This Time Last Year
402/3, 2nd May, 2003
BOMBS 'R' US Mayday takes on Lockheed Martin, 24 hour weapons of
mass destruction delivery service...
401, 25th April, 2003
less popular than they thought they would be...
400, 11th April, 2003
AID 'N' A BET military spending skyrockets, international aid evaporates
and millions in Africa face starvation. Coincidence?
399, 4th April, 2003
PERLES OF WISDOM US carve-up of 'rebuilding' contracts.
397/8, 28th March, 2003
MASS DUST-RUCTION The 'humanitarian' war underway, we report the
protests the media ignore so well...
396, 14th March, 2003
RUNWAY TERROR Anit-terrorism protestors treated like terrorists...
395, 7th March, 2003
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONNAIRE?
A look at how America are trying to buy votes at the UN Security
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.
393, 21st February, 2003
Reports from anti-war demos around the world
392, 14th February, 2003
IRAQ AND RUIN
War mongering and anti war actions continue
391, 7th February, 2003
WASTE OF SPACE
390, 7th February, 2003
Holocaust hypocrisy in the British Press.
389, 24th January, 2003
INS AND OUT
Terrorism gets blamed on refugees?
388, 17th January, 2003
Direct Action Stations
Protest - can it make a difference?
387, 10th January, 2003
Oily Drums of War
George and Tony's oily war plan rumbles on
386, Winter Solstice, 2002
Chompin' at the Bit Noam Chomsky gives his views on the 'war on
terror' and North America
385, 13th December, 2002
Wide-Boys UK government struck by road-building frenzy
384, 6th December, 2002
Kissinger of Death - America assigns known terrorist to investigate
383, 29th November, 2002
Gone to the Dogs - Police still suppressing sabs while hunt thugs
get away with gbh...
382, 22nd November, 2002
Firebranded - the Fire Brigade Union were planning an eight
day strike over Neo Labours refusal to pay them a decent wage...
381, 15th November, 2002
Florence of Arabia - European Social Forum meeting in Florence -
another example of the growing movement against Bush and Blairs
war plans that is sweeping the US and Europe.
380, 8th November, 2002
Assault and Pepper - Police brutality in Brighton
379, 1st November, 2002
Putin the Boot In - Chechen rebels attack in Moscow...
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...
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
376, 11th October, 2002
Docu-mental - 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...
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...
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...
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...
371, 6th September, 2002
Summit Rotten - report from Johannesburg Earth Summit. Plus -
the new Criminal Records Bureau, latest from Chiapas, Meanwhile Gardens
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...
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...
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...
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...
| Friday 9th May 2003
| Issue 404
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER LOST AND FOUNDATION...
Shaky Foundations | Blair
Bones | Rotten Boards | Crap
A-Breast of the Week |
| Dead Peaceful | SchNEWS
in Brief | Bullet Shit
| Spain in the Arse
| Positive SchNEWS | Inside
SchNEWS | ...and finally...
If GATS gets the green light Europe can kiss goodbye its
public health services - Susan George, economist.
After bombing Iraq its back to bread and butter issues for
Neo Labour flogging off our public services to the lowest
bidder. The new Foundation Hospitals will give private companies
a surgical strike on our health service. They will also be able
to pull out of nationally agreed pay and conditions for workers.
As Allyson Pollock, head of health policy at University College
London says Dont be fooled by the rhetoric: this is
When Prime Sinister Bliar talks about modernisation read privatisation.
Such modernisation has already been the fate of 50 NHS
hospitals handed over to companies like Jarvis, Tarmac, Siemens
and Rentokil thanks to the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) In a
study of the first 15 hospitals put under the PFI operating table
a third of hospital beds have so far been amputated.
Foundation Hospitals and PFIs are just what the corporations
ordered. These very same corporations are busy pushing for a new
round of GATS the General Agreement on Trade in Services,
first signed in 1994 by the World Trade Organisation. GATS aims
to remove barriers to trade (which are there to protect
us - health and safety rules, environmental laws, planning regulations,
etc.) and open up whats left of our public services to private
Once youve signed away a certain section of your public services
to GATS then there is no going back, because the aim of GATS is
progressive liberalisation a way of ensuring
that eventually no other model of service delivery other than by
the private sector is available. For example despite private companies
making a complete pigs ear of our railways, bringing rail maintenance
and repair services back under some form of public ownership would
breach the UKs existing GATS commitments. The government would
then be taken to a World Trade Organisation tribunal made up of
unelected trade lawyers who meet in secret and subsequently told
to change the offending law or regulation or face the massive
trade sanctions consequences.
Since the government reckons private companies are obviously the
right choice for running our hospitals, heres a little reminder
of how corporations have been doing elsewhere. In education, where
Local Education Authorities (LEAs) are so under-funded that they
cannot afford to put in bids to run their own show, companies like
Jarvis are doing a great job. With no previous experience in education,
theyve recently been awarded a £1.9m contract to provide
support for 700 under-performing secondary schools.
Surely thats not the same Jarvis thats under investigation
for its part in the Potters Bar rail crash? Yep. Or the Jarvis that
kept thousands of kids out of school in Liverpool for two weeks
and 20 schools in the Huddersfield area closed, because they hadnt
completed works on time? The very same. But surely its not the same
Jarvis recently joined by two defectors from rival firm WS Atkins.
Atkins recently pulled out of their contract to run Southwark LEA
after only two years because We had bitten off more than we
could chew and because there was no profit to be had, which
resulted in the company losing 90% of its value in six months, but
not before the number of schools in special measures in the borough
had risen due to their incompetence? Yes, that Jarvis. Ah, parents
can sleep safe at night then.
The school standards minister, David Milibrand, justified Jarvis
appointment by saying that Ofsted have said there is a real
problem in the quality of support going to the lowest-performing
schools. Is that the same Ofsted thats farming its school
inspections out to companies like Nord Anglia who also run schools?
No conflict of interest there then.
Despite an Audit Commission report published in January that found
the first PFI schools to be significantly worse than
other new schools in England and Wales, the government in its wisdom
remains convinced that PFI in education is the way forward. Defence
and shipping company Vosper Thorneycroft has just won a £100m
deal to take over the running of Surreys LEA, the first award
to be made for a successful LEA. Vospers CEO made no attempt
to disguise the motivation behind their bid when he boasted It
is £100m over 7 years. If we are able to catch some of the
other LEAs we could double or treble our size over that period of
Theyd better be careful not to fall victim to the level of
greed that almost sunk Amey, the company who took on a third share
of the London Underground deal, and also went on to grab contracts
for the Ministry of Defence, the Edinburgh school system, and Network
Rail - including the Croydon Tram service- which almost went belly
up when Amey failed for reasons of mis-management and too-fast growth.
No contract-breaking penalties for Amey however, instead they were
free to sell their contracts on, for £80m to Spanish construction
group Ferrovial, the first foreign firm to get their mitts on Britains
Meanwhile, our old mates WS Atkins are on the loose again, as part
of the design team for the new Birmingham Northern Relief Road,
the 27-mile motorway that seems set to fail in its objectives before
work is completed. The road is being built, - despite huge opposition
and legal challenges from the local community and environmental
groups - by joint venture company CAMBBA (Carillion, McAlpine, Balfour
Beatty and Amec) who will also be the operating company after completion.
One of the reasons given for building the road was the diversion
of heavy polluting trucks off the M6 and out of Birmingham, but
the £11 per trip toll that CAMBBA plan to impose on lorry
drivers (as opposed to £3 per car) will almost certainly keep
those trucks trundling over Spaghetti Junction. And the reasoning
behind this can only be guessed at, but Friends of the Earth probably
arent far from the truth:
a lorry damages the
road infrastructure as much as 100 times more than a car. Theyre
going to want to attract cars, which give them revenue, but not
lorries, which cause damage.
So, thats health, education, transport and so to public
housing, whats left of it. The government is committing £40m
into an estate in Manchester as the first of eight social
housing PFI projects. The Grove Village consortium, led by
Nationwide Building Society and house builder Gleeson, will revamp
the 1,090 home estate, then sell most of it on to private buyers.
Jane Robinson from Unison has said that councils have been left
with little option but to use PFI through lack of government funding
and that the quest for profit by private companies is not
appropriate in public services, where theres a range of other
responsibilities to be taken into account. But then we all
know that the only responsibility big companies care about is their
responsibilities to line the pockets of their shareholders.
* Serving (Up) The Nation: A guide to the UKs commitments
under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services. Copies
from the World Development Movement 020 7274 7630 or read it at
www.wdm.org.uk WDM have also
organised a Whose rules rule? Conference 14 - 15 June University
* 31 May Defend Council Housing National Conference Friends Meeting
House, Purchase St. Liverpool www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
Tel. 020 7987 9989
Crap A-Breast of the Week
A Canadian woman was threatened with 24 hour detainment for taking
part in terrorist actions against a U.S. citizen in international
airspace while on an American flight during a time of war.
Her crime? Explosives in her handbag? Nope - refusing to stop breast-feeding
her 4-month-old baby, on a flight from Houston to Vancouver. The
threat came after an American man on the plane felt assaulted by
her subversive behaviour, and demanded that the woman
be charged with assault and an act of war against an American (what
a tit!). Luckily for the woman there were no laws against breastfeeding
in Canada and she managed to walk free once the plane landed in
We dont do body counts, said General Tommy Franks,
Head of US Central Command, when asked about civilian casualties
Nevertheless hospital records in Baghdad released this week show
that American cluster bombs and other weapons of indiscriminate
destruction murdered at least 2,300 civilians and injured at least
7000. The death toll for the rest of the country still remains unclear
- Iraqi Red Crescent say they will have figures in mid-May - but
its sure to run into thousands. Is that enough deaths to avenge
September 11th? And dont lets forget the Iraqi civilian
death toll due to sanctions that now stands at an unthinkable 1.5
million. Or that the World Health Organisation today issued a warning
that a cholera epidemic is inevitable in Southern Iraq,
in which thousands more could die.
So why doesnt Tommy want to face the bloody truth? Well its
one of those inconvenient details, one of those spanners in the
works of the mighty lying propaganda machine that promised no civilian
deaths, loads of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and a dead dictator.
The horrific effects of Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons as used in
Iraq were highlighted last Saturday when 80 people protested at
the weapons test site near Dundrennan, Kirkcudbright in Eire, which
has been testing DU weapons for 20 years! Ken Dale from the Red
Cross spoke of the massive increase in childhood leukaemia in Iraq
since the last Gulf War, with drugs to treat it unavailable thanks
to UN sanctions. The marchers also heard how the UK government is
currently ignoring pleas to decontaminate DU sites in Iraq.
* 29th May is the 2nd International Day of Action against DU with
the Galloway Coalition for Peace holding another demo at Dundrennan
4.30 - 7.30 pm www.cadu.org.uk
Pro-Palestinian activists are now being barred from entering the
country, and many already there are being expelled. The families
of British activists, UN and peace workers who have been shot by
Israeli forces (3 in the last few months) have complained that the
UK government seemed not even a little bit interested in putting
pressure on Israel to open investigations into the shootings but
is now bending over backwards to help this latest Israeli move.
The plan, drafted by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) is a means of
further isolating the Palestinian people and ensuring there are
less people around to witness or report on further atrocities in
Gaza. Activists have been labelled by the IDF as provocateurs
and riot inciters but most belong to the International
Solidarity Movement and are prepared to act as human shields
to protect Palestinians and their homes, and to help safe passage
through Gaza and the West Bank. www.ism-london.org
- National Rally for Palestine in Trafalgar Sq, including speakers
from ISM, Jewish peace groups and Palestinian organisations,Sat
17th May noon Trafalgar Sq 020 7700 6192 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rave Against The Occupation, a Palestinian night of Live Music,
DJs, Films and Comedy Yallah 17th May at Sahara Nights,
257-259 Pentoville Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 tickets £8/£5.
- ISM Training Day - a preparation day for those wishing to go
to Palestine 18th May Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, Bow, London,
E3.11am- 5pm For info and booking email: email@example.com
or 020 7263 3040
- Palestinian Youth Leaders speak at the Circus Circus pub (upstairs),
Preston Circus, Brighton. 7pm 14th May. other dates round the
country 07786 628107 www.slpyouth.org
SchNEWS in brief
- For a round up of last weeks May Day around the
world go to www.indymedia.org
- There were about 30 arrests at this years London Mayday.
The Legal Defence & Monitoring Group (LDMG) are seeking witnesses.
If you saw an arrest or have photos or video footage contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or post: LDMG, C/o BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX.
- Dirtier Weekend - anti bypass play set in a road protest
tunnel: 9th - 9.30pm, 10th/11th - 7pm Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes
- SEReN is Wales new weekly alternative bi-lingual
newsletter. Subscriptions £5 to SEReN, PO Box 661, Wrecsam,
LL11 1QU. Writers, distributers and stories needed www.serencymru.org
- The killing of badgers, who are a scapegoat for TB in
cattle, will start again this month. Actions will take place across
the country www.badger-killers.co.uk:
- The Essex school girl who took her schools Board of Governors
to the High Court, after she was expelled from school for 30 days
for organising anti-war demos, has now been allowed back to school
but not until the high court judge had told her that she was a
very silly girl. Now that will teach her!
- Public meeting: The War on Terror threatens us all, Tues
13th, Moses Room, Houses of Parliament, 7pm. Speakers include
Mark Thomas and Michael Mansfield QC. www.cacc.org.uk
- The London Detainees Support Group, who support detainees
held at Harmondsworth Removals Centre desperately need volunteers.
Contact Amanda or Matt on 020 7700 0606
- Bus to Haslar Prison, Portsmouth from Brighton next Monday
(12) to show support for refugees on hunger strike. Meet noon
from St Peters Church. Bring things to make a noise email@example.com
- Cardiff Anarchist Network will screen Genoa Red Zone
to raise awareness about the forthcoming G8 summit in Evian. 2pm,
18th May at Chapter Cinema 1,Market Rd, Canton, Cardiff. £2.50/£3
- Hove action for Peace have organised transport to next
months G8 Summit, details: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Congratulations to the Devizes Guardians who have won
three seats in last weeks elections with a pro-community stance
and under the banner of saving a local tree!
Mario Placanica, the police officer that shot dead anti-capitalist
protester, Carlo Giuliani, at the protests against the G8 summit
in Genoa 2001 (see SchNEWS 314/5) wont face prosecution. Carlo
was shot when a group of protesters attacked a Carabinieri (paramilitary
police) landrover. The reason the authorities have given for not
prosecuting is that the police were acting in self-defence and that
Placanica did not aim the gun at Carlo Giuliani, but shot towards
the sky to scare the protesters and the bullet was deviated by a
rock in its trajectory! This is despite their being photo evidence
of the gun being pointed at the protesters.
The driver of the landrover, Officer Filippo Cavataio, who twice
drove over Carlos body will also not face prosecution as this
only caused light wounds!. Er, bullets bouncing off rocks and landrovers
that cause light wounds when they run you over? Welcome to Italian
* Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire who
shares power with the fascists, is in court accused of bribing a
judge to bar the sale of the state-owned food giant SME to Carlo
de Benedetti, owner of Buitoni. The trial is expected to last for
months. To protect himself, he is introducing legislation for members
of parliament to be immune from prosecution. He argues that it would
be good for the country good for him and his cronies more
Spain in the Arse
Spains unpopular Prime Minister José Maria Aznar,
who ignored 90 percent of his country when he joined the un-coalition
in the war on Iraq, looks set to introduce new laws that would impress
even Franco (the former Spanish dictator). The proposals include
a new law making it an offence to carry out public actions or to
publish false information that weakens the morale of
the population or provokes disloyalty amongst the Spanish military.
The laws would apply not only to actions against Spanish military
involvement, but also to actions carried out against an Allied
power. If approved, it could result in the hundreds of thousands
who repeatedly protested against the governments backing of
the war in Iraq being sanctioned for defeatism by a
military court. Their punishment could be one to six years in prison.
The way hes going though most people predict that it will
be Aznar himself wholl be defeated at next years elections
The people of Iraq have undoubtedly got a lot of work to do before
they are really liberated. Part of this is the establishment of
their own independent media. Bristol Indymedia have made contact
with people in Iraq who want to work to set up an Iraqi Indymedia,
and are going to provide them with ongoing support. If youd
like to get involved, or can contribute technical support or equipment
then contact email@example.com.
Donations can be sent to Bristol Indymedia, Box 7, Greenleaf Bookshop,
82 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB, please indicate that the money
is for Iraq IMC.
There will be a gathering outside Gloucester Prison this Sunday
(11th) at 1pm to show support for two Oxford peace activists
awaiting trial for attempting to disarm a B-52 bomber at RAF
Fairford in March. Oxford Support Group - 01865 423200.
Send letters of solidarity to Toby Olditch JT 5132 and Phillip
Pritchard JT 5131 both at HMP Gloucester, Barrack Square, Gloucester,
GL1 2JN. For a list of peace prisoners see www.j-n-v.org/prisoners.htm
* Protesters involved in mass trespasses at Shannon Airport, Ireland
last October were in court last week. Eight of the nine were found
guilty of trespass or criminal damage, banned from County Clare
(unless they lived there) for up to two years, and received fines
of between 50- 3,150 Euros. Donations are urgently needed to help
pay fines and costs for these and other direct action defendants
arrested on actions at the airport. Shannon airport has been used
for the refuelling of US planes used to bomb Iraq. Cheques can be
made out to Shannon Solidarity, and sent to Shannon Solidarity
c/o Ecology Society, Students Centre, NUIG, Newcastle, Galway. www.indymedia.ie
Always on the lookout to profit from public anxiety, especially
if it involves death and disease, biotech companies and research
institutions from all round the world and even the US government
are queuing up to be the proud owner of a new patent
the SARS virus. It seems the whole virus is up for grabs with groups
claiming ownership of everything from bits of genetic material to
the entire virus itself. Ahhh - Just imagine sitting back and watching
the royalties roll in as the death toll increases.
No dislaimer this week due to writers building block. More grand
columns and raising the roof next week. Honest!
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SchNEWS and SQUALLs 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.
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