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SchNEWS This Time Last Year

SchNEWS 442, 20th February, 2004
SHOP 'TIL THEY DROP Chinese cockle pickers died because they are at the bottom of the food production chain. We look at how the big supermarkets exploit imigrant workers and then everyone else. Also Bayer's anti protest injunction, Thessaloniki arestees charged dropped and more..

SchNEWS 441, 13th February, 2004
SPELLBOUND Road protest camps, the 'Harry Potter ruling' and more... Also: alternative community centre, Birmingham Northern Relief Road, direct action and shoddy journalism in Dublin, clampdown in Argentina, and more...

SchNEWS 440, 6th February, 2004
DUSTING DOWNER More on Depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq and the movement against their usage and in aid of their victims. Also: forced evictions in Chiapas, Mexico, Sydney Opera House "redecoration" case, WHISC worldwide (the School of the Americas), camp updates, and more...

SchNEWS 439, 30th January, 2004
PRIMATE CHANGE Cambridge University finally abandons controversial plans for a primate vivisection lab. Also: Chelmsford travellers evicted, Costain tree-felling, Trident sub trials, Old Kent Road Asda, and more...

SchNEWS 438, 23rd January, 2004
BOMBAY MIX The fourth World Social Forum, held in Mumbai, India, examines the real impact of Globalisation, and also offers “an international alliance to battle the multinationals.” Also: crap jobs, FSB harassment of Russian activists, Monsanto rapeseed case rapes farmer's living, seed swap, free Vanunu campaign and more...

SchNEWS 437, 16th January, 2004
FLAW AND DISORDER The proposed Civil Contingencies Bill, Neo-Labour wet dream come true, would further erode civil rights in Britain. Also: travellers fighting eviction in Coventry, Nine Ladies anti-quarry camp in the Peak District, finger-printing Americans in Brazil, and more...

SchNEWS 436, 9th January, 2004
UP THE INJUNCTION Bayer wins an injunction severely limiting the rights of anti-GM protesters. SchNEWS takes a look at Bayer's legal history. Also: "strategy of tension" steps up in Italy?, IDF sniper arrested for murder of ISM volunteer, and all the usual...

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.


Home | Friday 27th February 2004 | Issue 443


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Story Links:
Penta-Goner | Chilled Out | Can You Keep A Secret? | Give us yer money - we'll destroy capitalism for you! | Crap Arrest of the Week | Block Booking | Inside SchNEWS | 'Fortress' Road | SchNEWS In Brief | Fairtrade SchNEWS | Wall Out Of Order | Wrenched Outta Home | ...and finally...



“It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.” - Doug Randall, Global Business Network

While this week Home Secretary Blunkett was announcing plans to take more of our freedoms away in order to protect our, er freedoms, and President Bush started his re-election campaign by banging on about national security, a report issued by a Pentagon think-tank argued that it is climate change that “should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern.”

The report “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and It’s Implications for United States National Security,” imagines the worse case scenario: By 2020 climate change has unleashed nuclear showdowns over who controls what is left of the planet’s water, with mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting across the world. Major European cities sink beneath rising seas and Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate. 400 million people become environmental refugees forced to flee from uninhabitable regions. So what sort of pinko commie is behind this report? None other than the Office of Net Assessment, a secretive US think-tank dedicated to weighing up risks to national security and headed by 83 year old Andrew Marshall. Nicknamed Yoda, this is the man who has held considerable sway over US military thinking for the past three decades, is best mates with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and champions the Star Wars missile defense strategy.

The authors of the report, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network, say that it might possibly be too late to prevent a disaster. “The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.” But with his pockets stuffed full of dollars from the oil and energy corporations, Bush is refusing to listen, instead ignoring or trying to bury evidence of climate change. His administration has kept the report on ice for the past four months. Last summer, in a 450-page report that covered just about every other conceivable threat to the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency chose to say nothing about climate change after the White House made major edits to the climate change section! With a twentieth of the world’s population, the US produces a quarter of the worlds’ greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions are up 14% from 1990 levels and are projected to rise by a further 12% over the next decade.

Chilled Out

Climate change has long been associated with gradual changes to the earth over 50 to 100 years. But material found in ice cores in the Arctic and other regions demonstrates that a region’s climate can change dramatically in just a few years.

Such an abrupt shift occurred 1,300 years ago in the Younger Dryas period, pushing Europe back into Ice Age conditions. Another less dramatic shift was the “Little Ice Age”, a time of hard winters, violent storms and droughts between 1300 and 1850.

The cause of these wild climate shifts is a change in the huge Atlantic Ocean current that flows from the Tropics north to the Arctic, where it cools, sinks to the bottom and flows south again. Called the “Atlantic conveyor belt”, it continually brings warm water, therefore warmer temperatures, to the eastern United States and northern Europe, explaining why Britain is relatively temperate.

Global warming is melting the ice of the Arctic regions, putting much more fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean, and possibly slowing down the conveyor. If the conveyor current slows, it would bring less warm water to the northern regions making them colder, as happened during the “Little Ice Age. So despite us enjoying warmer summers in the UK at the moment, higher global temperatures could put Northern Europe into the deep freeze.

To understand the implications, the Pentagon asked scientists to look into what might happen should the 'conveyor' begin to falter in 2010. What they came up with is the nightmare scenario already described. And while some might want to dismiss the report as fantastical rubbish, maybe they should chat to the people of Tuvalu whose island is slowly disappearing under water.

As Sir John Houghton, part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pointed out, “The impacts of global warming are such that I have no hesitation in describing it as a ‘weapon of mass destruction.’ Whatever new laws Bush and his ilk come up with, this is the new Cold War they should really be worrying about.

Can You Keep A Secret?

This week David Blunkett announced further proposals to combat the threat from al-Qaida terrorism, reminding us to stay forever fearful so the government can bring more measures in to suppress dissent and help direct billions of pounds of our money into the war machine. His plans include allowing bugging as evidence in terrorism cases and giving MI5 1,000 extra staff. A new, secret court would also be necessary to protect intelligence sources, including hand-picked judges and solicitors.

Meanwhile, 14 people have been imprisoned in the UK for the past two years without trial and without being charged thanks to the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. The Act bypasses European human rights legislation to allow the internment of foreign nationals on the say-so of the intelligence services. The same intelligent service that told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “I cannot believe that I am sitting here today to try and argue why it is wrong to detain human beings indefinitely without trial.” Campaign Against Criminalising Communities 020 7586 5892

  • On Monday, the US Education Secretary labeled the nation’s largest teachers’ union a “terrorist organization” after the union had the cheek to complain that education was being under-funded. The Teachers union president replied, “This is the kind of rhetoric we have come to expect from this administration whenever one challenges its world view.”

Give us yer money - we'll destroy capitalism for you!

While we had a great response to our recent rent crisis, SchNEWS is still about £200 a month short for paying for printing, the telephone, postage, biscuits, computer bits, etc. So we’re asking if a few more people would be up for setting up standing orders to give us a steady income - even £1 a month would help. To find out how, either call the office or go to
* Sorry to go on, but it would be really good if a couple of you Brighton bods could donate just one hour of your time on a Friday to help with the mail-out.


For Stealing 1p of electricity!
A student who plugged his laptop into a socket at a train station in Germany to find out the address of a hostel received a short sharp shock by three police officers for “illegally extracting electricity”. Jan Michael Ihl, who is also an energy specialist for Greenpeace said, “The whole thing is ridiculous. I ‘stole’ electricity worth less than one cent.” The public prosecutor now has to decide whether to press charges.

Block Booking

It was world news that on the night of Feb 15th, a riot broke out between aboriginals and police in the Sydney area of Redfern, known as ‘The Block’, one of the biggest urban aboriginal communities in Australia. When a ‘sensational’ news event like this bursts into the headlines, one thing usually gets lost in all the hyperbole… why it actually happened. Some news may have gone so far as saying that the spark of the riot was the role of the police in the death of TJ Hickey, a seventeen year old aboriginal boy in the area. But what’s the rest of the story?

Institutionalised police racism — aboriginals are constantly subject to strip searches and suffer other abuses — caused a tinderbox in The Block that was just waiting for a spark to kick it off. The situation was similar to the Toxteth riots in Liverpool in 1981, where the police’s infamous ‘sus’ laws—constant stop-and-searches of black youths—brought tension to such a high point that all it took was one arrest witnessed by a crowd to set off nine days of rioting. At The Block the day after the death, instead of leaving the aboriginal community alone for the day, the police came out tooled-up in numbers, which fairly well guaranteed it would kick off – and it did.

Despite initial police denials, more witnesses are coming forward and saying that a police van was chasing the lad on his bike moments before he was impaled on an iron fence. Witnesses claim he was impaled at an ‘unlikely angle’ for a bike accident, and that police moved him off the fence and searched him instead of trying to stop blood loss. It actually took an eight year old girl to call an ambulance. The police, on the other hand, only called for more back-up.

Since the riot it’s been back to business as usual for the Redfern police, as they see how far they can push it before the situation explodes again. Last week, at a memorial concert for TJ, his fourteen year old girlfriend April was arrested for ‘swearing’ when she abused police officers and blamed them for killing her boyfriend. She was later charged with ‘resisting and hindering police’. Despite no arrests on the day of the riot, police claimed that they would arrest 40 using CCTV footage. And just to show they were sensitive coppers, one of the first nicked was Marilyn Cargill, TJ’s aunt and one of the people who helped to raise him. She was charged with ‘riot’ and ‘affray’ and was refused bail, preventing her from going to the funeral. TJ’s father, also in jail, was not allowed out for the funeral either.

There was a memorial march and rally in Redfern on Tuesday—the day of the funeral—and the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra is calling for an action at Parliament House on March 1st.

Inside SchNEWS

Thirteen anti-GM protesters in Italy are facing serious charges from a demo in October 2000. At the 13’s latest hearing, the prosecutor asked that 4 of the protesters, who the prosecution claim were the “ringleaders” of the demonstration, receive two-year jail sentences and the other 9 be jailed for 18 months. All are due to appear in court again on the 26th of April. Please send letters of support & donations to: Il Silvestre, via del Cuore, 156127 Pisa, Italy.

  • Supporters of Leonard Peltier, the Native American framed for shooting FBI agents at Pine Ridge, are asking people to sign an online petition to demand a full investigation of FBI misconduct: Background info:
  • Stuart Tideswell, an animal rights activist, has been jailed for four months for harassment of benefit staff after having his benefits stopped. Letters of support to: Stuart Tideswell (JH8108), HMP Leicester, Welford Road, LE2 7AJ.

'Fortress' Road

The Fortess Road Social centre in Kentish Town, London, is under threat of eviction. Bailiffs arrived on Tuesday, but were told to piss off. They are expected to return at any time. There are now over 60 people who have barricaded themselves inside the building with tire walls and imaginative welding, but more people are needed!! Ring 0207 267 1373 for more info. Occupied Social Centre, 93 Fortess Road, Kentish Town tube.

SchNEWS In Brief

  • Ahmad Sorany from the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and the regional coordinator for the ISM, will be on a speaking tour of Scotland from 29th Feb to 11th March, Details: 07952 969102
  • The next Disarm DSEi meeting, to plan action against next year’s arms fair. 1pm, 14th March, Cathays Community Centre, 36-38 Cathays Terrace, Cathays, Cardiff. 1pm
  • In 1998 “Ethical” Neo Labour relaxed the guidelines for export of weapons components. This led to a 1100% increase in exports, meaning that dodgy regimes that repress dissent can now get guns even more easily from the UK.
  • Faslane Peace camp have organized a phone blockade against Rolls Royce next Wednesday (3) and another on 1st April. Amongst other dodgy dealings, the company are responsible for building nuclear reactors for new nuclear submarines. 01332 661461
  • There’s a Human Rights Watch International Film Festival happening 17-25 March in London. Full programme:
  • Trevor Ngwane from the Anti-Privatisation Forum and Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee of South Africa will be talking this Sunday (29) at Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. 07890 738997
  • Saturday (6) is ‘Enviromental Rock’, an all day benefit raising environmental awareness, including a SchNEWS stall as well as tonnes of bands, The Hobbit Pub, Bevois Valley, Southampton 12 noon – 2am 079 74106293
  • The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh is a campaign base for social and ecological resistance and needs £100 per month to cover costs. They need more support!! Cheques to Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA.
  • Kickstart plans to open another squatted social centre in Manchester on 19th March
  • All day benefit gig to raise cash and awareness for the road protest movement (esp. 9 Ladies), 26 March, Beat Bar, Dundee, Scotland. Help is needed from anyone who can do food, give a talk, hold a workshop, etc. To get involved phone 07753 808 709
  • Coaches have been organised by Sussex Action for Peace for the peace demo in London on 20th March. Tickets available at Community Base, Queens Road and the Peace and Environment Centre, Surrey Street for £7/£5

Fairtrade SchNEWS

Fairtrade Fortnight (1-14 March) celebrates ten years of the Fairtrade Mark being given to goods that give the producer a fair price as well as protect their working rights from being exploited. For more info: 020 7440 7676

  • This Saturday (28) there’s a Fairtrade Fair & Local Farmers’ Market at the Friends Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton 11am-5pm
  • On Tuesday, March 2nd, 12-1pm, there will be an event entitled “A Decade On – Fairtrade Today” at Brighton University, Cockcroft C123, Moulsecoomb. Speakers include Justino Peck, a Cocoa Producer from Belize Supplying for Maya Gold.

Wall Out Of Order

Today (Feb 26th), the Israeli Army shot rubber bullets, live ammunition and tear gas at unarmed demonstrators protesting against the construction of the apartheid wall in Biddu. Three young Palestinians were killed, and another man died from a heart attack provoked by excessive amounts of tear gas. Eye witnesses from the ISM reported that snipers were shooting directly at the crowd. For more information,

Wrenched Outta Home

The roundhouse, a dwelling that has served as an example of low-impact housing for the last seven years, has lost its five-year struggle to remain in the Welsh countryside. The house’s designer, Tony Wrench, has been battling the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (PCNP) authority for the right to stay in the wood, mud, and straw eco-home he built since its discovery in 1999 by a park survey plane.

Ever since the home was discovered, park officials have been gagging to demolish the roundhouse. Built on land owned by Brithdir Mawr, a community based on environmental sustainability, the house unfortunately did not have planning permission. Because of this, and also due to arch-villain Ms. Cathy Milner, a big shot with the PCNP and avowed enemy of the roundhouse, the PCNP has ruthlessly sought, and finally won, a demolition order. Tired from his battles with the PCNP and threatened with legal action if the house is not destroyed, Wrench has bowed out.

For her part, Ms Milner said turning a blind eye to Mr Wrench’s house would just encourage more hippies to live sustainably. “Before long you won’t have any countryside left because these people will be building these things all over the place.” Bearing in mind that she works for the same planning authority that has agreed the building of a multi-million pound 500-acre leisure and sports village in the same National park where the roundhouse is, one would hope that the likes of Ms Milner will soon get the sack. If not, before long you won’t have any countryside left because these people will keep building more leisure and sports villages all over the place!

...and finally...

“When did you last pray for your stockbroker?” asks the Industrial Christian Fellowship, an American group who believe that bankers and stockbrokers don’t get as much prayerful support as they need. Last autumn, ICF executive member John Raymond said, “There is a feeling that these professions are too worldly - almost not good enough - for prayers. There is a feeling that you cannot mix God and Mammon. But I think that is exactly the opposite of how Jesus would see it.” But gee John, didn’t Jesus overturn the money changers tables and chase them out of the temple once upon a time? And that same Jesus also once said, according to your own beloved book, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” But never mind the Bible kids, the ICF encourages you to say this prayer for your holy, local stockbroker: “Father God, we ask your blessing on our economic world: Bless those in governments and banks… Give them an understanding of economic forces and the mechanics of wealth creation; that they may produce laws and regulations which give freedom for people to create wealth…” We couldn’t make it up if we tried, folks.

SchNEWS warns all readers we'll always be here with the cold facts on burning topics... Honest!

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