This Time Last Year
9th May, 2003
SHAKY FOUNDATIONS Blair he goes again, PFI-vatising the country's
health, education and transport infrastructure...
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...
| Friday 16th May 2003
| Issue 405
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER NO U-TURN...
Terror-ISM | Fence
Offensive | Crap Arrest of the Week
| Eat Your GreensTM
| Atom Bummer
| SchNEWS in Brief
| Chew on This | "I'm
a Refugee, Get Me Out of Here"
| ...and finally...
When all the witnesses are murdered or driven out, what
will go on in the Occupied Territories? How will anyone know whether
things have gone from mere checkpoints, house demolitions, massacres,
destruction of crops, theft of land, denial of food, water, medicine,
and assassination, to something worse? How will anyone know if stepped-up
killings, or mass starvation, or mass expulsions, or mass denial
of medical care is taking place? What will happen to the Palestinians
then? - Justin Podur, ZNet www.zmag.org
Last Friday, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) raided the media offices
of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Beit Sahour in
occupied Palestine. The raid, in which computers, discs, papers,
and every piece of data they could lay their hands on was confiscated,
will undoubtedly have a temporarily paralysing effect on ISM operations.
Over the past two years, over a thousand volunteers from around
the world have joined ISM in the occupied territories, helping Palestinians
by taking non-violent direct action such as clearing road blocks
and acting as willing human shields, as well as sending back eyewitness
reports of their experiences. Over the past two months, the IDF
have been making ISM volunteers feel increasingly unwelcome--3 have
been killed or critically injured, and many others have been deported,
some violently. The office raid comes just over a week after two
British suicide bombers detonated bombs in Tel Aviv. The Israeli
government have now tried to link the two bombers with the ISM in
order to justify their new hard-line crackdown on human rights observers.
The IDF now stops any foreigner entering the Gaza Strip, making
them sign a waiver which reads, I am aware of the risks involved
and accept that the Government of the State of Israel and its organs
cannot be held responsible for death, injury and/or damage/loss
of property which may be incurred as a result of military activity.
In other words, please sign your own death warrant.
The stance of the IDF will affect humanitarian aid to the Palestinian
people. Amnesty International have refused to sign the waiver, and
so have been denied access to the occupied territories, while the
main UN Agency working there (UNRWA) are concerned that their operations
are being crippled by their staff being denied access.
The ISM, however, is determined that they will continue working
in the area, although the stakes have now been raised. In the past,
the basic assumption of international observers had been that they
were relatively safe while the eyes of the worlds media was
upon them. But Israels security forces no longer appear to
have any qualms about killing foreigners, even when they happen
to be the citizens of Israels closest allies. Sadly, however,
the death of three foreigners is a drop in the ocean in the Palestinian
conflict--on the day American Rachel Corrie was killed, nine Palestinians,
including one 4 year old girl, also suffered the same fate.
At the same time that the Israel army has been busy in the occupied
territories, their government has been continuing to flout international
law and have indicated their intention to stick two fingers up to
the new Road Map for peace. The Road Map, which was
published earlier this month, is an American led invention that
lays out plans for the creation of an Independent Palestinian
state by 2005. In reality, the Road Map is based on the assumption
that the new US-installed moderate Palestinian leader, Abu Mazen,
will be able to stop suicide attacks. But thats a tall order,
particularly for a puppet leader. As Rachel Corrie, the ISM volunteer
killed earlier this year, explained in an email to her Mum whod
suggested that a cessation of Arab violence might ease the situation,
If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled,
lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, from previous
experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for
us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been
cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were
being beaten and held captive - dont you think we might try
and use violent means to protect whatever fragments remained...
The vast majority of people here, even if they had the economic
means to escape, even if they wanted to give up resisting on their
land and just leave, cant leave... I think this qualifies
*Israel has the 16th highest per capita income in the
world, yet it receives 40% of US aid - $3.5 billion
a year. 60% of this goes to the military.
*By providing aid to Israel to construct highways connecting
settlements, the US is in violation of UN Security Council
resolution 465, which calls upon all states not
to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically
in connection with settlements in the occupied territories.
Next week, Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon will be meeting George
Dubya to discuss the Road Map, but Sharon has already made it clear
that regardless of whether Palestinian terrorist attacks stop, there
will be no concessions on the Israeli side. He has also made it
clear that theres no question of Israel giving up any of the
Palestinian lands that theyve occupied since 1967, something
that theyre required to do under international law.
In fact, quite the opposite is happening. Work is continuing at
a frantic pace to complete the separation wall, an Israeli
invention that will confiscate even more Palestinian land, and that
will cut the Palestinian territories into little pieces completely
separated from the rest of the world. With an electrified
fence cordoning off all autonomous areas, the independent
Palestine that the roadmap is supposed to lead to by 2005 couldnt
possibly be anything other than a glorified concentration camp.
Perhaps not even glorified. And most likely a series of concentration
camps, said Mahir Ali, a reporter in Pakistan.
If this sort of behaviour were taking place in any other country
of the world, it would be called genocide or apartheid. Lev Grinberg
of Ben Gurion University says: Suicide bombs killing innocent
citizens must be unequivocally condemned
But they cannot be
compared to the State terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government.
The former are individual acts of despair by a people that sees
no future, vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international
public opinion. The latter are cold and rational decisions
of a State and a military apparatus of occupation, well-equipped,
financed and backed by the only superpower in the world.
* Tom Hurndall, the UK ISM volunteer who was shot in the
head last month by an Israeli sniper, is still in a coma in an Israeli
hospital. The Israeli government wont pay the £25,000
needed to fly him home, so his parents have set up the Thomas Hurndall
Fund to bring him home and a fund to help relieve poverty in Palestine.
Money for either fund, the Thomas Hurndall Fund or The Tom Hurndall
Trust Fund, can be sent to Lloyds Bank, 273-275 Kentish Town Road,
* Read eyewitness accounts from International observers at
* Rally for Palestine this Saturday (17), 1.30pm Trafalgar
Square, London 020 7700 6192 www.palestinecampaign.org
* This Sunday (18th) UK premiere of Bitter Water.
What is it like to live as a refugee for 54 years? The film-makers
will have a discussion after the screening. 4pm, The Other Cinema,
11 Rupert Street, London. £5/£4. Info and other world
documentaries showing in June at www.dochouse.org
* Hands Off the Middle East. Brighthelm, North Rd, Brighton,
7th June, 9.30am-1pm, £1. Sussex Action for Peace 01273 706820
Crap Arrest of the Week
For playing games
An 11 year old boy was arrested in Antrim, Northern Ireland for
carrying an offensive weapon a wooden hurling
stick. The boy had been on his way home after a game in the park
when he was bundled into a car and questioned before being taken
home where the cops told his mum that he wouldnt be allowed
to take his hurley onto the street anymore.
Eat Your GreensTM
The genetically modified food debate is set to become a fully-fledged
trade war after the US this week filed a complaint with the World
Trade Organisation (WTO). Thanks to intense lobbying by big US-based
biotechnology multinationals like Monsanto, the US government wants
to force the EU to remove all opposition and controls on GM food,
complaining that theyre an illegal barrier to free trade.
The EU has been relatively cautious about GM foods, insisting on
labelling and traceability of foods. The US, who has refused to
sign up to international safety codes regarding GM, says that this
is just costly and pointless.
The opposition to GM foods comes from the public in European countries
and is genuinely democratic (some surveys say 70% of people dont
want GM foods), but of course this is irrelevant to the WTO. Un-elected
pro-business trade lawyers will hear the case behind closed doors
and there is no right of appeal. If they rule in favour of the US,
the EU could face trade sanctions running into the billions, with
Green MEP Caroline Lucas warning that the mother of all trade
wars and could bring about the [WTO]s collapse. Shame.
However, if this looks like the EU is a friendly crusader against
crossing fruit with jellyfish to make wine gums or whatever nonsense
theyre trying this week, think again. The EU has granted Monsanto
a massive monopoly over all GM soybeans after a nine-year civil
battle with watchdog group ETC - the Action Group on Erosion, Technology
The patent was originally granted to a different company, with Monsanto
then firing off a 292-page long statement of opposition. However,
when Monsanto bought that very same company they quickly changed
their tune and supported the patent. The ruling means that anyone
who genetically modifies soybeans in any way has to pay Monsanto.
There is some good news: Monsantos sales are well down from
last year, and theyre now facing shareholder resolutions questioning
the safety of GM.
Meanwhile Nanotechnology (see SchNEWS 249 & 348) looks set
to become the next big GM thing, with mad scientists already rolling
out the old cliché that it could end world hunger. Nanotechnology
involves building materials and small devices by manipulating individual
atoms. The scale is so small that you could fit 100,000 of these
devices across a human hair.
Environmental groups are pushing for caution, with Kathy Jo Wetter
of ETC complaining, Even though industry is scaling up the
manufacture of nanoparticles
there appear to be no government
regulations in Europe or North America to ensure the safety of workers
or consumers. Funding in the US for Nanotech this year will
total around $2 billion, with similar amounts in Japan.
Nanotech particles are already beginning to pop up in various products
such as sunscreens and wound dressings without extensive testing,
and of course the US is busy using the technology to make new bombs.
According to Patrick Mulvany from ETC, Nanotech threatens
even further to divert funds, knowledge and political will away
from the research necessary to address societys problems.
More on the GM Trade War: www.foe.org.uk
Nanotech, GM and patents: www.etcgroup.org
or read this months Ecologist magazine www.theecologist.org
SchNEWS in brief
- Reverend Billy, the anti-consumerist evangelist who spreads
the gospel Thou shalt not shop was nicked in
a Derby Disney Store after he used a megaphone to inform shoppers
of the companys use of sweatshop and child labour. Arrested
under breach of the peace, he was held until the shops shut. Follow
the anti-shopping tour at http://stopshopping.blogspot.com
- Peoples Assembly for Manchester, June 7th with
workshops on everything from the selling off of our public services
to lessons from the anti-war movement to creating your own media.
Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, City Centre (behind Central
Library) 1- 5pm 07986 305320 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apologies from your geographically challenged SchNEWS.
Dundrennan, Kirkcudbright (in last weeks SchNEWS), is in
Scotland not Ireland.
- Manchester Radical Bookfair this Saturday (17th) 11am-
5pm Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats. www.radicalbookfair.org.uk
- Lakenheath Trespass Day, May 27th 6am-midnight, Lakenheath,
Suffolk, the primary U.S. tactical airbase in Europe with about
30 nuclear weapons. Organisers are asking people to form affinity
groups and spend the day trying to get into the base 0116 247
- The annual Stonehenge Walk starts in Brighton, 27th May,
1pm from the Old Steine Fountain, Brighton, for a walk along South
Downs Way to Stonehenge Solstice celebration 078141 92881 email@example.com
- A Stonehenge Acoustic Free Festival is planned for June
21st - 22nd to protest at English Heritages decision to
open the monument on the wrong day of the solstice! Campaigners
are demanding full restoration of their traditional rights of
free access to the Stones and the provision of land for camping.
Acoustic musicians and groups wanting to participate in the celebration
should contact http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stonehengeentertainmentsdiscussion/
- Sound systems are planning a big UK T3KNIVAL free festival
somewhere in the UK over the Bank Holiday weekend (24-26 May)
open invitation to all, sound systems, artists and performers....
and ravers of course 07050 601945/07092 350834/07092 310245
(phonelines active from Saturday pm) http://uktek.freetekno.org
- The Allotment - Its past, present and future
conference organized by the Rural History Centre, 31st May, University
of Reading. Tickets £25 and spaces limited 0118-378 8306
Chew On This
The new Water Bill to be discussed in Parliament later this month
may force water companies to add fluoride to public water supplies
if told to do so by health authorities. So whats wrong with
fluoride, after all its in our toothpaste? While fluoride
applied to the teeth can neutralise the bacterial action of sugar
(which is the cause of cavities), when it is ingested, as would
happen if it were in the water, it can have severe health effects
such as high incidences of hip fractures, joint conditions, bone
cancer, and Alzheimers disease. Adding fluoride to water has been
banned in most of continental Europe because of the health effects.
Switzerland has just ended 41 years of putting fluoride in the water
saying its merits could not be proven in any study.
Fluoride is a toxic waste product of the phosphate fertiliser industry.
Dumping it in our water avoids the high costs of safe disposal,
and the industry has done a brilliant job of persuading everyone
that it is necessary to combat tooth decay. This is forced medication
on a massive scale and is against the EU Human Rights Charter which
states: everyman has to have a guarantee ... that he has free
choice of therapy.
National Pure Water Association 01924 254433 www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk
Im a Refugee, Get Me Out Of Here
I have been living in Battersea for fourteen years. I am
married to an English woman and have been working and paying my
taxes all this time. Two years ago they caught me and took me to
a detention centre, then they let me go and now they have caught
me again and put me in Haslar and I dont know why. They ask
me to explain why I dont want to go back to Algeria. Anyone
who knows anything about Algeria knows that it is kill or be killed
over there. There has been civil war there and I dont want
to go back. Medhi Bentounes, detainee at Haslar removals
On Monday, eleven people went on hunger strike at Haslar removals
centre in Portsmouth to protest against conditions and SchNEWS was
amongst those who visited them to offer solidarity. The hunger strikers
overwhelming message was that none of them know why they are being
detained or for how long. Asked about the hunger strike, a detainee
told us, We feel a little weak and sick but this is our only
weapon we have at hand. Conditions here are so bad, you know we
cant eat the food anyway usually because its too disgusting.
Medhi, the detainee we quoted above, is not on hunger strike because,
like many other Algerian detainees at the centre, he is scared that
it will harm his case and that he will be deported. After the last
hunger strike, a man who had been identified as leading
the strike was deported only days after the strike had ended.
Like most detention centres, Haslar has now been renamed a removals
centre, despite the fact that only a handful of detainees face immediate
deportation. People being kept at Haslar are forced to spend most
of their days in dormitories - large rooms housing 120 detainees.
They are locked in their dormitories for 16 hours a day and are
only permitted to have visitors for two hours (the rest of the time
they are asleep, with most detainees being given sleeping tablets
because they suffer from insomnia due to high levels of stress and
lack of privacy).
* Support the hunger strikers - write to the governor of Haslar
and ask him to listen to their demands. For a sample letter go to
* National demonstration against Haslar, 21 June, 11am at the centre.
Bring noisy things, the detainees need to hear us!
Strathcylde cops are on rent strike after part of the roof of their
new building caved in. The new police recruitment and training centre
was built under the Private Finance Initiative (see last weeks
SchNEWS) by Balfour Beatty and funded by US private equity firm
Babcock and Brown. Balfour Beatty are the safety-conscious crew
who received a record £1.2 million fine after part of the
tunnel they were building on the rail link to Heathrow airport collapsed.
Their latest building achievements include no disabled access and
flooding caused by a collapsed roof that forced the police to cancel
one of their own conferences. This is the first time that a public
authority has withheld rent on a PFI project, although many PFI
projects have been fined for poor services and missed targets. Babcock
and Brown have blamed Balfour Beatty and also accused the cops of
being pretty crap at looking after their own facilities.
SchNEWS cant wait for the bailiffs to turn up
SchNEWS warns all backseat drivers to fasten their seatbelts - with
SchNEWS at the wheel its a bumpy ride. Honest!
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SchNEWS and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures
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