For months, government spies have been infiltrating, discretely
photographing faces and noting names, observing changes in neighbourhood
routines and asking shopkeepers questions about newcomers. Since
April 1, the French anti-riot police began patrolling, and recently
all campsites within a 30km radius have closed, all unauthorised
meetings banned and all construction sites told to down tools. Soon
over 20,000 police, gendarmes, riot units and troops, supported
by barricades of barbed wire, armoured vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles,
helicopters, special forces frogmen and patrol boats will be completing
the picture and turning the small French town of Evian and the harbour
of Lausanne in Switzerland into a militarised exclusion zone.
Hey, it must be time for another meeting of our worlds leaders.
The Group of Eight (G8) summit is happening on June 1-3 in Evian,
France. The Group is made up of the richest seven industrialised
nations of the world - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan and the United States plus Russia. Twenty one other
countries have been invited as observers. To cheer on our great
leaders thousands will be demonstrating on the streets.
The annual summit was initially the idea of France in the mid-1970s
to help the worlds richest economies deal informally with
big crises, but as one commentator said Its list of memorable
achievements is almost zero. Recent summits have been noticeable
only because of the length of their vacuous final communiqués,
the distance at which the political leaders have been kept from
the public and the outrageous cost of organising the meetings.
Last years bash in the Canadian Rockies cost around £347
million, while the one in Japan a record £460 million. France,
fighting rising unemployment and urging its public to tighten their
belts and save for their old age because of a pension crisis, isnt
letting on how much this one will cost, but theres no doubt
that the champagne will be flowing freely, and the security costs
will be astronomical.
Groups such as Oxfam are asking the leaders to declare a war on
poverty, but as a recent Amnesty report shows these nations are
far too busy making money out of war to care about that. Between
1997 and 2001 at least two-thirds of all arms sales came from five
of the G8 members - America, Russia, France, Britain and Germany,
busy arming some of the worlds worst human rights abusers.
As Oxfam commented If the same amount of money and the same
political will committed to the war on Iraq were put into aid, trade,
and debt relief, it would end the suffering of millions of people.
For the cost of just two stealth bomber planes, 48 million children
in Africa, who have never had the chance to learn to read or write,
could attend school for a year.
Demonstrators are planning a Carnival against Capitalism from May
28 to June 3rd. To find out more www.g8circus.org.uk
You could also join the Pink and Silver Bloc. Anyone who is
interested in creative, direct protest, organised in an anti-authoritarian
and non-hierarchical way will be welcome. Lausanne is where there
is a real chance of blocking the delegates passage to Evian;
join us and help make it possible. Bring your own costumes, ideas
and enthusiasm...get ready to samba! firstname.lastname@example.org
And theres transport from Brighton, email email@example.com
* Read the Amnesty report A Catalogue of Failures: G8 Arms
Exports and Human Rights Violations. For copies 020 7814 6200
* Dont forget the EU Summit happening on the 20-22 June on
the Halkidiki peninsula in Greece. The summit has been moved from
Thessaloniki apparently because of fears of crowd trouble, with
one cop saying Nothing will be able to come close to the summit,
not even a fly. European heads of state will discuss amongst
other things EU expansion, new measures to control populations in
the name of security and building ever-higher defences
for Fortress Europe to keep out refugees. To find out about the
Crap Arrest of the Week
For waving a flag!
A 57 year-old American pacifist is in jail after refusing to pay
$20,000 bail money after being arrested at an anti-war demo when
mis-elected President Bush was in town. The police said he punched
a police officer after refusing to move back. The protester claims
he was simply waving a UN flag at the Bush motorcade in Indianapolis
to show his opposition to the war on Iraq and was attacked by the
Next Thursday (29th May) is the Second International Day of Action
Against Depleted Uranium (DU). DU is a radioactive by-product of
the nuclear industry that is used in armour piercing shells and
bunker buster bombs. When a DU weapon hits its target
it burns on impact and creates an extremely fine dust that can be
spread by the wind, inhaled and absorbed into the human body. In
the last Gulf War the Pentagon admitted dropping 320 tonnes of the
stuff resulting in increased cancers and birth defects among the
Iraqi people. Over 90,000 US troops who served in the Gulf have
also reported medical problems. Symptoms include lung, liver and
kidney dysfunction, memory loss, headaches, fever, low blood pressure,
and birth defects among newborn children. In the second Gulf War
an unnamed US Colonel has admitted that 500 tonnes of depleted uranium
was dropped on Iraq (other estimate up to 2000 tonnes) and that
they did nothing to limit DU use in cities.
With these health effects it is hardly surprising that the United
Nations has passed two resolutions, which include depleted uranium
weapons among weapons of mass or indiscriminate destruction.
Not only that but the US military dont care that they are
leaving a toxic legacy in Iraq and dont care about the health
of their own troops. In an interview with al Jazeera television
Professor Rocke, a former chief of Depleted Uranium Project at the
Pentagon said he was told to lie about the effects of DU, Even
though we know there are health and environmental effects, you should
make sure that we can always use uranium munitions in combat because
they are so effective. And therefore lie about the health and environmental
effects of the use of uranium munitions in combat.
Campaign Against Depleted Uranium 0161-273-8293/8283 www.cadu.org.uk
To read the interview with the US Colonel involved in the Gulf
* Not content with using DU in bunker busting bombs, the US military
will start to research low yield nuclear weapons,
part of next years staggering $400 billion dollars to be spent by
the US military.
* With US weapons inspectors soon to leave Iraq because they cant
find anything, maybe they could turn their attention a little closer
to home where they will be sure of finding weapons of mass destruction
and evidence of international weapons treaties being broken. The
US Army has proudly developed a grenade that can be used to fire
biological and chemical agents. This is in clear breach of the Biological
Weapons Convention, which explicitly prohibits development of bioweapons
delivery devices in any circumstances. Jan van Aken,
a biologist from the Sunshine Project commented, Hans Blix
might have an easier time finding illegal weapons if he were inspecting
near Baltimore instead of Baghdad. www.sunshine-project.org
* George Bush is on Trial in the Pavilion Gardens, Brighton
this Bank Holiday Monday 1pm. Sadly not the real thing, but street
theatre performance by Sussex Action for Peace. 07815 998127 www.safp.org.uk
* In the UK people will take action against Britains own
weapons of mass destruction: No to Star Wars UK tour visits
missile defence and nuclear hotspots, 4-13 June. 020 7702393 www.cnduk.org
** Faslane Peace Camp 21st Birthday week of action. 9-15
June. 01436820901 www.faslanepeacecamp.org.uk
** Trident Ploughshares International Disarmament Camp at
Britains nuclear weapon factory, Aldermarston, nr. Reading,
6-9 June. 07904 450307 www.tridentploughshares.org/aldermaston/index.php
SchNEWS in brief
- This Saturday (24), to mark African Liberation Day, theres
a rally and demonstration at the World Bank Offices. 11.30am,
80 Haymarket, London. 020 8625 1731 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Great Pipeline Debate - discussion on
BPs plans to use UK tax payers money to help fund the Baku-Ceyhan
oil pipeline, next Wednesday (28), New Theatre, LSE , Houghton
Street, London 7.30pm 01865 200550 email@example.com
- Beyondtv in Dub Benefit for people of West Papua. Wed
28th, films start at 8.30pm at Jabez Clegg, Portsmouth Street,
- Former framed anarchist prisoner Mark Barnsley will be
speaking at The Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone St, Nottingham, next
Thursday (29) 9pm Tel 0845 4589595
- This years Anarchist Bookfair is on 25th October
at a new venue which has loads of meeting rooms. If youre
interested in putting on a meeting or having a stall contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help Rigaer94 housing project in Berlin who recently
had their house seized by the authorities by contacting the Mayoress
and asking her to listen to demands. In return her occupied party
offices will be returned! Tel: 0049 30 2324 2301 Email: email@example.com
- In the past six weeks 14 construction workers have been killed
at work - the highest figure in the UK for over 10 years. Despite
a promise by neo-Labour in their 1997 manifesto that corporate
killing would become a criminal offence, companies are still
being allowed to get away with murder. This week the government
announced that it was finally going to introduce corporate manslaughter
some time soonish
and surprise, surprise individual
company directors WILL NOT be able to be prosecuted. Centre for
Corporate Accountability 020 7490 4494 www.corporateaccountability.org
Last week around 80 members of Landless Peasant Movement (MST)
invaded a Monsanto test site with the intention of turning it into
an organic farm. MST leader Celio Rodrigues explained, The
government of Parana says it doesnt want transgenics and we
producers dont want it. Commercial growing of GM has
been officially banned in Brazil since 1998 however up to a third
of Brazils soy output is thought to be GM due to illegal importing
of Monsanto soy.
This is the second time in a week that the MST, which was set up
to remedy the fact that 3% of the population own two thirds of the
land, have invaded this site.
* Meanwhile protestors in north Fife have laid waste to an oilseed
rape trial - the last field of GM crops in Scotland.
Everyone is familiar with the common stinging nettle, but did you
know that the nettle is one of the most valuable plants known? In
the garden, they provide the natural habitat for several species
of butterflies, including the Red Admiral, and make excellent organic
compost activator and plant feed. In the kitchen, nettles can be
cooked like spinach and made into tea and cordial. Theyre
rich in Vitamin A, B and C, iron and even seratonin, the happy
chemical. For centuries, nettles have been used across cultures
for their medicinal properties, and are good for aches and pains;
gout and arthritis. They can made into clothing and were widely
used in WW1 to provide military uniforms. So it seems there is almost
no end to the beneficial properties of our stingy friend. Be Nice
to Nettles Week runs from 21 - 30 May. Why not test your nettle
knowledge at www.nettles.org.uk?
A protest camp has been set up in one of the most beautiful forests
of Belgium to protect it from turning into an ecological nightmare.
DHoppe (La Houppe) is a small village about 40 km south of
Ghent on the border of Flanders and Wallonia. Its forests provide
a habitat for various rare and endangered species of animals and
it borders on the Brakelbos nature reserve, which is highly protected
for its natural and biological value. Unfortunately for the eco-system
of this area the vast majority is owned by Marcel Fort, a local
dodgy businessman, who isnt averse to using violence and intimidation
to get his own way. He is an extremely powerful figure in the local
community who operates outside and above the law and has been terrorizing
the village for years, making a stack of cash by turning what were
once the highest hills in the area into a landfill site and a sand
When Fort wanted to cut down 30% of the trees that were left to
increase the size of the quarry the locals decided enough was enough.
They demanded the landfill site be closed, that quarrying be stopped,
that the illegally built road to the site be removed and that every
forest in DHoppe becomes officially protected and made publicly
owned. On 27th April the camp was set up with tree houses going
up and people arriving daily. For more info check www.foert.org
or phone (+0032)/(0) 497-630312
Despite the fact that the Itoiz dam in Spain has now been filled,
resistance is still going on against it. At the beginning of the
year residents of Agoitz occupied the town hall for two weeks, and
in March activists occupied an island behind the dam walls before
being arrested. Inaki Garcia Koch is still serving time for cutting
cables at the site during the dam construction. Hed appreciate
letters of support: Iñaki Garcia Koch, Carcel de Iruñea,
C/San Roque s/n, Iruñea 31004, Euskal Herria.
* For a list of people who are serving time around the world for
their part in the anti-war and anti-nuclear resistance, and whod
like letters of support go to www.nonviolence.org/nukeresister
* Ray Gilbert has spent over 20 years behind bars protesting his
innocence, framed for murder with no physical evidence. A discussion
forum to push for his appeal case is happening next Thursday (29)
at Friends Meeting House, Paradise St., Liverpool (opp. Holiday
Inn) 8pm. www.ray-gilbert.co.uk
Animals angry at the abuse being dished out by humans are taking
matters into their own hands: in Uganda baboons have been protesting
against deaths on the busy Tororo-Jinja highway. In one incident
a lorry driver deliberately ran-over a female baboon, the baboons
then sat in the middle of the road surrounding her body causing
a traffic jam for 30 minutes. In another incident baboons threw
stones and sticks at motorists after a baby baboon was run down.
In South Africa some captive antelopes were freed by a herd of
elephants. The herd circled the fence and the matriarch undid the
gate latches and opened it. The antelopes then saw their chance
and escaped. The elephants then ambled off back into the bush.
A dolphin used by the US navy to detect landmines has gone AWOL.
The dolphin, named Tacoma, on his first mission in Iraq, got a taste
of freedom and decided he wasnt going to be a tool of the
US war machine and hasnt been seen since!
SchNEWS warns all bodgers yer Bilderberg cracks showing. Well
be round next week to look at it - honest!
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