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The weekly newsletter frmo Justice? - Brighton's direct action collective

SchNEWS This Time Last Year


SchNEWS 502, 17th June, 2005
THERE'S A LOT OF IT ABOUT Bolivians take to the streets to fight for the re-nationalisation of their gas reserves. They succeed in making the countries president, Carlos Mesa, resign. The leaders of the G8 are in Scotland next month, take to the streets, take to the streets!

SchNEWS 501, 10th June, 2005
SPREAD THE JAM A hairbrained scheme to build a motorway through the middle of Glasgow has the locals up in arms. Fortunately we've done an article on community action. Also ID cards, prisoner news and more.

SchNEWS 500, 3rd June, 2005
GRRRrrr8 - IT AIN'T A rabble rousing reflection on the past 10 years of SchNEWS and the current state of the world. Also, 20th anniversary of the Battle of the Beanfield, local newsletters and a closer look at the world of Public Relations.

SchNEWS 499, 27th May, 2005
APEAKALYPSE NOW Within the next 5 years we are expected to reach Peak Oil - the point where demand for oil is greater than it's supply. This is bad. Read all about it, you'll not hear about it in the mainstream media. Also: water privitisation in Tanzania, repression in Orissa, anti-road protests and more.

SchNEWS 498, 20th May, 2005
LET THEM EAT LEAD Uzbekistan are on the American government's favourites list despite their widely known use of torture and murder against political opponents. Also lots of prisoner news, Greenpeace -v- Land Rover, nettles, the Queens speech and the truth about Chilean crimes.

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...


Home | Friday 15th July 2005 | Issue 503/4


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Story Links:
THE WAR COMES HOME | Crap Arrests of the Week | Make Celebrity History | Finally Facing My Portaloo | We Are All Over The Place | Disarm DSEI | Why Don't We Do It In The Road?| Ring Of Steel | Medya Rubbish | Prisoner Support | Taking The Peace | G8 Briefs | ...and finally...

"TELL ME WHY...I don't like Geldof...I don't like Geldof"


So it’s happened, the war has come home. Of course SchNEWS isn’t standing up for the scumbags behind the bombs, but they weren’t irrational acts of evil for the sake of it. It’s hard to stomach world leaders weeping crocodile tears over terrorist attacks when their own actions have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

“Collateral damage” is counted in broken bodies and destroyed lives whether it happens in King’s Cross or Kabul. It’s no better to drop a bomb from 30,000 feet and blow someone up, than it is to explode one on the tube. What Governments call war (or ‘justified military intervention’) is terrorism when the bombs are falling on you and your family.

The mainstream press have tried to eliminate political context from the story. Without that it becomes the story of a cabal of evil scary men bent on the taking of human life. That is how they are depicting the bombings – here come the bogeymen. Stripped of analysis, we are faced with a nightmare of implacable, irrational evil. Without an understanding of what has motivated these acts we cannot hope to prevent further atrocities.

The right-wing press has insisted that these attacks are not connected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the occupation of Palestine. They are apparently an attack on ‘our way of life’. But these bombs weren’t planted in Sweden or Holland (surely a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah). In every communiqué released, Al Qaeda and other Jihadist groups explicitly condemn western military intervention in Muslim lands. Some fundamentalists undoubtedly do view our society as permissive and corrupt, however if it weren’t for the economic and military dominance of the West over the Muslim world they would be isolated fanatics. Terrorism thrives only where there is no outlet for people’s legitimate aspirations. Surely the lesson of Northern Ireland is that solution to terrorism lies in dialogue and negotiation.

In February 2003 the Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent “by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq”. Against our will we have been dragged into a war of resource theft, a war which in Iraq has cost 100,000 civilian lives. Is it any surprise that somebody has struck back?

So what happens next? Will Britain follow the American 9/11 path or will the backlash against Blair force the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as the Spanish Government was forced to? A further massive clampdown on civil liberties and the stifling of dissent is now on the cards. Bush’s with-us-or-against-us logic could emerge here, but we are also presented with a golden opportunity to prevent any more imperialist adventures. It wouldn’t be surrender for the anti-war movement to re-emphasise the Troops Out message: it’s recognition of our government’s complicity in the creation of this downward spiral of violence.

The most worrying immediate development is the attacks taking place against mosques as people seek to vent their anger on those demonised for years by the tabloid press. At the moment this could just be the work of a few bonehead right wingers trying to stir up racial conflict, but it’s imperative that they do not succeed in fanning the flames of racial hatred. With the government and the tabloids having built the pyre will it be left to the BNP to strike the matches?

So the question we must all ask: How do we, trapped between a rock and a hard place - with the State, cops and capitalism on one side and fundamentalist religious bigots on the other – continue to struggle for a better world? We must not allow this atrocity to overshadow the actions taken at Gleneagles against the main belligerents in this war: the G8 leadership.

Crap Arrests of the Week

For waiting for a bus...

One attendee at the protests in Scotland last week was sitting at a bus-stop waiting for a bus when the forces of Law and Order come screeching up beside him. Out jumped six of Scotland’s Finest who promptly searched him and, having found nothing dubious on him, reached for a half-empty can of lager left under the seat he was on. Said suspect was then arrested for “street drinking” and held for 30 hours. This is despite the fact that the person-in-question has not touched alcohol for 15 years!

For not beaming out of Scotland

One man was arrested for breach of the peace during the road blockades of Gleneagles, and was given bail conditions forcing him to leave Scotland. A few hours later on his way back to Wales he was arrested again for not leaving quickly enough. SchNEWS wonders if the cops think anti capitalists have invented some kind of Star Trek type machine that can immediately beam people out of the area. “Beam me up Squatty”, ahem.

It was the largest policing operation ever seen in the UK with 366 arrests. If you saw people being arrested then the G8 Legal Support Group urgently needs to hear from you:


The week at Gleneagles tee-ed off with the showbiz glitz and greasepaint glamour of Make Poverty History. Over two hundred thousand people gathered in white at the behest of Bob Gandalf and his magical singing staff. They came marching through the centre of Edinburgh, Birkenstock clad and Guardian brandishing, proud to be part of the latest mass hysteria and revelling in the fact that Poverty had been made History. OK, it was great to see such a groundswell in favour of radical change but tragic to see it co-opted by ill-informed celebrities on behalf of the New Labour project. In the run up to the G8 serious commentators were arguing that what Africa needed was not more western intervention but less. Fair trade and end to agricultural protectionism and the arms trade. Not an ex-Boomtown Prat dishing out the crumbs from the rich man’s table and cuddling Tony Blair. These tax-evading shitbags are not relegating poverty to history; they are now so far up their own arses they cannot see that they are now actively lending support to these killers. In Edinburgh we faced the sickening spectacle of the tragedy of Africa being used as a vehicle for has-been popstars to aspire to secular sainthood.

NGOs from the global south, meanwhile, looked on horrified by a campaign that makes demands on the G8. They know who is responsible for most of the problems of the developing world, and that the protests should be directed against the G8, not through it. As journalist John Pilger put it “The truth is that the debt relief the G8 is offering is lethal because its ruthless ‘conditionalities’ of captive economies far outweigh any tenuous benefit. This was taboo during the G8 week, whose theme was not so much making poverty history as the silencing and pacifying and co-opting dissent and truth.”

An invitation-only meeting of Christian Aid supporters and church leaders in Edinburgh was typical. They were being addressed by the man who pulls the Neo Labour purse strings, Gordon Brown. One man who hadn’t read the script asked him “When will you stop the rape of the poor’s resources? Why are there so many conditions on aid?” He was thrown out, to cheers from among the assembled Christians.

Meanwhile Bruce Whitehead of Make Poverty History (MPH) commented “[Ours] is not a march in the sense of a demonstration, but more of a walk. The emphasis is on fun in the sun. The intention is to welcome the G8 leaders to Scotland and ask them to deliver trade justice, debt cancellation and increased aid to developing countries.”

Leaked emails to MPH from its events-management people, asked how it intended to deal with certain people at the rally who would be “ignoring our ownership of the event and our key messaging”. Some of those off message no doubt included people like us handing out SchNEWS and Dissent flyers.

Unlike the massive million plus march that turned out on London’s streets to oppose the Iraq war, this seemed – like the Live8 concerts around the world - almost devoid of politics. Neo Labour had lapped it all up, spun it all out and happily co-opted the whole bloody lot. Don’t mention the war. Don’t mention capitalism. And don’t for focks sake mention that G8 policy, far from alleviating poverty, is a direct cause of it.
SchNEWS decided the best approach was to mingle with the crowds on the march trying to get some information behind the emotion. “It seemed important to make people aware that Geldof’s ego-fest wasn’t the only game in town and make people aware of more radical views and break the monopoly of truth”.


On Sunday the chasms between the protestors opened even wider with three separate conferences in the city happening at the same time. In one hall: the liberal NGO’s (where some excellent speakers outlined their opposition to the G8 and the world order with one telling us we had to put a stake through the heart of the World Trade Organisation!) (Talk’s cheap but it takes money to buy whiskey). In another The George Galloway Personality Cult (Respect, G8 Alternatives and the rest of the ragbag authoritarian left) We saluted their indefatigability!! Meanwhile a broadly anti-authoritarian gathering disagreed about what to call themselves at Edinburgh University. Sadly there was little traffic between camps. The bulk of those attending the G8 elected not to participate in direct action against the summit. We have to ask ourselves why.


Next up was Monday’s Carnival of Full Encirclement where the sheer weight of cops stopped anything carnival-like dead in its tracks. Hemmed into a park, clowns and black block rained flowers on the police. Local youths showed us how it was done with flying kicks at riot shields. The Metropolitan Police did their best to look like an invading army, their screaming faces all over next morning’s front pages. But while shoppers looked on bemused a few of us were there to hand SchNEWS to people eager to know what these anarchists and anti-capitalists supposedly hell bent on razing Edinburgh to the ground were on about.


The Anti-G8 protesters were based around three convergence centres: Hori-Zone - a rural camp of 3000 near Stirling, plus centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow.


The Horizone in Stirling was, um, a sterling example (sorry) of how people can organise and make the impossible happen. The police leaned on a whole series of land-owners who offered us space and they caved in one by one. The site we ended up with was just outside of Stirling, miles from Edinburgh and the wrong side of the Ochil Hills for Gleneagles. So some serious walking was on the way for the happy campers.

Although the backdrop was beautiful there were a few drawbacks. First it was surrounded on three sides by a notoriously treacherous tidal river where many people had drowned, which later helped the cops block us in. Second it was a landfill site with potentially explosive methane seeping out, so no campfires or even smoking allowed on the riverbank because of the fire danger! Thinking about it it’s a surprise the whole of Scotland wasn’t declared a fire risk with the amount of methane seeping out of certain celebrity orifices!

The site only turned up only two weeks before the summit, leaving a few people with the mammoth job of making it liveable. Despite the obstacles people pulled together and did without sleep for days to make the camp not only a harmonious living space for some three thousand protesters from all over Europe but an effective base for action. A staggering achievement. It was truly inspiring to see people voluntarily tackling logistical nightmares. The crew even dealt well with the emergency caused by the police stopping the shit-pumping trucks from emptying the portaloos for days during their siege of the camp.

There were fifteen kitchens, all working hard to keep everyone fed. Brighton’s Anarchist Teapot and Rampenplan, a Dutch kitchen, joined forces to form an uber-kitchen feeding a thousand people a day. Throughout the week there were medics and legal support tents, the Indymedia tent with free internet access, and the 24-hour ‘tranquility team’ (who kept an eye on the cops and any on-site conflicts).

It was also a place where we could organise under pressure and meet like-minded people without having to split ideological hairs. The focus on direct action caused a remarkable chaotic cohesion. However in some ways the strengths of the ghetto worked against us. There were 60,000 people at the G8 Alternatives rally being ‘entertained’ by tired old rockers and being hoodwinked into thinking they were making a difference. Meanwhile a few thousand of us almost stopped the summit and outran, outsmarted, and in some cases outfought an enormous police presence. Horizone was too far away for the curious to wander into, apart from some Stirling locals, most of whom were pleasantly surprised. It would have been nice if more people from outside the ‘scene’ had the chance to participate in this mostly successful living experiment, but it would also have made planning actions more complicated than it already was.


The Jack Kane centre in Edinburgh played host to several thousand protesters throughout the week. It certainly wasn’t pretty - walled in, with a Stalag Luft holiday camp feel due to the watchtowers and constant security patrols. But the security turned out to be sound and apparently mostly Welsh for some reason. Craigmillar is a poor outlying bit of Edinburgh. Some local kids came and helped out in the kitchen and the community centre opened up their doors and gave people free access to all their facilities.
The Forrest Cafe was a major meeting point with the Indymedia centre being run upstairs.


In Glasgow there was a self-organised crash space. It was smaller than the others, holding less than two hundred at a time, including affinity groups from all over who used it as a base.


Our disorganisation is our strength! Hori-zone the eco-village convergence centre was a decentralised and effective entity for planning actions. Co-ordinating protests in a consensus manner with three thousand vocal activists seemed an impossible task. Faff, paranoia and strange hand signals seemed to doom the project from the start. But it worked!

“But there’s all along been a chaotic, slippery quality to the energy of this project, something that resists plans and timetables and logical organization. By the end of the day, we have plans, multiple plans, plans so complex and overlaid with fallbacks that even if we’re infiltrated, I doubt the cops can understand them. We barely do. Suddenly all the plans seem completely chaotic—but then, chaos is what we’re trying to create,” said Starhawk, freelance facilitator and American Eco-Witch. Because so much of the action was organised through small and larger groups talking among themselves and all sorting out their own little parts of the picture, nobody knew the whole story least of all the cops.

Our correspondent in Glasgow had a tough time with meetings ending up hamstrung by disagreements. In the end groups left and did their own thing which might have been for the best.

Although we’re all over the place, we can’t be everywhere. SchNEWS didn’t have any info on how Edinburgh campers managed to organise themselves, but evidently they did.


13-16th September 2005: DSEi (Defence Systems and Equipment International) is the world’s biggest weapons fair selling everything from battleships and attack helicopters to cluster bombs and machine guns. At DSEi 2003 there were 973 exhibitors selling their deadly wares to delegates from a third of the world’s countries.DSEi 2005 runs from 13 - 16 September, at the ExCeL Centre, London Docklands. DISARM DSEi is calling for a week of action and resistance against this evil trade, both at the exhibition and at relevant targets across the country. Disarm DSEIThere are also plans for a convergence space and two day conference. There’s loads to do to make this happen - organising actions, publicity, fundraising, convergence spaces, mobilisation...the list is endless. Get involved now!


On the morning of Wednesday 6th, the opening day of the summit, different affinity groups using a broad spectrum of tactics blockaded roads leading to Gleneagles, causing serious disruption to the opening of the conference. The top bananas were flown in by helicopter, but some 6,000 minions were coming along to attend to their every whim. It was the translators, bureaucrats and cooks that would have to use road and rail, and if we stopped them we could stop the summit.

Sterling efforts on the communications front meant that if a blockade was cleared, people could find out and plug the gap. A spontaneous information hub centred around a map covered in post-it notes helped filter out the rampant rumours. By noon it was clear that the blockades had been largely successful. Despite all the media-fed paranoia about over policing, on the day they were left overstretched and underbrained. Delegates to the summit were left stranded on gridlocked roads. The diverse range of tactics used kept the police guessing. One minute they’d be faced with black bloc, the next it would be clowns, kids or hippies sat in the road.

These actions may not have prevented the G8 summit from taking place, but they certainly slowed things down and cost G8 plc an absolute packet. More importantly the demos showed how non-hierarchical decision making can produce real results.

Tactical Chaos

The broad plan emerged late on Tuesday night to stage a number of blockades on the roads surrounding Gleneagles. From Hori-Zone there were two public blockading actions which had been proposed by different groups and consented to on by the ecovillage spokes-council - a blockade of the A9 (the primary route for delegates and staff), and another of the M9, a strategic point within walking distance of the ecovillage. A car convoy and critical mass bike ride served as flying blockades.

The fact that the eco-village was easy to seal off was the big difficulty to overcome. The A9 was also an eight hour hike from the ecovillage. But this didn’t deter us. Groups left the eco-village early on Tuesday to pre-empt the police. People sat in circles with maps asking questions like “does blue mean water then?”. Throughout the day, groups approached the action transport tent, and asked for a lift to whichever hedge they were going to (try to) sleep in. Others just started walking over the hills towards Gleneagles. As darkness fell, hundreds of activists were hidden in the hills and forests around Gleneagles.

A9 Blockade

Some of the SchNEWS crew joined the Anarchist ramblers for a cross country hike…

“After long and painful meetings, protesters trekked into the hills on Tuesday night, hiding from helicopters in ditches and schlepping through bogs. Over the night some two hundred dogged, soggy protesters made the hike. They slept in the woods in the rain for an hour or so then got up for… another meeting. Hooray!

Scouts found cops waiting for us at the point on the A9 where we had planned to emerge, so we improvised and ran along a backroad to the A9, meeting up with other protesters that had been holed out up in the hills, swelling our numbers further. The crowd got excited and energised as it started to look like we did have a chance after a doom-laden morning. We saw the junction where our road hit the A9 was blocked by police, so we spilled into a field and charged down. The police were slow to respond and by the time they had formed a line and called for backup there were fifty people blocking the road out of Gleneagles. While the police had their hands full cleaning that up, we heard that another blockade had been formed further up the road. We regrouped, moved and did a series of smaller blockades further down the road. These were the ‘rolling blockades’ and they worked a treat. In the end the road was shut most of the time till early afternoon and we went home buzzing.

“We met locals along the way who were supportive – one farmer came out to meet us and said we were welcome to walk on his fields, but to stay off his barley crops. We were happy to oblige. We met a couple out for a walk taking photographs of the coppers, who said “We haven’t seen a policeman in our village for 25 years and now there’s thousands!”

Big Bad Black Block Battle of Bannockburn Bonanza

If you believed the national press you’d think five thousand anarchists had gone on the rampage in a small Scottish town with no other motivation than mindless destruction. Hellbent on an orgy of pointless devastation, these “mindless thugs” (Daily Record) and “losers” (Bob Geldof )* ripped satellite dishes from houses and trashed personal cars. Scottish First minister Jack Connell went so far as to say “they are not protestors, they do not have a cause.”

SchNEWS’ correspondent on the march saw things bit differently…

“One thing united the marchers who left site at that time in the morning, a determination to get to the M9 motorway and blockade it no matter what. People were fed up with police tactics of encirclement and indiscriminate violence. A sudden torrential downpour at 3am concealed us from the prying eyes of police helicopters. A crowd of about five hundred masked anarchists armed with sticks and bricks, split into three blocs to avoid being hemmed in by the familiar kettle tactic, marched out of the camp and set off for the centre of Stirling.

Frustrated by a line of police across the bridge into town and their own inability to make a ‘consensus’ decision, anarchists initially dithered but soon vented their anger at corporate symbols in Springkerse Industrial estate. The destruction of Burger King (well there wasn’t a McDonald’s) was followed by a surge onto the A91, which leads directly through Bannockburn to the M9. Police kept throwing lines of shielded cops across the road but they were pushed or battered out of the way with surprising ease. Anarchos pushed looted shopping trolleys full of bricks to provide a constant supply of ammo. The bloc literally fought its way from the centre of Stirling to the M9. The keys to its success? Solidarity and organisation. (and the fact the road was lined with fist sized lumps of granite). Attempts to make arrests were collectively shrugged off. Although police action split the bloc they never regained the initiative and as different groups made their way to the road they lost control of the motorway for three hours. In all that time only one unmarked vehicle was attacked and that had a police hat on the dashboard. Despite corporate press reports we saw no random destruction of private property. What violence there was was targeted at police attempts to stop the marchers. Locals in Bannockburn (including one middle aged woman in a pristine white dressing gown) seemed happy to direct people onto the M9.”

*Ok so we’ve never had a hit record in the eighties but we’ve never cuddled Tony Blair either.

Lock On Barricades

Big actions took care of the main transport arteries but the police were bound to have a back up plan for that.
“Minor routes were taken by small “affinity groups” who had been meeting in secret in the weeks leading up to the summit. Early in the morning, we struck, focusing on locations close to where staff were staying. We also blockaded the rail lines. Most of the blockades used sophisticated lock-on techniques like perching up a tripod made of scaffold tubes. People also locked onto cars were also used. The first blockade to hit was the one at Crieff, where staff and American delegates were staying. The first car we stopped was a group of American delegates trying to get to the summit. Some of the affinity blockades lasted the entire day, while a few were taken down in about two hours”.


Actions flowing out of the convergence centres were so varied that we simply don’t have eyewitness reports. Here’s some other stuff wot happened.

Flying blockades...

Bike convoy

Kids protest

Glasgow M74 Protest


Those in Edinburgh decided to blockade the Sheraton Grand Hotel, where a number of delegates were staying. The delegation from Japan ended up being delayed an additional half hour, just to get out the hotel. While this blockade would turn out to be small, it had the effect of creating a diversion, drawing most of the police resources into the city. It also had the added bonus of forcing Bob Geldof to switch hotels, from the Sheraton to the downmarket Balmoral.. A car “crash” blocked the main route out of Edinburgh to Gleneagles.

There were six days of action against the G8 and here's a few other events which happened during the week...


2000 descend on Faslane Naval Base – home to all of Britain’s nuclear armed submarines - with all entrances closed and people locking-on to gates.


Several hundred gather for the No Borders/Migrants march at Dungavel Detention Centre, linking neo-liberalism and the policies of the G8 with the fact that they cause people to flee danger and war in their countries and seek asylum elsewhere. The Home Office ordered Dungavel to be emptied of detainees and staff for the duration of the G8.


In Glasgow six people lock onto entrance to Weir Pumps, one of the first UK companies to win contracts in Iraq.

With a lot of people either arrested or on bail conditions to leave Scotland, many are involved in prisoner support, including an action at Saughton prison with Infernal Noise Brigade.

Fifteen people visit the nearby Raytheon factory to alert people to the US firm's war mongering trade.

The Commerce St Bridge is occupied in a Street Party in Glasgow to highlight opposition to the M74 motorway, which if built would cut a swathe through communities in the Gorbals. The police cordoned one group and marched them to the M74 protest site.

Also prisoner support continues with 100 demonstrating at Saughton prison in Edinburgh.



Having been taken so thoroughly by surprise in the early hours of Wednesday the police weren’t gonna get fooled again. At three on Thursday morning large numbers of police began to appear outside the Horizone. Mad paranoia swept the camp and rumour ran like a rabid dog biting and infecting all in its path. Probably the best rumour doing the rounds was that the football stadium on site had been completely done over by the Black Block despite it being clearly visible and undamaged.

What had happened was that police had blockaded all exits from the site in massive numbers. Nobody was allowed to leave until daybreak and then only with a plane ticket or dentist’s appointment or the like. Nobody seemed sure what law they were using, police included, but a legal debate seemed off the cards in the face of such a naked display of force.

Police helicopters hovered and circled continually over the site. At this point the news of the London bombings began to filter through. Sleep deprived, boxed in and worried about the scale of what was happening in London and for the safety of friends and relatives, our action plans ended up on the back burner. A candlelit vigil was organised for the victims of the London bombings, and for all victims of war and terrorism worldwide.

The police retained their tight control until the weekend. Wednesday had been excellent for most people, but by Thursday the energy had peaked and many people had not slept in days and were ready to drop.
Getting out in numbers proved impossible. Even the team who came to empty the portaloos were denied access, leading to some seriously nasty toilets. Dozens got stomach bugs and spent a day or two running laps from tents to bogs.

The focus for people’s energy moved to prisoner support and keeping the site liveable. There was a solidarity demo for those in jail and a hygiene blitz in the kitchens. Some great music and film footage from the week made the camp feel like a festival.


The morning after a day of protest like Wednesday, you can rely on getting a good laugh out of the right wing tabloid newspapers, and seeing how the hacks have turned their bile-ridden pun-tastic scribing skills onto twisting events to fit every little-Britain prejudice they stand for. That’s if you don’t get trampled in the rush of anarchists buying the Mail and the Sun to see if their mates are in it. Here’s some slap-stick comedy moments from the tabloid papers which make you realise how desperately we need alternative media like Indymedia, SchNEWS et al.

* The Sun is famous for sloppy right wing journalism and predictably described actions at Gleneagles as ‘Protesters Spark Orgy Of Violence’ with ‘an army of anarchist thugs’ attacking ‘blood soaked’ cops.

* Taking the biscuit was News Of The World’s article on July 10th about their ‘mole’ who went undercover at the Stirling camp to expose the ‘anarchist thugs’ plotting a violent riot. The article names and photographs the ‘ringleaders’ who had apparently called on every yob across Europe of all political stripes to join in the fun. To them the Dissent Network was a ‘well funded international organisation hell-bent on causing disruption’, and they were joined by the French ‘European Anarchy Terror Network’, along with far right groups like the Ultras - Italian football hooligans - and even the infamous Nazi hate-gang Combat 18. (In truth if any fascist groups had shown their faces they wouldn’t have lasted five bloodied minutes).

*Our favourite infiltrator in the Hori-zone was Kate Ginn of the Scottish Daily Mail. In a stunning expose she reported that “There are several portaloos, but only the hardiest campers use these after the first few days…. among the middle-class students with Home Counties accents were the militant activists. Dressed all in black, the members of Dissent! kept to themselves. Their tent was strictly out of bounds to strangers.” (Well so was mine). “Cannabis was openly smoked and other drugs were freely available” (News to us, we spent three days trying to find a bit of weed) “It is no place for children, who run around unsupervised. One mother wandered past with a ‘F**k the G8’ sticker on the side of her pram”. (Call Social Services!) “They seemed to see themselves as support for the more militant groups to unleash their violent mayhem. ‘We’re just here to back up the big boys,’ said Dave from South London.” (Did he really?) And for genuine investigative journalism you can’t beat “In the evening, we queued to buy chickpea dinners at £1.50 in the strictly vegan camp”.

* Journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News were in fine form, commenting about the London bombs. Speaking about the reaction of the financial markets one said: “Just on a personal basis ... I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought ‘hmm, time to buy’.” Another said the attacks had the effect of putting terrorism back on the top of the G8’s agenda, in place of global warming and African aid. “I think that works to our advantage, in the western world’s advantage, for people to experience something like this.” While a third Fox News host complained that the International Olympic Committee “missed a golden opportunity” by not awarding the 2012 games to France. “If they had picked France instead of London to hold the Olympics, it would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn’t worry about terrorism. They’d blow up Paris, and who cares?”

Prisoner Support

During the protests against the G8 over 700 people were detained or arrested by the police, often overnight, and around 366 people have been arrested and charged. The courts have imposed draconian bail conditions, which not only prevented those arrested from continuing their protests against the G8 summit, but forced those not resident in Scotland to leave at an impossible speed, making the conditions impossible to comply with. As a direct result of this tactic, some people were rearrested for breach of bail. People unable to give an address in the UK have been remanded in prison, even though in all the cases we are aware of, none faces serious enough charges to result in a prison sentence even if convicted. Amongst those remanded in custody was one person aged 16 and a woman with a child.

Huge numbers of people were photographed and/or filmed just for participating in protests or because they were staying at a campsite, again a form of policing designed to intimidate.

At the time of going to press: The 5 men who have spent a week in prison in Edinburgh (Saughton prison) and were heard in court on Tuesday, got released on bail. This means at the moment there is one man left in Edinburgh prison, arrested during G8 protests but now held for other unrelated matters. There are two women in Stirling (Cornton Vale prison). One convicted for previous unpaid fines, probably out on Friday, one on remand until court on Friday. There are two men in Glasgow (Barlinnie prison). One convicted for previous faslane stuff, one on remand.

To support prisoners contact: G8 Legal support team or Brighton Anarchist Black Cross


On Thursday peace campaigners in Brighton were prevented from holding a two minute silence for all victims of bombing outside local missile manufacturers, EDO MBM (of injunction fame - see SchNEWS 492). Employees of the company conducted a bizarrely hypocritical two minute silence for the victims of London’s bombings, then went back to make their own bombs. Meanwhile protesters who attempted to hold a vigil were intimidated into leaving by security guards who had assaulted a protester the previous day.

The day before four private security guards ‘arrested’ and handcuffed protestor Jaya Sacca after a demonstration outside EDO to highlight the links between bombs dropped on Iraq and the bombs in London. The police arrived and arrested Jaya for ABH! The judge heard that he bitten one of the guards and remanded him in Lewes Prison.

Two weeks ago (see SchNEWS 502) one protestor was remanded for three days for attempting to video aggressive behaviour by Guardian Security. A campaign spokesman said “This is a direct attack on our right to protest. In a democratic country how can a private security force be allowed to handcuff members of the public on the public highway? They are unaccountable to anyone. When the police arrest someone there are procedures for complaint and redress, but with these untrained hired goons there is nothing. They constantly video us, except when they want to break the law - we must have the right to video the security personnel. EDO MBM are again trying to enforce the injunction they would like rather than the one they have got.”

Support letters to: Jaya Sacca, HMP Lewes, Brighton Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1EA.


  • During the G8 protests three people from the World Development Movement climbed a crane in central Edinburgh to call for the end of Gordon Brown’s attempts to co-opt the aims of the Make Poverty History campaign and twist them to the UK government’s own advantage. They hung a banner demanding “No More Brownwash”. One of the climbers said “The Labour government is hypocritical. It is still pushing the free trade agenda. Brown and Blair are leading the charge towards further liberalisation and privatisation of developing markets.”
  • There will be a vigil tonight (15th) called against all terrorism with the slogan ‘London, Fallujah, No More Bombs’. 6pm in Altabali Park, East London
  • London post G8 debrief tonight (15th) at rampART social centre 8pm 15-17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (off commercial road)
  • Gleneagles feedback meeting Wednesday (20th) 8pm at Dempsies opposite Cardiff Castle
  • Stop the War vigil Sunday (17) 2pm, Russell Square, London WC1. For details of other vigils 020 7278 6694.

...and finally...

Not that we in SchNEWS Towers have anything against the idea of Presidents cycling into policemen, but in the interests of road safety we recommend George W(heelie) Bush heed the offer of some Safe Cycle lessons from the nutters who made up the G8Bikeride.

These people cycled the 700 mile journey from Brighton to Gleneagles to join in the protests, and despite a massive police presence, avoided ramming the constabulary completely. A spokesperson for the G8Bikeride said “We feel it is an essential matter of health and safety that George finds time in his busy golfing schedule to deal with the perils of cycling in a world addicted to cars.”

SchNEWS warns all readers... don't abandon your car and start using a bike - they are not idiotproof. Honest.

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