485, 18th February, 2005
484, 11th February, 2005
483, 4th February, 2005
482, 28th January, 2005
480, 14th January, 2005
479, 7th January, 2005
478, 17th December, 2004
478, 17th December, 2004
477, 10th December, 2004
476, 3rd December, 2004
475, 25th November, 2004
474, 19th November, 2004
473, 12th November, 2004
472, 5th November, 2004
471, 29th October, 2004
470, 22nd October, 2004
SOC It to me!
London Animal Action (LAA), an organisation that campaigns peacefully
on animal welfare issues, has had its bank accounts frozen by a
High Court Order. It was named on an injunction taken out by Huntingdon
Life Sciences (HLS) under the Protection from Harassment Act. LAAs
harassment amounted to organizing transport to demos against HLS
and arranging demos in London. Their bank account contained several
thousand pounds that had been raised to buy a minibus. LAA is taking
legal advice to fight the case, but this would itself cost thousands
of pounds and if any person claimed to speak for LAA they themselves
could be made bankrupt even if that person had never been
involved in the campaign. This is just like the case of Lynn Sawyer
who was going to lose her house after being sued by HLS for over
2 hundred grand in order to shut her up (SchNEWS
471). Fortunately a judge has recently overturned this ruling
and reduced Lynns fine to £2500 costs. LAA has ceased
to exist as a result, but an ex-member said The likelihood
is that this will stir up a hornets nest of anger against
The Protection from Harassment Act is just another in the long
list of laws to harass protesters. Often they are introduced under
cover of being for some other purpose than squashing protest, like
the Harassment Act, which was meant to protect women from stalkers,
but has been used to protect big business from animal rights and
anti-genetics activists. The Terrorism Act has been used extensively
to stop and search peace protesters who get in the way of state
Now weve got the Serious Organised Crime Bill. The government
has insisted that: we do not intend those who legitimately
leaflet against an organisation ... to be caught under the new offence.
But the Bill says that if you are trying to persuade two or more
people not to do something, then you could be causing harassment
if they are alarmed or distressed. Giving
a leaflet to two customers of a shop asking them to boycott a certain
product might be harassment then you could be landed with
Unauthorised protest around Parliament will be illegal
(SchNEWS 483), including in Trafalgar
Square and a 1km radius around parliament and Downing St.
And now youre not allowed to protest outside someones
home if you are asking them not to do something, penalty £2500
fine and up to a year in jail. Also in the bill is a new law of
Economic Sabotage. Worrying one this - it will become
a serious offence to hurt someones profit! Whoops!
Think were paranoid well last March a protester in
Kent was arrested for sending polite emails to a drugs company,
asking it not to work with HLS, the harassment was sending an email
to the same person twice. Another protester was arrested at a demonstration
in January last year for displaying a picture of a dead cat on a
poster. In September 2003 the police directed demonstrators against
a circus in London to leave on the grounds that the circus people
lived nearby in their caravans, and were therefore being harassed
in their homes.
The campaign against HLS continues 0845 458 0630 www.shac.net
Excellent legal advice for people www.freebeagles.org
British born Babar Ahmad was nicked under Anti-Terrorism Laws by
riot cops who burst into his home at 5am, one morning in December
2003. Babar received a good kicking in the process and a botched
investigation into police brutality followed, but after six days
of intensive investigation he was released without charge. He was
then re-arrested on an Extradition Warrant from the US in August
** Last Tuesday three protesters who occupied the roof of Brighton
arms dealers, EDO/MBM, were acquitted of aggravated trespass. The
judge heard from the prosecution how the activists attempted to
prevent EDO going about their lawful business, by draping
banners from the roof . But the paranoid fantasies of some EDO workers
(like their belief that the evil roof raiders intended to bombard
them with grubby banners) didnt stand up in court.
The court was shown a police video of the roof occupiers being
asked to leave, even though the footage had no sound! Coppers also
failed to provide any means for the protesters to get down, rendering
any request for them to do so irrelevant. This verdict makes nonsense
of the guilty verdict handed down to five other EDO rooftop protestors
last month and things look good for their appeal. Join protesters
at EDO on Monday 21st March for a National Day of Action Against
the Arms Trade. www.smashedo.bpec.org
Meanwhile, in Ireland
the Pitstop Ploughshares are going
on trial for trashing a US warplane at Shannon Airport. The airport
was (and still is) a stop-off point for troops and bombers on their
way to deliver democracy to the grateful people of Iraq. The five
defendants are charged with two criminal damages - one for €100
(the fence) and one for €2.5 million (the plane). They face
up to 10 years if convicted. Pitstop Ploughshares would like people
to come and show their support and follow the trial, which is at
Dublins Four Courts, starting on March 7th and will last two
for info, or call/txt 087 918 4552
** On March 14 theres a public meeting in support of Ray
Gilbert who was wrongly jailed in 1981 for a murder he did not commit.
He has spent 8 years beyond his sentence incarcerated and is now
being apparently persecuted for standing up for other prisoners
rights. 5.30 pm. Friends Meeting House, Paradise Street, Liverpool
Home to an impressive ten thousand books, pamphlets and periodicals on anarchism, The Kate Sharpley Library is all about allowing the movement of today to learn from the past because any movement that ignores its own history deserves what it gets!! Named in honor of Kate Sharpley, a First World War anarchist and anti-war activist, Sharpley is one of the countless unknown anarchists whose life and work would be forgotten if it were not for the library. They publish a regular bulletin and are always on the look out for new material. www.katesharpleylibrary.net
PLANKS A LOT
A billion-dollar-a-year illegal logging trade is threatening one
of the last tropical forests in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
Each month around 300,000 cubic metres of lumber is being shipped
out to China by smugglers using false Malaysian passports, quarantine
clearances and £150,000 bribes. Local communities in Papua
are lucky to get £6 for each cubic metre of merbau wood felled
on their land. Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturers are turning the
planks into luxury hardwood floors with one Chinese furniture chain,
Oriental Home, flogging the stuff for £800 a cubic metre.
But its not just the Chinese who are involved. According
to the Worldwide Fund for Nature, at least 13% of wood products
imported by G8 countries and China are illegally logged. In the
UK up to 18% of this trade is used to fulfil government building
projects. Join the call to stop this illegal trade and check out
www.eia-international.org for more info.
SchNEWS in brief
Dissent! is a network and as such can not speak to the media. But
after the last Dissent! gathering in Glasgow, annoyed by the media
hysteria over the coming protests, a few individuals spoke with
journalist Louise Grey from the Scotsman, (one of the papers whipping
up the hype.) Louise had been hanging around for ages trying to
speak to somebody from Dissent! and finally got her scoop. After
a two-hour chat about the real issues behind the G8 protests, where
all she tried to do was get people to express violent tendencies,
the interview ended with the following exhange...
So, when will the story be printed?
Well, it wont be, as none of you have said youre
going to fight with the police-theres no story here.
To keep up with the media frenzy try getting a Google news alert,
go to google, news and put in search words and they send a digest
of all the media that day on your topic. A great way to keep up
with what the buggers are saying without having to buy their crap!
OUT NOW!!! 'SCHNEWS AT TEN' - A Decade of Party & Protest- £9 inc p&p
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).
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.
@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!