This Time Last Year
421, 5th September, 2003
MoD'S 'N' WRECKERS DSEi arms fair looms, a cool £1m is
being spent to keep us out. Isn't it us who should be afraid? Plus R.I.P.
Israfil Shiri, HMP Woodhell and more...
420, 29th August, 2003
AGRI-VULTURES WTO's ministerial meeting in Cancun - the world's
fat cats sustain environment-destroying, corporate agriculture. Also,
Carbon reduction, Refugee action, DSEi arms fair looms and more...
419, 22nd August, 2003
SHELTER SKELTER Yarl's Wood trial comes to an end with Group
4 coming out as a laughing stock. Also, America's centralised blackout,
Burma update and a new primate research centre in Cambridge.
418, 15th August, 2003
THIRST FOR PROFIT The WTO's "privatise everything"
plan rumbles forward towards Cancun and a water supply near you... Also,
oil pipeline protests in Thailand and anti-social behaviour order to
be served on animal rights protester
417, 8th August, 2003
MAI EYE! Corporate and governmental fat cats line up for another
farcical round of trade talks to 'level the trading field'. Plus the
Israeli "security wall" and an activist web site host jailed
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...
12th September 2003 |
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S
ARMLESS FUN | Rowed
Block | Crap Arrest of the Week |
Hearing Voices | Inside
SchNEWS | SchNEWS in Brief
| Positive SchNEWS | ID
| ...and finally
It is like any other trade exhibition. It is like the
motor show in Birmingham or exhibitions at Earls Court. This happens
to be for the defence industry.
- Paul Beaver, spokesperson for DSEi organisers Spearhead.
Now - while SchNEWS knows that cars can kill and arent too
good for the environment we reckon that Apache fighter jets, landmines
and cluster bombs are just a tad more harmful to civilians. This
is the sort of euphemistic blather coming from the suits this week
at Europes biggest arms fair - Defence Systems and Equipment
International (DSEi pronounced dicey) - the place where
state terrorism is labelled defence, cluster bombs become
cargo ammunition and bombs are creatively called air
delivered weapons. This week at the ExCel centre in east London
the supposed terrorist regimes were welcomed alongside
the good guys alike as clients side by side,
queuing up for weaponry. Luckily there were over 2,000 tooled up
coppers to hold back the persistent direct action and blockades
against the fair with the scariest rides in town.
To get an idea of what gets sold at the arms fair take cluster bombs:
theyve got a bad name because they contain many bomblets which
often dont explode in the initial attack - just like unexploded
landmines. Already over 1,000 Iraqi kids have been injured by cluster
bomblets since the end of the war on Iraq. Doing a roaring
trade in these is Israel Military Industries Ltd who are still licking
their lips after flogging loads of cluster bombs to Britain before
the war on Iraq. Britains largest arms company, BAE Systems,
bought over 20,000 rounds of Israeli cluster weapons just before
the Iraqi war. Then the British army went on to fire over 2,000
of these Israeli cluster bombs during the battle for Basra. DSEi
welcomed another sketchy Israeli weapons producer, Rafael, who develop
missile systems by testing them on Palestinian civilians. Their
most infamous missile test was its Gill Spike missile test, which
they first tested on a civilian home in Beit Jala in 2000.
Despite all the deceptive words and oppressive security a few thousand
protestors took part in a flood of guerrilla actions and demonstrations
over the four day arms fair. The police spokesperson, Greg Pig Trotters,
said their operation was very patient, very sensitive and
very low key - but this came as news to the people of Newham
- the borough where the ExCeL exhibition centre is based - who witnessed
the biggest ever police operation in the area. As one of the poorest
boroughs in London, Newham locals called for the arms fair to be
cancelled and would prefer the £1+ million spent on policing
DSEito be channelled into regenerating their neighbourhoods.
In the run-up to DSEi the death fairs organisers Spearhead
had their offices occupied while at the same time people in rubber
dinghys blocked DSEi warships. On Saturday morning DSEi attempted
to sail 4 warships along the Thames to the ExCel Centre but, alas,
30 water-tight activists were there blocking the lock gates and
the swing bridge with good ol D-locks. There was a four hour
window in which the tide allowed entry into the docks so the last
2 ships had to abort their mission. During the week protesters posing
as arms dealers joined the hundreds of other dealers and buyers
on the trains to the ExCel Centre. Three suited protesters couldnt
wait for the fair and started selling their wares on the train:
Announcing they had arms for sale they opened their brief cases
revealing dismembered Barbie dolls arms.
Tuesday was declared a day of non-violent direct action
against DSEi with a Campaign Against the Arms Trade march attracting
about 2,000 protesters. This culminated in the Fluffy DSEi
action, with the aim of blockading DSEi, where a crowd of about
1,000 protesters blocked the Connaught Bridge entrance to the fair.
For the next few hours it was a game of cat n mouse
between agile glittery protesters and stroppy cops as protesters
blockaded roundabout after roundabout, occupying a different main
road every time the cops threatened arrests.
Wednesday, the no rules direct action day, started with
an uncontrollable critical mass outside ExCel, and a protest at
the London office of Israeli weapons make Rafael by Palestinian
Solidarity group ISM. Meanwhile the suits streamed into the centre,
many using the Docklands Light Rail (DLR), which was just asking
for some direct action to blockade it. Over the course of the day
the transport police had their work cut out removing locked-on protesters
from the DLR carriages as loadspeakers at the stations apologised
for delays saying it was due to - wait for it - passenger
While entry to the conference by train was being derailed, another
sorted crew pushed a car out onto the road to block the eastern
entrance of the centre, which was the beginning of a several hour
blockade of the entrance. Meanwhile the road outside the centre
was blocked at several points during the day.
Meanwhile six cunning activists had formed their own arms
company the Affinity Group with their own official
website and business cards, and then applied for invitations to
the death fair. They waltzed in, suited and accredited, and went
on to occupy two tanks, daubing them in Stop Death banners
before they were chucked out by security.
Later in the day there was excitement at the Canning Town roundabout
when the flyover above was shut down with a banner as a crowd stormed
the roundabout until the robocops tooled up and outnumbering
protesters pushed the line back. Then minutes later like
the cavalry coming over the hill, the sound of samba drums and a
flash of pink and silver saw the samba block take the roundabout
again, though again the sheer number of coppers stopped anything
lasting very long. Meanwhile local rudeboys from the nearby estate
tucked in, egging on protesters and throwing eggs at coppers. Other
locals took part in the actions while many sat on balconies shouting
stuff like Those coppers are denying you your rights, mate!
While some of the actions were inspirational and we caused serious
disruption at times, we didnt shut down DSEi. We needed more
people - what ever happened to the one million plus who marched
against the war on Iraq in February? With 10,000 people in the Docklands
on Wednesday instead of 1,000 we could have kicked the arms dealers
out of London for good. We need to take the opportunity to kick
the war-profiteering scumbags where it hurts, and the weapon should
be mass direct action. At the next DSEi arms fair in two years,
its up to us to make sure that the death fair bites the bullet.
* To see what really happened check out Indymedia, whod run
a media centre near ExCel the whole way through the week. www.indymedia.org.uk
Crap Arrest of the Week
Plenty to choose from during the week of protests at DSEI. The
crappest include: For swimming in the Royal Docks; For paddling
a dinghy in the docks; For stealing your own bike... * The Legal
Defence & Monitoring Group urgently need to contact any witnesses
to arrests during the protests (including those with photos &
video). If you saw anything email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Occupying Forces in Iraq got a good kick in the propaganda
department last Saturday, when eight activists from Voices in the
Wilderness gate crashed the weekly press conference held by US Commander
Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez. Things turned nasty for the
General when one person asked why it is that when US soldiers die
in Iraq they get a full investigation, but when Iraqi civilians
get killed by US soldiers they get ignored. After listening to him
spout we take every civilian death very seriously shite
for as long as she could, another woman from Voices grabbed the
mic and listed the names of the Iraqi civilians killed or
injured on August 7 when US soldiers sprayed three cars with bullets
in North Baghdad. A third woman unfurled a banner including a photograph
of one family who lost a father, two sons and an 8-year-old daughter
in the attack. As she finished her list the woman on stage said
[these people were] all killed by US troops from the 1st Brigade,
1st Armoured Division. And there has been no response, no comment,
no apology, and no accountability from US troops. It took
five soldiers to drag the two women from the building.
After they had been ejected General Ricky tried to regain
control of the briefing, getting back on stage and offering to take
more questions from the floor. The first questioner he picked out
was Kathy Kelly co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness. Another
brilliant strategic manoeuvre from the US army.
Theres nothing unique about the civilian deaths highlighted
at the press conference by Voices. Civilians are regularly shot
by jumpy soldiers at checkpoints, at demos, or during house-to-house
searches and night time raids (SchNEWS 416). The International Committee
for the Red Cross has repeatedly complained that the Occupation
Forces will give them neither information nor figures on civilians
killed during raids. Sometimes troops dont even bother to
report the people they kill.
It seems that the US military is less than grateful to Voices for
their attempts to get the records up to date. One of the women ejected
from the press conference reported this week that activists
on the ground [in Iraq] are receiving mounting intimidation from
Occupation authorities. She said that one friend had a gun
pushed into his chest at a demo, and was told that accidents
happen. Activists have had their phones tapped. After the
press conference action she and her mate had their photos taken
by US soldiers, and published in their newspaper The Liberator (!).
According to one Lieutenant Pete Reaker, this was so they
would be easily recognisable at any military base or checkpoint
in Iraq. www.occupationwatch.org
* We Interrupt this Empire is a video about the American
radical resistance to the illegal war in Iraq. With filmmakers from
the San Francisco Video Activists Network. 7.30pm Thursday
18th, The Side Cinema, 5/9 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne £3 www.SideCinema.com
September 21st is an international day of action for the Thessaloniki
prisoners arrested at the EU summit in Greece earlier this year.
* If you live in London, the Prisoners Solidarity group meet
each Wednesday from 7.30pm at Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84B
Whitechapel High Street, E1.
* Matt McDonald was arrested at Februarys anti-war
demo and has been given six weeks (which means he may be out in
three), for using threatening words or behaviour. Please
send a letter or postcard ASAP to Matt McDonald, HMP Feltham, Bedfont
Road, Middx TW13 4ND.
SchNEWS in Brief
- The Peace Party that was to take place this Sunday in
Victoria Park, London has been cancelled, thanks to the local
council imposing massive costs on the organisers, CND
- Find out what really happened at the World Trade Organisation
in Mexico. Meeting next Thursday (18) organised by the World Development
Movement at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.
Event is free but booking is necessary. 0800 328 2153 www.wdm.org.uk
- Worthing Council is stifling debate on their plans to build
housing on Titnore Woods but since there are to be no public
meetings about the proposal, local campaigners will be holding
their own this Saturday (13th) noon, outside Durrington Community
Centre, Tesco complex, New Road, Durrington, Worthing. For a full
report read this months as usual excellent Porkbolter, by
sending an SAE to PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
- Working Links, the company that has been running Employment
Zones (where long term unemployed get harassed) for the last three
years has no grievance procedure despite them being legally obliged
to do so. Read more in the Missing Links Newsletter available
from AwoL, c/o BHUWC, 4 Crestway Parade, Brighton BN1 7BL. email@example.com
Protest against Working Links in Brighton next Tuesday (16) noon
outside Deep Pan Pizza, North Street.
- Childrens rights Under Occupation. A photo and
video exhibition looking at the suffering of Palestinian children
Thursday 18th 12:30-7:30pm. Mitchell Library, Kent Road, Glasgow.
- Radio 4A is hitting the airwaves again in Brighton this
weekend hear it from Friday at 101.4 FM or online at www.radio4a.org.uk
- A new Corporate Watch briefing looking into corporations
behind the commercialisation of GM crops is now available online
- Radical film nite this Saturday at the Mad Hatter Bar,
Western Road, Brighton. With the latest Undercurrents Film and
a documentary about the recent shooting and deaths of international
people within the West bank and Gaza. All proceeds to the Palestinian
International Solidarity Movement. £5/3. 8-11pm.
- Demonstrations are planned for the Labour Party Conference
happening at the end of the month. Tuesday 30th September is the
main day of action to co-incide with Prime Sinister Blairs
speech. Fun starts from 8.45am outside the Bournemouth International
Centre and goes on all day. 01300 345109 www.dorsetstopwar.org.uk
- The campaign against Dublin County Councils bin tax
stepped up a gear this week with residents blockading refuse trucks
after the council said it would stop collecting non payers
rubbish. For a number of years there has been a campaign of mass
non-payment of the tax which people say is the step towards privatisation
of the service. www.stopthebintax.com
- A thousand strong demo rocked the Dungavel asylum seeker
detention prison in South Lanarkshire, Scotland last Saturday.
Meanwhile people are urged to attend Dungavel detainees
court cases and offer to let refugees stay in their home, so more
can be freed on bail. www.scotland.indymedia.org.uk
This Sunday (14) is Stanmer Organics Open Day. There will be displays
from 15 different groups doing their own bit for sustainability
including the Earthship project, an edible flower garden, tree nurseries
etc. Open 11am till 4pm at Stanmer Park, Brighton. 01273-620486
ID 'n' Seek
This month Neo Labour is brewing up a whole cauldron of new privacy-intruding
measures to keep us safe and well. Compulsory ID cards are looking
more likely and proposals for all children to be given a number
and monitored are being seriously considered (why dont they
just get on with it and barcode us at birth?).
Successive governments have tried to introduce ID cards, but failed
from opposition across the political spectrum in a recent
consultation 70% of people were against the idea, but the Home Secretary
seems deaf to this. The ID cards will contain biometric information
such as iris scans and finger prints to determine identity, and
are supposed to reduce terrorism and benefit fraud. But ID cards
wont stop suicide bombers and most Benefit fraud is due to
people lying about their situation rather than their identity. ID
cards will be a massive boon for forgers, thus creating a huge new
opportunity for organised crime. The cards have also been found
to increase racial tension in other European countries, with minorities
being disproportionately targeted for ID checks.
Blunkett cannot trial ID cards without new legislation, but hes
managed to sneak through this by proposing a trial of credit-card
sized biometric passports (difference, anyone?) in a market town
in Britain soon. Legislation to introduce the cards is timetabled
for October. Once the public are sufficiently softened up to these
cards it would be a very simple matter for an RFID chip (see SchNEWS
415) to be placed in their head, oops sorry, card, which would allow
the police to scan a card from metres away and pull up any information
on the individual from a central database.
On Tuesday the government announced plans to produce a database
containing information on every one of Britains 11m children
and indirectly their parents and carers. Government documents describe
this as improving information sharing between agencies to
ensure all local authorities have a list of children in their area,
the services each child has had contact with, and the contact details
of the relevant professionals who work with them. If these
files were retained, or even added to after a persons childhood,
in a generation the government would have a very detailed file on
every single British citizen, which a large number of government
departments could access. More info: www.privacyinternational.org/
* Now everyones a suspect! This week police chiefs will call
for the creation of a massive database containing the DNA of every
person in Britain to aid crime detection.
Coppers apparently cant tell the difference between those
big furry recycling junkies the Wombles and the anarchist group
of the same name. Last Friday at a benefit gig for the DSEi protests
coppers used the Terrorism Act to stop and search two men seen leaving
in a van. During the hour long search one cop came over all excited
when he spotted a tape by the Wombles and hurriedly began scribbling
down the song titles. Apparently such classics as Wombling
Free and Remember Youre A Womble are now
a terrorist musical threat set to trash the British state instead
of Keeping Britain Tidy.
* If youve been stopped under section 44 of the Terrorism
Act get in touch with Liberty who are seeking a judicial review
of the Mets Police decision to use anti-terrorist legislation on
protestors. 020 7403 3888 www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk
SchNEWS warns all readers we try to ExCeL ourselves with armless
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