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

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SchNEWS 574,
2nd February, 2007

SOIL OF THE CENTURY A round up of allotment issues including why they're good and why the Olympics is bad. Also updates on Brian Haw and SOCPA generally, Faslane and more.

SchNEWS 573, 26th January, 2007 ON THE SOCIAL
A look at what's ahead for SchNEWS in 2007 with a new office in Brighton's autonomous social centre. Also details of other social centres and alternative media news around the country and news on a protest squat near Oxford, Guantanamo Bay protests and more.

SchNEWS 572, 8th December, 2006
MARKET FORCES If you're disgusted about the British army still having 7,000 in Iraq, what do you think about there also being 50,000 private military and 'security' mercenaries there? Also a Faslane 365 updated on the week Tory Bliar announced support for replacing Trident and loads of other news.

SchNEWS 571, 1st December, 2006 GET ME OUT OF HERE Detained asylum seekers in Harmondsworth Detention Centre rioted this week after being denied access to TV news stories about an Inspectorate's report on conditions there. Also Israeli fruit and veg exporter blockaded, updates on Oaxaca Mexico and more.

SchNEWS 570, 24th Nov, 2006
Kiss Of Debt It’s Buy Nothing Day this Saturday (25th November), but with £1,300,000,000,000 of consumer debt in the UK, it would appear that the zombies in the malls aren’t listening. So here's a bit of info on debt and credit and all that. Also G20 protests in Australia, loads of protest and protest dates, Canadians take on the arms traders and Leonardo De Caprio.

SchNEWS 569, 17th Nov, 2006
Save The Wales Protesters occupy part of a gas pipeline site in Wales, stopping work and getting the media spotlight shone on the project. Also conscientious objection in Turkey, Shell still suck shocker, Yes Men at it again and more.

SchNEWS 568, 10th Nov, 2006
Goin' Under Last weekend was the International Day of Action Against Climate Change. Some of the biggest protests were in Australia where climate change is already painfully apparent. Also Israel's new boot boy, a Faslane update and more.

SchNEWS 567, 3rd November, 2006 TACO HELL
3,500 police backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters retook control of the Mexican city of Oaxaca on Sunday (29th) following five months of occupation by striking teachers and other activists. Also camping carry-on, pagan party poopers and more.

SchNEWS 566, 27th October, 2006 Hamas-ive Attack An update on the situation in the occupied territories of Palestine where the people suffer from the consequences of The Wests sanctions as well as the ongoing Israeli military presence. Also Hungary, Starbucks, Brian Haw and more.

SchNEWS 565, 20th October, 2006 Loch Around The Clock Faslane 365 gets off to a running start with lots of fun and games, notching up 76 arrests in 19 days. Also the effects of clearing peat lands for palm oil plantations on climate change, new opressive laws on UK and USA, gentrification continues in London and more.

SchNEWS 564, 13th October, 2006
SchNEWS digs the dirt on resistance to the GM / Biotech takeover. Also massive over policing of Parliament Square protest, anti Shell protests spread, asylum seekers homes raided by police and more.

SchNEWS 563, 6th October, 2006
I Did It My Zimbabwe Workers’ resistance in Zimbabwe has been on the rise recently, with street demos, trade union action and new forms of resistance such as the ‘Uhuru Street Soccer Battles’. Also Burma, SPEAK, SOCPA and Tesco news.

SchNEWS 562, 29th Sept, 2006
Making A Bomb Some detailed information on exactly who is benefiting from what the US administration is now calling The Long War. Also news on Faslane, Nestlé, Titnore and more.

SchNEWS 561, 22nd Sept, 2006
Dial M For Malignant - Evidence backing up the theory that mobile phone use is as damaging to health as smoking builds up while the government and big business carries on as usual. Also Aborigines win land rights in Australia, Alcoa face protests in Trinidad and more.

SchNEWS 560, 15th Sep, 2006
GATES-CRASHERS - SchNEWS gingerly dips a toe into the world of Linux, 'Free Open Source Software, Copyleft and the new world of information being built. Plus the return of the Ilisu Dam, Hunt Sabs have charges dismissed, Brian Hawe and more...

SchNEWS 559,
8th Sep, 2006

TRUTH-ACHE SchNEWS gingerly dips a toe into the murky waters of the great 9-11 debate with the US government’s official version of events on one side and all proponents of various ‘conspiracy’ theories on the other.

SchNEWS 558,
1st Sep, 2006

RAVE NEW WORLD? As riot cops smash a rave in Essex, plus Camp For Climate Action report, Titnore Woods eviction alert, Antwerp Airport expansion protests, and more...

The future's bleak, the future's Orange. And wet.
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Home | Friday 9th February 2007 | Issue 575



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Story Links: The Tide Is NighCrap Arrest Of The Week2012 Down To EarthInto The VortexParty & ProtestCourt In The Crossfire | Inside SchNEWS | ...and finally...



So how seriously is the mainstream world taking certain climate change? The big news last week was that a consensus of boffins reported to the UN International Panel on Climate Change (motto: ponderous maximus) that if we're 'lucky' we will only face turning rainforests into deserts, kill all coral reefs, suffering massive droughts and floods. And even worse if we do nothing or are not 'lucky' - literally threatening our very survival. And yet, with minimal public outcry, three oil giants (Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP) could report record breaking profits for 2006.

Exxon alone bagged £20,000,000,000 last year, none too worried despite coming under the microscope of the Union Of Concerned Scientists ( who accuse them of spending $16 million between 1998 and 2005 in 'disinformation tactics' (the classic tobacco company technique) to undermine climate change science. Anyone for the Union Of Frankly Petrified Citizens?

The non-question of 'is this a consensus yet?' on the reality of climate change continues to rattle around the mass media as though it's still worth debating, and the full gory details of climate change in the newspapers are sandwiched between executive car, cheap flights and exotic holiday spreads... 'news' is just more media eye-candy. We're not about to start dragging out another mind boggling statistic about how bad it's gonna get - see the last 200 SchNEWS issues for all that - and we don't need another 'expert' to confirm it. It's clear the mainstream is nowhere near the mark (they're still telling us we can buy our way to salvation) - so the question is what can people do for themselves about it?

Planes, Strains & Automobiles

This year is set to see more actions, protest camps and efforts to bring the real agenda of slashing energy use, pollution, consumption, goods transportation etc etc further into mainstream debate. There are planned airport expansions up and down the country, with regional campaigns only just taking off (groan) - but with the potential to go supersonic as the focus goes on to the aviation industry (See SchNEWS 553-554). There are also several road and anti-development protest camps still going on, protests against the proposed gas pipeline across Wales, and the recently announced Camp For Climate Action for the coming summer. Here's yer latest pic'n'mix SchNEWS round up of recent actions and forthcoming events...

* Protests are building up as work has commenced on the widening of the M1 Motorway near Sheffield. The M1 is due to be widened from Leicester to Leeds, and around the M25 near Luton in a project costing £3.74 billion - which is expected to rise considerably. Sections of the M1 get 160,000 vehicles a day. Since the campaign was started a year ago, there have been banner drops over the M1, as well as the picketing of exhibitions by the Highways Agency promoting it. For more see

* On the path of the controversial 120 mile National Grid gas pipeline across Wales - from Milford Haven to Tirley in Gloucestershire (See SchNEWS 569) - five protestors were arrested on January 31st when they walked on a public footpath between Trebanos and Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, which has been illegally closed off by the Neath Port Talbot CBC. The pipeline caters for increased gas use, yet the Stern report says that gas accounts for a huge proportion of our emissions already. See

* On January 27th the Bristol Alliance Against Urban 4x4 issued 1,000 mock parking tickets to 4x4s in central Bristol. The slap-on-the-wrist tickets were headed 'Poor Vehicle Choice', pointing out the stupidity. To download the ticket for printing yourself see

* The irony that Shell have been sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was not lost on the 20 or so protesters causing havoc at the Natural History Museum last weekend. Oily black paint was splattered across photos to remind people about the taint of Big Oil; a spoof banner was unfurled and leaflets distributed drawing attention the the hypocrisy behind the exhibition. Despite the occasional scuffle, no one was nicked. More at:

* Camp for Climate Action activists were busy in Glasgow protesting at a local Shell garage against the company's activities in Nigeria. Over in Edinburgh, wannabe PM David Milliband received a good pieing as the fictional company, 'Greenwash & Co.' parodied a talk by the environment minister and unfurled a banner saying 'GREENWASH: polluting reality with rhetoric'. Reeling from the vegan short-crust pastry, lobbed by one Colonel Crust, he appeared displeased at the effect on his immaculately kept hairdo, shouting, "for fck's sake!"

* On the same day activists from Plane Stupid visited travel agents across London, spray-painting green and red footprints along their way to draw attention to the effect that flying is having on our carbon footprint. 2007 looks set to be the year for upping the plane protests - see

* Last Saturday Manchester city centre was host to street performance and samba music from Rhythms of Resistance in an climate change awareness raising event. Today (9th) in Manchester there is also a protest against ESSO meeting outside Manchester University Students Union at 5pm.

* Protests against Shell's plan to despoil Rossport, County Mayo, Ireland with a gas pipeline and refinery continue (See SchNEWS 564). A day of support is being held on the 16th February by Shell to Sea at the Bellanaboy site. The aim is for people from around the country to show their support and solidarity with local actions. There is also a rally on 24th Feb in central Dublin, meet 2pm, Parnell St. See for more.

* April 5th-11th is Spring Into Action - a week of climate change events, workshops, at different venues in Nottingham. If you want to help, give a workshop, or get involved call 07765 217118, email or see There is a planning meeting at the Sumac Centre, Gladstone St, Nottingham on Feb 15th at 7pm, as well as public meetings at 7.30pm on Feb 5th in Leicester at the Friends Meeting House, Queens Rd, and at 7.30pm on Feb 8th in Nottingham at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Rd.

* Following on from the Drax camp last summer (See SchNEWS 558), another Camp for Climate Action is being planned for 14th- 21st August. Last weekend more than 70 gathered from around the country in Leeds and decided to do another camp, this year the targetting aviation, coal or oil industries - with a location due to be announced. At the moment all organisational aspects of the camp are being put into place, and if you're up for being involved there will another national planning meeting in Leeds at the Common Place social centre on February 17-18th, and then Bristol on March 17-18th - see for details.

* See also

Crap Arrest Of The Week

For not being able to stomach pate...

Five protestors from Southsea Animal Action and The Southern Animal Rights Coalition were recently arrested under section 42 of CJPA, which covers carrying out a home demonstration - despite the fact they were at the time, er, at a lawful protest outside a restaurant selling foie gras - a product made from the livers of force-fed ducks and geese. For more email


They're not awarding themselves any medals just yet, but well done to locals fighting to save the Manor Garden allotments in Hackney from the 2012 Olympic developers (See SchNEWS 574). This week, following a well-attended planning meeting where campaigners and locals passionately argued their case, Waltham Forest Council rejected London Development Agencies (LDA) bid to compulsorily acquire the common land, to the relief and cheering of all (except the LDA). While this scuppers them for now, and may set a handy precedent for other forthcoming developments designed to 'disney-fie' swathes of East London in time for 2012, the LDA are now expected to appeal and the resistance will need to be maintained. Report and pics at


The demise of the Square Social Centre in London (incorrectly listed as still open in SchNEWS 573!) does not mean activists have been idle on the capital's streets.

A new squatted social centre, The Vortex, has been operating since being occupied on 6th January. Offering a daily cafe, plus radical cinema, club nights, talks, workshops and meeting space, the club has been proving popular. Perhaps more so than the plans to redevelop the site with the (oh yes of course) obligatory luxury flats and Starbucks.

With the support of locals, they managed to repel an eviction attempt by private goons on Jan 26th (photos and video at but following a subsequent high court ruling they are now facing another eviction attempt at any time.

Why not get down and show your support, lend a hand, and demonstrate your resistance to the latte of the law. The Vortex is at Church St, Stoke Newington, London and aims to be open to the public daily from 12am to 11pm.

Party & Protest

  • 10 Feb - Don't Flirt with the Occupation! Mass Demonstration Against Carmel-Agrexco at their HQ, Swallowfield Way, Hayes UB3 1DQ at 1pm. Israel's largest exporter of fresh agricultural produce, 50% owned by the warmongering state - see for details of lifts from London & more.
  • 13 Feb - Public meeting 'From Brighton to Beirut: EDO-MBM and the war in Lebanon&rsquo' 7.30pm, at the Brightelm Centre, North Road, Brighton. Calomhe Butterly, an Irish Peace Activist who was in Lebanon during the bombing will talk about the devastation caused and the need to take direct action, plus speakers from the Smash EDO campaign. See
  • 17 Feb - Join the march on Worthing Police Station to protest against police intimidation of supporters of the Titnore Woods eco-protest camp in Worthing, West Sussex. 2pm at Montague Place, Worthing. See
  • 19 Feb - The Refugee Council are planning a mass sleepout in Parliament Square to to highlight the desperate plight of refused asylum seekers made destitute by government policy. So if you're the hardy sleep-under-the-stars kinda campaigner, or merely willing to pull a short shift to give 'em some support or a flask of tea, email for details.
  • 24 Feb - No Trident / Troops Out of Iraq - National Demonstration. Assemble 12 noon - central London (exact location to be announced later). Rally in Trafalgar Square. Come and demonstrate against government plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system with a new generation of weapons of mass destruction. Organised by CND and the Stop the War Coalition. For more see

* For full Party & Protest listings updated weekly see


In case you missed it because of Celebrity Big Brother blanket coverage, war broke out in Somalia as we feared in November (see SchNEWS 567). The country's Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) had become a popular force after years of clan fighting left the country in tatters. A government which hacks off the limbs of thieves quickly became an enemy of the US, but not because of its excessive stance on law and order. Instead it's the usual suspects - al Qaeda baddies lurking in sophisticated cave networks busily training to bring down Western civilisation were hard at work. And they must be bombed to somewhere further back in time than the stone age.

The UIC had succeeded in bringing an end to 16 years of warlordism in Mogadishu, winning broad popular support from a population suspicious of their hardline religious beliefs, but thankful for a city no longer plagued with brutal violence from petty warlord fiefdoms. The latest round of tragedy for the country began with the drafting of UN resolution 1725. Although it did not actually grant 'permission' for an Ethiopian occupation, it did effectively state that the UIC would never be recognised as the legitimate government and the US read it as a green light to start a proxy war anyway.

Having previously promised that they would defend the capital to the last, the UIC withdrew saying that a conflict in the city would kill and injure too many innocent civilians. Strange talk indeed from a government that the USA repeatedly accuses of links to al Qaeda, an organisation not known for its concern about civilian casualties. Just when it seemed that life in Somalia couldn't get any worse, on the 9th of January the US began bombing - their airstrikes aimed at targeting 'Al Qaeda operatives' destroyed several coastal villages and massacred a group of shepherds. The reported death toll from these airstrikes was over 100. Some days later the US admitted that their billion dollar hardware had missed all their intended targets.

US Special Forces and CIA paramilitary teams are now directly embedded with Ethiopian forces in Somali and is a part of a new US strategy of using bases around the world as 'Lily Pads' from which Special Forces can 'hop off' to strike at the enemies of White House Inc. In reality this means that the US of A has given itself carte blanche to bomb any poor brown nation unable to defend itself.

The problem for the Somalis is not so much the Ethiopian troops as the Transitional Federal Government. Since its inception in 2004 this 'government' had never exerted any power anywhere outside of one town, Baidoa, and is in reality nothing more than a collection of warlords fighting amongst themselves for power. These new warlord-ministers arrived alongside the Ethiopian army, and as soon as the Islamists left the checkpoints Mogadishu was divided once again into rival fiefdoms. In fact, the situation is worse now as they compete to fill the power vacuum left by the retreating Islamists and the streets of the capital are more dangerous than ever. Shortly after the various ministers arrived in Mogadishu (many for the first time) a gun battle erupted between two ministerial entourages, apparently over a parking space.

The UIC has been defeated, with seemingly little chance of regaining power any time soon. They have however, threatened to begin an Iraq-style insurgency. There have already been several attacks on Ethiopian troops inside Somalia.

The Somali community in the UK has been devastated by events back home. After the UIC victory, many refugees had begun to return home. After their fall, the community here is in a state of shock, as one refugee said 'We tried our best. We built a system by ourselves.' For all its faults it was an indigenous Somali solution to their problems, an attempt to use Islam (the religion of 99% of the population), but as we all know the US is never happy with any country that displays genuinely independent tendencies. And, as a self-declared radical Islamic movement, it was all too easy to justify the continued expansion of the costly War On TerrorTM.

* A funeral procession to remember those killed by US bombs in Somalia will be held in Brighton on the 21st of February at the home of Brighton's infamous bomb-makers, EDO- MBM, at the bottom of Home Farm Road at 4pm. The planes that launched the bombing use EDO's parts..
For more see


Inside SchNEWS

* The American freelance journalist Josh Wolf (See SchNEWS 555), jailed for refusing to hand over video footage of anti-G8 activists to a US federal grand jury (or 'anarchist witch-hunt' as Josh puts it), has now been in prison for over 170 days, making him the longest ever imprisoned-for-failing-to-reveal-sources journalist in US history. A recent judicial ruling seems to indicate they don't intend letting him out any time soon. Josh publishes blogs from inside, and letters are a key means of support for him. To find out how to help, see

* Meanwhile in a vaguely similair case back in Blighty, slightly better news for one animal rights campaigner as Oxford University's animal lab lost its contempt of court action against co-founder of Speak, Robert Cogswell, over his refusal to produce an email list of subscribers. Speak had allegedly broken the court injuction protecting the animal experimentors (see SchNEWS 473) when the details of a contractor were mentioned in an email. The favourable ruling was, however, not because the law is more respecting of freedom of expression here of course - the judge was 'wholly sympathetic' to the lab's case. Ironically, the case collapsed because Speak have their data, including email records, stored and registered to an address in the er, liberty-loving US - beyond the high court's power to force disclosure. More online at


...and finally...

One man's drink is another man's poison:

As China quickly attempts to sweep its problems under the bamboo mat before the Olympic corporate and media juggernaut rolls into town later this year, things are not looking good for those on Bejing's drug scene.
The police have announced plans to remove 'undesirable' types from view by forcing the city's drug users into year-long rehabilitation programmes. Things are already pretty draconian for Chinese hedonists as first-time offenders are recorded on a police 'blacklist', and if caught using again are forcibly placed in government-sponsored rehabilitation centres for three to six months.

Repression leading up to the Olympics is nothing new of course, with reports of the homeless, drug addicts, refugees, asylum seekers and the mentally ill being rounded up and incarcerated before Athens 2004 and aboriginals, homeless and anti-corporate amongst those targeted in Sydney 2000 (See SchNEWS 271).
The real irony is that, meanwhile, state-sponsored 'coaches' and 'fitness trainers' will be stuffing a generation of young Chinese athletes full of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in their PR motivated gold-at-all-costs drive to sweep the world before them at the ridiculous sporting circus. Well that's the true Olympic spirit...

* Human Rights Watch have set up to monitor and campaign in the build up to the Beijing Olympics.


SchNEWS warns all readers - denial only ever makes things worse. Honest!


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