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SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 435, 19th December, 2003
FUEL BE SORRY Bigger airports, failed Climate Change summit, no plans for tax on flying, stinking carbon sinks and more all add up to a bright future sun cream sales in Scotland. Shame about the 120,000 deaths a year. Also US repression of Iraqi trade unions, tidal electricity and festive cheer...

SchNEWS 434, 12th December, 2003
RIGHTS SAID FRED A run down of the human rights abuses metted out/supported by President Bliar and Emperor Bush while Bliar spouts off about "Freedom not tyranny. Democracy not dictatorship". Also info on writing to prisoners, the media ignoring terrorist suspects releases and more...

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.


Home | Friday 9th January 2004 | Issue 436


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Story Links:
Up The Injunction | Bayer For Blood | Crap Arrest of the Week | Training Day | "You're only s'posed to blow the bloody doors off" | "Just doing my job" | Positive SchNEWS | SchNEWS in Brief | ...and finally...



“Bayer respects totally the rights of groups or individuals to promote the discussion of current issues of general interest, such as GM organisms, but wishes to ensure that any protesting activity stays within the law and does not involve the harassment or intimidation of its employees.” – Bayer Spokesman

Bayer, the biggest company involved in the development of genetically modified crops in the UK has won an injunction against a number of groups and individuals who have been campaigning against them. They have been granted an injunction by the High Court which seriously limits the right to protest and is a direct attack on freedom of speech.

Bayer have an interim injunction (until 11th February) under the terms of the Protection from Harassment Act (which was originally trumpeted as a way to protect women from stalkers, but was first used against animal rights protesters, see SchNEWS 126). The injunction places severe restrictions on certain group’s and individual’s right to protest and their freedom of expression. These injunctions have been used against animal rights campaigners to restrict the right to protest which has caused some problems for the protesters although the use of imaginative tactics have kept the campaigns alive. However this is the first time the Act has been used against anti-GM campaigners. Anti-GM campaigners are merely trying to enforce what the public want, which according to the government’s own research, is no GM crops grown in Britain (SchNEWS 425). It is Bayer that is harassing the public by forcing GM crops on an unwilling public.

So do we feel sorry for Bayer who supposedly have been harassed by “green terrorists”? Well no. They weren’t exactly honest when they got the injunction. When you apply for an injunction you must go to the courts with “clean hands”, but Bayer’s hands are dirty - they failed to mention that there are a number of outstanding court cases against them… not exactly honest.

Bayer for Blood

So with the exception of GM crops, what other harassment has Bayer dished out to the general public? First here’s a history lesson…

Bayer has its origins in Nazi Germany, as part of the IG Farben cartel who built a rubber and oil plant complex at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the inmates worked as slave labor for Farben. When they were too weak to work they were killed in gas chambers, with Farben making Zyklon B gas. In 1948 twelve Farben executives were given sentences for mass murder, the longest was a mere seven years for Dr. Fritz ter Meer. On 1st August 1963 IG Farben was split into the three separate corporations which had once together formed its core: Bayer, Hoechst and BASF. This was Bayer’s 100th anniversary and the opening speech was given by mass murderer Dr. Fritz ter Meer, who was elevated to the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bayer.

Since then Bayer has produced a whole string of dodgy chemicals and drugs. In the 1980s, 6,000 people became infected with HIV through the use of blood coagulants for haemophiliacs, Bayer and other companies failed to take the simple precaution of conducting tests and heating the blood - but these steps weren’t taken because they would have cut into profits. After the products were withdrawn from America and Europe Bayer continued to sell the unsafe product in Asia for a further year, despite knowing it was unsafe, to preserve the profits from “several large fixed-price contracts”. This was defended by Bayer who said they “behaved responsibly, ethically and humanely” in selling the old product overseas! They have now offered $600m compensation to victims in the USA.

More recently, Bayer was one of a group of pharmaceutical companies who took the South African government to court for allowing the production of cheap generic versions of HIV drugs (see SchNEWS 290).

In Peru, Bayer is being taken to court for the deaths of 24 school children who drank milk mixed with Folidol, the Bayer brand name for methyl-parathion, which is an extremely hazardous pesticide. It is responsible for a disproportionately large share of pesticide poisonings in Latin America. Bayer widely promoted its methyl parathion formulation without alerting users as to the product’s grave risks to human health and the environment. The pesticide was marketed specifically for use in Andean crops, but only carried information in Spanish and not the native Quechua and had no warning symbols, only pictures of healthy carrots and potatoes.

In 2001 Bayer were forced to withdraw one of their leading pharmaceutical products, the anticholesterol drug Baycol or Lipobay, which was linked to over 50 deaths and muscle wasting syndrome; they have so far paid out £395m to settle 1,811 lawsuits, with a further 11,459 still outstanding!!

Bayer produce a number of household products, like Alka-Seltzer, Germoloids (“For hemorrhoids, think Germoloids” is their slogan), Baby Bio and Phostrogen fertilsers, and Autan. Autan, the number one insect repellent in Europe has been banned by the Danish Government, because it contains diethyl-toluamide, which is suspected of being carcinogenic... More court cases on the way?

Why should a company as dodgy as Bayer be offered protection by the courts? Surely sensitive issues such as GM crops need a proper open debate, rather than legal intimidation. This ruling could have wider implications, the next time you don’t agree with a corporation that’s selling you dangerous junk, and try to complain or protest - you could get done for harassment.

For more skeletons in Bayer’s closet and background information on Bayer check out and

For more information about the campaign against Bayer’s GM crops see

Crap Arrest Of The Week

For drinking a bottle of beer!
Lynn Sawyer, a midwife from Worcester was this week given a conditional discharge with no costs after barricading herself in a room at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole Hotel. Lynn was protesting at vivisection specialists Huntingdon Death Sciences being invited to the British Crop Protection Council conference. She also accused the pesticide industry of causing birth defects and damage to the environment. During the ‘siege’ she drank a beer, which was the property of Huntingdon, and was arrested for burglary, held for three days and was so badly treated by prison escort company Premier Security that the Home Office gave them penalty points. She was eventually taken to court costing thousands of pounds just for quenching her thirst.

Training Day

Live in the Brighton area? Want to get involved in SchNEWS? Then come along to our Training Day on
Wednesday 21st January 12 noon till 5pm. Places limited so get in touch beforehand.

“You’re only s’posed to blow the bloody doors off”

A previously unheard of Italian “anarcho-insurrectionist” organisation is under investigation by anti-terrorist experts from six countries, after a number of letter bombs were sent in the past few weeks to prominent EU officials including Romano Prodi (President of the European Commission) and the Governor of the European Central Bank. The letters were mailed from Bologna by a group calling itself the Informal Anarchic Federation (FAI). They also caused two small explosions near Prodi’s home earlier in December. No one was hurt, although one of them went off in Prodi’s hands, but the only damage done was some carpet getting burnt.

Meanwhile the mainstream media scream that we are witnessing a resurgence in “anarchist terrorism” and that it’s only a matter of luck that no-one has been injured. The Independent argued that the money used for the war on Iraq would have been better spent on surveillance of potential terrorists. Security measures have been stepped up within EU state institutions and on Monday, Italy announced the creation of a European task force to combat “anarchist insurrection”. Millions of pounds will be spent on blanket repression of social movements and activists. The head of the European Parliament, Pat Cox made the startling observation that the incidents were a “criminal conspiracy against democracy”. Which by a strange coincidence, were exactly the words used by a SchNEWS correspondent describing Silvio Berlusconi’s regime in Italy.

The majority of anarchists and communists in Italy and worldwide are opposed to such acts. The Italian Anarchist Federation (FAI), co-incidentally sharing the same initials as this strange new group and having suffered state repression under similar circumstances, denounced the indiscriminate violence of such devices. Suspiciously, other Anarchist groups in Italy say they have never heard of this group, said to have 350 members. Prodi is not such an obvious target for violent groups as Berlusconi and his cronies, who are the real oppressors in Italy.

Many are of the opinion that the recent events are the latest incident in the Italian state’s “Strategy of Tension”. In 1997 in Milan, a series of letterbombs were used as a justification to raid squats, social centres, and make sweeping arrests. Anti-globalisation activists may also recall the letter bomb scare in the days leading up to the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. Prodi, target of the anarchists, is also Berlusconi’s main political rival in Italian politics.

In the 1970’s, when electoral support for communists was at an all time high, Fascists engaged in a deadly bombing campaign. By blaming the bombings on the communists, the Fascists hoped to incite a breakdown of public order to justify the imposition of military rule. In Bologna in 1980, a bomb was detonated at a rail station killing 85 people and injuring over 200. Bologna was a communist stronghold at the time. The Italian Secret Service was later implicated in the bombing and high ranking officials in the organization were made to stand trial ten years later. Their convictions were overturned.

It is clear that in Berlusconi’s Italy, there will be no proper investigation, no objective reporting in the mainstream media and as usual, no justice, no peace…

To follow the story on indymedia:

Read more about the strategy of tension:

“Just doing my job”

An Israeli sniper who shot International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer Tom Hurndall in the head leaving him brain dead has finally been arrested after months of campaigning by his family. The army now admit that initial accusations of Tom being armoured and in camouflage and that the soldier was returning Palestinian fire, were lies. Mr Hurndall was shot eight months ago in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip as he tried to help children out of the path of an Israeli tank. Opening fire on activists is becoming increasingly regular. Last week, the army shot and wounded two Israeli peace activists protesting at the construction of the Apartheid “security fence” through the West Bank at the village of Mas’ha which lost 97% of its land and olive trees when the wall was built.

Not that these tactics are anything new for the Palestinians - about one-fifth of all Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers are children. On New Years day the Israeli army fired rubber bullets at people’s heads during another demonstration against the wall, with ten people taken to hospital and deportation orders issued against four activists, including a Swedish MP.

As the Gush Shalom website says, the young soldier will probably justify his shooting by saying: “I only obeyed orders” - one of the most despicable sentences, remembered by any Jew from dark days.

Israel says the wall is being built because of security measures. So is it necessary to uproot 115,000 Palestinian olive trees and separate thousands of Palestinians from their land? Is it necessary to confiscate 37 wells that provide 4 million cubic meters of water? And isn’t it telling that the Wall will annex the most fertile and rich land, leaving the Palestinians with only 40% of their agricultural land.

But not everyone is obeying orders. Five Conscientious Objectors (CO’s) who have refused to serve in the Israeli Defence Force were sentenced this week to a year in prison on top of the year they have been held for refusing to serve in the army. The sentence is, in effect, an unlimited one as Israel intends to jail them till they agree to serve. Usually CO’s are given very light sentences, but because the five went public encouraging others to do the same, at a time when the army is facing a wave of objections, the judges told them they were a threat to the survival of Israel – and came down hard. Nearly a thousand school leavers and reservists have signed refusal letters, and members of elite forces such as fighter pilots and commandos say they will no longer attack Palestinian targets because the large numbers of civilian casualties amount to war crimes.

Support the objectors

* 20th January Benefit for the International Solidarity Movement with Comedian Ivor Dembina about his recent journey to Israel and the West Bank and his work there with the ISM. Music by Manchester Klezmer. upstairs at the Southern, Nell Lane, Chorlton £6/5 0770 803 5335.

Positive SchNEWS

Media Hacklab is an open political space for people to create their own alternative media, swap skills and computer software and generally work together to get our message across. If you’d like to get involved there’s an open planning meeting this Saturday (10th) 2pm followed by a working weekend (16th-18th) to put the lab together at Freedom Bookshop, 84b Whitechapel High St, London, E1.

More info:

SchNEWS In Brief

  • The Phantom Conservation Volunteers and the Friends of Toad’s Hole are organising their first clean-up event of Toads Hall Valley this Sunday (11th). They want to show that it is a much loved space that must be in the new South Downs National Park and not developed as an industrial estate. Bring own tools if possible. For transport meet St Peters Church, Brighton 10am. More details 01273 620 815
  • There’s a street medic training course this weekend (9th-11th) with lots of hands-on practice and role-plays plus basic first aid, chemical weapons decontamination, emotional support etc. To book a place e-mail More info:
  • Pirates Radio 4A are back on the airwaves this weekend on 101.4 FM in Brighton and worldwide on
  • Take part in a “human shield” to stop a travelers site being evicted this Monday (12th) at Bulkington, close to the M69 between Coventry and Leicester. 21 families, with 50 children, have barricaded their land and dug ditches to stop the contractors and bailiffs, call 07876664943
  • Open meeting to plan actions against the DSEI arms fair in 2005 in London. The meeting takes place on 18th January 2004, at LARC, Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London 2pm. 07817 652029
  • There’s also an open meeting same day same place to plan events for this years May Day 2-5pm.
  • The G8 are coming to Britain in the Summer of 2005 and Dissent! are holding a national gathering 7th-8th February in Brighton to make plans to oppose them. If you want to come and need accommodation it’s essential you email
  • The Anarchist Yellow Pages, an international directory of libertarian groups, publications and self-managed spaces is being updated. If you want to be included get in touch at
  • The Reclaim The Bases Weekend of anti-militarist & non-violent action at military bases throughout the UK is happening 17th-18th January. To find out more see
  • With the exception of the Basque country and the Republic of Ireland, water fluoridation has been rejected throughout Europe, yet the Water Act which became law in November gives Health Authorities the power to order water companies to add fluoride to public water supplies. Rather than stand up for their customers’ rights and health, water companies have instead gained civil and criminal indemnity against litigation. There’s a postcard campaign and a demo planned for 21st January in Central London. To find out more 01226 360909

...and finally...

GCHQ, part of the government spook service, has come up with a novel way of identifying people - by their body odour. Yep, apart from fingerprints, voice recognition and retina scans, the powers that be might soon be sniffing your armpits - or any other sweaty places to suss out who you are! Apparently everybody has got a different smell which has a chemical formula, and, with identity cards coming in, SchNEWS wonders if there is gonna be a scratch n’sniff bit on them with your own lovely aroma on it. Mind you, dogs have being doing this forever, but who’s going to want the job of sniffing somebody’s arse?

SchNEWS warns all readers not to write poison pen letters to Bayer. Honest!

SchNEWS Annuals

NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual 2003 - £8 + £1.70 p&p

  • SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 Sold out - Sorry
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  • SchNEWS and SQUALL’s 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

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