The whole world witnessed the Neo Labour governments toleration
and respect as an 82-year-old man was dragged out of
the conference by private goons in good North Korean style for uttering
the word nonsense. (And how typical was it of the spinelessness
of Labour delegates that only one of the hundreds assembled intervened.)
Outside an atmosphere of intimidation by the police prevailed. Anybody
gathering to demonstrate was photographed. One man was arrested
under terrorism laws for wearing a T-Shirt saying Free Omar,
Jail Blair and driven out of the area. Why the need to clamp
down so fiercely on dissent? Well Tonys speech gave us a few
While the press picked over the bones of Tonys offering and
examined the entrails for omens and portents of the Blair/Brown
soap opera, SchNEWS found it to be a remarkably honest appraisal
of how the British people (sorry workforce) are to be shackled into
the global economy, while the elites remain in power.
Its made very clear that luxuries like human rights and the
principle of innocence before guilt must go if the country is to
become strong and not be overwhelmed. Good
leadership and discipline are necessary if we are to meet the challenges
of globalisation. Lets strip away some of the feelgood spin
and see what the future holds for the proles of Airstrip One. Over
to you, Tony:
We are the Changelings - Tony Blair
I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation.
You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer. Theyre
not debating it in China and India. All these nations have labour
costs a fraction of ours
In the era of rapid globalisation,
there is no mystery about what works: an open, liberal economy,
prepared constantly to change to remain competitive. The temptation
is to use Government to try to protect ourselves against the onslaught
of globalisation by shutting it out; to think we protect a workforce
by regulation; a company by Government subsidy; an industry by tariffs.
(So were supposed to swallow the IMF medicine that so many
third world countries have choked on. Forget any social principles
or values, its rules out the window and hello unrestricted
We will publish proposals radically to reform (the) benefits
for the future and help people who can work, back into the work
force where they belong. (so long as we know, noses to the
For how much longer can countries like ours allow the security
of our energy supply be dependent on some of the most unstable parts
of the world?
and that means an assessment of all options,
including civil nuclear power. (Having stirred up a hornets
nest in the Middle East, Tony&Co want to retreat to their nuclear
bunkers - the reliance on a growth economy leaves us with a choice
between Basra and Chernobyl)
The same adjustment to the modern world challenges traditional
thinking on law and order. The whole of our system starts from the
proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being
For 8 years I have battered the criminal
justice system to get it to change... First a radical extension
of summary powers to police and local authorities to take on the
wrong doers. Second, we need a uniformed presence on the street
in every community... We know we need strict controls. They are
being put in place, along with Identity Cards, also necessary in
a changing world. (As people wont be happy about being
screwed over even more and discontent grows, our nineteenth
century legal system - you know habeas corpus and all that
bleeding heart liberal fluff - will break down under the strain
of differentiating between innocence and guilt, so were going
to go with a bit more of a heavy-handed approach...)
I never doubted after September 11th that our place was alongside
America and I dont doubt it now. This is a global struggle.
(thanks to you, you fucker) Today it is at its fiercest in Iraq...
Britain should also remain the strongest ally of the United States.
(a country where the first priority after a natural disaster is
to shoot the looters. A country with two million people behind bars.
The gaolers of Guantanamo Bay
Government is not a state of office but a state of mind.
A willingness to accept the burden of true leadership. (The
scales fall off and the ghost of Nuremberg rears its ugly head)
SCHNEWS TRAINING DAY
Live in the Brighton area? Want to get involved? We are having another training day on Wed 12 Oct 12 noon onwards. Please get in touch to book your place.
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For Conspiracy To Street Theatre...
A small protest at the start of the EU Justice & Home Affairs
ministers meeting in Newcastle earlier this month was stopped before
it even got going, after cops nicked all six people for conspiracy
to commit criminal damage.
The plan was for protesters to dress in orange boiler suits with
bar-coded foreheads, and a 12 square foot ID card to highlight the
increasing restrictions on civil liberties being considered by ministers
under the pretext of fighting the War on Terror.
But before they could even protest about our civil liberties being
eroded they were er, arrested. One woman whose daughter was nicked
then had her home raided by a vanload of cops who took amongst other
things a Green Party magazine, a flyer for a T-shirt company picked
up at the Make Poverty History rally and a leaflet by Cures without
BLING BRANCHES OUT
Southend based road campaigners Parklife are taking direct action
once again (See SchNEWS 508). As part
of their campaign to stop the controversial F5 (A127/A1159) road
scheme, they have constructed and occupied an urban tree camp right
in the heart of town. The protestors are strategically located on
the route of the proposed road and railway bridge, and above the
recently discovered Anglo-Saxon burial site containing the Prince
of Prittlewell naturally nicknamed locally as the King
of Bling for the shiny things unearthed with him. They have
named it Camp Bling in his honour. Resident and campaigner
Shaun Qureshi declared, The F5 white elephant is massively
over budget, significantly behind schedule, and very much unloved
by the people of our town. The Department of Transport must surely
now recognise the level of public opposition, and should act accordingly
by cancelling all funding for the road. This is our time to take
action, and we hope that we inspire others to join us here.
If the Department havent twigged yet they must be
Contact Parklife at the site: 07929 595 761 or 07929 595 766 www.savepriorypark.org
SchNEWS in brief
- Critical Mass bike ride in Brighton today (Friday 30th)
6pm at the Level http://groups.yahoo.com/group/criticalmassbrighton
- This Saturday (1st) theres a national demo Against Section
9 of the Asylum & Immigration bill - yet another immigration
crack down measure, this one leading to families deemed to have
failed in their asylum claim being denied state benefits, made
homeless and even having their children taken into care. Meet
12 noon Lever Edge Lane CP School, Bolton, BL3 3HP 07976 476181
- On the same day at 10.45 am there will be a demo in London against
Section 9 outside Communications House on Old Street, just west
of Old Street Station
- Theres an Argentinean solidarity night this Saturday
(1st) organized by the Anarchist Federation, with a speaker
from Buenos Aires 7pm LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel,
London E1 1ES www.afed.org.uk
- 7-9 Films On The Edge - Three Days of radical and anarchist
films and discussion at the 1 in 12 Club, Bradford next weekend
(7-9th) 01274) 734160 www.1in12.go-legend.net
THE BURNING ISSUE
History has seen attempts to commodify land, food, labour,
forests, water, genes and ideas. Carbon trading follows in the footsteps
of this history and turns the earths carbon-cycling capacity
into property to be bought or sold in a global market. Through this
process of creating a new commodity carbon - the Earths
ability to support a climate conducive to life and human societies
is now passing into the same corporate hands that are destroying
the climate. Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading.
Theres a company in Brazil thats a good example of
agribusiness at its most vicious. It leased its land from the military
dictatorship in the sixties, ignoring the fact that indigenous,
Afro-Brazilian and peasant communities already living there were
driven off the land by company militias. Thousands of hectares of
forest and savannah, which had been used for hunting, small-scale
farming, gathering food and medicine were stripped away to make
way for huge monoculture plantations. The surrounding lands and
rivers have been sucked dry, or contaminated by agrotoxic chemicals
from the plantations. The company uses illegally out-sourced labour,
child labour and slave labour. Most people from the area are forced
to accept these brutal conditions or relocate to urban slums. People
who resist suffer intimidation and surveillance.
Heard it all before? So have we except that the company
in question, Plantar S.A., is a card-carrying environmentalist,
being touted as a model of sustainable development and
a major part of the solution to global warming. Its plantations
produce Eucalyptus timber, which is turned into charcoal for fuel.
Its been in this business for years. Now, with the backing
of the World Bank, its applying for 10 million carbon credits
from the Kyoto Protocols Clean Development Mechanism. This
scheme allows industrialised countries to avoid reducing their greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by paying for carbon offset projects
in developing countries. Plantar is applying for credits
on two counts: first, because the trees soak up GHGs, and, second,
because charcoal is supposedly used to replace more harmful fuels
like coal. But hang on, how can the trees soak up CO2 when theyre
being burnt as charcoal? Erm, dunno, ask the World Bank.
OLD KING COAL
So, apart from the environmental devastation and slave labour and
fraud nall that, whats the problem with carbon offset
projects? For a start, theres no way of accurately measuring
how much they reduce greenhouse gases. For plant-a-tree projects,
the margin of error for working out how much GHG they absorb is
as much as 50%. Companies who apply for carbon credits come up with
their own ways for calculating the value of their schemes, and the
validators who are paid by the Kyoto bureaucrats to
assess the applications also work as consultants for companies looking
to get credits. No conflicts of interest there, then.
But the main problem is that the Kyoto Protocol has as much chance
of doing anything to stop global warming as the proverbial snowball
does in hell. The only thing it will do, and the only thing it was
ever likely to do, is to make a lot of consultants, traders, agribusinesses
and construction firms rich off the new trade in pollution, and
give the rest of us the brief illusion that capitalists give a fuck
about global warming. Scientists have been saying for years that
we need a 50-70% reduction in GHGs straight away to offset the effects
of global warming. The 5% target set by Kyoto doesnt even
make a dent, and the countries expected to release the most CO2
in the next few decades, the US and China, arent part of the
agreement. As one scientific journal put it, if we leave it to negotiations
like Kyoto to slow global warming, well be waiting 300 years
for reductions that are needed in a decade.
But as the carbon trade proves, states and companies have no intention
of reducing fossil fuel consumption when they can buy time to continue
polluting. The truth is that the choice for them is between an economic
collapse and an environmental one, and thats no contest. The
International Energy Agency estimates that to keep the global economy
going over the next 25 years fossil fuel consumption will have to
increase by a third. The Kyoto country that has been most successful
in reducing its GHGs since 1990 is Russia not because its
run by a bunch of solar power-loving hippies (its not), but
because its economy fell apart in the early nineties. Its
GHGs dropped by a third. All that twatting about with carbon
sinks and Joint Implementation projects has achieved
is a brief distraction from the fact that economic growth and the
environment dont mix.
Now even Kyotos biggest cheerleaders are admitting its not
going to work. Earlier this year prime sinister Blair said he was
going to use the UKs G8 and EU Presidencies to make
a breakthrough on climate change. After six months when fuck
all has happened on climate change, hes now even backing away
from the pathetic targets set at Kyoto. As he told a conference
in New York last month: The truth is no country is going to
cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term
environmental problem. Since Blair got into power in 1997
Britains CO2 output has risen.
Meanwhile, the Plantar project isnt the only one of its kind
that stands to cream buckets of cash from the carbon trade con.
The World Banks Prototype Carbon Fund which backs the scheme
has become a major player in the new market for carbon offset projects.
Theyve got industrial plantations, landfills and dams on the
books, but few renewable energy projects. The fund is backed by
cuddly hippies like BP and Mitsubishi who stand to pocket millions
from their investment in cheap carbon dumps in poor countries.
Its annoying when some people just wont get the
message. A number of Kalahari Bushmen are simply refusing to
accept the Botswana Governments (Est. 1966) very reasonable
decision to forcefully relocate them from their ancestral homeland
that theyve roamed and lived in for about, oh, 30,000 years.
Despite a 17-year campaign to gently persuade them (with friendly
bribes, intimidation, threats and promises) to leave the Central
Kalahari Game Reserve (coincidentally rich in diamond and mineral
deposits) and live in lovely new resettlement camps. For some reason
not all the Bushman seem that keen to settle down to a life of Government
hand-outs and alcoholism in the image of Americas Native Indian
camps and a handful are still holding out inside the Reserve.
The government have understandably responded by sealing off the
reserve, cutting off water supplies, confiscating radios, banning
pesky journalists and NGOs, outlawing hunting and sending in armed
goons (I mean, guards) to protect the wildlife. The
last message sent by the Bushmen in the reserve read, They
are firing over our heads, they are beating us, we dont know
if we can hold out. Nearly job done then, except that now
a number of Bushmen, realising that they've been hoodwinked, are
trying to re-enter their homeland to check on their relatives and
raise awareness of their situation.
No worries though, armed police, firing tear gas and rubber bullets
managed to stop and arrest an unarmed group of 28, including seven
children, before they could cause too much bother. One bushman was
shot in the jaw and is seriously injured. Hopefully this will send
out a powerful message to any others having second thoughts, especially
as those arrested include the leaders of the Bushman rights organization
First People of the Kalahari. Detainees were beaten, held for four
days and released on bail. Rafael Runco, Chair of Survival International,
reports, Botswanas government seems to have gone totally
off the rails. Faced with criticism from all quarters, its
simply lashing out at the easiest targets - the Bushmen who its
been persecuting for so long. What its doing now is coming
perilously close to genocide - a systematic attempt to destroy an
* Hot off the press: The First People of the Kalahari have
been just been awarded Swedens Right Livelihood Award, known
as the Alternative Nobel Prize. The award has been given
for the Bushmens resolute resistance against eviction
from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their
traditional way of life. Whilst they probably wont be
dusting off their DJs and crying through their acceptance speech
anytime soon this is at least raising the issue of their plight
internationally, even though theyd probably want more help
than being given some plaque.
Laudelino Iglesias Martinez who spent more than 23 years
in Spanish prisons will be speaking in Brighton next Tuesday (4th)
Cowley Club, 12 London Rd. 6.30pm and at the Bradford 1 in 12 club
on Thursday (6th) Laudelino will be talking about his experiences
of the Spanish prison system, in particular the FIES regime, and
share news of solidarity actions and prisoners resistance.
* So far a fifth of the cases against the G8 protestors have been
dropped, leaving 240 cases still outstanding.
Glad to see that in Police State Britain that theres at
least one oppressed minority whose rights remain intact. Despite
draconian laws imposed by an authoritarian government, the police
have decided enough is enough, no more persecution of those who
dress strangely and speak with funny accents.
Free from fascist repression fox hunters across the country have
been given a nod, a wink and a funny handshake. Under a thin veneer
of laughable legality (Hunting with Eagles or tortoises etc) hunting
continues unabated. Police forces up and down the country have cited
lack of resources for their inability to police hunts.
Cue hollow laughter from the sabbing brigade whove endured
years of continual police harassment for daring to interfere with
the aristocracy at play (riot vans , land rovers, scrambler bikes,
cops on horses, helicopters and of course red faced fat coppers
in Hi Vis floundering in the mud). So the deal between the cops
and the hunt seems to be You dont say youre breaking
the law and we wont enforce it. SchNEWS hopes this spirit
of tolerance on the part of the law will spread far and wide.
More evidence of a shift towards liberal attitudes is the number
of riot coppers who have found themselves in the dock for being
brutal to protestors in Parliament Square. But isnt that what
theyre paid for? Well yes but on this occasion they came face
to face with the green welly brigade whose contacts in the establishment
are slightly higher than those than of the usual riot monkey. September
2003's riot (in which 60 police were injured) saw police on charges
ranging from Section 5 (alarm, harassment and distress) to ABH.
OK they all got off but we all look forward to similar treatment
the next time someone gives Churchill a mohican.
SchNEWS warns all readers...generally. Honest!
Get down to the
Volks, Madeira Parade, Brighton Seafront next Wednesday (5th)
for an Oldskool Rave / reggae / roots funraiser for SchNEWS.
10 till 3. £3/2 donations.
OUT NOW!!! 'SCHNEWS
AT TEN' - A Decade of Party & Protest - £9 inc 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 Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. p&p
(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).
In addition to
50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons,
subverts, a yellow pages list of contacts, comedy etc.
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.