SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 410, 13th June, 2003
MENWITH BALLS The US spy base at Menwith Hill gets some overdure attention. Plus Martin Shaw update; Group4 have recruitment problems;

SchNEWS 408/409,
6th June, 2003

G8 MY HAMSTER Another G8 summit; more meaningless declarations from 'our' 'great' 'leaders', more kids on the streets fighting for a better world and more police repression.

SchNEWS 407,
30th May, 2003

Get Yer Rocks Off! America "liberate" Iraq but keep their hands firmly on the Congo and their resources. Blunkett's trying to push through yet more "justice bill" laws and so much more!

SchNEWS 406,
23rd May, 2003

Bob the Bilderberg
Global £lite take young politicians under their wing for... sensible policy(?!)

SchNEWS 405,
16th May, 2003

Repression in Palestine increases as international observers are targetted.

SchNEWS 404,
9th May, 2003

Blair he goes again, PFI-vatising the country's health, education and transport infrastructure...

SchNEWS 402/3, 2nd May, 2003
Mayday takes on Lockheed Martin, 24 hour weapons of mass destruction delivery service...

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...

  Home | Friday 20th June 2003 | Issue 411/412

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Story Links:
Terror Fried Brains | Poached Rights | Crap Arrest of the Week | SHAC Attack | Twyford Downer | Argentina Autonomista Tour | SchNEWS in Brief | Party Line | World Turned Over | Positive SchNEWS | Alcoa-Kicks | Inside SchNEWS | and finally... |



“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”- Michael Ledden, holder of the ‘Freedom Chair’ at the American Enterprise Institute.

Last week a poll revealed that a third of Americans believe that weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, while 22 per cent reckon Iraq actually used them! Even before the war, half of those polled said the Iraq regime was responsible for September 11th. But no one’s found any weapons of mass destruction let alone used them (well apart from the Americans and British) and no Iraqis were on the planes that hit the twin towers. So how could people be so misinformed?

“Most people get little whiffs and fragments of news, not in any organized way,” says Thomas Mann of Brookings Institution “And there have been a lot of conflicting reports on the weapons.” But for conflicting reports read lies – a constant drip feed of false rumours (like alleged weapons factories and mobile labs) which if later proved wrong don’t seem to register so highly on the media Richter scale. This sort of media sensationalism is what author Noam Chomsky (see SchNEWS 386) describes as ‘manufacturing consent’ – getting us so damn scared of the enemy out there that we will swallow anything and ignore what’s really happening on our doorstep. In President Bush’s case it was the mid term congressional campaign, which his campaign manager, Karl Rove, very clearly explained could not be won by focusing on social and economic issues. Slashing public medical assistance, education and social security, while giving huge tax cuts for the rich, sharp increases in military spending and increasing state power is not a vote winner. As Rove pointed out, if they can make national security the main issue then people will forget all this and instead rally round the troops.

In Britain Prime Sinister Blair said we were only 45 minutes from an Iraqi attack; a few days before the biggest anti-war demonstration in British history tanks were stationed outside Heathrow airport, and only this week the head of MI5 said it was only a matter of time before those terrorists got themselves a ‘dirty bomb’ and used it on the West (SchNEWS would like to point out that this is totally different to a nice ‘clean bomb’ which is what Britain and America dropped on the Iraqi people).


Poached Rights

Switch on the news and you hear about more terrorists being arrested. But who are they? In December, five Turks and a Briton were charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 for supporting the Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C. They were nicked because DHKP-C has been banned by the UK government and the six arrestees were supposedly “facilitating the retention or control of terrorist property.” Guns? Bombs? Er, no, the people arrested were simply in possession of magazines, videos and posters that supported the DHKP-C. At a pre-trial hearing, the judge ordered all the defendants to surrender their passports and banned them from selling or distributing copies of ‘Vatan’ and ‘Ekmek ve Adalet’ both radical Turkish-based magazines that has the bare faced cheek to criticise that bastion of human rights, Turkey.

One of those nicked was Rory O’Driscoll, who had recently visited Turkish hunger strikers protesting about prison conditions. His house was raided and he was held for two weeks at Paddington Green police station where every hour someone would open up the hatch to his cell and ask if he was ‘alright’ (a friendly way to deny a prisoner of sleep, don’t you reckon?). If found guilty of the ‘crime’ of possessing magazines and supporting Turkish hunger strikers, Rory could face up to 10 years in prison.

In February at 5.20am, Ali Serir and his pregnant wife’s house were raided by armed terrorist police – part of an anti-terrorist operation mounted across the UK. Seven were arrested in the raids and the media had a field day. Ali and his wife had their front door smashed in, before being handcuffed at gunpoint and driven to Govan Police Station. Their house was searched for two days while Karen was held for 36 hours and Ali for four months under the Immigration Act because they didn’t believe his marriage was valid. He was very nearly deported back to Algeria before finally being released a fortnight ago, without being charged with any terrorism offences.

Leading barrister Mike Mansfield says that by using the atrocities in the US as an excuse, Neo-Labour has effectively declared war on Britons’ civil liberties “Anti terror legislation introduced by the Government has done more to attack people in Britain than defend them from terrorists.”

These anti-terror laws came in very handy for stifling protest when the war started.

As B-52 planes left Fairford to drop ‘clean’ bombs on the grateful Iraqi people the police imposed an anti-terrorist cordon over the whole of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire giving them the power to stop and search anyone without any excuse. People had terrorist objects like toothbrushes confiscated and sandwiches were searched for weapons!

As Noam Chomsky put it “The bewildered herd is a problem. We’ve got to prevent their rage and trampling. We’ve got to distract them. They should be watching the Superbowl or sitcoms or violent movies. Every once in a while you call on them to chant meaningless slogans like “Support our troops.” You’ve got to keep them pretty scared, because unless they’re properly scared and frightened of all kinds of devils that are going to destroy them from outside or inside or somewhere, they may start to think, which is very dangerous, because they’re not competent to think. Therefore it’s important to distract them and marginalize them.”
Recommended reading: John Pilger - The New Rulers of the World (Verso 2002). Noam Chomsky & Edward S. Herman - Manufacturing Consent. The Political Economy of the Mass Media (Pantheon Books).

For an in depth analysis of world events see

Crap Arrest of the Week

For reading the paper!
An American anti-war prisoner serving time for protesting at a military base was put into solitary confinement for eight days after he got sent and distributed anti-war articles from such radical publications as the New York Times, Readers’ Digest, Newsweek, and The Guardian! Better not send him this weeks SchNEWS then.

SHAC Attack

The Protection from Harassment Act was introduced in 1997 to give women protection against domestic violence and stalking by strangers. But now poor Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), that nasty pharmaceutical testing company, are feeling so harassed by protestors that they want to hijack the Act to issue a temporary injunction against animal rights activists which will allow them to continue torturing and murdering animals undisturbed.

At present the temporary injunction permits only one demo every 30 days in exclusion zones around the company’s sites and a 50-metre exclusion zone has been set up around the home of every employee. SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) told SchNEWS that this makes no difference to their campaign of targeting people who do business with Huntingdon.

The injunction also states that the use of hooters and klaxons could be deemed ‘harassment’! But it wasn’t harassment that killed baboon W201m who died of a stroke after two days of suffering from limb spasms and paralysis, or baboon W205m who had to be ‘sacrificed’ after 21 days. A genetically modified pig’s heart had been welded to the vital arteries within its neck. Researchers noted the heart was swelling way beyond its natural size. Strange yellow fluid was seen seeping from the organ.

But this ‘re-application’ of the Protection from Harassment Act goes far beyond the death labs of HLS and the homes of its corporate slaves – their 30 day injunction is yet another shiny nail in the ‘right to demonstrate’ coffin. The decision on whether HLS are granted their extension is due next week. As women’s rights campaigner Rahila Gupta, commented: “The central irony of the Huntingdon case is that a law which was, in part, the product of political activism is being used to clamp down on political activism.” Now there’s a surprise.

For more on the campaign to close down Hungtingdon Tel: 0845 458 0630
For more on shockingly sick science and government collusion * Anti-vivisection campaigners Uncaged are holding a London-wide street collection on19th July and help is needed. Tel: 0114 272 2220

Twyford Downer

10 years ago Twyford Down in Hampshire became the battleground that spawned the anti-roads movement. The extension of the M3 through Twyford was eventually built but as some sort of compensation former Tory Transport Minister Malcom Rifkind promised that the old Winchester by-pass would be allowed to return to fields. This area now supports over 200 flowering plant species, is easily accessible, particularly to children and people with limited mobility, and is well used by the local community. But now Neo-Labour has given permission for Hampshire County Council to redevelop part of the land for a park and ride. Attempts to fight this proposal in court have so far been unsuccessful, a footpath across the land is due to close on 23 June, and work on the car park needs to start by October otherwise planning permission lapses.

A meeting is being held at the site on Sunday from 11am to 1pm to discuss what else might be done. It’s off Bar End Road, (an extension of Chesil Street) about a mile and half from the railway station. Call Keith Story on 01962 854 880 if you need a lift. Or, leave the M3 at junction 10 and head for St Catherine’s park and ride site, which is next to the proposed new site.

Argentina Autonomista Tour!

Over the last year an incredible wave of social protest and action has engulfed Argentina. In the midst of a severe economic crisis there have been massive street protests, over 200 factory under workers control, more than three hundred cooperatives organized by the unemployed. Two women from the Piquetera (Unemployed Worker Movement) along with a full length puppet show are in the UK to tell people about these inspiring grassroots organisations.

July: 1 Glasgow Alexander Thompson Hotel, 320 Argyle St., 7:30pm 07941 038377; 2 Edinburgh Slide show at Forest café, Westport, 2pm and Millenium Centre, 7, Muirhouse, Medway, 7.30pm 0131 557 6242; 3 Edinburgh CWU, 15 Brunswick Street 7.30pm; 5 Lancaster, The Gregson Centre, Moor Lane, 8.30pm 07810 168082; 7 Bradford 1in12 Club, 21-23 Albion St. 7pm 01274 734160; 8 Leeds Woodhouse Community Centre, 7pm; 10 Liverpool Merseyside Trade Union Centre, hard Hardman street Hardman Street, 7.30pm, 0151-220-6630; 11 Cardiff venue tbc,; 12 Bristol Kebele, 14 Robertson Rd, time tbc, 0117 9399469. 13-19 Ireland tbc contact

SchNEWS in brief

  • Last month Poland saw it’s largest ever critical mass bike ride, when over 1,000 people took to the streets of Warsaw. Critical mass is becoming increasingly popular in Poland
  • For a full list of critical masses in the UK see the party and protest section of our website
  • For a history of critical mass check out ‘Critical Mass- Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration’ by Chris Carlsson, available from AK Press, PO Box 12766, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH8 9YE
  • The Italian Minister for Reform, Umberto Bossi, this week voiced his opinion on how to deal with “ the problem of illegal immigrants” – let the Italian navy open fire on boats carrying them! And he may soon be able to get away with it if the Italian Parliament approves a law being pushed through by dodgy Prime Minister Berlusconi (who’s currently facing corruption charges) which will ensure that the five most senior members of the Italian government will be immune from prosecution as long as they hold their posts.
  • The Trials of Arthur’ by CJ Stone is a new book all about the adventures of the new King Arthur Pendragon at Stonhenge, Newbury and elsewhere. Published by Element Books.
  • Next Wednesday (25) George Monbiot will be appearing at the Odeon in Brighton. The night includes a screening of Bowling for Columbine. Tickets £5 from Borders, Churchill Square
  • Keep up to date with the protests at the Greece EU Summit taking place this weekend at
  • Check out the new look UK indymedia website at its new location
  • Brighton’s Alliance of Sound Systems (BASS) are holding their annual Solstice Burning of the Rigs this Sunday (22) 7.30pm on Brighton Beach, just past the Concorde 2. Followed by a party at the Concorde 2 at 10pm- 2am £3
  • Problems at work? Regular free, confidential advice on pay, health & safety, redundancy, harassment or anything work-related. Every Tuesday at the Cowley Club 5-7pm. /
  • Brighton ISM in solidarity with the Palestinian people is campaigning to force Caterpillar to withdraw from its involvement with the Israeli army. Make potential customers aware of their profitable involvement in ethnic cleansing at Hillhead 2003, the biggest UK exhibition of earthmoving equipment. Transport from Brighton on June 25th. Contact Chris on 07977 204334.

Party Line

Keep up to date with what’s happening with our Party and Protest guide on the web. and submit your events. And here’s some more useful resources...

Festival Eye. £3.50 (postal order/cheque to Festival Eye) plus an A4 addressed envelope from BCM 2002, London, WC1N 3XX.

Free Parties happen up and down the country despite the best efforts of the authorities. Track them down at and

World Turned Over

The World Trade Organisation (WTO – SchNEWS 240 / 327) is gearing up for its next ministerial meeting, taking place in Cancun, Mexico from September 10th - 14th, and SchNEWS predicts massive protests along the lines of those seen in Seattle in 1999. To keep up to date with developments leading up to Cancun, check out Or read WDM’s report and this month’s Ecologist

Positive SchNEWS

The Sambhavna Trust is planting an organic Ayurvedic herbal medicine garden at its new clinic in Bhopal – the place where thousands were killed by poisonous gas from a nearby chemical factory 19 years ago. The garden project will produce the fresh herbs needed to make Ayurvedic medicines dispensed by the clinic, train people in organic gardening techniques, educate community members about growing and using medicinal herbs, and demonstrate a home-grown alternative to expensive, often harmful drug-store variety health care. They are keen to make contact with organic seed suppliers in India and could definitely do with a hand. Contact them at and take a look at


Alcoa, the US-owned transnational aluminium giant has got the go-ahead from the Conservative Icelandic government to trash one of Europe’s largest remaining areas of natural wilderness. The profit hungry vandals will flood large swathes of the Icelandic highlands – currently a centre of eco-tourism with loads of fantastic waterfalls, glaciers, geothermal springs, unique plants and animals – to build a massive dam to provide electricity for the giant aluminium smelter they intend to build smack bang in the middle of one of the country’s most beautiful fjords.

Icelanders are totally baffled as to why their government ignored the advice of their own planning agency - which rejected Alcoa’s plans out of hand on ecological grounds - and the desperate protests of national and international environmental campaigners, just to line the pockets of corporate fat cats from another planet.
Preliminary work has already begun but Icelandic campaigners say it’s still not too late to join in the direct action protests.

Inside SchNEWS

It’s really important for people who are imprisoned for acts of resistance to be kept informed about what’s happening on the outside. It can be scary writing to somebody you don’t know, but a short letter and a magazine can do a lot to cheer up an otherwise dull day.

In March this year Trident Ploughshares peace activist Ulla Roder was arrested and charged with causing £25 million of damage to a tornado plane at RAF Leuchars, Scotland. Tornados from the base were involved in the bombing of Iraq. She has been on remand ever since. Her trial was due to start on the 30th June but has now been adjourned until at least the end of July. Letters of support can be sent to her · Ulla Roder, HMP Cornton Vale, Cornton Road, Stiling, FK9 5NY

In February this year 5 Pitstop Ploughshares Activists disarmed a US Warplane docked at Shannon Airport, Ireland. They’re are appearing in court on 24th June (see party&protest). For a full list of people serving time for their beliefs and who’d appreciate support see

...and finally...

An anti-war protester has been fined £170 in Bosnia for decorating a statue of Jesus with three multi-coloured condoms and a plate inscribed ‘Peace’. Fedja Stukan placed the condoms over three fingers on the Sarajevo statue’s right hand and was astonished when he was arrested and fined. The judge at the Sarajevo court said his protest had deeply offended the country’s Catholic Church but Stukan says he stands by his message: “Make love not war”

Weapon of Disclaimer Massive
SchNEWS warns all readers we’re off to digest chemicals and go nuclear with dirty puns about biological weapons. Honest!

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