Protest Camp in Lodmoor Valley, Weymouth
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SchNEWS This Time Last Year


SchNEWS 463, 23rd July, 2004
PAY AS YOU LEARN Neo Labour's plans for schools sound like more choice for kids and parents but look more like privitisation to us. Also, builders pull out of a contract to build an animal testing lab, new protest camp in Weymouth and more...

SchNEWS 462, 9th July, 2004
IRAQ-ING UP THE PROFITS The corporate carve-up of Iraq continues while people are arrested and charged for trying to stop it. Also, the last big GM company pulls out of Britain, Zimbabwean women fight back and more...

SchNEWS 461,
2nd July, 2004

SHUT YOUR CAKE HOLE The SchNEWS crew usually use any excuse for a party but the 60th birthday of the IMF and World Bank is an exception. While they're still screwing people and planet we'll keep on trying to stop them!

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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 (or wounded)...

SchNEWS 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.

SchNEWS 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?

SchNEWS 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 hoping...).

SchNEWS 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?

SchNEWS 452,
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...

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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.

SchNEWS 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, and more...

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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 and more...

SchNEWS 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...

SchNEWS 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...

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...


Home | Friday 6th August 2004 | Issue 464


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Story Links:
FIRST FOR PROFIT | MAGIC BUS | Crap Arrest of the Week | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Reclaim The Beach | TOOLING UP | G8-CRASHERS | SchNEWS in brief | Inside SchNEWS | Positive SchNEWS | BAD RECEPTION | OLD BILL BILLED! | ...and finally...



“First Drivers in South Yorkshire are making a stand for a decent working wage in an industry that fails to keep its employees due to poor working hours, abusive customers and a fat cat profiteering company that’s raking it in on its monopoly control on most of South Yorkshires services.” – Striking First Group bus driver

Eight hundred bus drivers throughout South Yorkshire are on their third week of indefinite strike in their fight for more pay.

The drivers reckon their demands will cost First Group, the countries biggest bus company just £368,000 - hardly a dent in its annual profit of over £160 million. Instead First Group want drivers to lose the first 3 days of sick pay and two bank holidays and not back date the pay rise they promised in April.

The strikers also want a quicker increase in pay for new drivers, who currently have to wait three and a half years to earn more than £5.85 an hour - just £1.35 an hour more than the national minimum wage! With picket lines across the region, none of the companies 307 buses have left their depots and the strike is staying strong with one of the union organisers saying “We are in for the long haul”.

One striking driver who has worked for the company for more than 20 years said “They offered us an ‘improved’ three-year deal, but with so many conditions they were giving with one hand and taking away with the other.” Another driver added “All I can say is sorry to the public for this action drivers have been forced to take but I believe I have earned the right for more money this year; after First made millions we are only after 30p an hour.”

Not surprisingly First Group has a major recruitment problem with a 30 percent turnover of drivers. Many of the drivers working for First today were the people who worked in the coal mines or steel industry. As one driver said, “There are people that have worked on the buses for 20 years and have seen the damage that privatisation has done.


Buses were ‘de-regulated’ (that’s privatised) in 1986 when the National Bus Company was broken into 70 chunks and sold for £1 billion. The Conservatives said it would bring in more choice and cheaper journeys but within ten years of deregulation prices had soared, there were less routes and twenty five per cent fewer customers with companies fighting over the most profitable routes. And after the initial rush of bus companies competing the industry is now dominated by five big players.

In the fact over the past 25 years, bus fares have risen by 80 per cent while total motoring costs have remained flat. In places like South Yorkshire a brilliant bus service that was as “cheap as chips” was been systematically destroyed and workers pay and conditions worsened.

When Neo Labour came to power Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott championed the bus as the future ‘thoroughbred’ of public transport. He subsidised more rural buses, and encouraged operators and local authorities to work closely together. Passenger numbers are even rising in some areas, such as Leeds, Brighton, Glasgow and Bath - and of course London where buses are still regulated.

Taxpayers subsidise the nation’s bus services to the tune of £1.2 billion a year. But just like the Private Finance Iniative (PFI) Neo Labour refuse to believe that private companies running our public services aren’t the answer and instead reckon Maggie knew best. But if they are viewing PFI through rose-tinted spectacles, god knows what they’re wearing to see that bus deregulation works.


A new book by Massimo Florio ‘The Great Divestiture’ smashes some of those Thatcher myths. Studying the impact of Britain’s privatisations between 1979 and 1997 Florio takes many of the supposed truths about privatisation and demolishes them one by one.

The sell-offs halted the over-manning that was crippling the nationalised industries. Not true.

The belief that private sector dynamism boosted productivity in the state owned monsters? Er, nope, no real evidence for that.

So what about the paying customer? Well guess what, Florio’s research found that privatisation benefited the rich at the expense of the poor. Just take British Telecom. Before privatisation, BT was not short of money to invest in the future and was spending more on research and development. State ownership also meant that there were safeguards for the less well off. After privatisation this all changed, and the big gains went to business and users of international calls. In fact the biggest beneficiaries of privatisation were the wealthiest 10%-20% of the population; those who bore the costs were the poorest 10%-20%, who for many years had to pay increased tariffs or fixed charges for some essential public services; while some lost their jobs or faced greater job insecurity. As Florio puts it “Privatisation was an integral part of a series of policies that created a social rift unequalled anywhere in Europe”.

So, privatisation did not result in the waving of a magic productivity wand, partly because the record of the nationalised industries was reasonably good, partly because the new managers proved less innovative than expected, and partly because the new owners didn’t really care so long as the profits and dividends kept rolling in. What was lost, according to Florio, was the sense of a public realm, which stemmed from the “incapacity or unwillingness of governments at the end of the 20th century” to assume certain social responsibilities. Despite this, this model of Neo Liberalism is being mimicked across the world and is used as a stick by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to bash poorer countries into line.

Next up for privatisation in Britain is the Post Office, which is already facing massive redundancies, attacks on postie’s pay and conditions, post office closures and a sharp drop in service. SchNEWS reckons that we’ll end up with public services which aren’t public and don’t actually provide a service.

* You can contribute to the strike fund by sending cheques payable to the TGWU, c/o Steve Clark, TGWU Regional Office, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1. Email messages of support to
* For more on the strike

Crap Arrest Of Ther Week

For wanting more freedom
Elitsa, a 20-year-old Bulgarian anarchist, has become the latest victim in the Bulgarian government’s attempts to criminalize dissent and label protesters as threats to “national security”. She has been charged with “crimes against the Republic of Bulgaria” for spreading “fascist ideology and terrorism”. Police thought that she really shouldn’t be selling back issues of the Bulgarian anarchist journal Svoboden Misl (Free Thought). She was also nicked for handing out and flyposting leaflets calling for more freedom, equality and people’s autonomy. Now any “literature” she intends to distribute must first be approved by a police inspector.


Radio 4A are having a beach party from 9pm onwards on the Brighton seafront (outside Gemini bar) this Sat (7th) after Gay Pride. Bring a radio tuned into 101.4fm. Plus catch Radio 4A all the following weekend in Brighton.


Not content with spending £4.4bn on invading Afghanistan and Iraq, Chauncellor Gordon Brown recently announced the “biggest planned increase in defence spending for 20 years”. Although the news has been full of stories about the closure of RAF bases, war spending will actually increase by almost £4bn to almost £34bn by 2007. According to the government’s defence review, we’re promised high-tech warfare, pre-emptive nuclear strikes and more spies than ever before.

A chunk of new cash has been allocated to develop “Network-centric” warfare. The idea is that politicians and their corporate backers will wage war, in the not too distant future, on big computer screens in comfortable offices. Spy satellites, aircraft and soldiers with laptops will all be wired together and easier to control (lets hope they won’t be using Windows!) Although such a system is supposedly helpful in the fight against enemies who may be difficult to pin down (guess who?), ministers hooked on technology have chosen to ignore the less sexy fact that British squaddies in Iraq are still complaining about their boots not being suitable for wearing in the desert heat.

Nukes are still in favour too. The Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston is to develop a ‘necessary’ successor to Trident. These ‘efficient’ bombs will be complimented by a missile defence system, in the guise of Star Wars II, at RAF Fylingdales. Spies are also to be given extra 10%. By 2007, the annual budget for the security and intelligence agencies - MI5, MI6 and GCHQ - and what the government calls “civil protection” will total more than £2bn.

After 11th September shares in defence companies soared after more than a decade in the doldrums caused by the fall of the Berlin Wall. Whilst companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin stand to make millions out of this new chunk of taxpayers’ money, groups in Brighton have been acting to kick out local arms dealers EDO MBM. The company has publicly admitted that their products manufactured in Brighton have been used in Iraq and are probably being used in Israel as well. Actions have already taken place including the shutting down of the factory for a day with a roadblock and rooftop occupation.

A protest camp will be set up between Sunday 29th August to Thursday 2nd September as part of the ongoing campaign against the arms dealer and will start on the Monday with NVDA wokshops. Lifts can be arranged from Aldermaston to Brighton. Bring tents and other camping gear. Email:

* On Sept. 4 The Iraq War Fat Cat Tour will be exposing the British companies making a killing in Iraq Meet outside the Shell Centre (SE1 7NA, near Waterloo station). Email: * There’s a Switch Off Star Wars National demo on Sept. 25 Noon - 4pm Fylingdales Star Wars base.


A Global Day Of Action has been called for Wednesday July 6th 2005, the opening day of the G8 Summit next year. The G8 (Group of eight most industrialised nations) will meet at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, about 40 miles north of Edinburgh.

The Dissent! Network has sprung up around the UK to build a national network and converge on Scotland to disrupt the summit next year, and there is a call out for simultaneous actions to be organised in villages, towns and cities around the world.

* The next Dissent! Gathering will take place in Edinburgh on 17-19th September. See

* SchNEWS has made a high impact 30 second teaser trailer about the G8 Summit which is free to download at

SchNEWS in brief

  • Eviction Alert! A recently established protest camp at Two Mile Coppice, Weymouth (SchNEWS 463) to stop the destruction of an ecologically rich habitat has been served its papers. The Eviction could happen anytime now. More committed activists are urgently needed to protect this ecologically sensitive site. They are also in urgent need of long wooden joists for treehouse building, planks, rope etc. 07800 760257
  • Workers at a Wal-Mart store in the Canadian province of Quebec have won the right to unionise in a landmark first for the world’s largest retailer which employs 1.3m people in the United States alone. A new report from the University of California said taxpayers in California pay an annual $86m in public assistance to workers at Wal-Mart because they earn such low wages relying on food care, public health insurance and subsidised housing.
  • Next Tuesday (10) Indymedia Cinema will be showing two films about the Kalahari Desert Bushmen, plus speakers and short film from Survival International on the current situation of San Bushmen and other indigenous peoples. 8pm @ The Ritzy, Brixton, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
  • Queer Mutiny North is planning a DIY queer night in a squat on September 3rd. 07763754356
  • On July 21st, the day after the transport white paper was announced, a delegation of roads protesters went to the Dept of Transport to remind them what happened to the last roads programme... for pictures see To read about what happened to the last roads programme go to

Inside SchNEWS

The US Patriot Act, passed after 9/11, enshrines in law the Big Brother State like no other Act before it… Sherman Austin felt its sting when he was sentenced to one year in prison and 3 years probation for creating an anarchist website, “Raise The Fist”. Sherman has recently been released from prison to a half-way house, where he will stay until the end of the month. Upon release, he won’t be able to use a mobile phone, computer or any other digital device unless approved by the State for the next three years! He is also forbidden contact with any “anarchist” groups. A doctors report on Sherman said he was “a mild-mannered man who’s social idealism took on a violent tone when associating with such groups.” Judge Wilson said “this is a case which has national and international overtones”.

Raise the Fist is unavailable at the moment but you can find out more at

Details on the Patriot Act

* Billy Cotterell, arrested last March in connection with ongoing arson attacks on SUV dealers in California, is now facing the possibility of life in prison without parole. 23 year old Billy, maintains his innocence and this move by the FBI is regarded as a political attack on the eco direct action movement in the USA. Write to William Cottrell #29526112 , Metropolitan Detention Center PO Box 1500 Los Angeles, CA 90053

* AHOY INMATEYS!!! Haven Book Distribution have a brand spanking new catalogue out! Haven provide books and magazines for the price of a second class stamp to prisoners in any one of the 159 (and rising) prisons in the UK. Send a 2nd class stamp to Haven Distribution, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3XX for a free catalogue.

Positive SchNEWS

The idea is simple one. If you can’t afford to pay - don’t. And if you get caught - well, if you’re a member of, they will pay your fine for you!

Set up in 2001 by some anarchist syndicalists in Stockholm, Sweden the idea has now spread to Gothenburg, and Helsinki in Finland.

“P-kassan” is your insurance for when you caught bunking. You pay a small amount according to your income and days you want to travel to a fund and if you get caught your fine is paid. The idea of this is not new with students in the university cities running smaller schemes - the difference this time, is that the anarchists “have a greater goal than just helping each other to freeride. We want free public transportation, owned by us together and controlled by the workers in it.”

A small tax rise on the richest could make public transport free. And how much would companies save if they got rid of all the ticket machines, inspectors and barriers? “Lots of money goes to these systems which leads to nothing but a bad mood in our common spaces.”

“In the long run free public transportation would lead to other positive effects, like a better urban environment with less traffic jams. Today car traffic is prioritized at the expense of public transportation. Roads are financed by tax money and are free to use, but the public transportation is financed by fares. It is rather strange that the authorities punish those who choose the means of travel that suits the environment best.”


Mobile phone masts have been a creeping feature on the landscape over recent years, but the health aspects of the masts rarely get transmitted, and the masts go up without interference. But last week in Donegal people decided that they’d rather have their health than O2 mobile coverage, and tore down a mast which had been put up locally. The company had planning permission for the mast refused twice because of health and environmental factors, but still put it up anyway. Soon after the erection, the mast was pulled down and blockaded.

To find out about the risks of mobile phone masts and opposition to them in Britain see


Mobile phone masts have been a creeping feature on the landscape over recent years, but the health aspects of the masts rarely get transmitted, and the masts go up without interference. But last week in Donegal people decided that they’d rather have their health than O2 mobile coverage, and tore down a mast which had been put up locally. The company had planning permission for the mast refused twice because of health and environmental factors, but still put it up anyway. Soon after the erection, the mast was pulled down and blockaded.

To find out about the risks of mobile phone masts and opposition to them in Britain see

...and finally...

Sniffing has been taken to a new level by Todd, a police sniffer dog of five years experience. After searching an abandoned car in a field for drugs he became ill and later died of a suspected amphetamine overdose. Perhaps because of the dog’s insatiable habit, police were unable to find any drugs on the scene, but the dogs handler, Roger Moore (we can’t make this stuff up), is understandably upset. Without a hint of irony Lancashire Police told reporters that Spaniel sniffer dogs tend to be “quite daft, but very very very keen”.

SchNEWS warns all bus passengers - all’s fare in love and class war. Honest!

SchNEWS Annuals

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 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. postage
  • SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. postage
  • The SchQUALL book Sold out - Sorry
  • SchNEWS and SQUALL’s 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 4 3.
  • 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.

(US Postage £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.

Subscribe 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.


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