1st September 2006 |
WAKE UP! IT'S YER HANDS IN THE AIR...
New World? | Crap Arrest Of The Week |
Titnore Woods Alert | Draxis Of Evil
| SchNEWS In Brief | Party & Protest
| Gutter Press | Fortress Europe
| ...and finally...
PRISONERS AS RIOT COPS GATECRASH FREE PARTY
Uninvited guests in
the shape of the riot squad crashed a free party in Chesterford,
Essex over the bank holiday weekend. All was going well for
the 1,000 or so twinkle-eyed party-goers until the Saturday, when
hundreds of cops from five different forces surrounded a sound system
and waded into the crowd with truncheons swinging. Some indignant
punters defended themselves with sticks and, showing their commitment
to preventing climate change, burnt out a cop car. Police claim
the revellers acted disgracefully, going so far as to
attack police dogs. Any one whos been faced with
a police dog will doubt the likelihood of anyone being daft enough
to attack one, no matter how many drugs theyve taken (not
that the pills are any good any more!)
Contrary to reports in
the tabloid rags it was heavy handed police that kicked off all
the violence and eyewitnesses report seeing police beating and injuring
dangerous threats such as young girls and people chilling on the
floor. Out came the CS gas and many revellers Saturday night
out ended with bruises after a battering, and a few severe bites
from police dogs which had been let off their leads into the chaos.
A number of police and ravers were hospitalised and 34 arrests were
made, but this was just the most brutal in a series of busts over
the weekend. In Gloucester, cops used batons and CS gas to attack
and shut down another small party in a business park. Farmland in
Cornwall was sealed off as cops heard wild rumours that a vicious
and deadly party was to be held there.
All this repression harks
back to the (not so rose-tinted) cat-and-mouse days of the early
90s, when tens of thousands of ravers engaged in a weekly battle
of wits with the authorities. The Criminal Justice Act was meant
to be the final nail in the coffin of the rave culture but as last
weekends events prove, outdoor partying aint going nowhere
- despite the pub and clubs getting ever later licences. Free parties
with loud music and ever-willing dancers are going on up and down
the country every weekend. The mainstream media imagines, because
the Old Bill have stepped up the baton practice and got more busts
in lately (overtime drive anyone?), that this indicates some kind
of resurgence of rave rave meaning
that tabloid catch-all middle England-threatening brainwashing-cult-stealing-our-kids
invention all of its own.
In fact, shortly after
the smiley-faced* Acid House craze, (way back in the last century)
rave mutated and eventually splintered in to many sub-genres,
all with their own dress codes, drug choices and attitudes. The
truly large scale parties of the early 90s might not have been repeated.
However, large numbers of people who like a bit of uncomplicated
partying to their preferred choice of repetitive beats have helped
build up a regular rota of successful events all over the country,
all year round. What has changed is the numbers of people these
raves now attract smaller groups of mates with
their own sound systems, sometimes teaming up with others here and
there to provide their own entertainment outside of the corporate
sector. As usual, its just taken a while for the media big
boys to catch on.
Cue a headrush of editorials
and feature pieces, as tired hacks (like us) attempt to reclaim
their youth and analyse the current scene. The London
Evening Standard even points the finger at your dear old SchNEWS,
as one of the radical orchestrators of the new rave
movement just cos we had a listing for the Chesterford
bash on our website (Cheers for the pukka plug, though).
Recent events would
seem to suggest that the police may now be turning their attention
back to the dangerous subversives who see dancing in a field as
having a good time, rather than the dangerous, illegal and possibly
terrorist activity it really is. And in keeping with their general
crackdown remit the cops are prepared to use whatever
force they fancy to remain the countrys top party poopers
(handy training for the riot boys dontchaknow). Its
handy then, for the media to be full of the frightening rave resurgence
stuff, helping build up another straw man which may legitimise an
even heavier clampdown by police well theyve got to
protect the terrified vulnerable public from this evil drug-fueled,
rioting menace, havent they? For one forum site supporting
DIY partying, see www.squatjuice.com
* Sign of the times:
appropriating ol Smiley for surveillance-Britains You
are on CCTV signs oh how they mustve all had
a such a laugh at that one.
Arrest Of The Week
For failing to trespass.
A peace activist got herself nicked this week, outside the premises
of Carmel Agrexco (importers of fruit from illegal settlements in
the Occupied Territories). How? She was dragged on to the factory
forecourt by an irate copper and then nicked for aggravated trespass!
Whilst down the station, the cops found a banner saying Carmel
Agrexico profits from apartheid and began a discussion on
whether this a racially motivated offence thus inventing
the new crime of racially aggravated aggravated trespass. Wary of
this legal minefield the plod released her four hours later.
Meanwhile on the same
action, those who had actually gone to the effort of d-locking themselves
by the neck to fence panels in front of the main entrance found
cops refusing to make arrests. It seems that Carmel Agrexco are
a little dubious about the legality of their actions and are anxious
to avoid any more embarrassing court cases (see SchNEWS
529). Theres just never an arresting officer around when
you need one...
For more about this action
at Carmel Agrexco see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/08/349439.html
WOODS EVICTION ALERT
Camp Titnore lost
its High Court appeal on Tuesday August 29, despite the efforts
of the Advisory
Service for Squatters. The camp could now be evicted at any
time, and Wednesday and Thursday this week saw an increasing number
of uniformed and plain-clothed visitors come to lurk around near
the camp, clearly set on intimidation, with bits of machinery and
equipment being spotted moving around the area. With chopper coppers
hovering above, it seems the preparation for an attempted eviction
is hotting up. Camp residents are urgently calling out for anybody
who can get down there over the weekend to do so. The more people
who make the effort to help, the longer they can keep occupying
the woods and prevent their destruction.
The involvement of Tesco
in the whole building 875 new houses in a greenfield site ignoring
the thousands of local empty houses needing-renovation scheme
is, of course, well known but further evidence of their leading
role has come to light. The eviction is apparently to be handled
by the same two firms used by Tesco in its eviction of the Shepton
Mallet anti-Tesco protest site, and camp residents were suprised
to find that their legal eviction papers turned up in special plastic
bags marked Tesco! Well every little hurts...
* By the way, the bailiffs
(who refused a meeting with campers to discuss safety issues) are
Sherforce, based in Braintree, Essex. Tel 0845 890 9205, email email@example.com,
just in case you were wondering...
For directions to the
camp, see SchNEWS 546 or www.protectourwoodland.co.uk
a power station isnt enough to stop climate change but its
a start. - spokeswoman for climate camp protesters.
Big up to the 600 or
so residing at the Camp For Climate Action, on a squatted site set
against the backdrop of the Drax power stations enormous cooling
towers in north Yorkshire (See SchNEWS 546).
Drax, the biggest the coal fired power station in Europe kicks out
a massive 7% of the UKs megawatts and emits as much CO2 as
a quarter of Britains vehicle fleet.
Initially the site was
eviction-proofed with a two-storey tripod, allowing the swift development
of a mini eco-village, complete with compost bogs and grey water
system, solar and wind power and kitchens. During the week there
have been 160 workshops, including planning and training for Thursdays
On Tuesday, activists
from climate change pressure group Reclaim Power blockaded Hartlepool
nuclear power station, in Teesside, for ten hours. Locking on they
successfully obstructed both main and rear entrances, unfurling
a large banner with the words No More. See www.reclaimpower.org.uk
On the same day a group of cyclists took off to the Selby town centre,
where they held bike repair workshops and distributed leaflets.
Thursday was the advertised
day of mass action at Drax Power station. Making an early start,
several activists broke into the station and occupied a lightning
tower all day. The majority of activists were met with a huge police
presence drafted in from across the country in eerie echoes of the
miners strike. People from the camp formed into different groups,
including a Kids Bloc and obligatory Samba Band, who then converged
on the police who were busy keeping everyone off the plants
premises. Much noise-making, banner waving and locking-on ensued,
with protesters reporting reasonable treatment from local cops and
(surprise, surprise) over-aggressive reactions from the London Met
posse drafted in. At least 38 arrests were made (8 for criminal
damage and 5 for aggravated trespass) and eagle-eyed police also
confiscated a giant ostrich - the camps mascot. Allegedly
the Trojan bird was packed full of equipment useful for locking
on - another great plan gone to seed.
The camp goes on until
Sept the 4th - for more info and directions see www.climatecamp.org.uk
SchNEWS in brief
* The Mildenhall
Peace Camp, which was set up at the Suffolk airbase as it was
used to transport weapons for Israelis in the attacks on Lebanon
(see SchNEWS 556) has been closed after
a month. They are urging all to come to nearby RAF Lakenheath on
October 1st for a big day of action at the main gate against the
air-base used to store US nuclear weapons for more see www.lakenheathaction.org
to SchNEWS writer Ade and his partner Karen on the
birth of their boy Camillo on August 31st.
* Firefighters in
Merseyside have begun an eight day strike against £3.5
million in cuts. However because of Army commitments in Iraq and
Afghanistan, there will be no military back-up. This is just one
of many strikes in Liverpool this summer for more see http://liverpool.indymedia.org.uk
* RIP Ady Fox,
well known protester from Fairmile protest camp and one of the last
people in trees at Newbury, sadly died last week. For more info
on the memorial being arranged email Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org
Party & Protest
Sept 3rd - Northampton
Green Festival - A free afternoon chilling in the park with
music, eco-friendly kids rides and free craft activities, vegan/vege
food etc. 12 noon -6pm, Abington Park, Northampton, free entry,
two week trial begins for Paul Milling and Margaret Jones
charged with damaging military equipment at RAF Fairford
during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with a maximum sentence of
10 years if found guilty (See SchNEWS 557).
There will be a peace vigil on Sept 4th, the first day of the trial
at Bristol Crown Court at 9am. For more info email email@example.com
or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bristolsocialforum
6th - Say NO to racism
and fascism in Barking and Dagenham a protest from 5.30pm
onwards outside Barking & Dagenham council meeting. Since Mays
local elections, the BNP gained 12 council seats the highest
number in the country, and there has been a rise in the number of
racist attacks in the borough. Barking Town Hall, Clockhouse Avenue,
IG11 7LU Nearest train/tube: Barking. For more email firstname.lastname@example.org
launch of Faslane 365, a year long peaceful blockade of the
Faslane Trident nuclear submarine base which will start on October
1st, 2006. This protest will be officially launched with a civic
reception hosted by Ewan Aitken, leader of Edinburgh City Council,
plus representatives from the different peace groups involved. The
aim is to close the base and prevent the UK Govt from committing
£25 billion to replace the Trident nuclear warheads. 9-10am,
Edinburgh City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ. For more
call 07733360955, web www.faslane365.org
of action are planned for the 1st and 15th September, in support
of the Saving Iceland campaign, working to protect parts of pristine
Icelandic wilderness been spoiled by ALCOA smelting works (See SchNEWS
487, 506). For more see www.savingiceland.org
Four wheels good, Two
wheels bad - at least thats the verdict from Telford Magistrates
Court who found cyclist Daniel Cadden guilty of Inconsiderate
Riding. He got fined £100 with £200 costs just
cos he cycled home on a road as opposed to a parallel cycle
path on the far side of a dual carriageway. The state of the local
cycle network is appalling, with broken surfaces, glass and debris
littering the poorly marked out lanes, which, as any rider with
experience of yer average cycle network will know, then
bizarrely stop or have gaps in for you to figure out how to cross
major intersections or roundabouts unprotected.
Daniel was stopped by
police on the B5072, who maintained that the juggernauts thundering
past him would be forced over the unbroken white line
between the carriageway and thus illegal. They told him he should
be riding in the gutter the space between the kerb and lane
marking, less than 1m wide which they incorrectly told him
was a cycle lane.
When the case went to
court, the plod admitted under cross-examination that it would have
been impossible to overtake Cadden without contravening the double
white lines no matter where he had ridden, even in the gutter
so they changed tack and insisted that as Cadden had the choice
of a cycle route he should not have ridden on the road at all. The
judge then ruled in their favour, ignoring all arguments regarding
the condition of the cycle path or the fact that inconvenience to
any drivers was extremely minor considering the major junction only
¼ mile down the road.
The case is being supported
by the CTCs Cyclists Defence Fund, an independent charity
who fight for bikers rights on the road and help those needing a
hard shoulder to cry on after falling fall of our biased car-friendly
laws. An appeal is likely, and donations to the cause are welcome.
Titnore woods is just
one small battle amongst many fighting the corporate interests that
want to strip our planet of trees. Over in Belgium, a forest is
being destroyed to enable the expansion of Antwerp airport and in
protest against this, action group GroenFront!
(Belgian/Dutch EarthFirst!) have taken to the tree houses around
the former World War I Fortress in Borsbeek, and despite three weeks
of initial logging, resistance remains strong, but theres
an urgent call out for help. The forest is home to a habitat of
endangered bats, but according to officials, the clear cutting of
the oaks in question is nothing more than a case of much needed
forest maintenance. Over the past few weeks though,
activists have been delaying the forest maintenance
significantly by chaining themselves to barricades or the logging
machinery and by occupying trees using walkways, platforms and swings.
Not content with trees
being dangerously felled only a few metres from protesters, health
and safety concious cops joined in with pepper spray, and only backed
off after the media took an interest in the aggressive tactics.
Early on, the same cops got a bit excited when an activist dropped
a hammer from a tree house and nicked them for attempted manslaughter.
On 1st September, the
International Civil Aviation Organisation will determine whether
Antwerp airport is safe and, if there are still trees
standing, the airport could potentialy lose its permit to operate
medium sized jet aircraft! So more people are be needed urgently
to help build more barricades, walkways and treehouses and of course
to occupy them during the coming weeks.
Details on how to get
there and what to take at https://ssl.direkte-aktie.net/cms/groenfront.php?itemid=496
All those continual carbon
emissions belching out of Drax Power Plant have apparently gone
to the head of one particular farmer in the area, who went out his
of way literally to crush the protests. While driving
his tractor, he attempted to run over protesters on Thursday during
the action at the plant in two separate incidents. In the first
he drove straight at a group of protesters and a samba band, while
shouting abuse at them. They were forced to take sharp evasive action,
before police shouted at the man to desist. Not content
with that, he later roared up to the main gate of the power station,
and bypassed police lines to charge at the Kids Bloc protesters.
After failing to stop as the police waved him down, they eventually
managed to stop the tractor by jumping into the cab, disarming him
of a hockey stick he was brandishing, and punching him until he
was covered in blood on the ground.
It was only then that
protesters noticed that the police were on first name terms with
him and his dog! It turns out the coppers were using his
farm to park their vehicles. Although the man was arrested, the
hockey stick was thrown back into the tractor as opposed
to being used as evidence of violent conduct while protesters
had cooking utensils confiscated as possible weapons during searches.
He was taken away without being handcuffed, but its not yet
known what hes been charged with - if indeed anything at all,
cos he might just tell em to get orf moy laand...
warns all readers - always dance like nobodys watching. Honest!
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