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

SchNEWS This Time Last Year


SchNEWS 534, 4th March, 2006
YOU'RE HAVING A L.A.R.R-F - Last rites for Parliament under new Bill? The proposed Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill aims to do away with Parliament! Also, more British troops in Afghanistan, Pro Test dummies, EDO victory demo report, and to name but a few.

SchNEWS 533, 24th Feb, 2006
MoD PLC Neo Labour have quit hiding behind PFI and PPP and started with all out privatisation, starting with the MoD!!! Also anti Tesco protest camp, anti shell protest, peat extraction company targeted and more.

SchNEWS 532, 17th Feb, 2006
LATIN SWINGERS A round up of the political situation in Latin America. Also local market under threatr in London, NCADC funding crisis, Faslane update, Congo's forgotten war and more.

SchNEWS 531, 10th Feb, 2006
MISSILE DEFIANCE EDO MBM's attempt to get an injunction that would have made any meaningful protest against them illegal has fallen apart. Also, censorship in USA, squatters attacked by police in Barcelona and more.

SchNEWS 530, 3rd February, 2006
CHARITY BALLS The Government are pushing for yet more privatisation, but this time they're flogging them to charities, how could anyone complain about that? Also Hamas' victory in Palestine, GM cotton in Mali, Argentinian workers fight back and more.

SchNEWS 529, 27th January, 2006
A swimming pool is squatted in Bristol as part of a fight to protect public spaces. Also road protest camps continue, anti-ASBO protest news, ID Cards, winter Olympics and more.

SchNEWS 528, 20th January, 2006 JAILHOUSE SHOCK An article sent to SchNEWS by long term prisoner John Bowden about racist abuse by prison guards. And more...

SchNEWS 527, 13th January, 2006 HACKED OFF Locals in Hackney fight gentrification by squatting a cafe that's being threatened with demolition. Also a look at Tory Bliar's "Respect Agenda" and more.

SchNEWS 526, 6th January, 2006
CARRY ON CAMPING At the ten year anniversary of the Newbury Bypass protest we look at some of the current anti-roads battles. Plus stopping Japanese whalers, third runway at Heathrow, BAE in sales to Saudi Arabia shocker and more.

SchNEWS 525, 16th Dec, 2005
INSIDE JOB Profiteering from cheap labour in UK prisons - as Neo Labour's privatised prisons become another 'outsourcing' option for big business including Tesco's, Sainsburys, Dysons and more. Plus - Bedfordshire council evict travellers during funeral, Irish ship workers strike, and protests against Coca-Cola in India.

SchNEWS 524, 9th December, 2005 HONG KONG PHOOEY New WTO trade talks shindig, in Hong Kong this time promises wealth, happiness and great sex for everyone forever. However, judging by previous evidence the rich'll get richer and the poor will stay poor. Also Libraries under threat, Burma's screwed, Yarl's Wood is a disgrace and more.

SchNEWS 523, 2nd December, 2005 AMIR-ACLE Iranian man who has been living in Brighton while seeking asylum has avoided deportation thanks to grassroots support from the community. Also St Agnes Place evicted, housing sold off in Hackney and more.

SchNEWS 522, 25th Nov, 2005
OVER-REACTING Neo Labour are at it again. This time they're dressing up nuclear energy as the only environmentally friendly energy option for the future. Also anti-nuclear protests in Germany, squatters advice and more.

SchNEWS 521, 18th Nov, 2005
VIOLENCE IN COURT Round Three in the ongoing court battle between anti-arms trade activists and Brighton bomb-builders EDO MBM, which saw the Attorney General's office launching into the battle like a laser-guided legal missile, as a top barrister was dispatched to pull EDO MBM's fat out of the fire.

SchNEWS 520, 11th Nov, 2005
DELTA FORCE It's 10 years since Ken Saro-Wiwa was fitted up and hanged by the Nigerian Government after highlighting the devastating effects of Shell-BP's oil projects. Also FTTA meeting in Argentina provokes riots, more riots in France, asylum seeker family evicted and more.

SchNEWS 519, 4th November, 2005
IRAN-MONGERS US and UK leaders start their all too well known sabre rattling because the Iranian President said what he always says. A lead up to war? Also road protest news, travellers being harassed as usual and more.

SchNEWS 518, 28th October, 2005 FREEDOM.CON The Freedom to Protest conference in London brought together people from campaigns from all over the country. Meanshile, back on the ranch, anti-arms protesters are up in the High Court, asylum seekers are being deported to countries known for torture. And more...

SchNEWS 517, 21st October, 2005
UNDER THE KNIFE The government are privatising public services right, right and centre to allow their corporate buddies to make cash out of our misfuortunes. Meanwhile intellectual property is privatised and we're off to the Anarchist Bookfair and the Freedom to Protest Conference.

The EDO Trial episode in "Dixon of Sussex Constabulary" ends with a freeze-frame feelgood moment...
click here for a larger image

Home | Friday 10th March 2006 | Issue 535



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Story Links: Pigs Might Lie | You Write The Articles | Spanish Inquisition | Yank My Food Chain | Jock Block | Heebie GPs | An Eye For An Eye | Inside SchNEWS | In SHAC-kles | Reading Festival | In Briefs | Soya Source | ...and finally...


Sussex police have shot themselves in the foot with unerring aim again after charges against eight activists accused of public order offences were dropped. The charges related to a mass demo outside the Brighton HQ of bomb-builders EDO MBM on May 31st last year, with three of the defendants up for the “Go directly to jail” offence of ‘assault police’, and others for Section 5 and obstruction of the Highway.

The charges were formally dropped on Thursday afternoon, and a CPS statement on the decision claimed that as the injunction had now effectively collapsed it was ‘no longer in the public interest’ to continue the prosecutions. However, as two activists are still being prosecuted for alleged breaches of the injunction that just doesn’t add up.


Campaigners suspect that the real reason is to be found closer to the collapse of the case against three protestors accused of holding an ‘illegal assembly’ outside the factory. There, the district judge ordered the removal of Public Interest Immunity from police evidence. Police radio logs from the day would have been read out in open court. Rather than do that, the prosecution dropped the charges halfway through the case. What can have been so sensitive about that information? Andrew Beckett, spokesman for the campaign, is in no doubt: “The police simply do not want their dishonesty and willingness to make unlawful arrests examined even in the limited forum of court.”

May 31st was the first mass demo outside the factory since the exclusion zone had been imposed by the interim injunction. Around 120 activists arrived at the factory to be confronted with an equally large number of police. Prior to this all demos outside the factory had been entirely peaceful.

The first arrests were made as a police line pushed the crowd towards a steep drop on to a railway line (since declared unsafe by Sussex police themselves!). In a provocative move, the first arrest was of eighty-year-old civil rights celebrity John Catt who was dragged to the ground by four police officers for having the insolence to step off a grass verge. Next up for a free trip to Hollingbury nick was his daughter, and co-incidentally a solicitor who ended up getting charged with assaulting the police. As the crowd resisted this attack, six more arrests were made. Police were seen to be deliberately targeting prominent activists from the campaign.

The number of arrests was later used to bolster the case for an injunction in the High Court (See SchNEWS 492). The fact the police made eight arrests was used as evidence for the violence of protesters!

Following the collapse of the injunction (See SchNEWS 531), ‘Naming of the dead’ and V-for-Victory demonstrations have been held and the pressure on EDO to get out of Brighton for good is growing.

Get yerselves along to the next one, a ‘Citizen’s weapons inspection’ on the anniversary of the war, March 21st at 4pm. See for more


Think that SchNEWS is written by a team of cracked professionals?

Well it’s not, so why not DIY and come and have a go yerself. We are after writers, editors, webheads, cartoonists, tea-makers, pun-smiths, film-makers, fire-starters, bmx bandits, refuseniks and er filing clerks... no ‘experience’ needed.

We are everywhere but we’re not all over the place - so if you’ve got your ear to ground and have an idea for a story from around the country/world (unless it’s about 9/11 conspiracies or the Knights Templar) - send it into us and make the SchNEWS!

Phone or email the SchNEWS office now! (And while we’re at it - we’re still skint and welcome donations.)

Download SchMOVIES double bill EDO special feature. Visit


Following up on our story about life for europunk squatters caught up with corrupt policing on the tough streets of Barcelona (See SchNEWS 531). Allegations surround a brick thrown at a policeman from a squatted city centre barrio, and our correspondent updates us on the case...

Of the nine people arrested on February 4th, six were released shortly thereafter, all pending trial for minor charges, including the two people who were arrested in hospital and, on the day in question, had not been anywhere near Sant Pere Mes Baix where the alleged assault took place. Their only fault was falling off of their bicycles, going to hospital for their injuries, and looking like squatters - and still the State has not dropped the charges.

Three are still in jail, Rodrigo, Alex and Juan. Rodrigo and Alex are both being charged with attempted manslaughter for supposedly throwing a rock - which was handily never found, and oddly enough, there are no rocks or paving stones of any type directly near the scene of the “crime”. Juan, who was beaten so badly by police that he lost consciousness even before the copper was injured, is facing charges of attempted assault against authority. Rodrigo and Juan are both under 25 and are being held in a youth prison just outside Barcelona. Alex is being held in the Modelo, the main Barcelona adult lock-up.

Although in stable condition now, all three were heavily tortured during the first 72 hours of their arrests, suffering broken bones, bruises and concussions from multiple and repeated blows, the denial of food and water, and constant violence and psychological intimidation. The State is using the South American nationality of all three as an excuse to deny bail, which in any normal case would have already been given. The judge involved is claming that due to their immigrant status, the three pose a flight risk and so cannot be let out... ignoring the fact that all three are legal Spanish residents and have lived here for many years, and so have friends, work, school and other things to tie them there.

The political side of it is even more nasty. The mayor has changed his story three times and the council are pushing the new “improved” version. It now appears that directly after they were arrested and taken away, not only did the police not evict the party, they let it continue, returning 12 hours later to peacefully evict the place without detaining anyone inside for questioning. Instead they focused their aggression on people coming and going out of the Forat and Metges, a very politically active neighbouring squat. As well as this, two neighbours videotaped police activity directly after the incident (the ambulance for the policeman is still sitting on the street during the filming).

The video clearly shows the police have cordoned off the street and are instructing the Barcelona cleaning crews to clean the street as usual, handily cleaning away anything that could have later been used for evidence. As far as witnesses go it is also looking bad, as any neighbours who actually saw anything (and there are more than a few who we have talked to) are too scared to testify - no surprise, given the heavy police state that has settled over the barrio since the incident took place. Many political squats in the centre suffered harsh harassment and brutality for the first two weeks after the incident, and although things
seemed to have calmed down a bit more recently, everyone is still very tense...

We’ve organised an international day of action for the 31st of March, asking anyone and everyone who can to organise something outside their local Spanish embassy or consulate on that day - and we still need people who can run info nights or parties or benefits both inside and outside of Spain to raise money for the case.

* For further info and to help with fundraising, contact

* To donate use this bank account: La Caixa, Account number: 2100-3002-01-2105267123, IBAN: ES66, BIC/SWIFT: CaixesBBXXX


Guess what? The US government is just as subservient to big business at home as it is abroad. This week Congress is busy trying to push through the H.R. 4167 bill that would remove people’s rights to know what is in their food. The House of Representatives votes this Friday on a controversial “national food uniformity” labelling law, which will take away local government and states’ power to require food-safety labels on foods or beverages that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning. This bill will also prevent citizens in local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients such as Monsanto’s recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone be labelled. (For more on rBGH, a good place to start is

Naturally it’s agribusiness’s big bucks that are pushing the legislation and bollocks to the side effects.


A campaign has been launched to save historic parts of central Edinburgh. Property developers Mountgrange Property plan to demolish sound social housing and listed buildings in a World Heritage Site in order to build… (no, not luxury flats but) more hotels. SOOT (Save our old town) are leading the resistance and have submitted their own visionary alternative development plan. For more visit SOOT on the web at

Heebie GPs

The government’s sell-out health reforms were challenged this week as a judge suspended the signing of a contract that would hand over a GP surgery to a multinational corporation.

The judgement of March 6th means that United Health Europe, the British arm of America’s biggest healthcare corporation, will now have to face a legal challenge before taking over a practice in Derbyshire. The government’s recent health white paper set out plans to open up primary care to the market by encouraging private companies to run GP surgeries and allowing them control of commissioning budgets for patient care.

But in one of the first cases where the policy has been tried it has met strong opposition. Pam Smith, a local councillor, started legal proceedings when she learned that North East Derbyshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) had selected United Health as its ‘preferred bidder’ to run the Creswell Primary Care Centre, despite the company having no experience of providing GP services to the NHS and no doctors and nurses in place. (Why should that hold them back?!)

Ms Smith is seeking a judicial review on the grounds that the PCT failed to consult the public on what is a significant change to the way health services are provided. The decision means the contract cannot proceed until a judge rules on the case. See for more.

An Eye For An Eye

150 activists demonstrated outside the Kiria army base in Tel Aviv last Saturday (25th) in response to the violence of the Israeli Defense Force and the police in anti-apartheid wall demonstrations. Protests have been sparked by the shooting of 17-year-old Anarchists Against The Wall member and army refusenik, Matan Cohen. Matan was shot in the face with a rubber bullet at an anti-wall demo the previous day and may lose the use of his eye. Four protesters were arrested and beaten by the police. AATW is now demanding an immediate investigation into “the use of unnecessary force by the security forces on activists”. In 2003, AATW activist Gil Na’amati was shot in the leg by security forces while protesting against the wall in the village of Mas’ha. Na’amati and an American protester were shot and wounded while trying to cut though a section of the apartheid fence. After a lengthy investigation, none of the soldiers or commanders involved in the shooting were prosecuted.

* See also


Two more American environmentalists have recently been arrested and charged with involvement in an Earth Liberation Front (ELF) arson attack on Jefferson Poplar Tree Farm, in May 2001.

The latest detainees are Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher. Like the four others who have been charged, Nathan and Joyanna are facing fifteen separate charges: Thirteen charges of arson (one charge for each vehicle and building damaged by fire), one charge of attempted arson (against the offices of Jefferson Poplar Tree Farm) and one “Use of a Destructive Device”. Whilst the first 14 charges each carry a sentencing range of 5-20 years, the last one carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years which can not be served concurrently with any other sentence. This means all the defendants are staring down the barrel of very big gun. Please send urgent letters of support to: Nathan Fraser Block #36359-086, FDC SeaTac, P.O. Box 13900, Seattle WA 98198, USA and Joyanna Zacher #703794, Multnomah County Inverness Jail, 11540 NE Inverness Dr., Portland OR 97220, USA

For all the latest on this case (and others) and for links to the individual defendants support campaigns, check out North American Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network site at

In SHAC-kles

A US jury declared six SHAC animal rights activists guilty this week of using their website to incite attacks on the operations of animal testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences (See SchNEWS 456). They now face jail time of up to 23 years and hefty fines. Five of the six are now being held without bail until sentencing. Outside court, new SHAC USA president Pam Ferdin said the verdict was an attack on free speech and that, “Anyone who writes anything in an email or on a website is being treated like we’re in a fascist state.” Welcome to the 21st century, Pam. More about the case at


Over 100 students occupied Sussex University Library overnight on Wednesday in protest against the continued ‘corporatisation and degradation’ of the University’s standards. Clown workshops, film showings, hide and seek, a naked space and even reading took place. One long haired deviant told SchNEWS, “As students we are turning our words into action; as students we demand the university to do the same. Education the world over is under attack through privatisation and corporatisation: prioritising profit over the right to free education. From Bogota to Paris, from Acacpulco to Aylesbury our struggle at Sussex University is global.”

SchNEWS in brief

  • London has a new infoshop - The Square, 21 Russell Square open Tue- Fri 12 - 4pm.
  • There will be a ‘No Borders’ Gathering at The Square this weekend (11-12th) and a No Borders benefit happening tonight at the same venue
  • More Rough Music radio shenanigans on Radio 4A 101.4 FM (and online at This Sunday (11th) at 1pm.
  • Peak Oil and the Capitalist System. Talk organized by the London Anarchist Forum this Saturday (11th) 2:30pm @ Autonomy Club, Freedom Press, Angel Alley. 84b Whitechapel High St, London E1
  • Next Thursday (16th) Fairtrade & Big Business - Is it a perfect blend? 7.30pm Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton 01273 678447
  • The UK’s Health and Safety Executive is abandoning its duty to protect workers, in a drive to become ‘business-friendly.’ Read all about it in ‘Total Suck Up’, a new report by The Hazards Campaign.
  • Milan Rai will finally be in court for ‘organising an unauthorised demonstration’ (See SchNEWS 518) next Thursday (16th) at Bow St Magistrates Court at 2pm. Supporters very welcome!
  • Shepton Mallet anti-Tescos camp is still going strong (See SchNEWS 534), but with eviction imminent help is urgently needed to build defences. Call 0775 6970472. Download new SchMOVIE about it at:


When Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – a one time shoeshine boy – was voted as president of Brazil in 2002, for many it was a moment where the tide turned for social justice in Latin America and against neo-liberalism. But like most realists, and anarchists who believe that it is power which corrupts even the most well-intentioned politician, here at SchNEWS towers we didn’t hold our breath waiting for Lula do all the things he said he would when he got into power.

And guess what, he didn’t: Brazilian indigenous organisations claim that since Lula has been president, violence against Indians has increased, health has deteriorated and child deaths from starvation have hit record levels.

And now this week, as Lula swans into London to be courted by Buckingham Palace and do deals with business leaders eager to dip their snouts into Brazil’s overflowing trough, another Amazon tribe is losing its land to plantations of soya beans – fed to cows here for yer beefburgers. Around 75% of soya beans consumed in the UK come from Brazil.

The Enawene Nawe people’s land in Mato Grosso state is being cleared as state governor and soya baron Blairo Maggi – one of the world’s largest soya producers – moves in with more plantations as well as hydroelectric dams and other agro-business infrastructure. Blairo is lobbying the Brazilian govt to not recognise indigenous rights to the land.

For more see

...and finally...

Just when you thought it was safe to back into the water: the backroom boys at the Pentagon are extending the plan for global US hegemony right down to the seabed- with remote controlled sharks. What could be more sinister than a CIA hitman with a dorsal fin? Boffins working on the Black-ops cyber sharks hope to manipulate them with brain implants turning them into remotely controlled spies….or killers. Unfortunately it’s not satire this week - Project Robo-Jaws is currently being funded by the US Defence Department.


SchNEWS warns all readers... the quality will go down until you start writing for us. Honest!

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