The wildcat strikes have given Royal Mail management a bloody nose
and shown them and the posties national union leadership that
staff are willing and able to enforce local and national agreements
at shop floor level. The rank and file rose up against the threat
of job losses, speed-ups and stagnant, crap pay. Bosses were trying
to force new delivery, overtime and holiday deals down
the throats of workers at three post offices and then impose them
nationally. This wouldve weakened workers and the union. The
strike crushed this. The strike also stopped the Royal Mail bosses
policy of targeting trouble-makers who were vocal about
their rights in the workplace. Importantly, the wildcat strike saw
the rank and file posties stamp their willingness to strike against
casualisation while the centralised Communication Workers
Union fumbled, hindered by detached representatives
and repressive anti-union laws. The posties lit a wildfire of solidarity
actions around the country while the CWU faffed about, unable to
condone the strike because of their fears of fines and compensation
claims. Now these representatives are entering into negotiations
with Royal Mail and the posties at the bottom arent ready
As the Movement for a Socialist Future put it Postal workers
are going through an experience which fire-fighters endured earlier
this year. Do the interests of the community come before balance
sheets and privatisation? The Fire Brigades Union leaders concocted
a half-baked deal which opened the door to cuts. Now they are being
provoked back into action by employers who are holding back on an
agreed pay rise. The break-up of the National Health Service through
the imposition of foundation hospitals will soon confront
Unison and other unions. What are they going to do about it, other
than make angry speeches?
So stop moaning if you had letters stuck in the post People fighting
for decent working conditions is good for everyone who goes to work.
As one angry postie put it Is it so that a nationalised
industry and its workforce are smashed bit by tiny bit? And as an
added bonus we get transferred to these new companies who will ignore
and demolish all of the hard fought for rights and wages and conditions.
And will you benefit? Will you fuck! Just like the British public
benefited from the railways being handed over to a multitude of
robbing, profiteers? British Rail wasnt perfect but look at
the mess that replaced it! And amazingly, even though a bunch of
rich bastards got richer by being given what was rightfully all
of ours, we still pay them hundreds of millions of tax-payers pounds
a year just to keep a third world service going. And that is why
postal workers are on strike, because believe it or not, we know
this is the best postal company in the world and we dont want
to have a bunch of villains and profit grabbing scumrats come and
steal what is all of ours. Its our Post Office, lets
keep it that way!
* Firefighters across the country are taking unofficial industrial
action in a row over the pay deal that was intended to end the recent
10-month fire service dispute. One Union leader said Our members
are incandescent with rage as the employers are treating us with
contempt. The pay agreement came after a long and bitter dispute
which took a lot of time to resolve. Now the employers appear to
be reneging on it.
Crap Arrest Of The Week
For sending an email
On Monday New Zealand peace activist Bruce Hubbard was remanded
on bail on a charge of misusing a telephone. The 38-year-old
is accused of sending an offensive email to the US Embassy which
said that the US has dropped napalmed civilians in Afghanistan and
Iraq and have invaded 72 other nations since WWII to install US-backed
military dictatorships. Now he isnt allowed to go within 250
metres of the US Consulate Generals office and could get up
to three months in jail or a $2000 fine
his next court appearance
is 10th December.
SchNEWS 9th Birthday Party
At The Freebutt - downstairs punk inc. Fish Brothers and Anal Beard,
upstairs cinema and DJs.
Sunday 16th, 7.30-10.30pm
Cheney Link Fence
A coprophiliac is someone who is turned on by shit. Dick Cheney
is someone who gets turned on by oil. Much the same thing really.
Cheneys wet dreams are manifesting themselves globally, most
notably in Iraq, but two massive pipelines are coiling their way
over natural landscape elsewhere.
The World Bank and European Development Bank have both approved
a £300m contribution each for the $4bn central Asian Baku-Ceyhan
pipeline, stretching from the Caspian through Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey to the Med. This means easy access for Western oil tankers
without having to deal with the Middle East, which is a trifle unstable
at the moment. The projects consortium, BTC is BP-led but
needless to say incorporates Halliburton subsidiaries, a corporation
which pays Cheney $500,000 a year.
The UKs development minister, Hilary Benn, has already approved
the UKs payment obviously not put off by the World
Banks own report admitting that the pipeline will cause a
significant amount of environmental damage, thousands
will be displaced, and it will be militarized and exempt from local
domestic laws. BTC even boast that it had created laws
in Azerbaijan, and bullied the Georgian government into accepting
the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Meanwhile, in Peru, the $1-2bn trans-Andean gas pipeline - what
Amazon Watch calls currently the most damaging project in
the Amazon Basin- is causing unrest which mirrors that caused
by a similar gas export plan in neighbouring Bolivia in October.
The Peruvian president, Alejandro Toledo, citing narco-terrorism,
declared an emergency zone around the Camisea Gas Project and suspended
constitutional guarantees following clashes between 10,000 local
campesinos and police. This area is one of the worlds most
biodiverse and untouched hotspots but forget that: first
the pipeline goes in, which brings in roads, which invites illegal
logging, and every over conceivable knock-on effect to contaminate
the area including the indigenous people being decimated by diseases
caught from loggers.
Earler this year the US Export-Import Bank rather unsportingly
turned down a $213 million loan guarantee for the Camisea project,
citing concerns about environmental impacts and the rights
of indigenous peoples in the zone. But dont worry, shareholders,
its still gonna go ahead. It looks like the Inter-American
Development Bank are going to step in with $135 million meaning
Kellogg Brown & Root (part of Cheneys Halliburton family)
can get on with the job of building it. .
* For an inside look at how foreign capital creates refugees get
yer hands on Listen to the Refugees Story: How UK Foreign
Investment Creates Refugees and Asylum Seekers produced by the Ilisu
Dam Refugee Project. Includes stories, poems and drawings from refugees
and asylum seekers about why theyve been forced to flee their
Ore or Nothing
The Jabiluka uranium mine in the world heritage listed Kakadu National
Park in Northern Territory, Australia has been stopped! This is
a huge victory for the indigenous Mirrar people, and the thousands
of people worldwide who supported them in one of the longest running
environmental and indigenous land rights battles in Australias
The culprits behind the mine, Rio Tinto, announced in August this
year that they would be putting the thousands of tons of uranium
ore they dug up in 1999 back where it belongs - in the ground -
and letting the site be rehabilitated and reincorporated back into
Kakadu park. But why are they walking away from one of the worlds
richest uranium ore deposits? Theyve been trying to flog it
off for years, such is the adverse public opinion, direct action
and legal opposition to the mine led by the Mirrar people, and not
forgetting currently depressed prices for uranium worldwide.
Kakadu was the scene of an eight month blockade in 1998 which saw
600 arrested and thousands come to the remote spot - which some
claim ushered in the beginning of a new generation of direct action
in the country.
A national day of celebration was held on 31st October. www.mirrar.net
SchNEWS In Brief
- Last week 114 independent scientists wrote
a letter to Tony Blair about the misleading reports
in the press about the potentially damaging effects of genetically
modified crops. It just so happens that most of these scientists
come from research institutions which receive massive funding
from GM companies or work for consultants for the GM companies,
so no conflict of interest then. www.gmwatch.org
- Big Noise Demo against Britains number one GM company
- Bayer - next Thursday (13), 10am onwards outside their
Newbury office, details and transport 07092-036576 www.stopbayergm.org
- ETC Group have just released a report on the large scale
release of untested nanotechnology into the environment, focusing
particularly on huge quantities of particles dumped to allegedly
stop soil erosion in the US. Like GM, this is happening with no
real testing or regulation. www.etcgroup.org
- In a response to the US administrations Orwellian Total
Information Awareness scheme, boffins at MIT have turned
the tables with their Government Information Awareness
site. This cavernous resource automatically monitors thousands
of politicians and business activities and the links between them,
and lets people add their own information. See http://opengov.media.mit.edu/
- The Health and Safety Executive announced
this week that the average fine for a conviction on a health and
safety offence has dropped by 21 percent over the last year. So
bosses are still getting away with killing their workers and receiving
a measly punishment: www.lhc.org.uk
- As SchNEWS was going to press, women made homeless and destitute
under the governments disgusting asylum laws were holding
an action outside Parliament as part of the national Sleep
Out in Solidarity called by the Liverpool Committee
Against Destitution to protest against Section 55 and other anti-asylum
seeker measures: email@example.com
- The SchNEWS Birthday Lecture with Arab-American peace activist
Ramzi Kysia. Ramzi has spent the last two years in Iraq and
was involved in setting up the Iraq Indymedia site and an independent
newspaper. Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton University, Grand Parade,
Nov 17th 6:30pm. Also at Sussex University, 3pm the same day and
will be touring around the country list of dates see www.voicesuk.org
- Question of priorities: The headlines blazed the past week about
the fires in California. So far 20 people have died and
3,400 homes destroyed, with the new Governator agreeing to demands
from health conscious residents, that fire crews would use filtered
and mineral water to put out the fires (ok, maybe we made that
last bit up.) Meanwhile, at a five day conference in Nairobi,
which attracted slightly less publicity, delegates heard that
523 million Africans will be without access to clean drinking
water by 2005.
- A New American Empire a meeting to look at the
consequences of current US foreign policy. With speaker Steve
Burman. Nov 12th 8pm, St Josephs Church Hall, Brighton.
Last week High Court judges threw out Libertys case against
the Met Police for their use of the section 44 Stop and Search provision
(Terrorism Act 2000) against protestors at the DSEi Arms Fair in
London last month. The lawyers representing two of 50 demonstrators
who were searched, claimed that citizens have a legitimate right
to peacefully protest and that being stopped and searched while
doing so is a violation of human rights.
When Blunkett introduced this draconian piece of legislation, he
promised parliament that use of section 44 would be strictly limited
to cases where there was good reason to suspect terrorism - you
know, like when people are concealing guns, tanks, hawk jets etc.
about their persons - or inside buildings like the ExCel Centre
in the Docklands. Liberty will appeal the decision.
Continuing its fine record of human rights violations dressed up
as anti-terror, the government is also in trouble with
Amnesty this week because of those pesky foreigners it banged up
in Belmarsh prison nearly two years ago without charge or trial.
On October 29th a Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) found
that the Home Secretary could continue to keep the 8 men imprisoned
indefinitely as he had reasonable grounds to believe
they are terrorists. In what it calls a perversion of justice,
Amnesty says the burden of proof is shockingly low and
that much of the evidence against the men was extracted
under torture in the US and is therefore inadmissable under International
Law. Problem is that the governments decided to keep all this
evidence secret - even from the accused themselves,
who therefore are unable to challenge it or defend themselves.
Did someone say the presumption of innocence is fundamental
to fair criminal trials? Not in Britain, mate.
There is a picket of the Greek Tourist Board this Saturday (8)
in protest of the continued imprisonment of the Salonika 7, who
were all arrested for protesting at the EU summit in late June under
a blanket charge. They are currently all on hunger strike - 5 of
them have not eaten for a month and have been refusing hospital
treatment. 11am-1pm Conduit Street, London. Bring banners, placards,
whistles, pots and pans. See www.freesimonchapman.org
Theres also a benefit gig on the same day in Cardiff at Clwb
Ifor Bach, 8pm.
Fed up with Tony Blair for always waxing lyrical about war, a group
calling themselves the Opposition Society decided to put their words
into action and on Tuesday called for women to wax for peace on
National Get Rid of That Bush Day. Posters around Brighton called
for other women to join them in protest and to Wax em
off, put em in an envelope and send em to Tony Blair
with a message stating I got rid of my Bush now you get rid
George Bush is coming to the UK from 19th to 21st November
to find out more about direct actions and protests against the coming
of the evil one check out our Party & Protest guide. To plan womens actions against bush send an email to God_shave_the_queenfirstname.lastname@example.org
SchNEWS warns all readers ready to stamp on the letter of the
law, not to worry if SchNEWS is a bit late this week - it's in the
NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual
2003 - £8 + £1.70 p&p
- SchNEWS Round
issues 51 - 100 Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 £3.70 inc. postage.
- SchNEWS Survival
Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £3.70 inc. postage
- The SchQUALL
book at only £6 + £1.70 p&p.
and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures from
the direct action frontline. £3 + £1.70 p&p. You
can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the
ISBN 09529748 4 3.
- 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
In the UK you
can get SchNEWS Annual, Survival Handbook, Yearbook 2001 and SchNEWS
of the World for just £15 inc p&p.
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If you can help distribute the new book by taking a few boxes
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to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons,
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