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SchNEWS This Time Last Year


SchNEWS 497, 13th May, 2005
PAIN IN THE GULAGS Dubya's freedom-touting rhetoric rings false as the US prison population, and history of abuse and torture of prisoners, steadily grows. Also Berkshire's new atomic weapons facility, Philip Carroll and Shell vs. Greg Palast and more...

SchNEWS 496, 6th May, 2005
KURDS AND NO WAY Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reckons there's 'no Kurdish problem'. SchNEWS begs to differ, with an overview of the harassment and torture suffered by the Kurdish people. Also anti-EDO demos, Eurovision in the Ukraine, the UK General Election sham, and more...

SchNEWS 495, 29th April, 2005
NUCLEAR PHYSICKS SchNEWS looks back at some of worst nuclear power disasters in the former Soviet territories... as those same states put nuclear power back on the agenda. Also anti-BP protests continue, rainforests, and all the usual.

SchNEWS 494, 22nd April, 2005
ROCKET ROULETTE Could it be... yet more US warmongering efforts to reach into space? A shameless Star Wars tie-in, no doubt. Also BP tries to whitewash the greenwash at their AGM, Belgian cops vs Citizen Weapon Inspectors, and more.

SchNEWS 493, 16th April, 2005
TESCOPOLY Tesco celebrate their record breaking while their suppliers are squeezed and consumers are conned into thinking they're getting a good deal. Also market under threat, Brian Haw latest, road building, protests in China and more.

SchNEWS 492, 8th April, 2005
INJUNCTIVITIS! Brighton police persuade local arms manufacturer to get an injunction to stop pesky people protesting about their harmless little business. Also Gas in Bolivia, ASBO's for being sarcastic and slugs.

SchNEWS 491, All Fools Day, 2005
ROCK THE CRADLE Pop stars offer to pay off third world debt in an attempt to boost record sales. Gleneagles goes tropical. G8 almost totalitarian enough for China and free flights to Burma. Things have gone so nuts we don't know what day it is.

SchNEWS 490, 25th March, 2005
LUNATICS - HAVE TAKEN OVER ASYLUM Politicians and the press froth at the mouth about asylum seekers spoiling everything for everyone while the reality is that the asylum seekers are being screwed. Also software patents, protests in Derby and Alistair Darling being stupid.

SchNEWS 489, 18th March, 2005
LOLLY ROGERED The war on terror rumbles on in the form or the US army and vast amounts of spin. Iraq continues to be plundered while the population continue to fight back. Also climate change, share trading, road projects and more.

SchNEWS 488, 11th March, 2005
residents waste is going to be transferred from landfill to the equally, or even more crap incinerator option if we're not careful with the council planning to build one in Newhaven. Also, TOTAL in Burma, squats in Brum, Coke clamped and more.

SchNEWS 487, 4th March, 2005
ICE BURKS! Iceland's government are hell bent on handing over the country to corporate scum bags to destroy it in the name of profit. Meanwhile in India, they're doing the same, and in Tasmania! We're seeing a pattern here...

SchNEWS 486, 25th February, 2005
FOX ME STOOPID! The hunting with dogs ban has not stopped foxes being killed and has increased violence against hunt sabatours and the police look away. Surprised? Also animal rights group bank account frozen, courtroom madness, illegal logging and more.

SchNEWS 485, 18th February, 2005
SLICK TALKING With the Kyoto treaty coming into force and the McLibel 2 win another case greenwash is back on the corporate agenda so dig some dirt on McDonalds and various oil companies. Also strike victory in Haiti, Syngenta drop rice patent and more.

SchNEWS 484, 11th February, 2005
SWEAT NOTHINGS!!! While Bliar and Brown talk of eradicating poverty by free trade sweatshop workers experience capitalism at the sharp end with long hours and poor pay. Also, the chemical stench of the flower growing industry, the dodgy olympic bid and more...

SchNEWS 483, 4th February, 2005
GOBBILISATION Round up of the rubbishness of the G8 and a kick up the bum to do something about them having their summit in Scotland in July. Also the clamp down on animal rights protesters, RFID chips and more.

SchNEWS 482, 28th January, 2005
Growing Dissent! The US expand its domination of the food chain by making it illegal for Iraqi farmers to save their seed for following years - making then dependent on agribusiness. Also - the world social forum, an anarchist film festival, protests in Russia and more...

SchNEWS 481,
21st January, 2005

IT Go Home The government are introducing a new database to the NHS to hold everyone's medical records to "improve the patient experience". We're not convinced the private company doing it won't cock it up. Also, water privitisation in Bolivia, anti road ptotests in Milton Keynes and mercenaries in London.


Home | Friday 20th May 2005 | Issue 498


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Story Links:
LET THEM EAT LEAD | Crap Arrent of the Week | Inside SchNEWS | Give 'Em What 4x4 | Positive SchNEWS | She Will Rock You | Chilean Claret | SchNEWS In Brief | ...and finally...



“There are over 6,000 political and religious prisoners in Uzbekistan. Every year, some of them are tortured to death. Sometimes the policemen or intelligence agents simply break their fingers, their ribs and then their skulls with hammers, or stab them with screwdrivers, or rip off bits of skin and flesh with pliers, or drive needles under their fingernails, or leave them standing for a fortnight up to their knees in freezing water. Sometimes they are a little more inventive. The body of one prisoner was delivered to his relatives last year, with a curious red tidemark around the middle of his torso. He had been boiled to death.” - George Monbiot, activist and writer

Given that George Bush has been busy bringing ‘democracy’ to the Middle East and former Soviet Union states, you’d think the White House would be condemning the dictatorial Uzbek government, who this week have been busy murdering hundreds of their own people. A spokesman simply murmured that the regime should “exercise caution and restraint”, nothing more. It’s only a week since Bush visited Georgia, a country which he referred to as “a beacon of liberty for this region and the world”. Congratulating the people for overthrowing ex-Soviet apparatchik Edvard Shevardnadze in the ‘Rose Revolution’, Bush must have had a sense of déjà vu. Only last Christmas the White House lavished similar praise on the Ukrainians’ ‘Orange Revolution’, providing material, financial and political support. When crowds demonstrated in Lebanon, Kyrgizstan, Ukraine and Georgia, the Americans welcomed it as “people power” and pledged to support “freedom-loving peoples” of the world in their struggles to overthrow “brutal dictatorships”. So why go so quiet when the Uzbek people rise up against their own Soviet-era dictator?


Well, Uzbekistan, as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq once was, is seen by the US government as a key asset. John Pike, head of the military analysis website, said close ties with Uzbekistan also serve longer-term goals: “It’s one more piece of the (former) Soviet Union that’s in our power rather than Moscow’s. It’s also one more piece of the encirclement of Iran. Right now, it’s a base for operations in Afghanistan. What it might become 10 years from now is anyone’s guess. It’s part of the ‘great game’.”

Then there’s the small matter of Uzbekistan’s 600 million+ barrels of proven oil reserves - which is probably the reason why George Bush has even heard of the country. After 9-11 the US established army bases there which will no doubt come in handy as they manouvre to gain control of the oil resources, as well as keeping the locals in line so a consortium of US companies can build a new oil pipeline through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea.

Nevermind all that, the current spin is that actually the Uzbek government - with $500million in ‘aid’from the Pentagon - is fighting a courageous battle against Islamic terrorists. The truth is more likely that people are turning to anyone offering a better life than the current dictatorial regime. As Ex-British Ambassador (see below) Craig Murray reports, “The two main strains of opposition are the Erk and Birlik parties – They are both moderate parties with a long history and would, I think, adopt a more Islamic stance than the current government – but neither is extreme nor bears any resemblance to the Taliban. They’re not trying to impose that kind of society.”

Ironically, the danger is that continuing such oppression and the pursuit of economic policies which lead to poverty and hardship for so many will actually radicalise the opposition, driving them into more extreme forms of Islamic Doctrines as they see any form of attempted democratic resistance crushed.


So, apart from the usual diverting of wealth into the hands of the chosen powerful few, why should anyone want to protest? If we take a look at the State Department website, it accuses the Uzbek government of “torture as a routine investigation technique”. Guess that sounds just like the US really - it certainly doesn’t trouble them; Colin Powell’s men bunged the same law enforcement services $79 million of aid in 2002. The State Department says officers who receive training are vetted to ensure they have not tortured anyone. Yeah right… to repeat, sounds just like the US military.

Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was given the boot last year for drawing attention to human rights abuses in the country, says the CIA brought many prisoners to the Central Asian nation for interrogation, knowing full well that the Uzbeks would use torture during those interrogations. Uzbekistan is believed to be a destination country for the highly secretive ‘renditions programme’, where the CIA ships terrorist suspects to third-party countries where it can freely use torture to extract the necessary confessions. The program began under an executive order signed by President Pappa Bush in December 1992. Although the CIA has never officially commented on the programme, flight logs obtained by the New York Times showed that CIA-linked planes that landed in the capital, Tashkent, had the same serial numbers as jets used to transfer prisoners around the world. The logs show at least seven flights from 2002 to late 2003, originating from destinations in the Middle East and Europe.

Craig Murray has been on about this for ages, but his first bollocking came in March 2003 when he was reprimanded for writing, “When it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated by the Bush administration as an indulgence, which should not affect our relationship and should be downplayed in the international forum”. Later that year some of his embassy staff were sacked and he was called back to London to face 18 disciplinary charges, including “hiring dolly birds for above the usual rate” in the visa department (even though it had an all-male staff) and granting UK visas in exchange for sex. If he told anyone about the charges he would be in violation of the Official Secrets Act and sent to prison... just standard British gagging procedure then.

Meanwhile a procession of top Bush administration officials trekked to Tashkent to thank the dictator for his services. Donald Rumsfeld, not content with that 1983 photo of himself shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, praised Karimov for his “wonderful cooperation”, while former Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, admired the autocrat’s “very keen intellect and deep passion” for improving the lives of ordinary Uzbeks.

As journalist Jonathan Freedland put it “Think of it as the Sonofabitch School of foreign policy. Legend has it that when Franklin D. Roosevelt was confronted with the multiple cruelties of his ally, the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, he replied: ‘He may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.’ More than 60 years on, that serves as a pretty good expression of American, and therefore British, attitudes to Karimov, the tyrant of Tashkent who has ruled the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.”

* Demonstrate against the Uzbek massacres this Saturday 21st 12 noon, 41 Holland Park Road, London W11 3RP. (Holland Park Tube)

* For more see

Crap Arrest of the Week

For hanging a banner...
The Danish branch of Greenpeace was charged last week under a law on financing acts of terrorism! What did they do - blow up a building? Er, no. In October 2003 some Greenpeace members got on the roof of the Agricultural Council headquarters and hung a banner in opposition to GM food. Now the whole organisation has been charged under terrorism laws adopted after September 11th.

Inside SchNEWS

Five anarchists have been nicked by the police in Italy for the “subversion of democratic order”. In an operation coordinated by the central anti-terrorism police department, 150 police units carried out another 20 searches at the homes of anarchists. The group have been accused of inciting revolt by refugees, damaging the commercial activities of multinational clothing company Benetton and smashing petrol pumps of oil war company ESSO.

* Two women arrested for chaining themselves to a digger in protest at the start of work on the controversial Linslade bypass have been acquitted. Incompetent prosecutors failed to show that an offence had been committed. However their victory was tarnished as they were refused the chance to stand up in court and expose how Bucks County Council road rough shod over wildlife laws

* This week the court ruled that British terror suspect Babar Ahmad can now be extradited to the United States. Babar was originally arrested on anti terrorism laws and was released six days later without charge (see SchNEWS 474), before the US decided that he was, in fact, a terrorist. His case has now been sent to the Home Secretary for final approval.

* Six students are up on Aggravated Trespass charges at Lancaster University in a move being closely watched by other Campus’s around the country .They have been charged five months after walking into a conference on campus to talk to industry reps about the perils of privatising intellectual property. The six are looking for support, particularly from other universities. See

* The Ministry of Defence has failed in its bid to get an Anti Social Behaviour Order put on peace campaigner Lindis Percy, to stop her demonstrating outside the US spy base Menwith Hill. The judge said “I am firmly of the view courts ought not to allow anti-social behaviour orders to be used as a club to beat down the expression of legitimate comment and the dissemination of views of matters of public concern.”

Mind you Lindis still got a six week tag-curfew for obstructing the highway which is on hold while she appeals.

Got a crap ASBO of the week, send them into the SchNEWS office.


35 Greenpeace activists locked on to a Land Rover production line in Solihull on Monday in protest at the climate-wrecking emissions of the companies Sports Utility Vehicles. The Range Rover is the UK’s least fuel-efficient 4x4 doing a criminal 12 miles to the gallon in urban areas. “Making cars like this for urban use is crazy when 150,000 people are dying every year from climate change,” said Greenpeace’s Ben Stewart. The new Range Rover Sport, which “has been tuned primarily for on road performance,” does fewer miles to the gallon than the Model T Ford built 80 years ago. FYI: 4x4s aren’t just for parents in the city. Land Rover also have a tidy market in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Baghdad, selling bullet proof cars with service options to invading business folk.

Greenpeace has been served with an injunction and a damages bill of £12m - £1m for every hour of halted production. SchNEWS wonders if we can all serve a bill (or an ASBO) on Land Rover for fucking up our climate.

Check out for more.

Positive SchNEWS

This week is “Be Nice to Nettles Week”, and it’s time we all showed a bit more respect to this wonder plant. Nettles are stuffed full of Vitamin A, B and C, iron and even serotonin, (the drug which makes us happy, and which doctors reckon is depleted after you’ve stuffed your face full of ecstasy pills). They can be cooked like spinach and made into tea or cordial. It’s nearly too late to pick them, as the devil is meant to piss on them after May, which means that when they start to flower they taste bitter. Then it’s time to cut them down, stick them in a bucket of water and in a couple of weeks you’ve got a free plant pick-me-up. In the garden, they provide the natural habitat for 40 different insects including the Peacock butterfly. They can be made into clothing and were widely used in WW1 to help make military uniforms, as well as rope and shampoo.

According to tradition, Caesar’s troops introduced the Roman nettle into Britain because they thought that they would need to flail themselves with the plant to keep warm, and until recently ‘urtication’, or beating with nettles, was a standard folk remedy for arthritis and rheumatism.

So while people continually carp on about the many uses of cannabis and how it can save the world, the poor old nettle is left on the roadside and forgotten. So we at SchNEWS Towers reckons its time to forget about marching for cannabis (more like shuffling), and instead get out on the streets and start demanding more rights and respects for our nettles. What’s more, unlike cannabis, nettles won’t give you the munchies. (It should be pointed out that the nettle is a relative of the cannabis plant – Gardening Ed.) Find out more on the internettle (or is it the World Weed Web?)


It’s all go at this weeks Queens Speech. Tony’s been listening (to Daily Hate Mail readers). There’s the Counter Terrorism Bill for starters. That includes “scope for new offences which would assist in bringing suspected terrorists before the courts.” SchNEWS’ fave the Identity Cards Bill is back and promising biometric ID cards by 2008. No more skiving off work for doley scum: the new Incapacity Benefit Bill about to forcing the disabled and injured into work. They’ll be more electronic tagging with the Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill and no doubt more ASBOS in sight as the Violent Crime Bill promises to bring in measures to reduce binge drinking and tackle yob behaviour in town centres. Are you thinking what we are thinking? That all politicians are control freaks.


General Carreras, ex-head of Pinochet’s Chilean secret police force has finally fessed up and given the Chilean Supreme court a detailed list of the whereabouts of 580 of the thousands of people who “disappeared” during the dictator’s regime in the 1970s. So what’ll Norman Lamont and rusty old iron Lady Thatcher, chief apologists for the old bastard, have to say for themselves now? Probably much the same as before - of Pinochet, Thatcher said, “…on his fate depends much else besides. Henceforth, all former heads of government are potentially at risk. Those still in government will be inhibited from taking the right action in a crisis, because they may later appear before a foreign court to answer for it…” hmm, SchNEWS reckons that if she’s done nothing wrong she’ll have nothing to worry about…

SchNEWS In Brief

  • Moulsecoomb Forest Garden open day this Sunday (22nd) 12 - 5pm at the allotments directly behind Moulsecoomb Train Station
  • More events at Brighton’s Cowley Club during the festival. On Monday (23rd) film – ‘The 43 Group’, about a group of Jewish ex-servicemen who beat fascists off the streets after the Second World War. 6.30pm. On Wednesday (25th) Film ‘Operation Solstice’ and talk by author Andy Worthington about the legacy of the Battle of the Beanfield 6.30pm
  • Anarchist Communism and the politics of the Anarchist Federation - short Intro and Q & A session, next Thursday (26th) Freedom Bookshop 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX 7pm
  • The French Palestinian Solidarity Campaign are organising a peace caravan, leaving Strasburg at the beginning of July, through Italy, Greece and Turkey down to Jerusalem. More people needed from the UK:
  • From bribery, fraud, and corruption in Iraq, to the undermining of US government regulations that protect drinking water at home, Corporate Watch spills the beans on Vice President Dick Cheney’s pals at Halliburton, in an alternative annual report for the company, published this week:
  • Also check out the special report by the International Federation of Journalists and Statewatch on “politics of fear” and disappearing civil liberties.
  • UK Water Firm BIwater have been kicked out of Tanzania, just two years into a ten year contract. Buywater now expect the UK taxpayer to pick up their bill, via Export Credit Guarantee. For more on this utter fucking madness see
  • Hundreds of mothers and children from Dale Farm caravan park, Crays Hill which is facing eviction, will march into Basildon on this Saturday (21st) to make a last minute appeal to the district council which has paid our favourite “Gypsy eviction specialists” Constant & Co, £20,000 to draw up the eviction plans
  • The black propaganda new Respect MP George Galloway is currently getting is exactly the same sort of state shit-stirring that was dished out to Miners leader Arthur Scargill during the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike. Check out the excellent ‘The Enemy Within’ by Seamus Milne (Verso)
  • The HAVE I GOT SchNEWS FOR YOU show, along with the TRAPESE Roadshow is touring the country in the build-up to the G8 summit in Scotland this July. They have added a new date this Sat (21st) in Nottingham at 7:30pm (venue TBA - contact Sumac Centre 0845 458 9595). (The tour crew give special thanks to Peter Burt in Reading for help last week).

Get yer dodgy literature plus t-shirts, badges etc. With books from Cowley Club bookshop, Active Distro and other stalls...
Saturday 21st May 11am -4pm
Cowley Club, 12 London Rd (Free entry)

...and finally...

Following on from finding out last week that companies are bidding to have newly discovered animal species named after them, SchNEWS may be changing its mind - it could still be preferable to the alternative: Neo-Cons! A paper published recently announced 3 new species of slime-mold beetles named after Bush and his cronies (insert your own slime related joke here). No, unbelievably, it wasn’t a wry political comment from a disgruntled scientist but done “in honour” of the great ones. Bush even phoned creepy crawly Prof. Wheeler to say thanks! The poor beetles in question will forever be known as Agathidium bushi Miller and Wheeler, A. cheneyi Miller and Wheeler and A. rumsfeldi Miller and Wheeler. It’s a bug’s life alright.

SchNEWS warns all readers not to be fooled by Bush and Blair’s double Uzbekistandards... Honest!

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