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

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SchNEWS 587, 11th May, 2007 - Never mind the Bolivars - At the same time that Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez was announcing the re-nationalisation of the last parts of the country's oil industry still in private hands, several other countries joined in with May Day calls to leave the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Also the build up to this years G8 has begun with state forces across europe using violence and intimidation to try and spoil the party, France has elected a Right Wing leader and the police in Philadelphia go on a fortune teller round up....

SchNEWS 586, 4th May, 2007 - SHAC TAKES THE FLAC In yet another hammerblow aimed at the animal rights movement, police made 32 arrests across the UK in the early hours of Tuesday morning in 'Operation Achilles'. The whole operation was designed with maximum publicity in mind - the press were tipped off in advance and dutifully reported on the latest crackdown on animal rights 'extremism'. Also more monumental events near the Hills of Tara this week, two reports from Africa and more....

SchNEWS 585, 27th April, 2007 - TARA TARA TARA The biggest anti-road direct action protest ever in Ireland may be about to happen at the Hill of Tara, north west of Dublin, if attempts to have the area protected on archaeological grounds, and other legal efforts fail. Also one of the Rossport 5 awarded the prestigious Goldman Environment Prize and more....

SchNEWS 584, 20th April, 2007 - RUBBER STAMPED Last Friday, one of the seventeen strong Brighton delegation to Palestine was shot by the Israeli Defence Force, but fortunately the shot, ricocheting off his arm, was not lethal. Also a new private dention centre for immigrants, privatised schools, Mumia Abu Jamal still on death row and more....

SchNEWS 583, 13th April, 2007 - SPUD-U-HATE "BASF state the trials are designed to test whether potatoes can be genetically modified to be resistant to blight. However, given the historical context, it seems more likely their function is to test if the UK public is still resistant to GM." - plus climate change protestors storm Ratcliffe Power Station, more SOCPA shenanigans, Les Tanneries community squat in Dijon under eviction and more...

SchNEWS 582, 30th March, 2007 - SILI-CON JOB Is there such a thing as a fair-trade iPod or computer? No. SchNEWS looks at the electronic sweatshops in east Asia and the environmental problems caused by the hi-tech consumerism. Plus, update on Ungdomhuset evition in Denmark, M1 widening and more...

SchNEWS 581, 23rd March, 2007 - PUTTING ON THE WRITS A look at the increasing use of the protection from Harassment Act against protesters. Also the real cost of gold, a faslane update and more.

SchNEWS 580,
16th March, 2007
- The IDs of March - The NO2ID campaign is organising a national day of action on March 26th to raise awareness of Neo Labour’s database state. Also protests against upgrading of Trident, hungerstrikes against Dow Chemicals in Bhopal, riots at Campsfield detention centre and more.

SchNEWS 579, 10th March, 2007
- DANISH PASTING The eviction of the Ungdomshuset building in Copenhagen sparked massive protests and riots this week. Also victory for Native American Indians and more.

SchNEWS 578,
2nd March, 2007

- OVER A BARREL Oil companies are trying to complete a plan to take control of Iraq's oil but the unions are fighting back. Also refugees are returned to the war torn Congo, forests are threatened in Poland and Wales and more.

SchNEWS 577,
23rd Feb, 2007

- FOREST GRUMP We have a closer look at the the pop star supported mega million pound carbon trading industry so see just what its chances are of saving the world. Also tree protests in Tasmania, road protests in Ireland and much more.

SchNEWS 576,
16th Feb, 2007

HAVEN IT LARGE Protests contine and grow around the pathway of the new natural gas pipeline in Wales. Also corporations continue to get away with it, hunts getting away with it and more.

SchNEWS 575,
9th February, 2007

THE TIDE IS NIGH According to some wacky UN boffins climate change will, if we're ;ucky, only bring about the desertification of the rain forests and the death of all coral reefs. And if we're not lucky...Also war in Somalia and loads of party and protest dates and more.

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
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 Dec, 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 Dec, 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.

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Story Links: Brothers In Arms Crap Fine Of The Week Hot Air Guitar To Shell And Back Talkin Shop | Schnews In Brief Christianarchy Animal Testing | Inside Schnews | ...and finally...



Last Tuesday saw an international get-together for hi-tech arms-dealers - The Shephard Group's Electronic Warfare 2007 at the Olympia Conference Centre.

The conference punters arrived expecting to find out the latest on assassination by email but were met by a crowd of vocal protesters. Two managed to scale the roof and unfurl a banner saying 'Smart bombs - stupid wars'. Others got into the event by saying they were there with the 'Affinity Group', and, after 'sneaking around for a bit' and pocketing killware freebies, they resorted to the traditional tactic of disrupting the conference with shouts of "Murderer! Child kill..arghh," before being cut short and bundled away by burly thugs in ill fitting suits.

One protestor told SchNEWS, "It was bizarre being able to wander around the Olympia conference centre picking up free industry rags ("Unmanned Vehicles Monthly sir? - a snip at £60 a year!"), promotional DVDs for Hellfire missiles and even military issue mints*.It was especially weird as I've visited sites in Palestine that have been destroyed by the missiles."*[SchNEWS didn't find out whether the sweets in question were Wrigley's Spearhead, Trebor Extra Strong-Arm or Mint Imperialists...]

And for anyone needing any new reasons to hate Microsoft, Bill 'Pearly' Gates' boys were also in there, proudly showing off their partnership with Thales, the French arms giant.

The protesters are holding out hope that this action will mean the event will not return to the Olympia conference centre - a similar action last year resulted in Selfridges deciding not to host the exhibition again. Outside, protesters with megaphones and a Samba band brought the arms dealers presence to the public's attention. An American officer in full uniform was hounded with shouts of "War Criminal" as he left the conference. Anti-arms trade types are now gearing up for the bi-annual deathfest that is the Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition. Find out about the actions planned at

Meanwhile in Valencia around forty people calling themselves 'civilian inspectors' managed to enter 300 metres inside the NATO Betera compound. They also stuck up banners reading "Danger! High Levels of Violence" to the front of the base. Not only were no protesters arrested, but they managed to get an good view of the base as they were escorted from the site via an exit on the other side of the NATO base.


For a snack attack...

It was hard cheese (flavour) for a grandmother from Crawley, fined £80 by jobsworth council wardens after kicking a couple of Quaver crisps into the gutter, spilled by her twenty-month-old granddaughter.

Salty stasi pounced on Barbara Judd at a bus stop after spotting the crisp-wielding toddler with her blatantly incite the granny to flout the controversial clause in the SOCPA laws which forbids kicking more than one potato or corn snack at a time.

As it was a wet day the crispy threat had already started to disintegrate by the time the Fried Food arm of Special Branch turned up (AKA the Smokey Bacon).

"I couldn't believe it," said Barbara, who's refused to pay the fine, "They wrote down 'kicking two crisps' as the offence."

When it came to the crunch a Crawley Borough Council spokeswoman said: "We've cancelled the fine and apologised to the family for being over-zealous."



Back in February, Presidential wannabe Al Gore announced that he'd be pissing on Geldof's bonfire by organising a series of concerts "bigger than Live Aid" to sort out Global Warming. Obviously a great idea judging by all the successes after Cap'n Bob's recent Live8 concerts brought such a huge amount of welcome attention to Africa and the flagging careers of a host of jet set stars.

Inconvenient Twat Al's announcement was made in Los Angeles where he was joined by Jon Bon Jovi and Sting - neither of whom, incidentally, are known for residing in LA. Also shouting out to Al was hip-hop producer and private jet owning blingmeister Pharell Williams, who hails all the way from Virginia - right on the opposite side of the country. Never mind, Pharrell could just jump in his plane to help launch the campaign raising awareness of climate change! (In case you're wondering, the return flight is the equivalent of 1.68 tons of carbon - guilt you can of course offset by planting £16 worth of trees (minus expenses) at

Not long after the big LA who-har, last week (13th), Al was next to 'pop' up in Rio de Janeiro. That's a 3.4 ton carbon footprint all the way from Washington, presuming he's bringing the hair-stylist along! All essential resource burning in the name of promotion for 'Live Earth', which promises a global concert starting in Sydney and continuing across seven continents with shindigs in Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, London, Rio de Janeiro and New Jersey. This event will likely have the largest carbon footprint of any thing taking place this year (vying with the G8 meetings for top spot presumably). Flying popstars round the world to prevent climate chaos is a bit like leaving your windows open to deter burglars; in fact why not set fire to the entire Amazon basin to create even more awareness of the crisis!

The behind-the-scenes-svengalis are a group of not so radical businessmen, 'Save Our Selves' (and that is their genuine name! Easier to attract capitalists and pop stars with such a frank admission we would guess...) It was established by Kevin Wall - a leading venture capitalist and owner of the ominous 'Control Room', a major concert production company (for profitable clients like Bob Dylan). His dream line up is completed by edgy front man Al Gore, ex-vice president of the world's biggest polluter (while he was in office, US carbon emissions rose by 8%...) And Gore is given backing by a harmonious bunch of corporate-sponsored think tanks, such as 'The Climate Group', recently proud to announce that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation had joined the organisation. No doubt media overlord Murdoch will feel at home with fellow eco-terrorists like BP, Johnson & Johnson and Starbucks.

So the basic plan is to fly loads of pop stars all over the world to different concerts where they will be joined by tens of thousands of freeloading media types, not to mention a few million punters. And just how are most of the participants going to arrive at the gig - on foot? In their solar powered cars? But don't worry 'cos there's going to be some on-site composting - the production team are promising us a 'green' event! There'll be recycling and a few wind turbines. The, so far unwritten, guidelines will go as far as 'addressing' food, beverages and packaging as well as transportation. Radical stuff, especially as the event plans to leave an 'eco-friendly legacy' for the entertainments industry.

Anyway forget Al Bore and the Lukewarm Chilli Peppers - if you really wanna put the boot into climate change, bin the battle of the pop blands and get down to the Camp for Climate Action, from 14th-21st August. See



Shell's Annual General Meeting at the Novatel Hotel in Hammersmith, West London on Tuesday was also crudely attended by scores of demonstrators. Stuck outside, they were there to protest against the company's continued lobbying for the wholesale privatisation of Iraq's oil, as well as its everyday contribution to environmental mayhem and the devastation of communities around the world.

'Hands Off Iraqi Oil' were out in force, as were the Rossport Solidarity Campaign and Rising Tide, all accompanied by samba from Rhythms of Resistance.

Police were confused by the presence of a counter demonstration called 'Hands On Iraqi Oil', a group that describes itself as "the street level face of the oil industry". So 'street' they appeared in suits sipping vintage Iraqi oil from champagne glasses and demanding that corporate sovereignty be respected.

Obviously the bright boys from the Met hadn't passed their mandatory satire training as one mistook the Hands On group for genuine representatives of the oil industry and complimented them on their pro-oil demo!

There was a strong presence from Iraqi groups, such as Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation. Some of them used War on Want's shareholder privileges to address the Shellish meeting and ask the management politely if they wouldn't mine giving their oil back...

Delta Blues

Meanwhile protesters from the global south once more put us and our quirky protests of subtle irony and live music to shame. Villagers from the Ogoni region of Niger Delta, Nigeria, staged an invasion and six-day occupation of one of Shell's main pipeline hubs. This shut off a million barrels of oil during the protest, in which they demanded a share of the obscene profits from the world's most lucrative industry. Their lands were devastated by pollution from Shell's oilfields, and it was only after a full scale rebellion twelve years ago that Shell were forced to quit polluting in the Ogoni region.

A ruined landscape is virtually the only sign of Nigeria's oil wealth that the Ogonis (as well as most Nigerians) have seen - after more than 40 years of exploitation communities do still not have any electricity in their villages.

One anonymous youth leader was quoted as saying, "We see it as something that needs serious negotiation. We need some compensation. Opening the pipeline will be difficult for Shell. The oil flowing through there is our oil."

Oil in a day's work

And in Iraq, the oil unions have been threatening to strike over the profit-sharing agreements that the US appointed 'government' signed with multinationals with potential profits (assuming anyone can pump it out of the ground without being assassinated) running into the hundreds of billions of dollars (SchNEWS 578). It took the intervention of Prime Minister, Nuri al Maliki, to persuade the Federation of Oil Unions to go another round of negotiations with the Iraqi government.

For as long as the likes of Shell, Chevron etc can rely on firepower from the US-UK occupation to push through favourable legislation, the Iraqi workers face a David and Golaith battle for their country's resources. Maybe they need to follow the Latin American lead (See SchNEWS 587)...


Last weekend SchNEWS held it's first alternative media gathering - so thanks a lot to all those who came to Brighton, people who volunteered all weekend especially those in the kitchen and crèche, and those who offered accommodation to visitors. Around 50-60 made it down from as far as Ireland, Scotland and closer to home in Worthing. Most of the sessions were lively, being a combination of workshops covering technical issues, ways to improve the quality and widen the audience of alternative media. There was a particularly strong contingent of independent film makers, who screened their own new, often unseen films.

We invite all who attended the gathering to email with feedback, and those who spoke to send in any written material. This will all go on the Malarkey section of our website, and feature in issues of SchNEWS over the coming weeks.

Email to, or telephone: 01273 685 913


SchNEWS in brief

  • MAY: 19 - National Weekend of Action For Refugees - eleven events, incl. Newcastle, Leeds and London. Full list at:
  • 19 - Talk and slide show by members of the Easton Cowboys radical sports club - from their recent football tour of Palestine. Right after the FA Cup Final in the back room of the Cowley Club, London Rd, Brighton. And if you fancy a laugh, Brighton's worst will be taking on the Cowboys in a kick about match the day after (Sunday 20th). Meet at 12pm by the big tree at the entrance to Preston Park (wear a white t-shirt).
  • 19 - Climate Change: Information for Action Day. Workshops & speakers from Friends of the Earth and Camp for Climate Action. 10am-5pm at Methodist Hall, Oldham St, Manchester. Donation £5. For more see:
  • 21 - Saving Iceland talk and new films from the campaign to save Europe's last great wilderness from corporate destruction (SchNEWS 555). 12-3pm, Sussex University campus, The Debating Chamber, Falmer House.
  • 24 - Talk about the Survivors Village, a tent city and home in New Orleans for some of the poorest victims of Hurricane Katrina. Find out more about their struggle for decent public housing at the Cowley Club, Brighton from 6pm.

    * For full Party & Protest listings updated weekly see



    The dreadlocked massive over at Christiania have been experiencing some more rough and tumble with Danish cops this week. This autonomous part of Copenhagen was established on ex ministry of defence land back in 1972, but in the summer of 2004, the government introduced new planning laws to clamp down on the development of new buildings which were not of 'marketable value' (see SchNEWS 513). In Clampdown Copenhagen its not just the usual array of anti terror laws that are being used against subversive elements - if yer house is not 'normal' you face the boot too! Back in Law 205 also made it compulsory for residents to register their occupancy with the state and face eviction if they fail to pay the market rate for the land on which they live.

    On Monday (14th) riot cops turned up in force to pull down an illegally constructed house that had actually been built over two years ago and has been earmarked for potential demolition by Christiania residents anyway. But this apparent concern for the built environment has not seen police out in force in other architecturally offensive areas, except of course during the violent eviction of anarcho hangout Ungdomshuset (see SchNEWS 579). With a local court about to decide on whether another three houses in Christiania should be pulled down too, things are sure to keep on the boil. Following the customary exchange of baton charges and Molotovs around 50 people were nicked amongst the burning barricades.

    There's some riot porn at



    About to dig into your millionth pot of humous? Just finished off a Cheezley and tomato sarnie? Then just maybe your're an animal rights extremist...

    The National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) are responsible for dealing with "domestic extremism" and have a particular interest in those campaigning against animal experimentation, providing advice and information for the recent action against Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (see SchNEWS 586). Now they've come up with a simple test for extremism based on checking your preference for dairy products, support for Carla Lane and history of petition writing.

    Find out if you're an animal rights extremist at If you are then you can also download your own injunction at


    Inside SchNEWS

    Zhenya Shimanskiy, a Belarussian animal rights/anti-fascist activist, was arrested last month in Minsk for non-payment of a $1,400 fine for spray painting animal rights slogans.

    Authorities now claim that Zhenya bricked the windows of a McDonalds in Minsk after the fine was imposed. It is feared that he may face several years imprisonment if the fines aren't paid.

    Money is also needed because prisons in Belarus don't feed prisoners, as well of course letters of support (he speaks Belarussian and Russian). Because Zhenya is considered a 'dangerous extremists' he is not allowed any visitors.

    *To donate email Write letters to Evgeniy Dmitrievich Shimanskiy, Volodarskogo str. 2, room 32, 220050, Minsk, Belarus.For info in English contact British Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, BM Box 2407, London, WC1N 3XX, England, or see web

    ...and finally...

    Capital city commuter trains - privatised in the 1990s but getting more and more crowded, less and less punctual. Passenger misery as news of more service disruptions come through on the loudspeaker. An all too familiar scenario?

    Well, we're talking Argentina here and they're not like the long-suffering Brits, shuffling around the concourse, muttering politely under their breath whilst still waiting patiently for their capitalist cattle trucks.

    Fed up commuters reacted badly last Tuesday when one delay too many from Constituçion station in Buenos Aires to the city's poor southern suburbs was announced. In a emotional outpouring which most repressed London travellers could only dream of, the enraged passengers rioted. They smashed windows, started fires, looted shops and faced off with police, trading rocks for rubber bullets and tear gas.

    Things eventually calmed down after 16 arrests and 21 injured (12 of them cops), and the belated rush hour could resume. Presumably the train companies will pass it all off as a case of wrong sort of beliefs on the line.



    SchNEWS warns all readers - woe-be-gun you if you don't take action against the death dealers. Honest.


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