SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 413, 4th July, 2003
POVERTY EXPRESS Multinational biotech companies, with full backing from Bush and his cronies, try to save the world by shoving GM leftovers down the throats of the worlds poor.

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...

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…

SchNEWS 363, 5th July, 2002
Identity Crisis - Blair wants to introduce ID cards - called Entitlement Cards. Plus - free parties this summer, death in Argentina, Costa Rica resists neo-liberalism, and more…

SchNEWS 361/2, 27th June, 2002
Summit Outta Nuffin - preview of the Rio+10 Earth Summit in Johannesburg. The multinationals have taken control. Plus - EU Summit in Seville, Esso to sue Greenpeace and more...

SchNEWS 360, 21st June, 2002
Choker Cola - privatisation of water in indigenous lands. Plus - G8 summit in Canada, Satpal Ram is released and Mark Barnsley will be out soon, Gypsy community evicted and more...

SchNEWS 359, 14th June, 2002
FB Lied/Bug Eyed - double front page about spooks. Plus - nuclear fuels in get Mox-ed up, GM crop sabotage, pink castle, West Papua, Golden Jubilee and more...


  Home | Friday 11th July 2003 | Issue 414

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Story Links:
GAM SHOW | Oily Warning Systems | Crap Arrest of the Week | I Spy Horseplay! | SchNEWS in Brief | How was it for you, Darling? | Inside SchNEWS |
...and finally...curtains?



On May 19th, the Indonesian government declared martial law in Aceh, the resource-rich province in North Sumatra, and since then has been busy doing what it does best: bombing, massacring, beating, torturing and raping terrified civilians.

Despite the fact that the majority of Acehnese want independence the Jakarta government has just announced that supporters and members of the Aceh independence movement (GAM) will be charged with treason. On Wednesday June 21st, members of GAM were gunned down. There is a news blackout and Human Rights activists are in grave danger.

The Indonesian government has been at war in Aceh for 27 years with more than 5,000 civilian deaths since the conflict began.

The imposition of martial law followed the cessation of hostilities agreement on December 9th 2002 - the only real glimpse of peace the traumatised Acehnese nation has had.

And guess who’s providing the sophisticated weaponry the US-trained local military (TNI) are deploying against defenceless villagers? Yep, those heroes of the war against terror, Tony and George.

Scorpion tanks, Hawk aircraft (both British made), OV-10 Bronco counter-insurgency planes and F-16 fighter planes (from the US) are among the ‘sophisticated’ weaponry being used to ‘shock and awe’ (not to mention totally destroy) them pesky peasants right now.

All this despite the fact that the duplicitous Blair government came to power in 1997 pledging ‘not to permit sale of arms to regimes that might use them for internal repression.’

With Robin Cook at the Foreign office, the fledgling Labour government sold 16 hawk jets to Indonesia in 1997 claiming the deal had been agreed by the previous Tory government and couldn’t be blocked for
‘legal reasons’.

They didn’t seem to feel the need to make any excuses however in 2002 when they announced a 20-fold increase in arms sales to Indonesia since 2000 - from £2m to nearly £41m! And last week, while the Indonesian government was deploying Scorpion tanks and Hawk jets against the civilian population in Aceh, the British government announced that it intended to increase arms sales to Indonesia yet further.

Goodies being packaged up for export include components for military training aircraft, rocket launchers, tanks and armoured personnel carriers. It seems British arms exporters are expanding outward from their ‘traditional’ market in the Middle East and establishing a nice little niche for themselves in Asia.

Last year the Foreign Office declared there was “no evidence” that any British military equipment had ever been used for counter-insurgency or repression in Indonesia. Yeah right! Here’s a few well-documented instances: 1975 - Indonesia used UK armoured vehicles in invasion of East Timor; 1998 - Scorpions used on the streets of Jakarta to put down civilian unrest; 1999 - Hawk aircraft used over Dili, capital of East Timor... the list goes on.

Last week Foreign Officer minister Mike O’Brien responded to the international outcry over the current use of British weaponry in Aceh by promising “an investigation”. Nothing for the brutal TNI to fear there then, because the British government doesn’t want to do anything that would upset its lucrative arms trade with


Oily Warning Systems

But of course the war against Aceh - like the alarmingly similar war Indonesia waged against East Timor - is not just about independence.

Nor is the predatory interest of the US and UK limited to selling military hardware. Aceh, like East Timor, is extremely rich in resources (as is the whole area) and Exxon-Mobil control most of their oil and gas fields.

Incredibly, Exxon-Mobil provides the TNI with “economic and material support” in exchange for their forceful protection of its vast plant and refinery in Aceh. If Aceh got independence the Acehnese would also get control of the oil and gas fields ... you get the picture. The GAM and Washington-based International Labour Rights Fund accuse Exxon of complicity in TNI murder, kidnapping and rape of Acehnese civilians.

Comparisons with East Timor are inevitable. East Timor finally became an independent country on May 20th 2002 - but not until a third of the entire population had lost their lives in the struggle against the Indonesian occupation which started in 1975.

Jakarta’s violent oppression of East Timor was encouraged and backed by consecutive US administrations, with Clinton in 1998 describing the murderous President Suharto as “our kind of guy.” It was felt that American oil company interests were better catered for by the U.S. backed Indonesian government than an independent East Timor.

As in Aceh, US and UK military hardware was used to oppress the East Timorese population for the best part of 26 years. Even after the 1999 UN-run referendum returned an overwhelming vote in favour of independence, the TNI went on revenge rampages slaughtering civilians and destroying buildings. Another example of the flagrant disregard of the UN by the US and the UK.

Tapol - the Indonesian Human Rights Campaign - together with the Campaign against the Arms Trade and 90 other Human rights organisations around the world are calling for an international arms embargo on Indonesia and an immediate end to military operations in Aceh. 020 8771 2904

• One of the world’s biggest arms fairs sponsored by the UK government is taking place in London from the 9-12th September. Countries from around the world, including ones on Amnesty International’s human rights abusers list, will be there to see if they can get there hands on some weapons of mass destruction. Also shopping at the arms fair will be some of the poorest countries from Asia and Africa, spending money on war instead of education, development and medicine. Disarm DSEi is co-ordinating a week long festival of action, protest and resistance. To find out how you can get involved 0781 7652029

Crap Arrest of the Week

For going home
At least nine Bushmen have been served with court orders for ‘illegally’ entering the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, their ancestral land for the past twenty thousand years. Their whole village was forcibly evicted from their land in February 2002. They were banned from hunting and gathering and their water pump destroyed. If found guilty of returning home they could face jail.

I Spy Horseplay!

500 demonstrators arrived at NSA Menwith Hill last Friday for an Independence from America party against US military presence in the UK at the Gatecrasher’s Ball. Menwith Hill, America’s leading spy base outside the US, played a crucial role in both Gulf wars. It’s also central to plans for the “Star Wars” National Missile Defence programme.

Dressed in costumes, ball gowns, masks and top hat and tails, demonstrators took part in a public reading of a new Declaration of Independence from America. Mark Thomas, looking rather fetching in frock and feather boa, introduced the line up of speakers, musicians and poets and gave a rousing speech himself. He told SchNEWS it was like a Reclaim the Streets party in the countryside.

Everything was going swimmingly until the police added some special party-pooping touches of their own. Organisers from the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases with full police liaison had planned a walk around the base, stopping at various points to give information about activities at Menwith Hill. The police, in their wisdom, had decided to head up the walk with horses that were inadequately trained and kept rearing up, backing into protestors, and generally causing havoc. One of the protestors said “On the day the police unilaterally changed all the carefully negotiated agreements. The police were responsible for any conflict that happened and it was quite unnecessary that so many police and police horses were drafted in. There could have been serious injuries because of the incompetent policing.” After first refusing to withdraw the horses, the police eventually replaced them with others, but the guided tour had to be cut short.

• There are weekly witness and protests outside the main entrance to Menwith Hill every Tuesday evening (7-9 pm). Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, 8 Park Row, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1HQ 01943 46640

• During independence demos at the US military base in RAF Welford, Berkshire one man climbed a radio mast and hung a 50 foot long ‘Independence Now’ banner. Peter Burt, from Berkshire Citizens Inspection Agency remained up the mast for three hours until a Ministry of Defence Police climbing team arrived. He decided to come down and was released without charge. Peter said: “Independence Day is a wonderful occasion to highlight the extent to which the US government’s foreign policy is based around the use of military force. Welford is just one of around 750 US military bases worldwide which the US armed forces use to enforce their ‘global reach’.”

SchNEWS in Brief

  • Africa – grassroots struggles for social justice and development’ public meeting this Saturday (12) at the Unity Centre, 2-4 Ravenstone St., Balham, London SW12 9SS 4-8pm. Have you ever heard people talking about the anti-globalisation and anti-war movements? Do you think that has got anything to do with Africa and Africans? More details 07890 738997 e-mail
  • Brighton Peace Festival on Hove Lawns this Sunday (13) 12-6pm – it’s free and SchNEWS will be there with our new book!
  • Brightons premier pirate station Radio 4A is back on your airwaves this weekend 101.4 FM Details of streams at
  • There’s a London Anarchist Youth Network Conference on 25th to 27th July near central London More
  • Demonstrate at the Fairford air tattoo next Saturday (19) The air show is where western military powers get the chance to flaunt their power, and arms companies advertise their wares. This year the B52 bombers, that were used for the ‘Shock & Awe’ bombing of Iraq, will be returning to Fairford, this time to ‘entertain’ the British people, along with the notorious B2 Stealth Bomber and many others.
  • Anyone who thinks Britain is a reluctant partner to the United States in bombing, stealing and lying their way around the world to keep up corporate profits should get hold of Mark Curtis’s Web of Deceit (Vintage £7.99). The book shows in great detail how Blair’s warmongering and disregard for international law is nothing new - there are chapters on Britain’s wars in Malaya, Kenya, Iraq and loads more places where the British state has been up to its tricks. Well worth getting hold of - the author’s got a website at
  • There’s a benefit for the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh on 20 July at the Wheatsheaf, 207-209 Balgreen Road, Gorgie, Edinburgh. There’s workshops from 2-6pm on zine making, stenciling, releasing and distributing your own records as well as a tape swap box - make a mix tape, and swap it for someone else’s. Bands from 7pm Admission £5
  • Queer Mutiny II is a free DIY non-corporate alternative to Pride in the Park in London 26th July. Meet 11:30am Parliament Square to join the Pride march, then go to Hyde Park for DJs, politics and pirate-themed fun
  • There’s a Radical Bookfair and Film Festival at the Bradford 1in12 Club, Albion Street, from the 1-3 August. Entertainments include books, films (naturally), snail racing, and a hardcore punk all-dayer on Sunday. 01274 734160
  • “Can we stop the next war?” - general discussion of the anti-war movement and what to do next. Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, Tuesday 15th 7pm FREE

How was it for you, Darling?

Traffic levels in Britain have increased by 80% over the last 20 years. But that’s obviously not enough for Neo-Labour whose latest U-turn - this time on their promise to get people out of their cars and onto public transport - was revealed on Wednesday. Construction companies such as Balfour Beatty (now facing prosecution over the Hatfield rail crash) will be fainting with excitement over Alistair Darling’s announcement that £7 billion is to be spent on concreting over the countryside in a major road-building scheme. More on this in next week’s SchNEWS.

• Last Saturday, activists from London Rising Tide staged a protest at the British Museum, which is currently hosting a BP-sponsored exhibition. Posing as BP representatives they handed out spoof reports and leaflets and displayed a “BP Sponsors Climate Chaos” banner to raise public awareness of BP’s planned Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and other global activities. London Rising Tide 020 7377 9088

Inside SchNEWS

A 50 year old nurse who admitted attacking a US military plane with a hatchet walked free from court last Thursday after a stunning victory. Mary Kelly argued that she had attacked the plane at Shannon Airport in County Clare but had done so lawfully to prevent greater crimes from being committed against the Iraqi people. After five hours the jury failed to reach a verdict although they did find her guilty of the much less serious charge of trespass. The Director of Public Prosecutions must now decide whether to seek a retrial.

• Sylvia Boyes has been jailed for 3 months after being charged with criminal damage to Menwith Hill after an anti-war trident ploughshares action in February. Send letters of support to Sylvia Boyes, HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham DH1 5SD

• If you are writing to any of the prisoners detained after the Greece EU Summit protests (see SchNEWS 413) you must also put their names in Greek letters. The Greek translation of Simon Chapman, whose 30th birthday is on the 24th July, is Óáéìïí Ôóáðìáí.

• Benefit gigs until all the Greek prisoners are set free will take place at the Eton Mission Social Club in London every Friday, 91 Eastway Hackney Wick (next to the church, Wick Rd end). This week cafe, projections and Serum Sound System, 8pm - 6am. More details: 0208 986 7966.

Activists at the Arundel protest camp at Tortington Common have scored a massive victory. Government support for the proposed Arundel by-pass has been axed, as have equally destructive road schemes in Worthing and Chichester.
Direct Action works!

...and finally...curtains?

For the past nine years SchNEWS has been very fortunate to get free office space from the band The Levellers - and a big thank you to them. But that’s about to change. We need to find about £300 a month by next month or find somewhere else to live.

Despite a readership of over 60,000 SchNEWS still relies mainly on goodwill, thin air, lots of biscuits and one or two people’s deep pockets. So can you help out? Anyone got £3,600 stuck behind the sofa to cover us for a year? Are there enough people out there up for making a regular standing order (check our website for details of this). We need to know very soon so we can decide, literally, our next move. Remember SchNEWS is run on a shoestring by volunteers and our computers would get wet if we had to write it from under a cardboard box.

• Don’t forget the SchNEWS comedy book launch night coming up on the 23rd July with Mark Thomas and Rob Newman. It’s at the Old Market, Upper Market St., Hove and tickets are £10 from their box office 01273 736222. Peace de Resistance is available from the office for a tenner.

• If you’re going to any events and want to hand out SchNEWS, give us a shout and we’ll bung some in the post. If you can help distribute our new book ‘Peace de Resistance’ also get in touch.

SchNEWS warns all benefactors wishing to keep us in the style the readers are accustomed to; after our book launch we’ll be floating SchNEWS. So, in shorts invest in yer planets future. Honest.

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SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 £4.00 inc. postage. - Nearly sold out...
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SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £4.00 inc. postage
The SchQUALL book at only £7 + £1.50 p&p. (US Postage £4.00 for individual books, £13 for all four).
SchNEWS and SQUALL’s 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.

In the UK you can get 2, 3, 4 & 5 for £20 inc. postage.

SchNEWS Of The World issues 301 - 350. 300 more 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 6X
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