SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 433, 5th December, 2003
FUEL'S GOLD With Western oil supplies shrinking and reserves declining, the petrochemical junkies must look elsewhere for their fix - and they've got qutie a few strategies for doing just that. Also - Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, positive SchNEWS from Costa Rica, anti-awards for mining companies, and more...

SchNEWS 432, 28th November, 2003
MIAMI VICE FTAA demonstrators enjoy George Bush's "freedom to protest" amidst a carnival atmosphere of tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and worse. Also - Thessaloniki hunger strikers released, animal vivisection in Cambridge, ESF reports, and more...

SchNEWS 431, 14th November, 2003
CARD SHARKS Blunkett announces the introduction of ID cards by the back door despite them being massively unpopular and technologically unfeasible. Thessaloniki Hunger Strikers In Critical Condition. Bush bashing plans, Urgent, Bar End protest camp update, European underground art and more.

SchNEWS 430, 7th November, 2003
POSTIE MORTEM Executives pushing to "modernise" Royal Mail beaten by wildcat strikes, showing that despite betrayal by union bosses, workers are still prepared to fight back.

SchNEWS 429, 31st October, 2003
SIAM OLD STORY George W Bush takes a break from Disneyland to visit Thailand and the Philippines, neo-liberal "paradises". The locals welcome him with less than open arms.

SchNEWS 428, 24th October, 2003
YOBSMACKED! In Manchester residents are beginning to take community policing into their own hands after the official methods prove useless.

SchNEWS 427, 17th October, 2003
IN LOZADA TROUBLE Tens of thousands flood the streets, set up burning barricades and hurl dynamite at a murderous military as Bolivia teeters on the brink of full-blown revolution.

SchNEWS 426, 10th October, 2003
MUSICAL SHARES The music industry complains about falling sales, blaming it on the punters. Their links with the arms industry should keep their profits up though...

SchNEWS 425, 3rd October, 2003
GM CONTAMI-NATION GM debate results come through load and clear - "We don't want it!". GM companies and anti-gm activists responses.

SchNEWS 424, 27th September, 2003
CORPORATE PUNISHMENT Jarvis get a very poor report card for work on privatised schools but are still laughing all the way to the bank.

SchNEWS 423, 19th September, 2003
FLUSHED DOWN THE CAN-CUN Talks at fifth ministerial WTO talks collapse as thousands pull down the fences outside.

SchNEWS 422, 12th September, 2003
ARMLESS FUN Despite massive police operation DSEi arms fair attracts a grand string of actions, dinghies block warships etc.

SchNEWS 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?

SchNEWS 420, 29th August, 2003
AGRI-VULTURES WTO's ministerial meeting in Cancun - the world's fat cats sustain environment-destroying, corporate agriculture.

SchNEWS 419, 22nd August, 2003
SHELTER SKELTER Yarl's Wood trial comes to an end with Group 4 coming out as a laughing stock.

SchNEWS 418, 15th August, 2003
THIRST FOR PROFIT The WTO's "privatise everything" plan rumbles forward towards Cancun and a water supply near you...

SchNEWS 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'.

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 415, 18th July, 2003
VISION CHIPS Real Freak Horrorshow Big Brother has landed.

SchNEWS 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..

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.


Home | Friday 12th December 2003 | Issue 434


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Rights Said Fred | Peppered | Assaulted | Crap Arrest Of The Week | SchNEWS in Brief | Inside SchNEWS | Scrumbled | War On Error | ...and finally...



“Ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit and anywhere, anytime, ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same. Freedom not tyranny. Democracy not dictatorship. The rule of law not the rule of the secret police.” - Tony Blair, talking to the US Congress

It was Human Rights Day on Wednesday and Bush and Blair have had a busy year upholding these rights: locking up refugees, repressing dissent, bombing countries in the name of peace and exporting arms to dodgy regimes – all in the name of Freedom of course.

Britain is the only European Union country to detain asylum seeker children and practise detention without time limits. Luckily we’ve got Group 4 security looking after those banged up for the crime of wanting a better life. The company boasts that it has been “recognised by the Home Office for leadership in implementation of the Human Rights Act.” Unfortunately this week’s expose of its guards at the Yarlswood detention centre paints a bit of a different picture. During one session on human rights, trainees were told, “Now they (asylum seekers) are rowing over in dinghies. Sink them, that’s what the Navy should be doing.” And while the company talks of the need to “establish positive relationships” the undercover journalist was told, “Don’t befriend them. Other officers will turn on you.”

Recently at another detention centre, Campsfield, police clamped down on a demonstration in support of the detainees by imposing strict limits on the demonstrators and shoving them into a corner of a car park where no one could see them (see last week’s SchNEWS).


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 couldn’t breathe, dragged and threatened with pepper spray if she didn’t 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 let’s 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 Asia’s 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 there’s 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 world.


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 stomach.

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 wasn’t the world’s 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
  • 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
  • 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:
  • The Leamington Spark is Leamington Spa’s new radical newsletter. Issue 2 is out now - copies online at 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
  • To find out if similar stuff’s happening in your area go to - 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
  • 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.
  • 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 they’d been promised.
  • Forty Greenpeace activists invaded a French nuclear power station last week to highlight the French government’s nuclear addiction. Greenpeace want to help them break the nuclear habit by switching to wind power and set up wind turbines in the site!
  • 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 you’d like to help (or maybe hinder) the trials contact Melanie Briere at MORI, 020 7347 3023
  • Benefit gig for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, featuring Crowzone, Careless and Chicuahua Zycantah, at the Joiners Arms, Southampton, Mon 22nd, £3
  • 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
  • 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 centres.

Inside SchNEWS

If you’ve ever wanted to write to a prisoner but didn’t know what to say, now’s a good time to send a christmas card to brighten up their day. Here’s a few long term political prisoners who could do with a bit of support. More on writing to prisoners see

In June 2000, two US eco/anarchist activists, were found guilty of setting fires to SUV’s 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.

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.

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 defence.

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 Wilkinson’s 78-102 The Broadway, Stratford, London. Bring banners, Xmas fancy dress and plenty of Christmas spirit! Wilkinson’s stuff is so cheap because they get prisoners to make it for them for a pittance. More information see:


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 parade.

Also here at SchNEWS towers we’re quite used to the cops and media getting it wrong on the “How many were there?” question but normally they say it’s 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!


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 on Tuesday.

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… (see SchNEWS 392)

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.

...and finally...

Fed up wtih Christmas already? Well you’re 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 can’t 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 couldn’t agree more! Bah Humbug!

SchNEWS warns all readers writes is right up our alley. Honest!

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