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WAKE UP!! NO SERIOUSLY JUST WAKE UP TO...
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Tide Is Nigh | Crap Arrest Of The Week | 2012
Down To Earth | Into The Vortex | Party
& Protest | Court In The Crossfire |
Inside SchNEWS | ...and finally...
TIDE IS NIGH
AS CLIMATE CHAOS LOOMS AND ACTION IS NEEDED, WHO YOU GONNA
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
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
* 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 www.nowideningm1.org.uk
* 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 www.safehavenpembs.co.uk
* 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
* 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: www.shelloiledwildlife.org.uk
* 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
* 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 www.planestupid.com
* 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 www.corribsos.com
* 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,
or see www.eastsideclimateaction.org.uk
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,
* 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 www.climatecamp.org.uk
* See also www.risingtide.org.uk
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
DOWN TO EARTH
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 www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/02/361776.html
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 www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/01/360806.html)
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 www.bigcampaign.org
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 www.smashedo.org.uk
- 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 www.southcoast.indymedia.org.uk
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 www.cnduk.org
* For full Party & Protest listings updated weekly see www.schnews.org.uk/pap
IN THE CROSSFIRE
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
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
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 www.smashedo.org.uk
* 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 www.freejosh.pbwiki.com
* 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
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
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
* Human Rights Watch have set up www.olympicwatch.org
to monitor and campaign in the build up to the Beijing Olympics.
SchNEWS warns all readers - denial only ever makes things worse.
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