| Friday 20th
October 2006 | Issue
WAKE UP! IT'S YER PAGE
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
around the Clock | And The Peat Goes On
| Space Invaders | Homeland
Insecurity | SchNEWS in Brief | Wheels
Of Justice | Positive SchNEWS | Black
Book Bloc | Inside SchNEWS | The
Goon Show | ...and
around the Clock
WE SIZE UP THE CRAP ARREST-O-THON OF THE YEAR AT FASLANE 365
Even in far Northern Britain, anti-nuclear action is a world
wide affair, as demonstrated by the arrests of 23 Swedes and 19
Finns who made up the bulk of the 42 people nicked at last Monday's
Faslane 365 demo (see SchNEWS 562) at
the nuclear weapons base in Scotland.
Despite all the heavy-handedness, cops would probably have felt
a bit more chuffed about nicking almost two thirds of the total
number of demonstrators there, were it not for the fact they'd
spent so long trying to clear access to the base. It would appear
that the same nation that wowed the world with sturdy cars and
well-made furniture also makes top grade tubes for lock-ons! Cops
spent two and a half hours cutting people away from the north gate
whilst the tripod lock-on made a welcome return and police struggled
to reopen the south gate for more than three hours.
Protesters were nicked for breach of the peace, held for more
than 30 hours and then released with a warning letter. Things got
a bit tighter for one protester as he found himself nicked for
attempting to pervert the course of justice when he nipped off
for a pee in a nearby wood. Unfortunately for our bustin' hero, police
wouldn't let him finish what he'd started and he had
to cross his legs for another three hours!
The action was part of the Faslane 365 campaign - a year long 'relay
blockade' of the nuclear base on the river Clyde. As UK plc
prepares to splash out another £76 billion building new
bombs, its own breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty risks pushing
the world into another potentially deadly arms race. Between now
and Christmas loads of different groups have planned dozens of
actions that are sure to keep cops busy and the bomb builders out
of their place of work.
The first few days of action saw a 90-strong
Women in Black blockade. A couple of days later the baton was passed
to activists from Sheffield and North Derbyshire who did a little
bit of locking on themselves, with another 12 arrestees being given
sternly written letters warning them off doing any blockading in
future. On Sunday, a physician was arrested as he joined members
of the Assynt Peace Group from Sutherland in another demo, and
the next day a Welsh grandmother was nicked for chaining herself
to the north gate causing a three-mile traffic jam.
So far protesters
are just getting written reminders from cops about how naughty
they've been, but how long this 'leniency' will
last in the face of such determined protests remains to be seen.
Keep an eye on our Faslane365in365-ometer - will the cops
get an average above one arrest a day for a whole year!? Special
SchNEWS prize for the 365th arrestee!
* For more see www.faslane365.org
THE PEAT GOES ON
SchNEWS gets its hands dirty and fingers burnt in the climate
So what on earth do bogs, moors, muskegs, mires and tropical swamp
forests all have in common? Yep, the clue was in the question -
they're made of good old peat that's what. The rich
soily stuff forms from layers of decayed organic matter. Under
the right conditions it is an early stage of the coal forming process.
And all that means that it's packed full of carbon, which
as nearly everyone (!) now knows causes major hassles for the climate
when it gets rudely and massively released at the hands of unthinking
humans. You might be surprised to learn that the carbon stored
in global peat is the equivalent of 100 years of fossil fuel emissions
at current rates.
If you're thinking of boggy Ireland and the swampy Florida
Everglades as typical examples of peatlands, and guessing that
there must be loads of inaccessible places where the peat is left
largely undisturbed, you'd be right. Only 7% of the world's
peatland has been exploited and yet the effects of it have already
caused measurable problems for the environment.
So how does the world's peat every get its carbon released?
Well, for example over 60% of the world's tropical peat is
in one place: Indonesia. There, and across South-East Asia, huge
greenhouse gas emissions are caused annually as forests and peatlands
are deliberately torched, largely to make way for enormous oil
palm plantations and acacia plantations. These produce palm oil,
timber and paper, plenty of which heads straight for the European
market. The destruction has accelerated recently because Europe
has started importing vast amounts of palm oil for biodiesel and
also for biomass to burn in power stations.
And quite aside from
the environmental concerns, all this resource exploitation has
also lead to the usual capitalist vices: local farmers are evicted
and forced into barely arable natural areas, there are massive
human rights abuses and an estimated 30% of children under five
in the peatland areas suffer from respiratory diseases and associated
growth retardation because of the fires.
Overall this flaming mess
is responsible for carbon emissions of a not-so-cool 1 billion
tonnes a year - a heavyweight contributor
when you consider that the Kyoto Protocol only aims to reduce total
global emissions by around 188 million tonnes per year from 1990
levels. This underlines just how woeful a response to climate change
the global governance game has come up with. The emissions they
encourage and allow in Indonesia alone would take several Kyoto's
to negate. And the real irony is that the industries responsible
for all the destruction are getting large amounts of their funding
through the crazy carbon credit competition bonanza (See SchNEWS
311), the so-called 'Clean Development Mechanism' transfers
under that same Kyoto Protocol.
One report claims that the 1997
emissions from Indonesia may well have exceeded total emissions
from any other country, including the US. Gee, that's some
real great pollutin there, especially when you remember that California
is the world's 4th largest
total polluter on its own. And as South East Asia continues to
burn and slash, with others like Malaysia and Brunei joining the
party, the climate is doubly threatened as not only does peat destruction
release massive quantities of carbon, it also destroys one of the
planet's most important carbon sinks, meaning less other
CO2 emissions can be absorbed by the biosphere.
This all means
that peat should be the word on everyone's
lips - but over here more people are concerned about the
latest crises in the world of Pete and Moss. While receiving little
press, the situation is now so alarming to informed climate campaigners
that they have organised into new groups to try and raise awareness
- and do what their governments are failing to do for all humanities
sake. One of these is the new Biofuelwatch, which is distributing
an urgent action alert at www.climateark.org as well as a campaign
to stop Npower from profiting from cleverly fulfilling their mandated 'Renewables
Obligation' by just burning palm oil from Indonesian and
* The squatted theatre in Dalston Lane, Hackney, is in danger
of eviction as the council has got permission to demolish the building
from this week. The theatre is used as a community centre since
occupation began in February. There is a general call-out for support
now. For more see http://opendalston.blogspot.com
* Queens Market,
in Upton Park - London's most multi-ethnic
market - is threatened with destruction as part of 'renewals' for
the 2012 London Olympics - which include building 240 executive
apartments on the site. Residents from the borough of Newham are
protesting against the loss of the market with a march and samba
carnival - all welcome - from Plashet Park along Green St
to the market, at 11am on October 28th. The protest will be directed
at St Modwen, the developers, to pull out - as ASDA did four
months ago under public pressure. Nearest tube East Ham and Upton
Park. For more details call 07956 649696 or see www.friendsofqueensmarket.org.uk
The Stockton Heath Primary School - is a large,
listed Edwardian red-brick school in Warrington threatened with
replacement by a new concrete job knocked up on the cheap - as
well as 400 new homes on the land waved through by a dodgy council
deal. This is part of the Govt's £17.5 billion 'Building
Schools for the Future' programme which aims to 'renew' all
secondary schools in the UK over the next 10-15 years - which
will see half of current schools demolished in quick-buck PFI projects.
A local pressure group is fighting the plan, and needs to raise £1million
to refurbish the current building see www.savestocktonheath.co.uk
White House just refuses to be intimidated by international human-rights
standards as Puppet No.1, G.W. Bush, signs into law the Military
Commissions Act. Back in June, the Supreme Court ruled that the
military tribunals set up to prosecute detainees at Guantanamo
Bay violated both US and international law. The tribunals avoided
inconveniences like habeas corpus (the right of a detainee to challenge
their detention) as the Bush Junta sought to extract guilty verdicts
whether or not the accused had committed any crime. They reckon
the way to get a confession is through a little bit of prison rough
and tumble and, Abu Ghraib aside, Amnesty has documented many cases
of secret detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
the Act as "one of the most important pieces
of legislation in the War on Terror™" Dubbya gave himself
the right to imprison anyone indefinitely and to determine what
constitutes unacceptable interrogation techniques. Meanwhile those
US officials who tortured detainees captured before the end of
2005 will be immune from prosecution and US courts will be prohibited
from using "foreign or international law" when deciding
on the guilt of CIA and Army interrogators who stand accused of
White House Inc.
can't wait to take some revenge for 9/11
ahead of the Congressional and Presidential elections. First up
for a lethal injection will be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged
mastermind of the attacks. The US defence department has another
10 detainees who are ready to be processed by the tribunals and
the are preparing to charge about 65 more. No doubt where 'tough
interrogation' fails to extract a confession, the tribunals
will pick up the slack, ready to deliver a guilty plea on the flimsiest
of evidence not even disclosed to the accused beforehand. Bush
told an audience gathered for the signing ceremony that the act
will show that the US "is patient and decent and fair," -
no doubt the thousands of detainees held in secret US prisons will
beg to differ.
- 28th October: No Borders Day School, 'Migration, Borders
and Racism' - £ Free, 11am-5pm at Community Base,
Brighton. Kids welcome.
- 29 Oct will see an "Unauthorised" 24-hour
peace camp in Parliament Square to demand an end to the
Iraq occupation. Join the likes of Maya Evans and Milan Rai and
assemble 12 noon, Parliament Square.
- Never apologise they say, but
subsequent to our recent article about restriction of press in
Nottingham (See SchNEWS 563) a check of the Clean Neighbourhoods
and Environment Act 2005, has revealed that the Council has no
power to ban political protest (they'll just have to extend
SOCPA for that). It states no permission is required to hand
out leaflets where the distribution is for political purposes
or for the purposes of a religion or belief. The streets of Notts
are still free for ideological warfare - for now...
WHEELS OF JUSTICE
The Fairford Coach saga moves to the House Of Lords on 23-25th
October when the Lords hear the case of the protesters who, on 22nd
March 2003, were in coaches bound for RAF Fairford to protest against
the beginning of the invasion on Iraq, but were detained by police,
searched, and made to return to London. (See SchNEWS
477). The 120 protesters have yet to receive an apology or compensation
for the detainment. For more info contact Jane Laporte on 07817
483 167 or Jesse Schust on 0781 458 7361 or see web site www.fairfordcoachaction.org.uk
An eco-friendly Australian company is launching a new, 100% biodegradable
material with the potential to replace a large number of plastics.
Called Zelfo, the petro-chemical free material is made using recycled
natural fibres, such as hemp, sugar cane, waste paper and textiles.
The treated fibres can then be spray moulded to produce all the
sexy rounded one-piece shapes plastic designers know and lust after.
The resultant product is stronger and lighter than many plastics,
with wood-like properties meaning it can easily take nails and
screws etc. While we of course need to cut down on unnecessary
consumption, things will always need to be made and maybe this
is the stuff to make them from... See for yourself at www.zelfoaustralia.com
BLACK BOOK BLOC
This weekend is the 26th Anarchist Bookfair. As usual it will
be chocka with 80 stalls, talks, films, discussions, and more,
featuring the full gamut of groups on the libertarian side of politics
tackling issues like climate change, ID Cards, asylum seeker support,
worker solidarity, anti-fascism, and feminism, as well as stalls
by the main alternative media crews, and purveyors of anarchist
literature and paraphernalia. It'll be a pick 'n' mix
buffet of information with an impossibly packed schedule. Talks
and discussions will be going on all day across the spectrum from
animals rights, the effect of the 2012 Olympics, the 2007 DSEI
Arms Fair, NHS Privatisation, Residents Groups and the Co-op Movement
through to theoretical talks about anarchism, class struggle and
But it's not all deadly serious as there will also be a
live comedy cabaret, London Class War will be discussing proposed
celebrations for Thatcher's death, and yer SchNEWS will be
screening the latest 'SchMOVIES' from 12 noon. Food
and creche provided. Saturday 21st October at The Resource Centre,
356 Holloway Rd, London, N7 10am-6pm, tube: Holloway Rd. For more
* Make sure you're well brewed up with a ready bail address
by four at the latest for the annual scuffle with the police (for
more see last year's SchNEWS 518).
A saboteur working in medical research
has become the first to be convicted under new SOCPA laws designed
to protect the animal experiments industry from animal rights activists. Joseph Harris,
a cancer research scientist, was given 3 years in a Nottingham
court last month for damaging property belonging to three businesses
with contracts to Huntington Life Sciences (HLS), the UK's
biggest animal experiments laboratory.
Harris, who is a published pancreatic cancer doctor, was disgusted
by the pressure his colleagues were putting on him to perform animal
experiments. A girlfriend left him when she found out what his
job involved. He finally decided to fight back and waged a one-man
campaign against firms he knew supplied HLS with vital equipment.
Offices were flooded, computers smashed and warnings left on walls
as Harris left a trail of damage to the tune of £25,000 around
Cambridgeshire last year. * If anyone knows this guy (or you are
he!) and would like him to go on our Prisoner support list, let
* For more see www.alfsg.org.uk
* For more on SOCPA see SchNEWS 483
THE GOON SHOW
Surprised it's been a bit quiet lately on the new 'screw
civil liberties' law front? Panic over, Neo-Labour have recently
published a draft Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill with new
powers being given to bailiffs (for the first time ever) to force
an entry into yer home. Currently when the hired goon squad come
round for some polite, non-intimidatory debt renegotiation (!),
no seizure of possessions can be had without first getting the
to enter. In response to this, bailiffs tried 'Walking Possession
they would look through a window to see what you had and make a
note of what was worth selling. But without a legal way inside,
it was not all easy loot for them or their pals in the booming
Now though, if plans work out, they'll be
able to smash their way in, use force against the occupiers if 'necessary' and
strip your house bare - including taking pets, so keep that
pedigree puss well hidden! You'll then get oh, about £100
knocked off your bill - depreciation and costs mate, innit?
Although the proposed law exposes everyone to the unaccountable
actions of bullet-headed bozos in bomber jackets, it will ultimately
hit the poorest the hardest. There's more than £1.2
trillion worth of debt out there, but it's the people who
are borrowing just to survive that struggle the most and end up
in court. Then there's the problems that'll be caused
by pumped-up bailiffs forcing entry to premises where the debtor
is no longer living - goons
just never seem to understand the word 'no' do they...
still, good news for the loan sharks and the high street bankers
who will soon benefit from access to a nice supply of cheap second
hand consumables. Lovely jubbly! For more see www.lag.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=91691
There was a flurry of media-o-critique this week as Universities
hit back over Government plans asking them to carry out surveillance
on Muslim students and report findings back to Special Branch.
Uni spokesman Prof Drummond 'bass to the' Bone warned
of the "dangers in targeting one particular group within
our diverse communities." Seeking to deliver fairness in
education, Neo Labour are presumably now busy redrafting the plans
to get every student spied on equally - Well any of 'em could
be a potential white supremacist / anarchist / Yardie / Triad /
Basque separatist/ East European gang-member / Irish Republican
/ Mafioso or hard line vegan...
SchNEWS warns all readers...next time you visit
a bog don't let off any unwanted emmissions. Honest!
free short films produced by SchNEWS, or order a copy of the new
SchMOVIES 2005 DVD only £6 incl. p&p. Click
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