The Protection from Harassment Act was originally touted in the
media as being designed to protect women from stalkers, but it was
so widely drafted (with the help of Lawson-Cruttenden Solicitors,
who boast about helping to draft the bill) that companies have been
able to use it to harass protesters! In fact the first use of the
Act was against animal rights protesters (see SchNEWS
The Act is used to silence and stifle a whole load of peaceful
law abiding activities by creating exclusion zones around premises.
The way the Act is drafted means that all a solicitor needs to do
is present some evidence before a judge without
any of the defendants being present and they usually grant the injunction.
At a later date the defendants may attend court and fight the injunction,
but the injunction has already been granted and it appears that
its up to the defendants to overturn the injunction rather
than the company to prove the injunction case. The injunction in
the case of HLS was also made against the Animal Liberation Front,
an organisation that doesnt really exist! The original injunction
placed against the people referred to a number of actions, such
as criminal damage to employees properties, which have never
been proved to be linked to anyone, but have been reported on the
SHAC website. The Harassment Act is using guilt by association as
a legal means for stifling protest.
Lynn has lost all faith in the legal process: I believe that
in the current climate there is no point in even trying to campaign
legally as the goal posts move on a daily basis and that the most
peaceful, innocuous gesture is interpreted as violent and threatening
by the law
Writing letters has met with similar accusations,
as an elderly Quaker gentleman who wrote the most excruciatingly
polite letters to drug companies was threatened with arrest and
intimidated by the police.
So what has Lynn actually done that is so threatening to HLS that
it can be termed harassment? She has climbed a fence and, according
to the solicitor presenting the case sat on top of it for
20 minutes before being coaxed down by the police. Other actions
have included trespass, abstracting a fraction of a pence of electricity
by making a phone call in HLSs offices (she sent a cheque
to HLS to reimburse them for the cost, but this was refused) and
drinking a bottle of beer from the HLS hospitality suite in Brighton.
She also blocked the A1 with a tripod and was attacked by an off
duty police officer, sustaining a smashed femur, a severe laceration
to her face and the loss of over a litre of blood. Surgeons spent
five hours putting her face and leg back together. Of this she says
The really perverse, sick and twisted thing is that HLS through
their lawyer Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden are actually claiming that
an incident in which I was the subject of a vicious unprovoked attack
which nearly cost me my life caused them, a multinational corporation,
The use of the Protection from Harassment Act has been used extensively
against people campaigning for animal rights. However, it has done
nothing whatsoever to limit the amount of harassment
caused after all, if you are engaged in activities for which
you may get sent to prison, having an injunction against you is
hardly going to stop you, especially if youve never been caught.
What the Act has done is to target vocal campaigners. The act has
also been used against anti-GM crops campaigns (see SchNEWS
Lynn says I envisage a situation where bailiffs are harassed
by protesters trying to save trees, a worker is harassed
by a striker holding up a banner, the meat industry is harassed
by someone campaigning for veganism, a homophobe is harassed
by a gay rights demo and a travel company claim harassment
after a visitation by the Disabled Action Network.
* For legal information regarding the Harassment Act and a whole
host of other useful legal information see the excellent www.freebeagles.org
* SHAC - the campaign against HLS continues despite legal harassment.
www.shac.net 0845 458 0630
* If you feel you are being harassed and can afford £400
per hour, contact Lawson-Cruttenden Solicitors email@example.com
(the gent who handled the case) 020 7405 0833
* Check on www.indymedia.org.uk
'SchNEWS At Ten'
after a year in production, and a decade to make, the SchNEWS
at 10 book is here. Covering the last ten years of direct action
from the M11 link road protests to the war in Iraq. And seeing
as its coming up to that festival of consumerism that
is Christmas, why dont you buy the SchNEWS at 10 book
for your inner anarchist, and be guilt free in your spending.
To order a copy send a cheque payable to Justice for £9
(£7 + £2 P&P), or order the book in your local
bookshop ISBN-09529748 8 6
Workers employed by construction giant Laing ORourke are
refusing the companys new pay and conditions deal. The company,
with a turnover of £1.74 billion in 2003, claims that they
employ qualified, talented and motivated staff who have the
can do attitude and are innovative in their thinking.
But the new contract or contrick as it has been renamed
by workers includes features such as slashing workers pay
in half. Pay will be subsidised by bonuses but only at the companys
discretion! Holiday pay can be cut by £20 a day and workers
who are off sick will have to provide a medical certificate, even
for one days absence.
Employees describe having been split into small groups and asked
to sign the contract, without seeing it first, and have been told
that they have six weeks to sign or face the sack. Construction
Union UCATT has sided with management, urging workers to sign the
contract. It has made no attempt to ballot its members on it.
On Wednesday, workers attended a meeting called by RMT member and
Joint Sites Committee activist Steve Hedley. Workers from several
Laing ORourke sites attended and expressed their dissent against
the contract. Workers who have already signed the contract are withdrawing
from it. Hedley blasted the contract for its focus on discretionary
bonuses decided at the whim of management.
He said What the hell is a discretionary bonus? How can your
union sign up to something that your boss may decide whether or
not he is going to pay? If were strong and act together we
can stop this. We are the ones who are doing the job.
Recently workers at the Channel Tunnel Rail Link site at Kings
Cross requested the presence of GMB (major general workers union)
representative Steve Kelly, but when he tried to discuss the contract
with the managers he was thrown off the site. This makes a mockery
of national agreements in the construction industry as well as laws
which allows workers access to, and the freedom to chose, their
own representatives. The GMB has advised its members not to sign
the contract until they have been allowed to see it in full.
At the Kings Cross site 100 have already walked off the job in
support of trade union activist Steve Hedley, sacked earlier this
month, and pickets halt all traffic onto the site. Workers at the
site have elected themselves a shop stewards committee - independent
of any union - to organise resistance to the contrick, and are urging
all other building workers to refuse to sign it. Laing ORourke
can expect coordinated walk-outs, wildcat strikes and other actions
if anyone gets sacked for refusing to sign.
Neutral people are needed to help with leafleting,
banner hanging, or other actions as workers are vulnerable to retaliation
from their employers. Awareness raising is a priority now, as Laing
ORourke are sensitive to bad publicity which will jeapordise
their chances of getting big public contracts in the future. More
support of picket-lines and strikes may be needed when/if they start
springing up. For more contact - Steve Hedley, 07985 438 301
* Tesco, Sainsburys, and British Airways are leading the
corporate fight against sick pay. Tesco propose to cut sick pay
for the first three days staff are off work. Sainsburys and
BA have been quick to follow, and if the proposals go through other
businesses will surely follow to stay competitive. Trade
Union USDAW are tamely going along with the scheme. www.workersliberty.org/node/view/2252
If we in the media were less willing to play the terrorists
game, we could make an important contribution to the war against
If we are really serious about being at war, the media
needs to do some soul-searching about our role in that war.-
Columnist Helle Dale.
It should not come as a surprise to SchNEWS readers to learn that
this was the conclusion of an article in an American newspaper -
in this case the Washington Times of September 30.
What is more disturbing is that the comments were the result of
a secretive meeting of European and American policy-makers
held just ten miles from Brighton at Wilton Park, near Steyning.
Dale also revealed that the Wilton Park discussions had concluded:
We can fight a high-tech war against the terrorists, using
all the means of modern technology, from satellites to track cell
phones to cyberspace policing to shut down websites. If we in the
West are not to hang separately, if we are in a war, surely we should
Funnily enough this meeting took place two weeks before Indymedias
servers were removed by FBI agents as part of an international move
said to also involve the Italian and Swiss authorities.
This insight into what is on their rather sinister agenda provides
yet another good reason for mobilizing against their next gathering
in Steyning on November 5-6th.
This conference, entitled International Rule Making for Global
Capital Markets, is being held in association with The European
Financial Forum, Federation of European Securities Exchanges, Paris
Europlace and Deutsches Aktieninstitut and includes speakers from
big business and the IMF. Details of the conference were bizarrely
removed from the Wilton Park website just 24 hours after the protest
was advertised online, but not before activists had copied and pasted
*Meet 2.30pm, Fri. Nov. 5, Playing Fields, Vicarage Lane, Steyning
(opp. St Andrews Church next to Community Centre).
*From Brighton meet 12.30pm War Memorial, Old Steine. 07837 942373
We have never seen this sort of torture in Thai history
before. It is just like gassing them. It was a deliberate massacre.
- Ahmad Somboon Bualuang, Songkhla University
On Monday, at least seventy-eight demonstrators died in Thailands
strife-torn Muslim-majority southern province of Pattani, which
is struggling for autonomy. Six were shot dead by cops during a
2000-strong rally outside a police station; the others suffocated
after 1,300 protesters were arrested, beaten, packed into trucks
and driven for hours to the provincial capital.
Basic civil rights in Buddhist Thailand are under threat
from an increasingly authoritarian government which imposed martial
law in January. With an election looming, Prime Minister Thaksin
is under pressure to clamp down in an area where his White House
bosses think Al Qaeda type militants are hiding away. When asked
why so many had died on the journey, Thaksin was dismissive: This
is typical, he replied. Its about bodies made
weak from fasting. Nobody hurt them.
Brighton arms firm EDO had a nice surprise this week a load
of cement dumped outside their entrance. This follows having their
walls smeared with blood and a load of manure dumped outside to
remind them that it isnt very nice to make bomb release mechanisms
for various warplanes that were used to attack Iraq www.smashedo.bpec.org
Theres a meeting about EDO next Wednesday (3) at the Friends
Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton 7:30 pm
SchNEWS in brief
- Corporate Watch will be talking about the new film The
Corporation (which comes out this Friday) on Sun, 5pm at the
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and 15th Nov, 7pm at the Cowley Club,
12 London Road, Brighton
- Theres a demonstration outside Tinsley House asylum
seeker Removal Centre, Gatwick Airport, this Saturday (30)
2pm, 01273 540717 for transport and other details brightonunemployedcentre2000
- The Brazilian newspaper Brasil de Facto set
up at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2003 is in serious
financial trouble. Its one of the countries only independent
left newspapers if you can help www.basildefato.com.br
- Stop the Assault on Fallujah: demo against the looming
invasion next Sun (7) Meet 2pm, Parliament Square 07818 651 124
- Theres an Anarchist Dayschool in Glasgow next Sat
(6) 12 noon onwards @ the Kinning Park Centre. www.glasgow-autonomy.org
- Last year Worthing anti-war protesters burnt an effigy of George
W Bush on the beach. Who will it be this year? Get along Worthing
Bonfire Special next Sat (6) 7.30pm outside Castle Tavern,
Newlands Road (near Co-op supermarket).
- Nov 6 is the International Day of Action to Ban Uranium Weapons.
The Campaign Against Depleted Uranium are organising a meeting
in Manchester next Wed (3) 0161 273 8292, www.cadu.org.uk
- Beyond Oil: the oil curse and solutions for an oil-free
future a new booklet dishing the dirt on the oil economys
repressive regimes and its contribution to global resource conflicts
and dangerous climate change. Send one quid to 16b Cherwell St,
Oxford, OX4 1BG No New Oil www.nonewoil.org
- PayDay are organising a meeting called Refusing to
Kill, this Sat (30) 2-5pm with Israeli refuseniks
and a discussion of Gulf War syndrome, at Crossroads Womens
Centre 230A Kentish Town Road, London, Kentish Town tube, www.refusingtokill.net
- Dont forget its World Vegan Day on 1st November
- yum, pass the rice cake.
A Judge who happily sent May Day protestors to prison, comfirming
his reputation as the Hanging Judge Of Horseferry- has
quit after being accused of paying for sex with rent boys.
Judge Roger Davies resigned after spending the last year on leave,
which must have been a chore on his £90,000 a year wage. Due
to his early retirement, not only has the investigation which would
have brought out the sordid details has been conveniently stopped,
but hes also still in line for an index-linked pension worth
£45,000 a year. Add to that a lump sum award of just over
£100,000 and hes got himself a nice little pension deal
worth around £1 million.
Davies was due to try more protesters nicked in May 2003. One of
those he bailed, a young Brighton man, said I was expecting
him to come down hard on me but he just smiled at me over his glasses;
in hindsight I find that quite worrying.
It seems Davies has done very well, relying on the old boy network
to clean up after his indiscretions with the young boy network.
This comes only four months after another judge, David Selwood,
was allowed to keep his pension after being convicted of downloading
child porn. In 1997 Selwood sent three editors of Green Anarchist
magazine to prison, after they were found guilty of publishing information
liable to incite others to commit criminal damage.
Selwood described the magazine as The most contemptuous document
I have ever seen in my entire career. What about the kiddy
porn hed been looking at?!?
SchNEWS warns all readers that soiling yourselves with multinationals
can get you taken to the cleaners with a huge bill for dirty Briefs...
OUT NOW!!! 'SCHNEWS AT TEN' - A Decade of Party
& Protest- £7 + £2.00 p&p
- Peace de
Resistance - issues 351-401. £7 inc p&p
- SchNEWS of
the World - isues 300 - 250. £4
- SchNEWS and
SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. £4
- The SchQUALL
book Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Survival
Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. postage
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. postage
- SchNEWS Round
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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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