track record like Lockheed’s they just couldn’t resist sticking their fingers in the Star Wars pie. They are the lead contractor for the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense programme, a system designed to intercept medium-to-long-range ballistic missiles. Of course, if you make loads of money producing some of the world’s most destructive weaponry, it only makes sense to make loads more by creating systems to “protect” people against those same weapons. It’s the ultimate business plan.

Lockheed also does a good line in bribery and corruption. According to Tim Weiner, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, “Lockheed has a criminal history that includes paying millions of dollars in bribes.” Since 1990 they’ve been done a total of 63 times, handing over $230 million in fines and settlements.

So how come they seem to get all the contracts? The US Centre for Responsive Politics reports that Lockheed spent more than $9.8 million lobbying members of Congress and the Clinton administration during 2000 and gave $225,000 to the Bush-Cheney inaugural fund. Whilst in the UK they’ve been busy mopping up contracts as Neo Labour puts our public services on sale to the highest bidder. When air traffic control was part-privatised Lockheed was there, eager to add to its already existing contracts with the Royal Mail, the Met Police and the UK Census. Now they are bidding for the £3 billion contract to run the nerve centre of the NHS, which would enable it to profit not only from bombing people but also from putting them back together again. No doubt soon they’ll be running our schools telling kids that War is Peace.

* For more on this delightful company

* Check out some of their war porn or

* CND have a scrap Trident campaign 020 77002393

* Campaign Against Arms Trade 020 7281 0297

* Recommended reading ‘The No Nonsense guide to the Arms Trade’ by Gideon Burrows (Published by Verso 2002)

* There were more pre-emptive strikes against the arms trade at the BAE Systems AGM on Tuesday. BAE is the UK’s biggest arms dealers. One person who was dragged out by security yelled “It’s on your conscience. How do you sleep at night, you bastards?” By thinking about all the lovely profits they make out of war and death stupid.

* Were you nicked at Mayday? Did you see anyone get arrested or beaten? Then get along to the meeting today (2) 6pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 (corner of Parfett St.) If you saw someone getting nicked then get in touch with the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group email or

* DSEi (Defence Systems Equipment International) is Europe's largest trade fair (6-12 September in London) for guns, bombs, military planes, small arms, mines and tanks. A mass international protest has been called, get ready to Disarm DSEi! 07817652029 / 07887620379

Crap Arrest of the Week

For barking at a dog!
A barman from California, faces up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine for the highly serious crime of barking at a police dog! Walking in down town San Jose during the Mardi Gras street party he came across an agitated dog in police and a friendly ‘woof’ back to the caged animal, then he was promptly nicked by over zealous cops. He plans to plead innocent saying “Its ridiculous that someone could be charged for barking... And what about the First Amendment rights? Is there no freedom to bark?”

Inside SchNEWS

Ulla Roder is still on remand after causing £25 million damage to a Tornado jet at RAF Leuchars in March. If found guilty she could face up to 15 years in prison. Ulla is one of the ‘Trident three’ who were famously acquitted at Greenock in 1999 after smashing up jets bound for Indonesia. Write to: Ulla Roder, Cornton Vale, Cornton Rd, Stirling Scotland FK9 5NY. For advice on writing to prisoners and a list of other Trident Ploughshares prisoners go to

Long-term prisoner Keith Pringle is still serving time despite his sentence being up at the beginning of the year. After being in Full Sutton at the 1997 mutiny he has spent the last 5 years in high security segregation units. He went on dirty protest against conditions in Frankland segregation unit and to help a cell-mate get fair treatment. It is for this prisoner solidarity as much as open defiance of the system that prison authorities consider him subversive. Keith’s prolonged stay is due to threatening behaviour towards a ‘bully’ prison officer, the most recent news is that following an attack on him by prison officers at Durham, he is on a dirty protest in the segregation unit of that prison. To send messages of solidarity to Keith Pringle (CD0078) – HMP Durham, Old Elvet, Durham DH15YD

Own Up Dow

Survivors and supporters of the 1984 Bhopal poison gas disaster are still desperate for justice and on Mayday launched a hunger strike in the financial district of New York to highlight the liabilities of Dow Chemical’s, who own Union Carbide, the company charged with “culpable homicide” after poisonous gas from its pesticide factory killed 8000 and poisoned over 200,000 in Bhopal, India (see SchNEWS 238). When Union Carbide fled India it left thousands of tons of toxic waste. Dow stockholders are twitchy about their share prices falling when a future disaster blights the lives of a few hundred thousand people.

Information and Entertainment

Apart from SchNEWS there are a load of resources to keep you informed and entertained…

* Guilfin’s Something For the Weekend – a weekly info-burst, keeping you up to date with the latest festival, party, gigs dates, and all the upcoming campaigns.

* Eroding Empire: monthly DIY punky bulletin listing gigs, actions and events for the London-ish area. Send stamps to receive copies c/o 56A Crampton St., London, SE17 5AE.

* London Free List free and cheap events around London at

* Free parties: check out

* reports actions around the world

* For the Animal Rights Calendar see, or in ARCNEWS, 0845 458 0146

* Urban75 features bulletin boards, games, photos, protest, rave, drugs & more.

* See Indymedia for latest reports of protest and news you won’t see on TV.

Help! SchNEWS Needs You!

Owing to job, family and holiday commitments SchNEWS has lost lots of volunteers. Writers are always welcome, but at the moment we are desperate for locally based people to help for a few hours on a Friday to help with the mail out and distributing around Brighton. Neither of these happened last week because of a lack of people. Call the office NOW! on 01273 685913.

Pumping Lies

Sneaky BP this week admitted unprecedented profits for the first quarter of this year just a week after its AGM where Chairman P. Sutherland denied that the war in Iraq was about Oil! Guzzling a whopping $41m PER DAY - double what it slurped down in the same period last year – BP’s ‘windfall quarter’ has been directly attributed by analysts to the war in Iraq which sent oil prices rocketing.

This will come as no surprise to hundreds of activists who disrupted the AGM last week with a Carnival Against Oil Wars and Climate Change. Outnumbered by police and BP’s own private army of ‘security guards’, shouting protestors with whistles, drums and a Samba band kept up the noise level so that those inside could hear the voice of dissent. True there was not much attempt at the kind of direct action which might have invaded and obstructed the meeting, but the activists did come up with one fantastic master stroke: Ordinary shareholders attending the AGM were handed a spoof Annual report which so closely resembled BP’s own in design that indignant shareholders, believing it was the real thing, challenged the BP Chairman on its contents: “What’s all this?” blustered one elderly gent, rediscovering his conscience, “We are reaping the rewards from the latest in a long line of oil wars? That’s simply not on.” P. (for Pinocchio) Sutherland assured shareholders that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with oil and that BP had no plans to work in Iraq. Yeah, like BP are gonna miss out on the world’s second biggest oil reserves!

Meanwhile, environmental organisations last week submitted complaints about the consortium to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) meeting in Paris. It’s controversial Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline through Georgia openly flouts OECD guidelines by damaging the environment, failing to take the rights of nearby communities into consideration and by ignoring existing legislation in the countries the pipeline passes through. Who cares? Not BP, whose legal team has been openly boasting about creating new laws in Azerbaijan, presumably to get around such minor problems.

* UK Firm AMEC who are plugging for one of the largest contracts in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, are having their AGM next Thursday (8th). Meet 9am At speakers’ corner, Hyde Park for a briefing 10 am outside the Radisson Hotel, Portman Square, London to build a GIANT pipeline. 01865 200550

* Meanwhile in a bizarre example of corporate disingenuity Transocean Inc., the world’s largest offshore drilling company, managed to keep the fact that dozens of US and British oil workers have been held hostage for the last 14 days on a rig in Nigeria totally secret! A labour dispute among Nigerian workers escalated into insurrection on April 19th and the ex-pats were taken hostage. There are reports that they have been incarcerated in metal containers and dangled overboard and that at least 2 have had nervous breakdowns. But Transocean - whose motto is “we’re never out of our depth” - don’t care about the welfare of a handful of their workers. By keeping it secret they were clearly hoping that the Nigerian navy would sort it out in their own (very bloody) way.

* For copies of the spoof BP report send an A4 SAE to London Rising Tide c/o 62 Fieldgate St., London, E1 1ES

SchNEWS in Brief

  • Last week peace activist Lindis Percy was arrested at Menwith Hill spy base for the 150th time (!) whilst testing the enforcement of military land bylaws. She was charged with aggravated trespass
  • To find out what’s happening in North East England email
  • The Botswana government has banned materials from Survival International being in the country’s schools, as part of ongoing attempts to silence criticism of the treatment of the Gana and Gwi ‘Bushmen’.
  • A GCSE student from Braintree, Essex is taking her school’s Board of Governers to the high court after they upheld the decision to exclude her from school for a month after she took part in anti-war demonstrations. Her case has been taken up by Liberty


Behind the televised occupation of Iraq, the Argentinian state is waging a peculiarly brutal war against the blossoming Argentinian social movement. The Argentinian state is focusing all its repression on the ‘okupas’, the many squatted social centres and factories that have become a vital part of Argentinian communities as they attempt to take control of their lives in the midst of a shattered economy. Unfortunately for the Argentinian social movement it’s election time and all five presidential candidates are promising a return to neo-liberal economics and a good ol’ crack-down on squatted property. The man likely to win in the second round of the elections is Carlos Menem, the former president who sold off the Argentinian economy in the early 90’s and who has promised to send the military onto the streets if he comes into power.

Argentinians got a taste of things to come two weeks ago, when 200 police officers evicted Brukman, a suit factory, which had been under worker control since December 2001. Police evicted the workers and turned the entire block into a military zone guarded by machine guns and attack dogs. Within hours thousands of supporters were on the streets to condemn the eviction and to support the factory remaining under workers’ control. When the workers attempted to re-enter the factory police began shooting: tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, then lead. 30 demonstrators were injured and there were over 100 arrests.

So why such violent repression of a factory? Well Brukman isn’t just a factory; it’s a fabrica ocupada, one of 200 factories across the country that have been taken over and run by their workers in the past 18 months. For many, the factories, employing more than 10,000 nationwide and producing everything from tractors to ice cream, are seen not just as an economic alternative, but as a political one as well. “They are afraid of us because we have shown that, if we can manage a factory, we can also manage a country,” Brukman worker Celia Martinez said, “That’s why this government decided to repress us.” This poses a threat to the government as across the country a social movement network composed of hundreds of self-managed factories, squatted social centres and unemployed workers’ groups struggling for dignity and power over their own lives. But for some reason the powers-that-shouldn’t-be don’t see it like that. Evictions are increasing with Indymedia Argentina evicted just weeks ago followed by various squatted community centres. As the federal judge wrote in Brukman’s eviction order, “Life and physical integrity have no supremacy over economic interests.” So it’s not about your lives it’s about the economy, stupid!


Things haven’t been going too well this year for those involved in trying to flog us genetically modified (GM) crops, lucky for them western governments are on the side of their mutated chums…

* Cargill, the world’s biggest grain exporters and big fans of trade liberalisation and GM crops, have become the latest corporate criminals to get their foot in the door of the newly ‘liberated’ Iraq. Ex-Cargill senior executive, Dan Amstutz, has been put in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq, no doubt he’ll ship in all their surplus GM grain no on else wants. As Kevin Watkins from Oxfam said “Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission”. For the low down on Cargill check out

* The UK government is due to make a decision, soon, on the commercialisation of 18 GM crop applications. There’s a public consultation period, but it’s suspected that they won’t wait until this is over, before giving the GM companies the green light. Despite this anti-GM groups are still urging people to join in the ‘GM Public Debate’, which begins this month, to show that the opposition to hasn’t gone away. Regional meetings are taking place in Birmingham, Swansea, Taunton, Belfast, Glasgow and Harrogate from 3-13 June. Info 020 7261 8528., you can also organise your own meeting. For background information on the evils of GM crops check out

* Monsanto had their AGM last week where not only did they announce a 15 percent slump in their profits, but also faced a shareholder resolution urging them to rethink the safety of genetically engineered seeds. But rather than worrying that their stance on GM is denting their wallets they’ve instead produced a new position paper adopting a positive stance on genetic seed sterilisation (so called ‘terminator technology’) - which makes seeds produced by plants infertile, thus increasing farmers dependence on seed companies- even though they pledged in 1999 not to develop the technology.

* Last Friday it was the turn of Bayer CropScience, Europe’s top GM pushers, to have their AGM. As well as protests outside the AGM in Germany, their UK headquarters in Cambridge were simultaneously blockaded. Eight people were arrested. For the low down on Bayer check out

* This is the last year of the GM farm scale trials in the UK. If you’re fed up of not being listened to why not take some direct action out in the fields. For tips on decontamination

...and finally...

In a pre-emptive strike against capitalism, a group calling themselves the Trade Regulation Organization (TRO) have issued their own version of the “55 most wanted” playing card deck. The cards feature those jokers whose existence are “no longer consistent with world peace or prosperity” including George W as the 4 of clubs and Rupert Murdoch as the King of Hearts. The TRO reckon that the cards might lead the way to regime change and eventual large-scale war crimes proceedings. But their spokeswoman Hedwig Ixtabal-Mono has issued a word of caution “If one day the people on these cards are indeed brought to justice, ‘just following orders’ or ‘supporting our troops’ will be no excuse for the rest of us”. Check if your favourite boardroom terrorist has got their own card at

SchNEWS warns all Mayday revellers not to get hit about the Heed otherwise you might get Locked up. Honest.

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