487, 4th March, 2005
486, 25th February, 2005
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
SchNEWS is going on tour again this April-ish with Have I Got SchNEWS For You A blatant rip off of the TV show but done in SchNEWS style with anti-G8 emphasis. If you want us to come to your area or festival get in contact ASAP to arrange a date, venue and all the other logistical nightmares that go with a tour like this. firstname.lastname@example.org
After 6 months squatting an abandoned childrens nursery in
Birmingham, the council has agreed to squatters demands that
the building be returned to local community use. The former council
nursery had been boarded up and deserted for two years before the
Nursery Social Centre Collective took it over in August. They have
been running it as a community centre with fair-trade café,
meeting place for workshops, cultural events, housing for homeless
people, and a community garden. The collective resisted three evictions
successfully, dressed in santa suits for the last one, and won over
the support of the local community, media, and even judges in the
court case said they were doing a good job. They have
voluntarily agreed to move on as Birmingham City Council have agreed
that the RITE project, which works with young people excluded from
the education system, will take over the building.
Its a shame that the council didnt agree to the collectives
proposal to continue their social project, and that the RITE project
only needs to be re-housed because they are being chucked out of
their present building because - surprise surprise - its being
sold off to a private buyer. But for this building at least, direct
action has persuaded the council to put a public building back into
social use. www.stuffit.org/nursery
* Leeds has a new autonomous anti-capitalist space with plans for a cafe, radical bookshop and library, film showings and more. The Common Place is at 23-25 Wharf St Leeds. www.thecommonplace.org.uk
Tories and our beloved Sun newspaper (and now The Daily
That Voice of Reason, the Sun, has declared war on the travellers,
urging people to Stamp On The Camps. Their racist bile
in recent days has led to a prosecution for incitement to hatred
by the Traveller Law Reform Coalition. Meanwhile, the head of Constant
Baliff Co., a thug force that carries out Traveller evictions, had
a home visit. Twelve people protesting Constants violent clearance
of camps banged pots outside his house (Rough Music style) and leafleted
his neighbours, telling them what a toe rag they live next to.
Over the years Coca-Cola have never been far away from the pages
of SchNEWS... a prime example of the type of big globalized business,
aggressively pedaling unhealthy crap around the planet, and doing
it in the now clichéd, unethical, answer-to-no-one American
style that we all know and love so well. Recently, attention has
been on them for such minor things as brutality and murder in Columbia
and causing water-shortages and pollution in India (see SchNEWS
447). Theyre so big that theres little we can do
but refuse to buy the stuff and sign the odd petition, right? Wrong.
In what could be the first such action against Coke in the UK,
last Friday, at horrible oclock in the morning, anti-capitalist
activists and human rights campaigners blockaded Coca-Colas
distribution centre in Longwell Green, Bristol. Side and main entrance
gates were locked and eight protestors, representing the eight trade-union
supporters assassinated in Columbia since 1989 (not to mention the
many more beaten, imprisoned, etc) arm-locked themselves
together - preventing lorries from entering or leaving the site.
Other people held banners and placards, handed out leaflets to Coca-Cola
workers and passers-by explaining the reasons for their action.
Workers at the plant, including a union official, were supportive
of the protest. They told protesters they are suffering from the
same pressures as Coke workers in Colombia. They said they are pressured
to give up union membership, to work on casual contracts, and to
work more hours for less pay. Protesters said this is exactly the
type of thing the eight assassinated Colombian trade union workers
were resisting; and that their resistance cost them their lives.
Protest supporter Dave Williams said: I came down tonight
to support this because the UK is one of the biggest consumers of
Coca-Cola in the world, and its a company with a lot of blood
on its hands. The protest lasted over 5 hours and blocked
at least twenty lorries. The depot serves the whole of Wales and
the West Country and the inconvenience is bound to have to taken
the fizz out of some executives day. Direct action? Its
the real thing
As were going on about recycling this week, heres some
novel things weve heard about lately:
* Villagers in Matimangwe in the northwest of Mozambique have converted
their pit toilets into composters that use a human-waste compost-latrine
system called EcoSan. They use the compost to help grow crops and
sell the excess crap to help pay for clean wells and schoolbooks.
* In San Francisco, a composting programme collects discarded food
and sells it on to organic farms and vineyards, while restaurants
save on refuse costs.
* Piss-powered fuel cells! This new kind of fuel cell, microbial
fuel cells, are so named because they contain microbes - live bacteria.
Almost any kind of organic matter can be food for microbes, says
Northwestern University researcher Bruce Rittman, Instead
of just one fuel for fuel cells, hydrogen gas, you can consider
almost any fuel: wastewater, agricultural waste, food residues
* While we are considering innovative recycling, may I tell
the Hon. Lady that I have a constituent who had a couple of gallstones
removed and has made them into very attractive earrings? Norman
Baker (Lewes MP)
Question: how can a near-bankrupt corrupt military regime continue
to maintain its grip over 46m people whom have repeatedly protested,
and voted, against it? Answer: get Western companies, in their never-ending
quest for cheap profits, to fund the regime. Yes, thanks big oil!
Despite many Western corporations having been forced out of Burma
by shareholder and consumer pressure (some more reluctantly than
others we should add), there are always some who just dont
give a shit about things like legitimacy of government, torture
or brutality. Step forward TOTAL Oil.
Yes the French backed company has become the main supporter
of the Burmese military regime according to the leader of
the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi, who has
largely lived under house-arrest since the NLD won a landslide victory
in the 1990 free elections swiftly quashed by
General Ne Win (or is that No Win?) and the military. TOTALs
joint venture in the Yadana gas project is estimated to earn the
junta hundreds of millions of dollars per year all very welcome
in the costly battle to repress the locals (more than half the countrys
income is spent on the military and Burma spend less on health than
any other country in the world). In addition, security forces have
committed horrific human rights abuses in the region of TOTALs
gas pipeline - villagers have been killed, raped, tortured, beaten
and used as slave labour. Mercy? Non, merci!
Another hidden benefit of this involvement is that the French,
looking after their interests, have therefore used their
veto to consistently derail attempts to get effective EU sanctions
in place again Burma (or Myanmar as the junta rebranded
the country after the crackdown in 1990). A major new campaign,
supported by 41 organizations in 18 countries, has been launched
to get TOTAL totally out of Burma.
And you can join in: Tell TOTAL Oil to pull out of Burma now! Send them an email via the website: www.burmacampaign.org.uk/total.html
Taking the piss has never been this easy as Belgian Vice President
Joahn Vande Lanotte discovered when he visited the urinals of his
ministry just before George Bush was due to visit the country. Stuck
on the inside of the pee-pan was a cartoon graphic of Bush with
the words GO ON. PISS ON ME!
The colourful piss-stickers are still working their
way around schools, pubs and youth clubs, even after Air Force Ones
stop (possibly to go to the toilet, we dont know) as part
of Bushs Europeeon walkabout a couple of weeks
Of course not everyone got the joke as one citizen has filed a
complaint with the Belgium judiciary This sticker has nothing
to do with freedom of speech, he says. If I go to the
gents in the pub nowadays, I am forced to pee on Bush and the American
flag because it is impossible to miss this sticker. Perhaps
he should aim a bit higher.
Of course this is not a unique idea - does anyone remember wiping
their arse on Margaret Thatcher bog roll in the eighties? SchNEWS
has never been ashamed of its toilet humour antics. Does anyone
else know of similar such abuses of high profile figures?
* If you want to see a copy of the infamous sticker urine
luck - go to:
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