A DECADE ON FROM
NEWBURY WHATS CHANGED?
Remember when we were
young and had flowers in our hair? Dig out yer climbing harness
and dust off yer silly name 'cos this weekend there's a reunion
to commemorate a decade since the beginning of the 'Third Battle
Of Newbury' - the biggest road protest of the lot (See SchNEWS
56 to 66
and wonder where
all those years went).
Newbury bypass was a £101 million, 13km trail of destruction
which saw the felling of 10,000 trees, trashed 3 Sites of Special
Scientific Interests, damaging the habitat of numerous animals and
destroying the last remaining colony of the Desmoulin Whorf snail.
If that wasn't enough it also ruined twelve archaeological sites,
including two civil war battle sites and an ancient stone-age settlement.
Occupied for nearly two years, the eviction became an 85 day battle
which involved 29 camps along the route with hundreds of treehouses.
Over 700 arrests were made, and the security bill topped £1.5million.
Thousands of bailiffs and police were defied. Although this road
was eventually built, the resistance put up along with that at many
other sites around the country caused the government to shelve its
£23 billion road programme.
The first Reunion
Rampage, a year after the final eviction, ended with a mass
site invasion and the torching of caravans and machines belonging
to the contractors (for more see SchNEWS 103).
There will be a gathering
and demonstration this Saturday (7th) at 2pm meeting at Middle Oak
(A4/A34 junction), followed by a candle lit vigil at Donnington
Castle. Bring everything you will need from camping gear to food.
For more info contact 07963 648762.
Now Back To The Future...
Protest camps stopping
a road cutting through Dalkeith Country Park face imminent
eviction. Today (Fri 6th Jan) there is a safety meeting between
bailiffs and protesters at the Dalkeith Park protest site, near
Edinburgh (See SchNEWS 522). The eviction
company (Richard Turner, who gained infamy at Newbury and Stanworth
Valley for providing climbers to evict tree dwellers) have come
up from Wales and could be eager to start work - the protesters
fear that the site could get 48 hours notice making next Monday
an eviction red alert day. In early December several protest camps
were set up along the proposed route of the northern bypass cutting
through the middle of the 850 acre park, and there was a reprieve
because Conservation laws protected trees with bats entered their
hibernating season. Despite this more trees were cut, turning a
blind eye to the bats. Camps are protecting further damage and urgently
need more people - this could be a matter of days not weeks. Site
mobile 07743 495582 and see www.save-dalkeith-park.org.uk
* Also in Scotland, JAM74
- stopping the building of the M74 northern extension - a 6 lane
motorway on concrete stilts - which is to cut straight through Glasgow's
southern suburbs, and recently won the 'Pock Award' for worst planning
decision of the year. (See SchNEWS 501
for more) Donations are currently needed to mount a legal challenge
to the Scottish Executive www.jam74.org.
* Bilston Glen
camp is going into its fifth year - protecting an ancient SSSI woodland
just south of Edinburgh they want to re-route the A701 road through.
For more see www.bilstonglen-abs.org.uk
* Camp Bling protest
camp was set up in opposition to a road being built on Priory Park
in Southend, Essex. It's now heading for its fourth month. As part
of their campaign to stop the F5 (A127/A1159) road scheme, activists
have constructed and occupied a tree camp right in the heart of
town (See SchNEWS 519). Road work starts
this year and eviction could be pending as soon as the council get
enough dosh. A visitors centre is being planned for people to check
out the site. Informal meetings with Parklife on third Wednesday
of month starting 18th January 7.30pm upstairs at The Spread Eagle,
Victoria Avenue, Prittlewell. The first of regular informal meetings
with Parklife. Camp Bling line 07817 182394 www.savepriorypark.org
Meanwhile over in
Holland, there is an expected eviction on Monday 9th Jan as
a protest camp with treehouses and tunnels faces up to 1000 military
and police in the Schinveld Forest in south east Holland near Maastricht.
The camp - under the banner of GroenFront! (Dutch Earth First) -
was set up on December 4th to protect six hectares of woodland being
flattened to be used by NATO for AWACS military radar planes to
land. GroenFront! are urging people to get there - but bring everything
you'll need. www.groenfront.nl.
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For heckling, by heck......
No sooner had the words
Hooray for the lesser of two evils left their mouths
when 3 hecklers at a John Kerry rally in California felt the long
arm of the law on their shoulders. Grabbed by local secret service
men, the 3 young men are being charged with trespassing, resisting
arrest and assaulting a cop. All this for just shouting a slogan.
Imagine if they had thrown a pie at the fucker. The case has been
going on for well over a year now (with one guy on remand for the
entire time) but a hearing to have the charges dropped is due this
All hands on deck
as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Societys flagship the Farley
Mowat pursues the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica.
Together with two ships from Greenpeace, the Esperanza and
the Arctic Sunrise, they initially made contact with the
Japanese factory ship the Nisshin Maru on Christmas Day.
The factory ship fled the area and any attempts to continue whaling
have been shut down. Sea Shepherds Captain Paul Watson has
vowed a showdown, promising to do everything we can with the
resources at our disposal to shut down their illegal slaughter of
these gentle and intelligent creatures. Despite reports in
the Guardian, Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd have not rammed each other
- (Get yer facts right Jon!)
Despite pretences of
abiding by an international ban on commercial whaling, the Japanese
continue to slaughter over a thousand whales including endangered
fin and humpback whales every year, under a program of scientific
whaling. Meaningless tests are carried out on a selection of the
whales and the meat is openly sold commercially. The five ship fleet
is currently inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary around Antarctica.
The Japanese fleet
will have to be wary of every iceberg they see from here on in.
We may be hiding behind one of them ready to ambush the bandits
as they pass by, said Captain Paul Watson. We intend
to make this dangerous ground for whalers. We intend to enforce
Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society has long been in the forefront of marine mammal protection,
ramming and sinking whaling ships since the eighties. Check em
out on www.seashepherd.org
So it looks as if
the government is hell bent on constructing a third runway at Heathrow.
In Gordon Browns pre-Budget report heavy hints were dropped
about the need to build the third runway regardless of its environmental
impact. The government is talking about streamlining
the planning process i.e smoothing over any little local difficulties
caused by those whose lives are gonna be made a misery as the worlds
busiest skies just get a third noisier.
Activists and local community
groups have already begun a direct action campaign to halt aviation
industry and government plans for expansion. Late last year a team
of Earth First! protestors disrupted the worlds biggest aviation
industry conference in London, (see SchNEWS
522) using rape alarms attached to helium balloons. Meanwhile,
airline industry bosses required a police escort to attend a gala
dinner on Tower Bridge walkways as residents from HACAN Clearskies
and No Third Runway Action Group (NOTRAG) joined to
protest against expansion plans. Transport Secretary Alistair Darling
copped a pie in the face from an Earth First! activist at the launch
of industry lobby group, Future Heathrow. (Sorry about
One activist explained,
The lines are drawn. The government is showing a blatant disregard
over the dangers of climate change by flying in the face of the
scientists warnings, and pushing ahead with plans for airport
expansion. Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change
and they wont succeed without a fight. Let the battle commence.
or jet off to www.earthfirst.org.uk
has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment, for admitting causing
just $5,000 damage to a McDonalds. Send letters of support
to Christopher McIntosh 30512-013 c/o FDC Seatac Federal Detention
Center, P.O. BOX 13900, Seattle, WA 98198, USA
- 12 Indian tribal
people and one policeman were killed on Monday after police
opened fire on crowds demonstrating against a planned steel works.
The demonstrations are part of the continuing resistance against
the industralisation of their tribal land in Orissa state (see
SchNEWS 499). The day after the shooting,
hundreds blocked a main road in Orissa state, bringing traffic
to a standstill. In a statement, the tribespeople said they would
not give up a square inch of land. See www.survival-international.org
- Interested in getting
involved in the Camp for Climate Action happening this
summer? Theres a planning meeting in Manchester next Saturday
(14th) Manchester Environmental Resource Centre, Bridge 5 Mill,
22 Beswick St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 7HR www.climatecamp.org.uk
- Banish those winter
blues with a noise demo at EDO MBM next Tuesday 10th January
at EDO MBM, Home Farm Rd Brighton, meeting at Moulescoomb station
at 4pm. www.smashedo.org.uk
- National demonstatration
for the British residents in Guantanamo Bay. Sat 21st January,
12 noon. Tothill St, London nr St Jamess Park tube. See
Fancy making a late New
Years resolution to set up a standing order for SchNEWS? We
are really skint and even a schquid a month would really help us
out. Or if youre
feeling flush why not make a one off donation thru paypal? Details
Not content with owning
the media, bribing politicians and pasting propaganda on our every
street corner, greedy corporations are now busy setting up fake
Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to give a more benevolent
and activist image to their activities. Although there
are more than 10,000 lobbyists in Brussels, big business has decided
that activism is the best way to put their side of the story across!
Take the Campaign for Creativity (CFC). Theyve
just won an award from the Corporate Europe Observatory for being
the Worst Lobby firm in Europe. Thats because CFC are in reality
a front organisation for a multinational software industry which
is determined to maintain a monopolistic grip on our computers,
wiping out any competition in the process.
CFC lobbies to persuade
Members of the European Parliament to vote for software patents.
Intellectual Property theft is everywhere warns their
website, Music. Design. Filmmaking. Software Development.
Inventions. Branded Products. Fashion. - its all being
faked and its just not fair to the people who invent things,
especially such useful and profitable things such as Microsofts
Windows operating system. Software used to be covered by copyright,
but company bosses want patents because they provide much stronger
protection. That makes it much harder to use existing software to
provide free open source alternatives to corporate crap
CFC is run by Campbell
Gentry, a London-based public affairs firm whose boss is one Simon
Gentry. Hes usually obtaining biotech patents for the likes
of SmithKline Beecham, but has clearly seen how much cash software
firms are willing to splash out to keep their share of the market.
His colleague, lobbying veteran Daniel Guéguen, told reporters
that in the future we will tend to adopt ever tougher lobbying
strategies that will probably involve practices such as manipulation,
destabilisation or disinformation. SchNEWS reckons the futures
already here, but see what you think of the blag by visiting www.campaignforcreativity.org
and get the low down on corporate propaganda at www.corporateeurope.org.
* Global Exchange have
just produced a report the Most Wanted Corporate Human Rights
Violators of 2005 www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/corporateHRviolators.html
have been trying out techniques that infiltrate CCTV cameras
after the government there have passed a law to allow their installation
in public places without a court order. The activist group Quintessenz
have disrupted the cameras using devices such as balloons and lasers
in their determination to avoid the big brother phenomenon which
is ever-present in Britain.
The UK is the most-watched
nation in the world, with more than 4 million surveillance cameras
monitoring our every move - in a city such as London, people can
expect to be monitored by CCTV cameras up to 300 times a day. And
this is only the start. After 25 years of development the government
are set to install a new national surveillance network that will
track the movements of cars by number plate, and information on
journeys made will be stored for years. Face recognition by camera
is also in the pipeline, as The Home Office Scientific Development
Branch in Hertfordshire is currently working on ways of automatically
recognising human faces by computer. Heres looking at you
* For more info on the
use of anti-surveillance devices www.naimark.net/projects/zap/howto.html
* For more on Quintessenz
if you read German (or translate on your search engine).
Ah, the New Year!
Time for New Labour to turn over a new leaf? Er, no, dont
be stupid. (Big) Business as usual of course. And theres
no business bigger than the arms trade... Take for example the recently
announced multi-billion pound deal for BAE Systems to supply Saudi
Arabia with Typhoon fighter jets. Lets see how the deal might fit
into the UKs own rules on arms dealing.
The rules prohibit any
sales which might unbalance regional peace and stability, and restrict
deals involving countries which disrespect human rights and international
law, or engage in excessive military spending.
Saudi Arabia continues to arm itself massively against Israel; military
build-up in the Arabian peninsula is a further strain on the shaky
peace efforts in the Middle East. Strike one.
Last year Amnesty International
reported an escalation of the already dire human rights situation
in the country, with increased killings by Saudi security
forces, and routine arrests and torture of political dissidents.
Saudi Arabian military
spending from 1997-2003 was the highest in the Middle East, consuming
an average 11% of its GDP (five times that of the UK and over 3
times that of the USA). And youre out!
A perfect fit (up) then.
So how did BAE get the go-ahead for this? And whilst The Serious
Farce Office is also investigating BAE for operating a £60m
slush fund for Saudi officials involved in Britains
previous major arms deal with the regime. Who could guess? New year,
old New Labour.
Its not too late
do something - see The Campaign
Against Arms Trade www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/
Having been temporarily
evicted just before Christmas, on December 29th the squatters reoccupied
Tonys café (No.34) in Hackneys Broadway Market
(see SchNEWS 523), the site of a ongoing
community struggle against gentrification. Whilst the property was
vacant the developers henchman managed to knock down some
of the building but undeterred, the spirited protesters have begun
an ambitious rebuilding scheme, and claim to be planning to create
as fast as the wreckers destroy. As of January 4th they are still
there but face another imminent eviction attempt and urgently need
as many bodies as possible to go down and help out. Anyone with
building skills, or who can provide tables, bedding, food and gas
heaters or anything else useful will be especially welcome - theyll
even come and pick stuff up if you cant make it.
For more see http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org
Tel: 07939 333 465 / 07940 814 170 or look it up in the A-Z and
Two cops protecting a nuclear waste convoy ended up fighting
and threatening each other with arrest at an anti-nuclear demo in
Germany recently. Apparently a special conflict management
policeman wanted to stop another copper from moving in on
protesters because it was very crowded. They started arguing until
the conflict management cop hit the other guy on his
helmet. A fight ensued and was only broken up when a local female
protester held the arm of one of the policemen and calmed things
down. Luckily most protestors are more experienced in conflict management
than the boys in blue. SchNEWS hopes this trend catches on in a
burst of unashamed capitalism (well slightly ashamed) we want
you to buy our new DVD!! Featuring the best of this years short
SchMOVIES, including EDO, DSEI, G8, and loads of extras. All
in high definition, but not THX sound. Thrills, spills and coppers
aplenty. Place your orders now, out 14th of January. Buy this
for £6 inc p+p at www.schnews.org.uk/schmovies
and keep SchNEWS free.
SchNEWS warns all readers - just resolve not to let them break
your resolution. Honest!
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