So why are people getting so mad?
Its estimated that the European Parliament in Brussels -
hosts 500 industry lobby groups employing 10,000 professional lobbyists.
Their job is to make the EU more industry-friendly - and they do
it very well. In Dublin next weekend a different sort of lobbyists
will be lobbying for equality, ecological policies and
accountability, yknow the sort of outrageous demands that
have already got them labeled as criminals, terrorists and violent
Safely behind the castle doors, the Irish Government will be using
their presidency to push forward the Lisbon agenda,
which wants a more dynamic and competitive EU economy.
The problem is, to make us all more competitive, big
business has come up with the idea that the EU should abandon anything
that gets in the way of profit making, and instead have self-regulation
and non-binding recommendations.
Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information,
reckons that traditional regulation is increasingly called
into question by the demands of globalization. This is the
globalisation that governments and economists like to keep quiet
about. The globalisation where corporations just up sticks and move
to where workers are cheaper and there are less troublesome regulations
such as health and safety and trade union rights. (Although these
new countries joining the EU have had to open their borders to the
free flow of money, its a different story when it comes to
the free flow of people).
Last month the Irish minister for Enterprise and Trade, Mary Harney
received rapturous applause at the third European Business Summit
taking place in Brussels when she pledged to ensure that the
agenda of business is taken on board by the EUs Council on
Competitiveness, which she chairs. Let us look at all
to see, do we need it, and if so how much
of it ? The conferences official theme was Research
and Innovation, but that didnt stop industry leaders
from using session after session to call for downscaling environmental,
consumer and social protection in order to serve corporate competitiveness.
Industrys list of obstacles to competitiveness
range from chemical safety rules to insufficient military
budgets. The hostility of European consumers towards GM food was
also highlighted as a major obstacle to EU competitiveness!
The biggest player in the corporate lobby is the all-powerful European
Roundtable of Industrialists who mentioned the Kyoto Protocol as
an example of policy initiated and adopted with little thought
of the consequences for industry. Hey presto! EU climate change
policies are the first to be singled out and re-assessed.
The Employers federation UNICE, in a jubilant reaction, said the
decision was an important first step that should lead to a
review of the EU climate change policy if necessary. With
Russia dragging its feet over ratifying the Protocol and the US
refusing to sign point blank, corporations complain that the EUs
international competitiveness is at stake - ignoring
the consequences of climate change.
Typical of this years Business Summit was the session on
Environmental technologies: how to exert leverage on Europes
leadership worldwide. Colin Humphries of the chemical industry
federation was one of many industry speakers to launch attacks on
the proposed new EU chemicals regulation (REACH). REACH, still to
be discussed and approved by the European Parliament, intends to
regulate about 100,000 chemicals. Forget that the release of thousands
of new chemicals each year has serious health impacts. Forget that
the costs of implementing REACH are negligible compared to what
society saves by reducing cancer levels. Forget all that - what
about shareholders bloody profits!
Another session Defence and security: how to work together
for a secure Europe focused on the opportunities arising from
the guaranteed supply chain of insecurity. Discussion
soon got round to how to boost EU military spending to US-levels.
Scott Harris, European director of Lockheed Martin the worlds
biggest weapons producer (see SchNEWS 402/3) highlighted the difference
between the EU and the US spending on arms, complaining about the
lack of resources. Dont worry Scott, theres a
creeping militarisation of the EU with the creation of the European
Agency for Armaments and Strategic Research. The draft EU Constitution
also states Member States shall undertake progressively to
improve their military capabilities.
While the new countries joining the EU were told they had to privatise
essential services if they wanted to be welcomed (SchNEWS 287),
the Lisbon agenda also specifically targets gas, electricity,
postal services and transport as ripe for privatisation (although
they like to use the friendlier term liberalisation.)
The first step in privatisation is forcing people to pay for public
services to make them profitable and attractive to investors. So
who cares if privatisation results in worse working conditions,
greater inequality of services, lay-offs and wage cuts - people
need to make a profit!
In Britain we are fed nonsense about saving the pound and promised
a vote on a treaty which most of us find baffling. Behind the scenes
big business is pushing its own EU agenda. As the Dublin Grassroots
Network (who are co-ordinating the May Day protests) put it We
are struggling with others across Europe for a different type of
Europe, one that puts people before profit and does away with top-down
decision making. Join these protests in the struggle for an alternative
Crap Arrest of the Week
For feeding the homeless...
In Tampa, Florida police arrested three people from Food Not Bombs
who were handing out free food to the homeless, they were arrested
as they didnt have a permit to hand out food. The police and
city say that it is for health reasons, but a homeless person whom
had been fed commented I think I know whats healthy
for my body, and going hungry isnt healthy. The city isnt
out to protect anyones health. They just want to pretend we
are not here. Another said If theres a law about
feeding the homeless and going to jail, this is a backward world.
Nice Little Earner
Bit of a bash in London next week you might be interested in.
HM government, bless em, are hosting a meeting of top gangsters
- sorry business community members - from across the world, invited
here to divvy up the loot from a big job from last year. Iraq
Procurement 2004 - Meet the Buyers from 26th to 28th April will
see the US and British governments, who sorted the muscle for the
job, hand over the loot to the Mr Bigs of the corporate
world who have been planning this job for years. The booty is contracts
for billions of dollars to run Iraqi industries, nicked - sorry,
privatised, got to get this new lingo right! - when the muscle leant
on the locals big time. These contracts allow corporations
to rob the place rotten then export 100% of the lolly - bad news
for Iraqis, but a nice little earner for the boys from the corporate
Of course, you dont put together a job like this without
greasing a few palms to make sure it all goes smooth. The Met are
in on the deal of course, and will be doing their best to make sure
no have-a-go-heroes try to spoil the meet with whinges about human
rights, international law and all that malarkee. Lets hope
the overtime theyve bunged the plod keeps things sweet. Iraq
has the worlds second largest oil reserves and could become
a prosperous, democratic society if it wasnt being robbed
blind by corporate capitalism - thank God weve got the British
army, Neo-Labour government and the Bush gang in on the deal to
make sure that doesnt happen!
Fancy becoming a gangster yourself? I tell ya, nothing impresses
the big boys like a bit of initiative, so why not blag your way
into this meet and impress everyone with your ingenuity - theyll
all be there, Shell, Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco, Marconi and US
arms manufacturer Raytheon. Its happening at London Hilton
Hotel, 22 Park Lane between 6-9pm next Tuesday. So get along to
the big nosh up, remembering, of course, thats its considered
polite to bring your own pies and, you know, share.
See you there!
- Join the demonstration - speakers to include: Ewa Jasiewicz
(activist recently returned from 8 months in Iraq) and representatives
from the Union of the Unemployed of Iraq, the Organisation of
Womens Freedom in Iraq, the Campaign Against Arms Trade,
Jubilee Iraq, and the Green Party. 0845 458 2564 www.theirpayday.org
- Give George Bush Senior the Reception He Deserves! Tuesday
May 18 4.30-6.30pm, Landmark Hotel, 222 Marylebone Road, London
NW1 (nearest tube Marylebone Road). Bush Senior, the architect
of the first Gulf war, is coming to London to raise money for
his sons re-election campaign. He will be the main guest
at a dinner party hosted by Republicans Abroad - tickets for the
event are $1000 each! www.stopwar.org.uk
Undercurrents celebrate their 10th anniversary by launching their
Undercurrent News Network (UNN). This alternative news video offers
documentaries, animations and subverts from radical producers around
For example, the case of student protests that increased wages of
low paid workers, bringing one of the wealthiest corporations in
the world to its knees, will be reported. Laughs are guaranteed
when George and Tonys special relationship is
For copies of the video 01792 455900 www.undercurrents.org/unn
- The video will be shown at the Cowley Club, London Road,
Brighton this Monday (26) at 6:30 pm. * And on 28th April in Manchester,
Arch Bar, 7.30 pm. * Also in Norwich on 30th April, 7pm, for more
In Chicago in May 1886 police fired on workers protesting against
poor working conditions and struggling for an eight-hour day. Many
protestors were killed and anarchists were accused of the catch-all
of conspiracy and executed. Thats why Mayday is now a commemoration
of these Haymarket Martyrs.
This year the corporate media have decided that Mayday has been
cancelled, so instead of the usual fun and games in the Capital,
events are happening all over the country (and Dublin of course).
Lancashire Reclaim Mayday Roadshow (30 April 2 May):
A Mayday March and a huge picnic are planned but also childrens
and political films, displays, discussion and bands. 01772 734130
30 April Shutdown Spearhead for Mayday! DSEi action, 8:30am
onwards, Apex Tower New Malden, London. Spearhead Exhibitions has
recently been bought by Reed Exhibitions. So, from 1pm onwards,
the celebrations will move to Reed Exhibitions, Oriel House, 26
The Quadrant, Richmond (opposite Richmond station). www.dsei.org
BM Box 3679, London WC1N 3XX 07817 652029.
Traditional Mayday Trade Union march in London (including
a Libertarian bloc) Meet Clerkenwell Green 12 noon then march to
Trafalgar Square. MayDay Picnic 3pm St.James Park. London Animal,
Protest against human and animal exploitation under the banner,
Kill Capitalism, Not Animals! Piccadilly Circus, by
the statue of Eros 12 noon.
Mayday in Bradford (29 April-3rd May) Celebrations starting
with the launch of the renovated Anarchist Library, punk bands,
cabaret, disco and a Mayday party and picnic on Infirmary Fields
from 1pm. Tel: 01274 734160 www.1in12.com
Annual May Day street party, 1pm, Buchanan St Underground
Glasgows annual anti-capitalist street festival takes
over the streets, with sound systems, performers and YOU. www.liveinthemoment.org
SchNEWS In Brief
- Tonight (23) the Seaside Tribe & Campaign Against Arms
Trade present Peace Revolutions @ The Brixton Telegraph,
228 Brixton Hill, London 8pm 4am £5/8. www.seasidetribe.org
- Theres a Glasgow Autonomous Project Benefit gig
on Saturday (24), 3pm 6pm, Stereo bar, 11 Kelvinhaugh St.
- Dissent! A Network of Resistance Against the G8, a holding
a national gathering in Manchester, this week-end 24th-25th April,
at the Manchester Environmental Resource Centre If you want
to attend IT IS ESSENTIAL that you let them know in advance, email@example.com
- Two family members of a Colombian SINALTRAINAL union leader
were assassinated on Tuesday and three of their children wounded.
The unionists have been in dispute with the Coca-Cola bottle
industry for several months (see SchNEWS 447). www.killercoke.org/
- What has been the impact of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the
war on terrorism on Britains Muslim community?
A talk and discussion with Kadeer Arif, chair of the Uni. of Sussex
Islamic Society next Tuesday (27) 7.30pm St Josephs Church
Hall, Milton Road, Brighton. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Theres a meeting on Israeli Apartheid Wall also next Tuesday
(27) at Hargrave Hall, Hargrave Rd N19 (Archway tube) 8pm Speakers
include Jocelyn Hurndall whose son was killed by the Israeli Defence
Force. 02077006192 www.palestinecampaign.org
- Come and listen to the people who wrote Hotlines: Discussion
on a workers inquiry into call centres talk about capitalism
and resistance at work, Technology, new factories
and class struggle. At the Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton
next Thursday (29) 6pm
- Next week the Fairford five anti-war campaigners
will appear in Bristol Crown Court to argue for the right to use
international law in their defence in their trials. A five-day
hearing will establish whether UK foreign and defence policy can
be examined when the defendants come to trial in the summer. Support
appreciated, 9am @ Bristol Crown Court. www.b52two.org.uk
SchNEWS at Ten Tour Latest
Dont forget the last few SchNEWS at Ten tour dates.
Catch us at Edinburgh (tonite) (24) Newcastle, (25) Leeds, (26)
Sheffield, (27) Nine Ladies Protest Camp, (28) Manchester, (29)
Nottingham, (30) Norwich and May Day in Ipswich. The tour
is drug fueled in traditional rock and roll sense, mostly echinacia
and vitamin C as weve all got a cold.
...and finally... Pay attention at the back!
What would you expect from a group of aspiring anarchists on the
first day of an anarchy course? Refuse to hand in their assessments,
This is what happened on the Deconstructing Systems in the
Pursuit of Anarchy course at the Fort Lewis College, Durango,
Arizona, when students were told by Professor Mark Seiss that hed
have to hand in a sample of students work. The students agreed
by consensus to not hand in their work and Professor Seiss supported
them. Seiss wrote I find this personally offensive to be surveilled
by a group appointed as the Thematic Studies Thought Police.
It remains unclear what decision will be made in regards to students
refusals. College rulemakers seem reluctant to pursue the issue
further and will most likely accept the class decision.
The course was designed to do away with many of the misconceptions
about anarchy in general and what it means. Josh Rankin, one of
the students in the class, talked about some of those misconceptions,
I was hitchhiking to school this semester and someone picked
me up and asked me what class I was going to I said I was going
to anarchy class. She got this panic stricken look on her face and
said you mean devil-worshipping? I think as a
society were taught that anarchy is a really destructive thing,
so it can be lumped into the same group as terrorism or something
like that. Joshs words accurately describe the way governments
and the media treat anarchist protestors. Check out coverage of
mayday in Dublin, where the bullshit is already flying thick and
SchNEWS warns all readers we always do our homework, get good
grades, but were never teachers pet... Honest!
NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual
2003 - £8 + £2.00 p&p
- SchNEWS Round
issues 51 - 100 Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Survival
Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. postage
- The SchQUALL
book at only £7 + £1.50 p&p.
and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures from
the direct action frontline. £3 inc p&p. You can order
the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the ISBN 09529748
- SchNEWS Of
The World issues 301 - 350. 300
more pages of adventures from the direct action frontline. £5
+ £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.
£6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).
In addition to
50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons,
subverts, a yellow pages list of contacts, comedy etc.
to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues)
or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription,
or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals"
if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.