| Friday 14th July 2006 | Issue
WAKE UP! IT'S YER
Disorder | Smash EDO Demo | Party
& Protest | Titnore open Day | SchNEWS
in Brief | Czar Trekkers | Backs
To The Wall | ...and finally...
As the G8 prepare to meet this week in Russia amid
acrimony, with the topic of energy and who controls it high on the
agenda, SchNEWS looks at the new global bi-polar disorder
Just five years ago it looked as if the march of western corporations
was unstoppable. Under the auspices of the Bretton Woods institutions
(IMF, World Bank etc), backed by the threat of military intervention
by the worlds only superpower, western capitalists were setting
the agenda in no uncertain terms. Theorists concurred that US power
would define the 21st century. On the right Francis Fukuyama foretold
The End of History while on the left Negri nodded knowingly
Like a school playground where the resident bully has just lost
a fight, the world geo-political scene is in ferment. The Jenga
tower of US imperialism has not fallen but it is tottering and other
hands now reach for the pieces. The neo-cons must be considering
renaming the Project for a New American Century the Project for
a New American Decade (or maybe the New American one night stand).
Dick Cheney set the agenda for the new world order back in the
90s, saying, Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence
of a new rival. This is a dominant consideration underlying the
new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to
prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources
would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global
The ensuing neo-conservative global assault did not just include
the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan but saw an attempt to push US
power into the backyards of both Russia and China. The lilypad
doctrine has seen US airbases built across the hydrocarbon rich
regions of Central Asia. US-sponsored Orange revolutions
have taken place in Georgia and the Ukraine, in what amounted to
a public happy-slapping of Putin by Bush. The Ukraine has the only
warm-water port for Russias black sea fleet. NATO under US
guidance has expanded relentlessly into the Baltic -in 2004, 7 more
countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia
and Slovenia joined NATO. Another area of contention is the Caucasus.
The US having successfully brought Georgia into its camp is focusing
on other small nations in the region. Control of oil in this region,
and the pipelines going through it, is of vital importance to the
US. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, having substantial reserves of oil,
are going to be flash points. Kazakhstan is particularly important
since it borders both China and Russia and is the main launching
pad for nearly all of the Russian space vehicles.
Pride comes before a fall How can the rulers of a country
with a mere 260 million population (no matter how well resourced)
really hope to achieve that kind of global domination? We know all
about the G8, the WTO and the IMF (see most of SchNEWS 1999-2002)
but although these institutions still hold power, they are gradually
being diminished as forums for the simple bulldozing through of
US-led corporate imperialism. The US is increasingly demonstrating
its inability to project global power with boots on the ground.
Alarmed by Uncle Sams swagger and the robber-baron excesses
of the G8 economies, the rest of the world has begun discreetly
ganging up. The so-called G21 group of countries (headed up by India
and Brazil) wrought havoc on the G8s plans at the last round
of WTO talks. The G8 itself is riven by splits and NATO was unwilling
to follow the US into the Iraq war.
The possibility of a major power-bloc stand off is developing as
the China-Russia axis is strengthened. The Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation, which held its fifth annual meeting in June, developed
from the so-called Shanghai Five (no, really!) Russia, China, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This grouping was created in 1996, allegedly
to address the three evils of terrorism, separatism
(all these countries are threatened with internal break up mostly
from Islamic separatists) and narcotics. In 2001 the group admitted
Uzbekistan and signed the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO). In the same year Russia and China signed the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness
and Friendly Cooperation (which probably tells you all you need
to know about the mutual suspicion this project was born in). In
2004 Mongolia was admitted as an observer and in 2005 Iran, India
and Pakistan received their observer status. Last year also saw
joint Russia/China military manoeuvres. The US has been outright
refused observer or member status.
SCO could evolve from a regional economic and security pact into
something else. If the observer states were to actually join the
SCO, it would be one of the most powerful organisations in the world.
Russia and Iran combined would have more energy reserves and production
capacity than any other nations on Earth. It would represent over
2 billion people. Economically it would have the energy resources
of Russia, Iran and caucuses plus the manufacturing might of the
Chinese and burgeoning economy of India. With the Russian space/military
industrial complex it would be a formidable world power. SCO represents
the coming together many of the worlds resource rich nations
with China, which seems to have an insatiable appetite for more
oil and gas to feed its rapidly expanding economy. It is conceivable
that at some future date, Russia and Kazakhstan might choose, either
for strategic or economic reasons, to export the bulk of their oil
and gas eastward to China, rather than westward to Europe. This
is not a foregone conclusion by any means and the US is doing everything
in its power (such as signing new nuclear technology deals with
India) to break up the alliance.
However the growth of this new power nexus has already seen the
Stars and Stripes snubbed more than once. Uzbekistans dictator
recently gave US troops their marching orders while Kyrgyzstan took
the opportunity to put the rent on their bases up a hundredfold!
Even Israel, the USs primary client state, has begun cosying
up to China with $3bn annual trade, joint agricultural projects
and, most significantly, advanced military technology of US origin.
The whole Caucasus is being dragged through a hegemony backwards,
playing both sides against one another in classic Cold War style.
The crisis over Irans attempts to develop nuclear power and
North Koreas letting off of fireworks at the back of the classroom
point to a potentially dramatic shift in global politics. Put simply,
as both Russia and China are likely to veto any Security Council
sanctions against Iran over the nuclear issue, this leaves the US
with the option of going it alone with military action or doing
nothing. Superpower bloc relations are a game of stud poker, with
some cards clearly exposed and others only bluffed or hinted at.
While the G8 may be obviously showing a strong hand on the table,
it may be the countries of SCO with their rich share of energy
resources, massive supply of cheap labour, undeveloped resources,
minimal civil liberties and firm state control are the ones
holding the pocket aces as time for the big showdown gets nearer.
Of course, ultimately whether these power games get resolved as
a third world war, a peaceful slide into a new world order or a
new cold war of multiple superpowers, any of these outcomes completely
fail to deal with the biggies facing the state of human civilisations
on earth climate change and peak oil and other resource scarcity.
With countries like China, India and Russia set to make current
energy and resource demands look tame, not only will this help put
climate change catastrophes into a j-curve, but as resources
particularly oil get scarce, there will be increasingly desperate
grabs for supplies as the resource wars hot up.
As the ancient Chinese curse has it May you live in interesting
Horror Of War Demo next Wednesday - with creative
ways of showing bomb component manufacturers EDO MBM the true
horror of war. July 19th, 4-6pm, Outside EDO-MBM, Home Farm
* Also every Wednesday 4-6pm there are regular Noise Demonstrations
* For more info see www.smashedo.org.uk
- JULY: 15 - International Protest Day for the end of Guantánamo
Bay. With protests happening all over the world, there will
be a demonstration in London, at Marble Arch at 12pm, going onto
the US Embassy at Grosvenor Sq. For more see www.cageprisoners.com
- Justice For Omar Deghayes - a resident of Brighton of
Libyan descent who has been in Guantánamo Bay for three
years. A group from Brighton will be joining the protest at Marble
Arch, London, 12pm (see entry above). Contact Jackie 07796 478
421 web www.save-omar.org.uk
- 15 - Latin America: Social movements fight back
Radical Activist Network conference, supported by War on Want,
featuring Oscar Olivera, the spokesperson for the Coalition in
Defence of Water and Life, Bolivia and many more, also workshops
and sessions, 1pm to 7pm, University of London Union, 3rd floor,
Malet Street, London WC1, £2/donation see www.radicalactivist.net/latinamerica
- 21 - International Protest Camp in Iceland. A series
of gigantic dams is already under construction at Kárahnjúkar
in the eastern highlands of Iceland, designated solely to generate
energy for one massive ALCOA aluminium smelter to be built by
war-profiteers Bechtel in the beautiful fjord of Reydarfjördur.
This will not generate power for domestic use, and the natural
habitat of many rare and endangered plants and animals will be
destroyed. It is still not too late! Join the protest gathering
in Iceland for more see www.savingiceland.org
- 22 - Come to the monthly Unity protest outside the Home
Office Immigration Centre, Brand Street, Glasgow in solidarity
with families who are forced to report there. Unity are a new
growing union of asylum seekers fighting for greater rights. For
more details contact: The UNITY Centre, 30 Ibrox Street, Glasgow,
G51 1AQ. Tel: 0141 427 7992 email@example.com
Titnore Woods protest camp in the woods west of Worthing,
Sussex is having an open day this Saturday, July 15th, from
12 noon. Featuring workshops on bender making, camp cookery
and other practical skills, as well as a talk on anarchism,
the philosophical basis of the direct action movement. The
tree camp - into its seventh week - was set up to halt
the proposed 875-home estate, road widening and associated
Tesco supermarket (See SchNEWS 547).
* For directions to the camp see:
SchNEWS In Brief
- A No-Borders camp is happenning in Gorizia, north-east
Italy on the Slovenian border from 19th-23rd July. Camping will
be near the Clandestino Social Centre and the week-long event
will focus on a nearby Detention Centre. For more see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/07/344585.html
- Two people were arrested outside the gates of Downing Street
on Sunday under the much-abused Serious Organised Crime Act
(SOCPA - see SchNEWS 515). They were
holding up placards, which now makes them Serious Organised Criminals
in the Mets funny little world. Last month, one of the pair was
similarly nicked for having a placard with a quote from George
Orwell on it. For more on SOCPA and its implications, see
- Block the Builders were up early on Tuesday, dancing
and singing on the roads leading into the new Orion laser facility
at the Aldermaston Weapons Establishment in Berkshire. Cops put
a section 14 in place, banning any protest, but after the main
entrance was blockaded for up to one hour, ten were arrested.
As the G8 Summit starts in St Petersburg, the authorities
have already begun stamping down on the protests, and doing all
it can to stop the influx of national and international trouble
makers (for background see SchNEWS 549).
In the build up to the Summit there have already been over 200
arrests, as well as house searches, checks and searches on the street,
and more across Russia. Two Russian anarchists have been sentenced
to ten days detention for endangering public order and safety
- for purchasing gas masks and carrying G8 flyers in their pockets.
Last Sunday three were arrested from a flat with two Germans
later being given ten day detention for urinating in public,
while the third, a Siberian, was arrested in his underpants. He
was not given clothes during his arrest and ended up being taken
to hospital due to circulation problems his is yet to be
sentenced. The flat was searched and three more arrested in connection
This Monday, the Legal Team in Moscow was searched by FSB (Russian
intelligence service), who entered the building by introducing themselves
as neighbours claiming that the flat below was flooding. In Samara,
seven activists had their flats raided with computers and paper
confiscated, apparently related to an anti-militarism action in
Samara on February 23rd and all those involved have court
summonses on July 14th a day of protest. Also on Monday six
travelling from Omsk to St Petersburg were taken off the train accused
of carrying dangerous objects and have been out
of contact since. On Tuesday seven were arrested and face 15 days
of arrest for a demo in St Petersburg against the import of nuclear
waste. The list goes on.
The Russian Social Forum the usual-style liberal summit-protest
umbrella group - were planning a mass demonstration on the Friday,
which has been banned, as are all other protests. Reports are the
city centre of St Petersburg is crawling with cops in the build-up,
but despite this, many are undaunted by the scare stories and will
be out on the street when the flotillas of military helicopters
drop off the G8 puppet leaders and entourages of yes-men this weekend.
* Not many groups from the UK have made it over there apart
from the up-for-it Gwent Anarchists who have a blog see www.welshanarchosinrussia.blogspot.com
* Dont be surprised if the news of protests gets silenced
or black-listed look at these other information sources to
find out whats really going on... http://int.ru.indymedia.org
TO THE WALL
As Israel fights a war on two fronts in Gaza and Lebanon,
peaceful resistance to the occupation conducted by Palestinians,
Israelis and internationals continues
On July 6th, three families from the village of Bilin moved
into empty apartments built on land the village owns in the Matityahu
East settlement, west of Israels apartheid barrier in the
West Bank. The Israeli military has declared the whole area a closed
military zone until the 8th of July. The families intend to actually
live in the apartments, and more are set to follow. This will make
a statement about their rights to the land and act as a direct,
non-violent challenge to the apartheid of the Israeli state. Matityahu
East was built illegally on land belonging to the Palestinian village
This bold move by Bilin villagers has put the state of Israel
to a test. The Police and Military have done nothing to stop Jewish
settlers creating facts on the ground in defiance of the Israeli
Supreme Court. Yet when Palestinian villagers, legally taking up
residence on their own land try to move in, they use military orders
in an attempt to prevent them.
The apartheid barrier under construction runs through Bilin,
and separates the village from substantial parts of its land, including
the portion on which Matityahu East was built. Although in public
Israel claims that the route of the wall there is purely for security
reasons, the route accommodates planned future expansion of the
settlement, exactly following the settlement master-plan.
Izbet Tabib is a small village of 300 inhabitants near Qalqiliya.
The residents of the village are all recognized as refugees (by
UNRWA) but the village is not recognized as a refugee camp. In fact,
it is not recognized at all by the Israeli government which has
issued demolition orders for most of the buildings in the village.
This small village has been assaulted by the Israeli occupation
in ways which would have destroyed much larger communities. Much
of its lands were taken by the wall, basic infrastructure such as
a connection to the electric grid and permanent roofs for buildings
is denied and most recently, the main exit from the village was
blocked by an earth mound.
The mere existence of Izbet Tabib is a continuing act of resistance
in the form of Tsumud. The village is now calling on Israelis to
join it on Saturday July 15th to demonstrate against the wall and
the closure of the road and to continue the construction of the
villages kindergarten in defiance of the building restrictions.
For more info on action against the occupation see:
Who said SUV drivers are all tossers, driving tanks which
do ten miles-per-gallon for personal transport and to hell with
the planet? For one Eddie Griffin in Minneapolis, merely driving
a Cadillac Escalade SUV with a DVD player mounted on the dashboard
didnt make him enough of a jerk-off.
Recently he had his come-uppance during a wobbly night drunk behind
the wheel, when he crashed his SUV. But, because Eddie was so virile
and could hold his drink, it wasnt the booze that caused the
Witnesses claim that at the time of the accident, he
was driving while masturbating to pornography playing on the DVD.
They say that men cant multi-task.
We hear that as a safety precaution Cadillac is going to start
replacing drivers side air-bags with blow-up dolls for such emergencies.
SchNEWS warns all readers... Confucius says He
who will not economise will have to agonise. Honest!
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