This Time Last Year
459/460, 18th June, 2004
G8 WAY TO HELL The G8 have another shindig, in the good old US
of A this time. Same old story really. Shell are also up to their old
tricks in Africa and everywhere else - environmental destruction and
stamping on anyone who complains...
458, 11th June, 2004
SKYEWAY ROBBERY SchNEWS looks at how PFI went all Dick Turpin
with the Skye Bridge highway tolls, as well as other Hall of Shame PFI
entries like the Edinburgh and Cumberland Infirmaries. We also bid a
'fond' farewell to Bush Jr. prototype, Ronald Raygun. He'll be missed
456/457, 4th June, 2004
BITE THE BALLOT The BNP are threatening to gain seats at forthcoming
elections. SchNEWS takes a look at ways of dealing with these fascists.
Also Saudi oil and alternative fuels, Guadalajara, the World Bank on
oil, and all the usual gubbins.
455, 28th May, 2004
MONSKANKO! Nasty Canadian farmer found guilty of infringing on
nice friendly Monsanto's "intelellectual property rights"
by his rubbish convensional oil seed rape being contaminated by their
great new GM version. Fair enough?
454, 21stMay, 2004
IDENTENTACLE Big Brother Blunkett is crashing on with his plans
to introduce biometric ID cards. Prepare yourselves for the project
to run massively over budget and finish way behind schedule (here's
453, 14th May, 2004
NORM RULES OK? United Nations plans to make international law
apply to multinational corporations are opposed by multinational corporations
like Shell. Surprised?
7th May, 2004
BORN TO BE FILED Big Brother reaches out a "helping hand"
to the youth of the nation... yeah right! Also SchNEWS tour report,
inside SchNEWS, and all the usual...
451, 30th April, 2004
BANKERS' CRAMP! SchNEWS takes a look at the European Investment
Bank and finds plenty of skeletons in its closet. Also anti-fascist
news, positive SchNEWS, and more...
450, 23rd April, 2004
IT'S A BIG 'UN! May Day comes around again, with nation-wide
action expected despite May Day being "banned" by the corporate
media. SchNEWS also looks at the relationship between big business and
the EU. Also fleecing Iraq, more on May Day, and all the usual.
449, 16th April, 2004
WUD'JA FALLUJA IT? As bombs fly into Falluja, few accurate reports
are coming out on the corporate media - SchNEWS investigates and offers
alternatives. Also squat updates, Coca-Cola update, NHS telly hell,
448, 2nd April, 2004
GACK ATTACK SchNEWS looks at the evils of the food industry and
food advertising, as well as some alternatives to unsustainable fast-
and junk-food industries. Also poll boycott in Indonesia, anti-GM victory,
protest camp updates and more...
447, 26th March, 2004
CROAKER COLA We discover that not only is Coke's fancy bottled
water is just filtered tap water but that it's got cancer causing chemicals
in it too! If that weren't enough, they'er killing trade unionists in
Columbia and stealing villiagers water in India too... Also South African
repression, protest camp update and more...
446, 19th March, 2004
TOTAL PAZ TAKE Bombings in Madrid from a perspective not seen
in the corporate media - mass murder siezed upon to remove civil liberties
and continue the so called "war on terror". Also Coca Killer,
Catakiller, animal killers, "I'm no killer" and more...
445, 12th March, 2004
MAIZE OF LIES Neo Labour gives the go-ahead for the UK's first
GM crop - ScNEWS says (again) GM ain't all it's cracked up to be. Also
Aldermaston march, SHAC, first Indymedia Regional Meeting, SchNEWS Tour
444, 5th March, 2004
MINER SURGERY SchNEWS looks back at the struggle between striking
miners and Thatcher's government. Also US involvement in Haiti, camp
updates, Bayer update, anti-terrorism case thrown out, and more...
443, 27th February, 2004
PENTA-GONER A Pentagon think-tank recently issued a report describing
climate change as an urgent "national security threat" - whilst
Bush and his cronies continue to try and deny it all. Also racist cops
cause trouble for Sydney aboriginals, Fortress Road Social Centre still
under threat of eviction, fairtrade and more...
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..
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,
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
2nd July 2004 |
WAKE UP! IT'S YER BANK TO RIGHTS...
SHUT YOUR CAKE-HOLE | BIRTHDAY
BASH | Crap Arrest Of The Week | IZETT
FAIR? | ASBOLES! |
WOT A SWISS | Constant
& Co. Threat | McJustice? | Positive
SchNEWS | ...and finally...
SHUT YOUR CAKE-HOLE
The new global order has condemned people to death. They
dont care if people live or die.
Joseph Stiglitz, The World Banks former Chief Economist
Sixty years ago this month, Western leaders got together at Bretton
Woods to redesign the worlds financial systems, creating the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Although there is plenty
for them to celebrate, SchNEWS warns readers to read on before sending
them a birthday card.
Whilst the IMF and World Bank lend cash to developing
countries to help them run construction projects and meet budget
deficits, their real role is to ensuring that the international
economy is geared to boosting the profits of Western corporations.
By the 1970s troublesome unionised workers in Europe and the US
started making big wage demands to state owned and private sector
companies. Paying to meet the cost of the huge rise in oil prices
in 1973, governments no longer had the cash to meet these demands
and corporations found it harder to increase profits. Solution?
Get rid of the unions, flog off the state companies and relocate
to the Third World where wages were smaller and governments werent
too fussy about worker and environmental protection.
An example of this philosophy in action was The North American
Free Trade Agreement signed in 1994 between America, Canada and
Mexico. This enabled company bosses to dump 800,000 unionised US
auto workers earning around $17 per hour, in favour of 700,000 Mexican
workers on $5 a day. 400,000 of these jobs are now off to China
for $2 a day. Size matters too. Small, local businesses are no match
for the likes of Wal-Mart, Coke and Nike. Home-grown industries
are quickly bought out or pushed aside. With the competitors out
of the frame, international firms then use their monopoly position
to raise prices and profits.
Not that the countries of the South were that cheap, for the multinationals,
at least to start off with. Some governments subsidised basic necessities
like food, health care and housing. Governments also added tariffs
to imports to protect their farmers. If a US firm exported maize
to Mexico, a percentage was added to the cost to make sure that
Mexican grown maize was cheaper. This helped guarantee a basic wage
for farmers and gave local companies time to develop technologies
so they could compete with international firms: a standard policy
followed by all European and US countries during most of the 20th
Most countries in the developing world had their wealth
plundered by Europe during colonial times. Take Bolivia, once the
richest country in Latin America because of its vast silver mines.
The Spanish drained the mines, killing 8 million indigenous people
in the process and now its the poorest country in mainland
Latin America. With no assets of their own, countries have to borrow
cash, but loans from the World Bank and IMF are conditional upon
countries structurally adjusting their economies. This
entails: cutting wages, axing pensions, social security and workers
benefits and also hacking away at subsidies on food and housing.
There are so many examples of piss poor policy making, greed and
corruption that its difficult to pick a birthday example,
but the way they sucked the cash out of Argentina is worth a mention.
The country followed the fundamentalism of the Washington
Consensus, beginning by pegging the Argentinean
currency to the dollar. This meant that for every Peso spent the
government had to have a dollar to back it up in its coffers. Of
course Argentina didnt have any dollars and needed to borrow,
but the banks lending the cash, thought that doing so was risky
business, so they charged 16% interest on such loans.
But the rip off didnt stop there. When the economy looked
like it was about to collapse, the IMF offered the government $20bn
in return for further reducing wages and cutting pensions. Despite
following instructions the Argentineans never got their hands on
the $20bn. It lingered in New York bank vaults and was used to pay
the interest on loans made by firms like Citibank. During the crisis,
poverty in Argentina affected 58% of the population and over a quarter
earned too little even to feed themselves. It total $130bn left
Argentina for Western banks. During each day in 2001, 20,000 Argentineans
slid below the poverty line.
Although Citibank lost some $2bn during the Argentinean crisis,
it was but a small blip, with profits rising 36% during 2003 (they
also bunged the US Republican party $4m between 1999 and 2004).
Oh and theres some corruption too. Using a series of offshore
banks (which only do business with customers outside the country
where they are licensed), well-connected Argentines laundered millions
of dollars in bribes and drug money through Citibank, which in turn
made little effort to stop them.
Since it got a bashing at its fiftieth birthday celebrations, the
IMF and World Bank have been keen to show how much theyve
reformed. But dont believe the hype. As ex World Banks
Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz said I was very naive and
I am not pleased to have discovered a confused world where money
takes priority over the life of people.
Although it says its reports are now released after five years,
instead of thirty, most of the information is in English, and very
little of it translated into the languages spoken by the people
most likely to be affected by a dam, power plant, or road-building
project. Nor does the re-labelling of Structural Adjustment
Programs to Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Programs
hide the fact that poverty reduction in Nigeria has
seen the country pay over $16bn for an original loan of $5b - and
they still owe another $32 billion!
The World Bank and IMF are used by the powerful financial elite
to carve up the global economy to suit their own needs. Votes are
based on cash, with the G8 countries alone controlling almost half
the votes. The US will not allow its voting power in the IMF to
drop below 15%, which gives it a veto over all key decisions. At
the same time Bush talks about free trade and breaking government
intervention, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002
chucked US farmers a cool $249bn. And dont forget the World
Bank is a bank! Its made a profit every year since it came
into existence - over $3 billion in 2003.
IMF riots have often ravaged Latin Americas cities
from Buenos Aires to Caracas, leaving hundreds of dead and wounded
and losses of millions of dollars in damaged property. People are
supposed to retire at 60, SchNEWS reckons its time the IMF and World
Bank did just that.
* 60 glorious or notorious years? Saturday 10 July 5-7pm Speakers
include Rudolf Amenga-Etego, winner of this years Goldman
Environmental Award for his work with the Ghanaian National Coalition
who successfully stopped a $400bn water privatization project, which
was backed by the World Bank.
Discussion organised by the World Development Movement at the Friends
House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2B. 020 7737 6215 www.wdm.org.uk
* 50 years is enough network: www.50years.org
* Joseph Stilgitz Globalisation and its Discontents
Crap Arrest Of Ther Week
For playing paintball!
Three Muslim men have been sentenced to up to life in prison after
the US government accused the men of training for holy war by playing
paintball games in the Virginia woods. Even the sentencing judge
disagreed with the sentences calling them appalling
and draconian but said she had no choice. www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/16/151233
SchNEWS In Brief
- `No Comment - the Defendants Guide to Arrest has
been reprinted - thanks to money from the Met Police! The Met
were recently forced to pay thousands of pounds compensation to
people nicked on an anti-royal demo. Some of that compensation
has been used to reprint the guide. Get your copy by sending an
SAE to No Comment c/o BM Automatic, London, WC1N 3XX - or download
it at www.ldmg.org.uk
- Life after capitalism? will be discussed
with Michael Albert from Znet magazine next Saturday (10th) 5
pm, at Room H216, London School of Economics, Houghton Street,
London WC2 www.radicalactivist.net
- Next Monday (5) theres another chance to catch Banner
Theatres play Burning Issues - The Miners 1984-2004
Anne Scargill and Bridget Bell of Women Against Pit Closures
will introduce the show. Its at the Bedford, 77 Bedford
Hill, Balham SW12 9HD 7.30pm £10/£6 020 8675 4744
- Interested in finding or submitting radical films to a video
library project that can then be distributed free? Then email
- Last Friday protestors arrived at Caterpillars offices
in Solihull, to continue their demonstration against the companys
sale of bulldozers to Israel. The Home Wrecker of The Year
(SchNEWS 454) award for their contribution
to Palestinian misery was again on offer and once again declined.
Eight out of eleven protestors were nicked on ASBOs www.brightonpalestinecampaign.org
- Nine student protestors from Bangor University were nicked
last weekend after they occupied Beaumaris Castle in protest at
war in the Middle East. The castle last fell to an occupation
force in 1646, Parliamentary army!
- This Saturday (3) theres a non-violent Direct Action
Training Day in preparation for demonstrations against Farnborough
Airshow. Its at the London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate
Street, Whitechapel, London E1 1ES. www.londonarc.org
The Farnborough International Airshow takes place 19-25
July and is an important part of the arms trade calendar with
exhibitors including BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce
and Boeing. The other face of Famborough is the weekend public
days but as some campaigners point out watching the latest
fighter jets is not family entertainment. 020 7281 0297.
- On the 5th July, as Indonesia votes in another despot,
West Papuans are preparing to defy the election, and face
a possible brutal backlash. There will be a demo on this day at
the Indonesian embassy, London in solidarity with West Papua.
Meet 12pm, Green Park tube.
Alex Izett who was vaccinated nine times in 24 hours in preparation
for the first Gulf War, recently went on 40-day hunger strike to
protest against his treatment over Gulf War Syndrome. His protests
and years of pressure by veterans have been a catalyst for an independent
public inquiry into the causes of Gulf War Syndrome. Ben Martin
of Payday says: Not only are soldiers used as cannon-fodder
during wars. They are also used as guinea pigs to test drugs, vaccines
and even (as with nuclear bombs and depleted uranium) the likely
lasting effects of weapons. Those who survive these trials are discarded
when they are no longer needed for fighting or become too ill to
fight. Unfortunately Alex Izetts campaigning has left
him skint if you can help send your donation to: Payday,
PO Box 287, London NW6 5QU, UK or contact 020 7209 4751.
For the past few years Dave Edwards has been campaigning in Rugby,
against the council over issues like health and safety and corruption
etc. Rugby Council got so fed with his protests they did what ever
caring council does and tried to shut him up and slapped an Interim
Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) on him. Dave then decided to
camp outside the Town Hall and go on hunger strike. After a few
days he was nicked under the Vagrancy Act but magistrates decided
it was not in the public interest for the case to continue so Dave
resumed his position on the council steps. Last Thursday, Dave was
again arrested and charged with breaching his interim ASBO by causing
alarm and distress to an ex-councillor. Since then, he has been
held on remand at Blakenhurst Prison in Redditch, where he remains
on hunger strike. He would really appreciate letters of support
to keep his spirits up. David Edwards LJ8405, HMP Blakenhurst, Hewell
Lane, Redditch, Worcs. B97 6QS www.thevoiceofthepeople.org.uk
* The Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) trumpeted by the government
to deal with yob culture is now becoming yet another
handy stick with which to beat anyone who wants to protest, complain
too much or just dance in a field. SchNEWS wants to hear any readers
of other examples of ASBOs being used in this way. Send to
the usual address (see bottom of page).
WOT A SWISS
In June 2003 two people who were blockading a bridge to protest
against the G8 Summit in Evian were almost killed when the Swiss
police cut the rope where they were hanging, causing serious injuries
when they fell 20 meters to the ground. On Tuesday a court case
took place - to prosecute the cops who cut the rope? Er, no. Instead
two of the people taking part in action were found guilty of endangering
the lives of drivers, and received suspended sentences and court
One of those on trail, Martin Shaw, stated that this case, in which
the police are clearly guilty, provides a microcosm of the injustice
that is replicated worldwide. This is part of an attempt to
brutalize and intimidate those that resist them. Peaceful protest
is becoming an act of terrorism under new EU legislation and it
is truly terrifying to see the increasing repression of dissent.
* Get ready to welcome the G8 to Scotland next year with Dissent!
who are having a national gathering this weekend (3-4) at the 1
in 12 Club, 21-23 Albion Street, Bradford. To book a place email@example.com
Constant & Co. Threat
Being kicked off land you own and live on - and having your dwellings
destroyed and concrete obstructions to stop you getting vehicles
onto your own land, or court injunctions to stop you going on your
own land. The reason - officially because you havent got planning
permission to live there, unofficially - because you and your way
of life are being ethnically cleansed.
This week 40 bailiffs from gypsy and squatter eviction specialists
Constant & Co - with the backup of 50 riot police - evicted
travellers off self-owned land at Bulkington Fields, Warwickshire.
After booting the six families off the land, Constant destroyed
the site with JCBs.
Travellers cant believe that those same bastards - Constant
- were used as bailiffs because they are under investigation for
arson at the violent eviction of the Meadowlands, Chelmsford, site
in January this year. (see SchNEWS 439).
To support other traveller sites under threat there will be a rally
at the Paynes Lane site, in Epping Essex, on August 22nd at 11AM,
followed by a convoy visiting other threatened sites around Essex.
After the recent local elections the BNP got three new seats in
the area, putting the travellers under increased pressure. 01206
Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary since the start of a battle of
beliefs, between one of the biggest bastards on the planet and two
It all started in 1990 when McDonalds served libel writs on members
of a small anarchist group called London Greenpeace (unaffiliated
with Greepeace UK). Two of theses activists, Helen Steel and David
Morris, refused to stop distributing the allegedly libelous leaflet,
the infamous, and still circulating, Whats Wrong with McDonalds.
A David and Goliath marathon match through the courts began, ending
in what has been described as the worst Corporate PR disaster
in history for McDonalds.
On June 19th 1997, after a trial lasting 314 days (the longest
libel trial ever in England), Mr. Justice Bell ruled that McDonalds
marketing has pretended to a positive nutritional benefit
which their food (high in fat & salt etc) did not match;
that McDonalds exploit children with their advertising
strategy; are culpably responsible for animal cruelty;
and pay low wages, helping to depress wages in the catering
On March 31st 1999 the Court of Appeal added to those damning findings.
Three Lord Justices ruled that it was fair comment to say that McDonalds
employees worldwide do badly in terms of pay and conditions,
and true that if one eats enough McDonalds food, ones
diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of
heart disease. However the Courts ruled that the Helen and
Dave had still libeled McDonalds over some points and ordered
them to pay £40,000 damages to the $35 billion-dollar company.
The McLibel 2 have refused to pay a penny. The European Court of
Human Rights has now agreed that the trial breached Article 6 the
right to a fair trial and Article 10 right to freedom
of expression. The case will be heard in full at the European
Court on 7th September 2004.
* For much more on SchNEWS favourite company www.mcspotlight.org
* Recommended reading Eric Schlossers surprise bestseller
Fast Food Nation, (Penguin, 2001)
* Wanna see what happens to the human body after a solid month
of nothing but McDogshits food
The Cowley Club, Brightons collectively owned radical
social centre, is having a Volunteers Day this Sunday (4th) 12 noon
till 5pm. The whole club - from cleaning the bogs, doing the accounts
to serving up pints, is run by volunteers, so if youd like to
get involved or want to just want to have a nose about how the place
is run, now its your chance. 12 London Road, Brighton (opposite
A state of the art security system has been er, stolen
just days after it was put in a new business park in Wakefield,
Yorkshire. As if to add insult to injury, two of the business parks
residents include HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Prisons
Business Homes Director Simon Houlston, who presumably had not
yet really got to grips with the reality that his entire surveillance
set-up had been well and truly nicked, said This was a seriously
sophisticated system. There are cameras hooked up to a central office
in Blackburn. If the men watching the screens see a burglar they
send a message out on loudspeakers to the office warning them to
Unfortunately the burglars ignored this amplified deterrent, although
an old lady who lives next door to the Business Park said she had
heard the voice of God telling her, in a strong Lancashire
accent, to leave the vicinity as soon as possible.
SchNEWS warns all readers - dont let them have their cake
and eat it....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.
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In addition to
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to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues)
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