CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
...for telling it like it is.
The keepin-it-real young hoodie who made a ‘firing gun’ gesture
at David Cameron last week has ended up the one targeted.
Cuddly ‘Eton Messy’ Cameron had been on walkabout
on a Manchester estate when the 17-year-old made the hand gesture
as he walked past. Police swiftly arrested him, then raided his
house and held him over the weekend for a few joints worth of weed.
Well, no-one disses the Tory Krew!
The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now auditioning for the lead role in a local theatre production of “Taxi Driver”.
Actions to stop the forced removals of some forty-six Democratic
Republic of Congo nationals spread across the UK this week. Despite
a UN report that the human rights situation in DR Congo is actually
deteriorating, the XL Airways ‘deportation express’ charter-flight
left Stansted Airport at 9.39pm, on 26 February. Actions had kicked
off when it became apparent that asylum seekers were being rounded
up to be imprisoned in Tinsley House detention centre, Crawley,
to await deportation.
Around 100 people held a noisy protest outside the Home Office
Reporting Centre in Glasgow; No Borders Brighton dropped a banner
outside the HQ of XL Airways, also in Crawley, highlighting their
complicity and ‘XL-ent’ profits. Over 70 members of
the DR Congolese community in Leeds, including groups from Huddersfiled
and Kirklees, rallied outside their Home Office Reporting Centre
and the African Community Association in the North East held a
solidarity march in Middlesbrough. 60 more people gathered at the
Home Office in London. When deportation day came, activists locked
themselves to the gates of Tinsley House to try and stop the removals.
Despite the protests, the bulk of removals took place. While last
minute legal action prevented two children and seven adults from
being deported, thirty seven are now back in DR Congo fearing for
their lives. Campaigners in Kinshasha are posting reports back
to Indymedia and NCADC on their progress.
This is just the latest incident in a continual process of repatriating
those fleeing warzones and persecution, with the Home Office claiming
countries like DR Congo are 'safe' to return to.
For constant bulletins about threatened deportations see National
Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns www.ncadc.org.uk
* 3 March - Campaign To Stop Deportations to DR Congo meeting 3.30-5pm
at Friends Meeting House, Mount Street. Manchester. M2 5NS
* 7 - Demonstrate outside Asylum and Immigration Tribunal office
Manchester 10am- 12.30pm at 2 Piccadilly Plaza, Mosley Street,
Manchester, M1 4AH
* 13 - Demonstrate outside Dallas Court enforcement unit 12-2pm.
South Longworthy Road Salford Quays, Salford M50 2GF
* 13 - NCADC + Leeds No Borders Workshop: Setting Up an Anti-Deportation
Campaign. 6.30-8.30pm at The Common Place, 23-25 Wharf Street,
Leeds, LS2 7EQ. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
* 17 - Sheffield Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers + NCADC Workshop
2.30-5pm. Refugee Employment and Education Programme, Alpha House,
Carver Street, Sheffield Tel: 07913 701740 or e-mail email@example.com
* No Borders UK www.makebordershistory.org
Crawley and Horsham Hunt is yet another bunch of law-what-law
animal murderers. Their Feb 23 meet ended with a hound killed when
it strayed on to the A4. Hunt monitors in Horsham faced intimidation
and sabotage to one of their vehicles again (see SchNEWS
a tyre was let down. As usual the rozzers seem unconcerned.
* The League Against Cruel Sports report on the Crawley and Horsham
Hunt can be found at www.league.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=881
* For more see www.huntsabs.org.uk
SchNEWS advises all readers to renew your passport before April – particularly
those who have never held a UK adult’s passport. Later this
month the sixty-nine new ‘ID interrogation centres’ will
open around the country, and if you’re applying for your
first passport you may be interviewed and made to fill out long,
intrusive questionnaire forms, in a process taking 4-6 weeks. Once
they have prised information out of you about addresses, education,
family history and official numbers, this data will be cross referenced
with bank details, police, credit, school records and more, and
the interview will confirm it all matches up – and if it
doesn’t match, the computer might say.. nooo.
All the juicy info will be held in a single file, part of the
build-up to a nationwide 'one-stop' centralised ID database. The
price of the cheapest passport renewal rose last October to £66, and
if the ID card scheme comes in this could go over £93 to
pay for the costs of the IT infrastructure for the total surveillance
* For more details see the “Take a hike, Tony” factsheet
for those applying for their first passport at
The Traveller Site at Dale Farm in Basildon, Essex, is facing
imminent eviction if the Council’s decision goes against
them in July (See SchNEWS 519 & 548). One hundred families
who live on the site have recently been facing protests against
them by angry locals with local BNP activists prominent. One recent
anti-Traveller demo was attended by 200 people.
The local villagers insist it’s nothing against the Traveller community but a desire to preserve greenbelt land from development but this is just the culmination of a five year siege on the Traveller community in the Essex region. Dale Farm residents are inviting people to volunteer as Human Rights Monitors for the expected eviction, which will no doubt be carried out by Constant and Co., yer ever-reliable gypsy-busters who have already bulldozed a number of other sites, forcing more and more families out on the road to search for hard-to-find places to park up. The Travellers are understandably nervous for their futures and could do with all support. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Two anti-vivisectionists were cleared of disorderly conduct by
Blackpool Magistrates’ Court this week, prompting hopes that
four similar cases will now be dropped. Keith Richardson and Dean
Cain were arrested outside a Vodafone shop on 11 March 2006 as
part of a series of 20 similar arrests between March and July of
that year. Vodafone were targeted for their financial support of
Oxford University which is building a new animal research facility.
All arrestees were charged under Section 5 of the Public Order
Act 1986 for displaying graphic posters which could have allegedly
caused ‘distress’. The pictures showed primate experiments
that had already been carried out in Oxford, surely causing a little ‘distress’ to
the animals in question.
Although the prosecution reckoned that the images were ‘insulting’ and likely to cause distress, the defendants argued they were using their freedom of expression to educate the public about animal experiments. Both men are now seeking advice on what legal action can be taken against the police for breaching their rights to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. * For more information on the campaign go to www.speakcampaigns.org.uk
The Rospuda Valley in the north east of Poland is a primeval forest
and swamp land that’s home to many rare species including
bison and lynx. It’s under immediate threat of being bulldozed
into history. Apparently what’s needed is not a nice set
of ‘green lungs’ for Europe, but “smooth and
dense infrastructure”. i.e. roads. The Augustov bypass faced
no rigorous appraisal procedure or public inquiry. Worse still
there’s a decent alternative route and European regulations
say if it means less environmental destruction it should be used
instead. Failure to meet this requirement and the fact that politicians
are planning to rip through a ‘Nature 2000’ heritage
site could mean big EU fines. The government’s plans have
steam-rollered on, however – presumably they’ll be
happy to just pass any bill on to tax payers. The road must be
In response, and despite the rather nippy weather (-20c), an anti-road
camp has been established and is thriving, but more help is needed
now. And, taking opposition into the city, some autonomous groups
have been busy picketing the HQ of Budimex, the company that’s
picked up the juicy contract to build the road. Warsaw residents
have started a daily action at the Ministry of the Environment
and another big demo is promised for next Friday (9th) outside
the polish embassy in London (47 Portland Place, W1N 3AG).4.30pm
Start. Bring banners and make some noise. See http://viabalticainfo.org/spip.php?rubrique2 for more.
* Another 25 acres of ancient woodland is due for the chop. Some Glamorgan councillors reckon that the ancient Pencoedtre nature site would look a lot better if it was covered in light industrial units and a few Barratt boxes. Dating from 1600 the wood (home to 71 different types of moss!) might be designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Rare wood sorrel and butterfly orchids are of little concern to the developers, however, who continue to press the planners for permission to trash. Find out more about this and other campaigns at www.woodland-trust.org.uk/campaigns
Nothing planned for 17th and 18th May? Why not pop along to the 2007 RUSI Air Power Conference? It’s a warmongering shin dig where delegates will learn about the benefits of rebranding the UK Air Force as ‘Agile, Adaptable and Capable’. Presumably the ‘Agile’ bit is designed to emphasise the sexiness of a ‘precision’ bombing operation, while the quick shift from supporting to attacking Saddam Hussein in a matter of months certainly offers proof of the armed forces ‘Adaptability’ - just a pity that all those helicopters that were designed to operate in colder climates and kill Russians and didn’t work so well in the sand!
The 'Capability' bit is harder to fathom unless, of course, you mean the capability to create civil war wherever they go! The conference organisers are predicting an “uncertain and difficult 21st century” (thanks to their efforts). The problems lie in the fact that despite “an increasing demand for the use of military power,” there remains a high level “public intolerance of collateral damage,” preventing UK plc from killing more people and bombing more countries. Darn! The battle for hearts and minds continues for a mere £779 a head, excluding accommodation. There’s more corporate perpetual war style brainwashing at www.rusi.org
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