Over in the states, Kathy Kelly was arrested at a demonstration
against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
after trespassing at their US military training camp. The Institute
has been a target of protestors for years because it teaches Latin
American soldiers all about the Western values of counter-insurgency.
The Public Relations spokespeople for the Institute claims that
the school has been reformed and now teaches these soldiers the
same standards of respect for human rights and civil law practiced
by the US military. Which is why once Kathy was arrested, she was
pushed to the floor, handcuffed, kneed while begging for relief
because she couldnt breathe, dragged and threatened with pepper
spray if she didnt cooperate when being fingerprinted.
Meanwhile in Iraq, top military commander General Ricardo Sanchez
has been busy with his new get-tough strategy with tactics borrowed
from Israel, who we can often see on the TV practicing their own
kind of freedom on Palestinians. After the Yanks got
fed up with attacks from the village of Abu Hishma, a 500-bomb was
dropped on one house while eight sheiks, the mayor, the police chief
and most members of the city council have been arrested. Razor wire
fencing now stretches for five miles around the whole village. This
fence is here for your protection, reads the sign Do
not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot. All men
aged 18 to 65 have been ordered to get identification cards. One
Colonel said With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a
lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people
that we are here to help them.
One of the reasons given for invading Iraq was to get rid of the
brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein (and lets forget that it was
the moral West who supported and armed him in the first place!).
So what about other brutal tyrants? Well in Uzbekistan there are
over 6,000 political and religious prisoners, and every year some
of them can look forward to being tortured to death. Sometimes they
have their ribs and then their skulls broken with hammers or have
bits of skin ripped off with pliers. Some have been left to stand
up to their knees for a fortnight in freezing water; others have
been boiled to death. But Uzbekistan, in the middle of central Asias
massive gas and oil fields and is seen by the US government as a
key western asset. Last year, the country received $500 million
in aid, of which $79 million went to the police and intelligence
services, who are responsible for most of the torture. Meanwhile
at the beginning of the year Tony democracy not dictatorship
Blair, gave Uzbekistan the green light to import whatever weapons
it wanted from us.
Then theres Guantanamo Bay where for the past two years 600
people have been held in small cages without trial. They eventually
face a closed military tribunal, with prosecution, defence and judge
all appointed by the US military. Or Belmarsh Prison, where 16 people
are being held indefinitely without charge under our Terrorism laws.
These are some of the shining examples of Freedom and Democracy
that we are holding up as an example to dictatorships across the
One thing both Britain and America like is handing out weapons
around the world. Only the other day Amnesty International published
The Pain Merchants a report that showed that last year
the Bush administration approved the export of electro-shock weapons
valued at $14.7 million and restraints worth $4.4 million. 45 countries
bought the stuff, including 19 that have been cited for the use
of such weapons to torture prisoners. Take Turkey for example: in
one case a 17-year-old schoolgirl who had been detained for distributing
leaflets calling for Kurdish education was stripped, threatened
with rape and tortured with electric shocks to her feet, legs and
Every minute of every day someone is killed by conventional arms.
So International Human Rights Day this year was the day a number
of countries pledged their support for an international Arms Trade
Treaty. Unfortunately it wasnt the worlds biggest arms
exporters, but the political leaders of Brazil, Cambodia, Mali,
Macedonia, Costa Rica, Finland and the Netherlands that made the
announcement. It will be interesting to see if any of the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council - the largest producers and traders
in weapons rush over and put their name to such a treaty. SchNEWS
warns readers not to hold their breath.
* Demo Against Guantanamo Bay Saturday 13th. 1pm till 4pm
outside Downing Street. Orange overalls, blind folds and handcuffs
optional. Campaign Against Criminalising Communities 020 7250 1315
Crap Arrest Of The Week
For buying a lemonade!
A fire fighter from Minnesota was on holiday in Miami at the same
time as the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, where the authorities
were busy beating the human rights out of anyone they thought might
be an anarchist (see SchNEWS 432). The fireman decided to stop and
buy a lemonade on the way back to his hotel but after leaving the
store he found his way blocked by a police line where upon he asked
them which way to go to his car. He was then nicked, held for 48
hours and then taken to court where the prosecution realised that
actually he was a fire fighter, was nothing to do with the demo
and dropped all the charges.
SchNEWS in brief
- The 2004 Miners Strike 20th Anniversary Calendar makes
an ideal Christmas present for yer dad. Send a cheque for £7.70
payable to London Class War, to Class War, PO Box 467, London
E8 3QX www.classwaruk.org
- Barclays Bank have decided not to provide a loan to the controversial
Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. This is a major victory for the
campaign, but two other banks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland
are due to make decisions on loans on the 20th Dec and so need
to be targeted urgently. 01865 200 550 www.bakuceyhan.org.uk
- A new independent social centre in Aberdeen is planned,
help from volunteers, or anyone whose had any experience in setting
up something similar are welcome email: email@example.com
- The Leamington Spark is Leamington Spas new radical
newsletter. Issue 2 is out now - copies online at http://latest-info.com/leamaltnews
or available around town 07814179945
- Meanwhile the Bradford Anarchist Group have been publishing
Bradford Calling. For copies send an SAE c/o 17-21 Chapel
St., Bradford, BD1 5DT firstname.lastname@example.org
- To find out if similar stuffs happening in your area
go to www.schnews.org.uk/pap/yourarea.htm
- and let us know of any corrections/additions
- A new briefing by Corporate Watch, looking at the personal
experiences of farmers in Oxfordshire, provides an interesting
insight into the way corporate control has been probably the most
damaging influence on the farming in the last forty years www.agricultured.org
- The Fourth World War a new film about people around the
world who resist war - screening @ The Locomotive pub, 44 Mill
Road, Cambridge. Sun 14th, 7:30pm. www.bignoisefilms.com/4ww/index.htm
- Last week 15 people who have been resettled from
their land to make way for the Sardar Sarovar Dam, in the
Narmarda Valley, India, attempted suicide. This sad event brought
to the attention of the world the shit deal those affected by
the dam have been dealt by the Indian Government. Surveys have
shown that despite government claims many of the displaced people
have not received the jobs and land that theyd been promised.
- Forty Greenpeace activists invaded a French nuclear power
station last week to highlight the French governments
nuclear addiction. Greenpeace want to help them break the nuclear
habit by switching to wind power and set up wind turbines in the
- The government are looking for 10,000 good citizens to help
them develop the technology for their superb new ID card,
which they claim will help us to rid the UK of terrorists and
illegal immigrants. If youd like to help (or maybe hinder)
the trials contact Melanie Briere at MORI, 020 7347 3023 email@example.com
- Benefit gig for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee,
featuring Crowzone, Careless and Chicuahua Zycantah, at the Joiners
Arms, Southampton, Mon 22nd, £3 www.freeleonardpeltier.org
- Meeting to set up a Nottingham Food Not Bombs Sun 14th,
7pm at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street. Bring some vegan
food to share firstname.lastname@example.org
- Faslane, the home of Trident nuclear submarines, was
shut down for 4 hours on Tuesday when an activist climbed onto
an MOD police gate guarding the site. While she was there all
personnel were confined to barracks. She left after spray painting
Merry Xmas from Faslane No War on the gate
- Following fires at Woomera, Baxter and Port Headland immigration
centres in Australia the Christmas Island detention camp was
also burnt to the ground last Monday causing millions of pounds
of damage. All detainees are now to be moved to other detention
If youve ever wanted to write to a prisoner but didnt
know what to say, nows a good time to send a christmas card
to brighten up their day. Heres a few long term political
prisoners who could do with a bit of support. More on writing to
prisoners see www.brightonabc.org.uk
In June 2000, two US eco/anarchist activists, were found guilty
of setting fires to SUVs at a car showroom. Craig Marshall
was sentenced to 5 years 5 months, while Jeffrey Luers was
convicted to an outrageous 22 years and 5 months. Jeffrey Luers,
#13797671, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem Oregon 97310, USA. Craig
Marshall, #13797662, SRCI, Stanton Boulevard, Ontario Oregon, USA.
Robert Lee Thaxton, #12112716 777, OSP, 2605 State Street,
Salem, OR 97310, USA. Long time anarchist organiser, publisher and
writer, one of the few people who faced serious charges for the
June 18 anti-capitalist actions that took place around the world
in 1999 (see SchNEWS 217), was sentenced
to over 7 years. www.defenestrator.org/roblosricos
Jerome White-Bey, # 37979, South Central Correctional Centre,
255 West Highway 32,Licking, MO 65542-9069, USA. An anarchist prison
activist who set up the Missouri Prison Labour Union to fight slave
labour in prisons.
Harold Thompson, #93992, NWCC, Site 1, Route 1, Box 660,
Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079, USA. In prison since 1979, serving
a life sentence plus about 90 years. He is a passionate anarchist
and jailhouse lawyer who never gives up. He has also recently been
busy suing Aryan Brotherhood scum who attacked him inside. http://membres.tripod.fr/HHTHOMPSON/welcome.html
Inaki Garcia Koch serving 5 years for sabotaging construction
of the Itoiz Dam. Letters to: Carcel de Pamplona, C/san Rogue, Apdo
250, 31080 Irunez, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.
Thomas Meyer Falk, JVA Bruchsal, Zelle 3117, Schoenbornstr.
32, 76646 Bruchsal, Germany. Imprisoned for a political fundraising
and bank robbery and will be inside until at least 2010.
Tomek Wilkoszewski, Zaklad Karny, ul. Orzechowa 5, 98-200
Sieradz, Poland. Sentenced to 15 years after killing a Nazi in self
Fintan Lane, Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Road, Limerick, Ireland.
Sentenced to 60 days for non payment of a 750 Euro fine following
an anti war mass trespass at Shannon airport in Oct 2002.
Important: cards need to be sent today (12th) for them to
get to the prisoners by Christmas.
* The Campaign Against Prison Slavery are having a Xmas
Picket on Saturday 20th December at Wilkinsons 78-102 The
Broadway, Stratford, London. Bring banners, Xmas fancy dress and
plenty of Christmas spirit! Wilkinsons stuff is so cheap because
they get prisoners to make it for them for a pittance. More information
Talk about double standards: Before the Stop Bush demo, teachers,
headmasters and police were all on telly saying kids would be suspended
or expelled for going on the march. Then last Monday for the rugby
world cup parade a senior cop said Truanting children are
not my priority. and before the big demo against George W
there were scare stories about how Al Qaeda would use the demo as
cover for terrorism, but no such warnings for the rugby victory
Also here at SchNEWS towers were quite used to the cops and
media getting it wrong on the How many were there? question
but normally they say its well under the actual figure that
attended. This time, surprise surprise, it was miles over with the
media saying there were 750,000 people there. Maybe the person counting
was pissed and seeing double!
WAR ON ERROR
This week a group of former terror suspects had charges against
them dropped - predictably there was no big fanfare from the media
that the justice system had messed up. Nine Algerian men were arrested
last December. They were kept in jail for four months without charge,
released on bail in March and finally had their charges dropped
Rosemary McIlwhan, director of the Scottish Human Rights Centre
said: It is interesting to see that the arrest of these people
was trumpeted and fanfared whereas when they were released it was
very quiet, and now we have had the charges dropped with next to
no comment at all. It raises the issue that the government is stirring
up hysteria about terrorism that is not really there.
Three of the men arrested have complained that the terrorism allegations
are still hanging over them. Hakim Ziem, 32, said: We cannot
go back to our country to see our families, we cannot go to work
because everyone knows our names, we cannot do anything, our lives
have been destroyed. The men want an official declaration
of their innocence after claiming they would face death squads if
they return to Algeria. They are also demanding answers regarding
their detention, which they said had implications for other people
arrested under terrorism laws since the World Trade Centre attacks.
Perhaps the police should investigate first and then arrest people
or realize that not all criminals are Irish, black or Islamic. In
fact police figures show that while Irish and Black communities
are arrested more they have lower crime and drug use rates.
In contravention of international law, anti-terrorist legislation
allows persecution of ethnic minorities. The government treats foreigners
accused of crimes as automatically guilty, following the lead of
human rights law specialists - the US government, who have similar
legislation, allowing any non citizen to be locked up indefinitely
for any violation (which is not a guilty verdict).
* Meanwhile the case against the six people who were arrested and
charged under anti-terror legislation in December last year for
supporting the struggle for democracy in Turkey continued at Kingston
Crown Court last Friday. The Justice system hit a new low as the
men face charges of facilitating the retention or control
of terrorist property which turned out to be magazines, films
and posters in support of a Turkish political party critical of
the Turkish government. These terrorist magazines are
actually legal in liberal Turkey
Within the last week there have been numerous arrests under the
Terrorism Act and again they follow the same pattern. Politicians
confirm live on television the guilt of those arrested, details
of those detained splashed all over the papers and follow up arrests
leading to more detentions. No quick or fair process is guaranteed
for those that find themselves on the receiving end of these operations. Almost
a year later and the six are still being held for having a few magazines.
Fed up wtih Christmas already? Well youre not the only one.
Shop workers in Germany and Holland have vowed to go on strike if
they have to endure anymore Christmas carols, which are played in
a continuous loop all the time they are at work. Spokesman Gottfried
Rieser said Unlike the clients, the shop workers cant
escape this Christmas muzak which is boosting through the loudspeakers
all day long. It arouses aggressive feelings and they are getting
an aversion to all carols. They feel as if they are terrorized.
Especially Jingle Bells which is the worst. We couldnt
agree more! Bah Humbug!
SchNEWS warns all readers writes is right up our alley. Honest!
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