This Time Last Year
416, 25th July, 2003
I'M AN AMERICAN, GET ME OUT OF HERE! US troops
queue to get out of Iraq while US corporations queue to get in... Plus
Chechenya, Organic school dinners, Coca-killer and more...
415, 18th July, 2003
VISION CHIPS Real Freak Horrorshow Big Brother has landed. Plus,
Sherwood Forest, Simon Shaw, Lockheed Martin and more...
414, 11th July, 2003
GAM SHOW Massacre in Aceh, (Indonesia again pummels state wanting
independence with British arms). Plus, Victory for Arundel, rest of
country not so lucky..
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.
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;
6th June, 2003
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.
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
23rd May, 2003
Bob the Bilderberg
£lite take young politicians under their wing for... sensible
16th May, 2003
Repression in Palestine increases as international observers are
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...
| Friday 8th August
2003 | Issue 417
WAKE UP! IT'S YER NO-TIME-FOR-A-SIESTA
MAI EYE! | Corporate
Conquistadores | Crap Arrest... |
Another Brick In The Apartheid Wall
| Schnews in Brief
| Inside SchNEWS
| Positive SchNEWS | ...and
It was hailed by the economists as the organisation that would
bring about global prosperity (where have we heard that before).
Where the weakest nations of the world would be put on the same
footing as the most powerful. But the WTOs rulings have produced
a race to the bottom with every environmental, health
or safety policy it has had to rule on deemed an illegal barrier
to trade. Now with its fifth Ministerial meeting approaching next
month in Cancun, Mexico, the World Trade Organization is in crisis
and heading for deadlock.
America continues to block an agreement for access to cheap medicines
for developing countries, while a new agreement on agriculture is
nowhere in sight as the US and the European Union defend their multibillion
dollar subsidies. Brussels is on the verge of imposing sanctions
on Washington for giving tax breaks to exporters, while Washington
is threatening Europe with a trade war over their plans to label
genetically modified foods.
Yet despite this the European Commission and Japan, egged on by
massive corporate lobby groups such as the International Chamber
of Commerce, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and the European
Services Forum, are pushing for a new Multilateral Agreement on
Investment (or MAI see SchNEWS 141). With backing from such
big business free market fundamentalists alarm bells should start
ringing, and most developing countries and NGOs are either opposed
to, or remain highly suspicious of a new MAI.
The first MAI proposal was defeated in 1998 in what some have hailed
as the first bloody nose dished out by the emerging new global protest
movement. A year later massive protests led the WTO talks in Seattle
to collapse (see SchNEWS 240). But, once the MAI had been rejected,
Western governments simply went on to negotiate mini versions on
a nation by nation basis - with a staggering 450 being signed. When
the protestors get a victory, big business and governments simply
shift the goalposts and carry on regardless. Some argue that it
is better to have a WTO type body to keep an eye on than a corporate
free-for-all, but that is no better than asking people around the
world if they would prefer to have their legs cut off or their arms.
Together Walt Disney, Nike and McDonalds spend more on advertising
each year than the poorest 18 countries spend on health and education.
The top ten companies worldwide already make over £1000 billion
a year - far more than the combined wealth of all the countries
in Africa and South Asia. But thats not enough for the corporate
fat cats. Behind the scenes multinationals are busy working together
in their corporate clubs, lobbying and twisting the arms of governments
to agree new trade rules that will give them even greater wealth
From the corporate perspective, the ideal MAI would
be one loaded with rights for the companies without any responsibilities.
For example it would become an offence under WTO barrier to
trade rules for a country to protect local companies or show
favour to those involved in ethical or sustainable practices. In
any case the power of multinationals makes a mockery of any so-called
level playing field. Business conditions are loaded in their favour,
technical development monopolised and when recession bites
they simply pull out.
Worse still, an MAI would make liberalisation permanent
that is, once a public service has been sold to the lowest
bidder, therell be no turning back without breaking WTO rules.
Public protest, change of government tough under the
MAI privatisation is forever.
But whats the problem with foreign investment? A new report
Unlimited Companies by ActionAid shows how often big
business is allowed to trample through the developing world, pissing
on peoples rights; evicting them from their homes, squeezing
them out of business and refusing to allow workers to join unions
or get a decent wage.
In India, hundreds of untouchable Dalit have been protesting
outside a new Coca Cola bottling plant since April last year. The
protestors say the factory is in breach of Indias laws, has
offered few local jobs and has contaminated water supplies. Ever
since the Coke factory came up, I cannot run the pump even for one
hour due to depletion of water in the well. As a result, there was
total crop failure during the past two to three years, says
Shahul Hameed, a local farmer who used to grow rice, coconut, mango,
and groundnut on land adjacent to the bottling plant.
In Brazil, thousands of local dairy farmers have gone bust or been
squeezed out of the market after multinationals Nestles and Parmalat
gained control of over 50% of the Brazilian dairy sector in the
late 1990s. Prices fell by 50% for farmers in Minas Gerais state
and 70,000 poor producers had to stop supplying the largest companies
Parmalat punished us for two years, paying lower and lower
prices for our milk, so we had less and less to pay our bills,
says Renat Hildt, a family farmer from Rio Grande do Sul.
The report concludes that a WTO investment agreement would make
things even worse. As Luke Eric Peterson, a Canadian researcher,
explains The only MAI that these countries really need is
a Massive Aid Influx - serious new flows of public monies from the
West to support basic public goods in the developing world.
But then thats the sort of do-good nonsense thats not
gonna make anyone rich and powerful.
* Join the protests to derail the talks www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/cancun
* Check out Corporate Europe Observatorys essential www.investmentwatch.org
for up to date news and analysis on the MAI and WTO.
* For copies of the ActionAid report - 020 7561 7561 www.actionaid.org
I expect developing countries are pretty tired of coming
along to World Trade Organisation meetings, only to watch
the trade cake be cut up by richer world, with the poorer
world being left crumbs. - Tony Baldry MP
In July the United Nations Development Program released its
annual Human Development Report. During the economically prosperous
1990s 54 countries ended the decade poorer than when they
Crap Arrest of the Week
For Firing A Water Pistol
A man in county Durham was CS sprayed and arrested after a policeman
driving a vehicle was caught in the crossfire of a vicious water
pistol fight. When the copper was squirted at close range
from a pressurized water gun into his car he thought hed
join in the fun with a can of CS. A police spokesperson claimed
the officer was temporarily blinded by the water, justifying
the charges of a Public Order offence, resisting arrest and causing
danger to a road user!
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE APARTHEID WALL
On Tuesday, more than 40 Palestinian, Israeli, and international
human rights activists were detained while attempting to block the
demolition of part of a Palestinian familys home, near the
village of Masha. The building was to be demolished by the
Israeli Military because it lay in the path of the Apartheid Wall
that Israel is constructing on occupied Palestinian land. Two internationals
were beaten; one, a US citizen from Los Angeles, was repeatedly
kicked in the stomach and may have sustained broken ribs. Bulldozers
moved in immediately to demolish part of the family home.
This is the latest in a string of events relating to the construction
of a separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank. The officially
stated reason for building the security fence (which
is three times higher and longer then the Berlin wall) is to prevent
the unauthorised passage of Palestinians out of the West Bank. However,
the route of the wall does not follow the internationally recognised
pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel, and the authorities refuse
to publish the official path of their security fence.
However, research carried out by the Israeli human rights group,
BTselem, shows that the planned route for the fence will isolate
a number of Palestinian villages and rob a great many more of their
farmland, enabling the acquisition of even more Palestinian land.
* Next saturday (16th) the Israeli army will be descending on Brighton!
Checkpoints will be set up around the town centre by the International
Solidarity Movement in protest at the continued occupation of Palestinian
land. Call 07977204334 for more details or to join us on the day
* More anti-border action. Last month more than 100 activists peacefully
invaded the First Hospitality Centre in Bari Palese,
Italy, with some migrants managing to escape. This was preceded
by a first demo on 24 July, followed by a 1000 strong demo on 26
July. See: www.noborder.org/news_index.php
* In mid-October a Palestinian hip hop act called DAM are coming
across to the UK for a short tour and are looking for sympathetic
groups/collectives to help put them on. The tour is to raise awareness
of current Palestinian issues. www.freesaj.org.uk
SchNEWS In Brief
- Cardiff Anarchist Network are holding a Disarm
the Arms Trade benefit next Tuesday (12th) at the Toucan
club, St Mary St £/2, 8-late. www.geocities.com/bozavine/can
- For the latest on DSEI - Europes largest arms fair
coming to London next month check out www.dsei.org
The next planning meeting is this Sunday (10th) 2pm at LARC, Fieldgate
Street, Whitechapel. With a month to go, people are needed to
make this day happen and to shut down the death fair. If you cant
make meetings there is also a discussion list. To subscribe send
a blank email to email@example.com
- The Anarchist Trade Union Network Discussion Group is
a temporary resource set up to discuss the re-launching of the
Network, hoping to reach practical and concrete ideas/proposals
to take to a re-launch meeting at the Anarchist Bookfair
in October. Join the discussion via the website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atundiscussiongroup
- Want to extract yourself from the evil grip of Microsoft?
Seeds for Change are running a workshop for activists this weekend
in Lancaster for those who want to switch to Linux, a free
and easy-to-use alternative to Windows, created through sharing
and co-operation. All levels of skill are welcome. 01524 383 012
- Corporate Watch have released an excellent set of extensively
researched documents covering the GM industry and individual companies.
Well worth checking out - www.corporatewatch.org
- Variant magazine are investigating casualised immigrant
labour and the UK companies that profit from it (fruit farms,
sweatshops and so on). If you have any experience of this sort
of casualised slavery let them know at firstname.lastname@example.org
- People in Cambridge are holding an information action this Saturday
(9th) 10am at Tesco in Newmarket Road against the introduction
of RFID chips (see SchNEWS 415)
on trial in the supermarket. A chip triggers a camera to photograph
anyone who picks up a packet of Gillette razors, which is then
stored in a database. Gillette have already cancelled trials in
the US after customer complaints. http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/cambridge
- Statewatch have just published a critical report into
the new UK-US Extradition Treaty signed without any parliamentary
debate. Under it, the allegations of the US government will be
enough to secure the extradition of people from the UK. However,
if the UK wants to extradite someone from the US, evidence to
the standard of a reasonable demonstration of guilt
will still be required. For a copy call 208 802 1882 or read it
- Sherwood Forest Camp have organised a Beech party for
this Saturday in support of their campaign to save ancient trees
from developers. Meet under the Major Beech and bring beech clothes
and beech balls, bucket and spades etc, and stay and camp if you
can. Go to Mansfield Woodhouse train station and call Cookie on
- For more events see Party & Protest
Sherman Austin, webmaster of RaisetheFist.com
was sentenced to one year in federal prison, with three years of
probation, for creating an anarchist web site with links to sites
on how to build bombs. On top of his year inside, the stipulations
of his probation read more like a facist regime. Check this:
- He cannot possess or access a computer of any kind without
prior approval. (Whoa... dont point that mouse at me!!)
- Any equipment he owns is subject to monitoring, search and seizure
- He must surrender his phone, DSL, electric, and satellite bills.
- He cannot associate with any person or group that seeks to change
the government in any way (be that environmental, social justice,
political, economic, etc.)
- He must pay over $2,000 in fines.
All this, mind you, for simply publishing some information that
is probably available at your public library, and without otherwise
committing any kind of violence.
Austin is in effect bindfolded and gagged while the US military
are free to use explosives as they see fit, as they have done for
Judge Wilson also ruled that Austin cant associate with anyone
from a group that espouses physical force as a means of change...as
if Austin wanted to hang out with the US government anyway...
To send support to Sherman Austin e-mail: email@example.com
before September 3rd
In case you were sleeping in a fridge, Wednesday was the hottest
day of the year so far. Climate change experts are saying that global
warming is happening quicker than forecast. The Centre for Alternative
Technology (CAT) has come up with the Carbon Gym for kids. The Gym
includes interactive theatre performances and science workshops
to explain the tools and techniques being developed to reduce our
carbon emissions e.g. eating local food, energy efficiency, renewable
energy and green transport. Visit the Gym at CATs visitor
centre. Contact them at CAT, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ, Wales.
0845 330 8373 www.cat.org.uk
* Yesterday, Daniel Blackburn set out to drive from Lands
End to John O Groats - but instead of filling up his car with
diesel at petrol stations, hell be buying vegetable oil at
ordinary shops and using that instead. Vegetable oil, taken from
plants such as rape, sunflower, linseed and hemp, is carbon neutral.
This means that the carbon dioxide released in combustion is re-absorbed
from the atmosphere when the crop is grown again. Mr. Blackburn
said: Many people do not know that vegetable oil is a better
fuel than diesel for car performance and it is perfectly legal if
you pay duty on the cooking oil. Being from a farm I also know how
farming needs new ideas to survive. If vegetable oil becomes a fuel
for the future, farmers and rural economies could, for a change,
benefit from the results of our nations addiction to motoring.
* If you want to get involved in climate change campaigning contact
Rising Tide 01865 241 097 www.risingtide.org.uk
* A new website has been launched by green groups campaigning to
increase the amount of energy supplied by wind power in the UK.
* Treesponsibility is a local climate action group, based in the
Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire thats been busy reforesting
steep, eroded hillsides as a natural means of flood defence. In
the past two years theyve planted 11 hectares of new woodland,
which will absorb roughly 5,000 tonnes of CO2. But now all their
work could be wiped out by plans for an open cast mine. Local councils
have already rejected the proposal but the developers are appealing
saying their project offers the only hope of repairing
this badly damaged land. Treesponsibility beg to differ and have
set up a fund to create a new community woodland. If you can help
financially call 01422 843222 www.watershedappeal.org.uk
A South African hospital cleaner bit off more than she could chew
when enjoying her employers canteen goulash.
Sophie Matlala sat down to her lunch and ate a few spoonfuls before
tackling the meat. She found she couldnt cut it
with her knife, so picked it up and tried to bite through it, but
still failed. On closer inspection Ms Matlala and her colleagues
noticed that it was a penis.
The hospital confirmed this, but said that - as it had been cooked
- they couldnt identify whether it was human or animal. Following
the incident Ms Matlala said she vomited all day, became a vegetarian,
and sought psychiatric help. A judge recently ruled that she could
not sue the hospital for this distress as the incident occurred
3 years ago.
SchNEWS warns all readers - dont be caught napping during
the corporate takeover. Honest.
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