| Friday 25th May 2007
| Issue 589
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER HALF BAKED...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Prepare for the Wurst | What's on the Menu | Crap Asbo Of The Week | Chinese Takeaway
| A Class of Whine | Irish Stew | SchNEWS in Brief | Vintage Scotch | Nut Cluster Bombs | Lets Have the Bill |...and finally...
Prepare for the Wurst
HEILIGENDAMM-BUSTERS GET READY FOR ANTI-G8 ACTIONS IN GERMANY
"Law enforcers have the right to use force and detain people if demonstrators turn violent and break windows. If a person hasn't done anything and is just on their way to a demonstration this is a different matter." Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and current European Council president.
If that's the case, then people assembling in Germany for the anti-G8 protests have little to worry about - there's no windows on the newly installed 200km security fence surrounding the entire elite shindig. (Add a perimeter's worth of military style police and even Glastonbury is put in the shade.)
Merkel was speaking after crossing words with that arch exponent of the I'll-shove-your-hypocrisies -down-your-throat-to-justify-ours game, Vladimir Putin, during a spat at a recent EU-Russia summit. She was complaining about Russia preventing demonstrators travelling to Samara, the summit's venue, and the clampdown in Moscow that led to the arrest of former chess champ Gary Kasparov for trying to take part in an anti-Kremlin demo.
But as the granite-faced ex-KGB-boy Putin enjoyed pointing out,
Merkel's lofty rhetoric didn't seem to hold true when
it came to the recent pre-G8 wave of arrests and repression in Hamburg
and Berlin (See SchNEWS 587 - But,
no, we're not sure if that's where Putin was getting
In fact, the stench of German KGB-like repression becomes more pervasive following reports that police have actually been collecting body scent samples of the 'left-wing' activists busted. Incredible though this sounds, it was a tactic previously used by the East German Stasi, in an attempt to train sniffer dogs to recognise potential wrong-doers in the future. Ze kops say it's not been done for any repressive reasons, oh nein!, but merely to check against samples taken from previous arson attacks - although just how a dog willing to testify in court that the samples match would help things is unclear. Perhaps it is all just being used to desensitise the poor animals to the uniquely powerful mixtures of odours like garlicky lentils, Drum tobacco, cheap lager and unwashed dreadlocks, all masking the underlying whiff of moral outrage and anti-capitalist fervour.
Despite the jackboot problems of the last month, preparations on the ground have continued across Germany and the mass convergence has already begun, with people, clowns and bicycle caravans all pitching up in readiness for the main events.
As well as convergence centres in Berlin and Hamburg now being open, three large camps have been established near the fence itself, in Reddelich, Rostock and Wichmannsdiorf. Many thousands are already there with up to a 100,000 expected next week as another generation of young Europeans (and some not so young!) arrive determined not only to make their opposition and rejection of the G8 farce public, but also give a practical demonstration of alternative methods of organisation and living. As well as forming a base for actions, the camps will also offer a lil' bit o' culture, with art, cinema, meetings, media centres, food and more.
The Main Course
The "Action Day Against Militarism, War and Torture - Blockade the G8 - Stop the Wars!" will now take place over two days, with 'anti-militaristic cruising' in the city of Rostock on June 5th and blockades at the military airport in Rostock-Laage on 6th - amongst no doubt a number of more spontaneous actions by all the diverse groups going who have stated their aims as generally blockading and disrupting the G8 circus on June 6th.
If you're suddenly thinking of going, German border controls are expected to get tighter and tighter next week. The Schengen Convention enabling free movement into the country has been suspended, and anyone looking too much like an anti-capitalist state-smasher is likely to get trouble. Go well prepared with camping equipment etc, and if possible some money to contribute to camp running costs (suggested 5 Euros a day)
* For detailed info see: www.g8-2007.de
* For possible lifts from the UK (sharing fuel costs), see www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de
(Useful vocab: Angebote = destination wanted. Einträge = lift
offer. Ankunftsort = place of arrival. Von = from. Nach = to. Or...find
a German speaking friend!)
* See independent films and reports from the protests at a new
dedicated channel called G8.TV (not to be confused with GMTV). It's
WHAT'S ON THE MENU?
SchNEWS snacks on the new G8 agenda but contracts eco-lies...
There's a busy and profitable agenda to get through at this year's G8 meeting. Although the previously burning issue of African poverty might still make it into the odd press release, it's now been tabled under 'any other business'. G8 leaders will be getting back down to the nitty gritty of expanding corporate and social control. Its time to "get back to the roots of the economic summits of the 1970s "say the German organisers "returning the group to its focus on the global economy." And with a gripping forum on the 'transparency of global hedge funds', perhaps the strategy is to bore the protesters out of the country.
A session on the 'imbalances in the global economy' is not a drive against the inequalites that leave the rich elite richer and the many billions of poor ever poorer, of course - rather the G8 is concerned about the fact that so much money is ending up in China; and now Europe, the USA and Japan are beginning to feel the pinch. A plenary session on 'sustainable uses of resources' will not focus on cutting carbon emissions, but instead will give priority to the 'challenges to profitability' that a re-branded eco-capitalism must address.
To be fair, Africa is up for help, but mainly through a 'partnership for reform' that will give an initial focus to the privatization of the African health system. It's best to help a continent ravaged by AIDS by making its citizens pay for essential health care, you see. Meanwhile home affairs ministers will be talking about the real big issues of the day - global security...of copyrights and patents. Speakers will be arguing that the use of the Internet to download copyrighted material is tantamount to terrorism, so citizens should expect a dawn raids and imprisonment without trial, next time they download some tunes without bunging Sony a few quid.
Knowing that capitalism and global justice are not compatible concepts, the G8 leadership has finally given up on pretending otherwise - all the more reason for everyone to stand up in Germany and be counted...
CRAP ASBO OF THE WEEK
For hamming it up...
Flint-hearted council officials are trying to rob a blind man of his only contact with the outside world - with an ASBO! Robin Wood, an amateur radio ham, has been slapped with an order to tear down the fifteen foot high aerials in his back garden he has had there for the past fifteen years.
"I'm blind and the radio is the only way I can communicate with the outside world. I use the radio as my social life," said Mr Wood. "I'm not prepared to lose my quality of life. I feel threatened when I go outside and haven't been out on my own for 15 years. I can't watch the TV either - without my radio, I will live in a very quiet world."
In readiness for the 2008 Beijing Olympics - the Chinese Government is not only demolishing shanty-towns to rebuild their capital city, they're also attempting to put a gentrified gloss on their their human rights record. As a one time 'official enemy', China's brutal human rights record is well-known in the West. The situation in Tibet - an eyesore on the human rights landscape - the East Timor conflict - a mere local difficulty.
Recently Wu Hailong, director general of the Dept. for International Organisations and Conferences of the Foreign Ministry of China (one hell of a job title) promised to adopt ' a series of measures to enhance human rights protection by speeding up legislation on human rights'. Meanwhile the Chinese state, which executes four times more convicts than the rest of the world combined, has now introduced 'mobile execution vans'. Prisoners are routinely executed in China, with minimal legal transparency. In the the gory past, Chinese sentenced to death were executed untidily by firing squad, but "The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile Death Van.
The chilling purpose-built vans offer an efficient road-worthy clinical environment where prisoners are confined to a bed, similar to an ambulance stretcher, and put to death with lethal injections. And if anyone was in doubt about corporate China's commitment to the free market, away from all prying eyes the bodies are also ideally situated for speedy organ removal surgery to stock China's burgeoning second-hand body part market.
Desperately sick (in all senses) foreign 'tourists' are ghoulishly arriving in China seeking cheap organs for cash, no questions asked. It has been estimated that around 95% of the 10,000 plus organs a year sold on, come from 'unexplained sources'. Or, in other words, recently ex-prisoners with little say or benefit from the transaction, to say the least.
The prospect of mobile snatch squads roaming around able to deliver fresher human meat practically to order (before dropping the body off to be cremated, after which proof of any surgery is a little lacking) is definitely a radical departure from the antiquated shooting in the street method, but not necessarily the human rights triumph China claims. More a triumph for the dark side of the free market. With so many dissidents incarcerated, and opposition to the state to be swiftly stamped on, it seems even repression has now become a profit-opportunity for the new breed of communocapitalists...
For a report on China's organ market, see http://investigation.go.saveinter.net
*For more on China human rights see www.china-labour.org.hk
A class of whine
The Anti-Yuppie Action group has been getting stuck in on the streets
of Tempa, Arizona recently. Activists gathered outside 'up for sale'
yuppie-style condo houses and then let potential buyers know what
they thought of them. Condo houses (think of any ubiquitous UK centre
of town luxury flats) are notorious in the States as second-home
buyers move in to push the locals out of the housing market (and
eventually out of their homes). AYA intend more of these actions.
See more at www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20070522190834876
* Meanwhile back in Blighty, Ian Bone, the Malcolm Mclaren figure
(well if you read his book 'Bash the Rich' anyway) behind
top-eighties anarcho-act Class War is getting himself in the papers
again. This time he's organising a anti-toff march on David
Cameron's swanky pad in Notting Hill on October 28th. If you
fancy a few hours of stop'n'search fun in the West End
then check out ianbone.wordpress.com/2007/03/18/the-bullingdon-bully
Despite the recent legal ruling stopping road-building destruction
at part of the Tara Heritage site in Ireland (See SchNEWS
585), the campaign to stop other work continues. People blocked
access to the site outside Dublin for thirty hours over last weekend,
holding their ground from Friday night to Saturday afternoon and
halting work on the road.. The police reckoned they had a right
to stand there so didn't nick anyone! Private security goons
bravely assaulted a woman at the blockade. Monday saw more direct
action, with all access to the site blocked for vehicles. The campaign
needs people right now with a graveyard at Collierstown under imminent
Ireland's Government face a General election next week and the fallout may well see a power-sharing with the up-and-coming Green Party. The Save Tara Campaign intend to hold out till then.
SchNEWS in brief
MAY 26 - Camp Titnore Birthday Celebration.
Bring balloons, cake, cards, party hats - whatever you think is
appropriate to mark this impressive achievement. At Montague Place,
Worthing town centre. 2pm. Free. For more about Titnore Woods protest
camp see www.protectourwoodland.co.uk
JUNE 2 - Strawberry Fair - Friendly free festival
with music, arts and crafts. Kid friendly event with face painting
and circus skills. Starts with a procession through the streets.
SchNEWS will be there with our info stall and SchMOVIES. All day
at Midsummer Common, Cambridge. www.strawberry-fair.org.uk
5-6 G8 Protests in Germany - if you've ducked
Deutchland how about a bit of sympathy anti- G8 action closer to
home...? No you can't see a web link all about it - you'll have
to go and do it yerself. For more about the UK mobilisation to Germany
8 -9 World Naked Bike Ride 2007. A 50-city worldwide
environmental protest against oil dependency - a unique celebration
of the body and the bike! Free. Nudity optional. 8 - York,
Southampton, Manchester. 9 - Brighton, London For times and places,
Anti-nulclear do-gooders are still making a nuisance of themselves
as part of the Faslane 365 campaign (See SchNEWS
581) which is still firing on all cylinders. So far, ninety
different blockading groups - including academics, clergy,
artists and writers, health professionals, Quakers, clowns and some
'normal' people too (!) - have spent 116 days
at the Trident submarine base, resulting in a disruptive presence
on more than half of the entire 235 days since the campaign began.
So far, this has resulted in 740 arrests and 29 prosections, for all you stat-lovers out there.
Next week is the turn of Protest in Harmony, Edinburgh's crack political choir, to let the warmongers know they're out of tune with the rest of us when it comes down to peace and stability in the world. The 2nd - 4th will echo with the sounds of singers from all over the UK as they converge on the base for the most harmonious noise demo ever heard. The 2nd will see workshops, legal briefings and rehersals in Glasgow, with actions at the Faslane gates planned for the 3rd and 4th.
Meanwhile earlier this week the base was nearly brought to it's knees in an onslaught of cartoon dogs, crayons and the Muppets (no, we weren't there), as the Families' Blockade came to town.
There was no villain to unmask, but the criminals on the other
side of the fence must have known their time was up when Scooby
Doo (Well, Bengie - aged 3 and ½) appeared with a banner
reading "You would have got away with it if wasn't for
those pesky kids!" Even famous diva and frog fancier Miss
Piggy got in on the act, saying, "Even the Muppets wouldn't
have spent £76 million on Trident. Someone like Moi would
have spent it fighting climate change." From the mouths of
Nut Cluster Bombs
The 'B52 two' - Philip Pritchard and Toby Olditch -
charged with conspiring to cause criminal damage for attempting to
disable two Iraq-bound B52 bombers at RAF Fairford in 2003 (see SchNEWS
562), have been found not guilty - the jury accepting their
moral argument that they were preventing a bigger crime.
The jury at Bristol Crown Court returned the vindicating verdict on May 22nd.
Summing up, the judge cited the two defences that make criminal damage, er, not criminal. The first is that the person doing the damage is protecting another person's property, that the other person's property is in immediate need of protection, and that reasonable force is used in the circumstances.
The second is that the person believes their actions will prevent a crime. Or a war crime, as the B52 two argued. This defence applies if the person only does such damage as to prevent a crime, uses only reasonable force, and believes that the damage they cause will prevent a crime.
So the jury considered that Iraq's property was in immediate
need of protection, and that a few spanners were more than reasonable
force against war planes, which were about to commit a crime -.a
verdict which could pave the way forward for a whole range of new
destructive anti-military actions...For more see www.b52two.org
Lets have the Bill
The bully boys in blue haven't yet jumped on the green bandwagon and are getting increasingly upset at the monthly Critical Mass cycle rides in London. On Monday, the Metropolitan Police won a case at the Appeal Court which ruled that Critical Mass is a 'procession' as defined by the Public Order Act (1986). This means that the "organizers" of Critical Mass have to notify the police six days in advance of the time and route of the procession - but as Critical Mass is anarchic and doesn't actually have any leaders it means the police will have a hard time securing convictions.
Back in September 2005, police issued a leaflet at London Critical Mass threatening people with arrest. In response to this the next Critical Mass was one of the biggest ever in a show of defiance defending the eleven year campaign. It is likely that today's Critical Mass will be a big one in another show of solidarity against this police attack. The cops may be harder to predict...
As Jesus said - "Go to Mass, the Critical Mass" (in
the Bible - somewhere in the middle..?)
* More at: www.criticalmasslondon.org.uk
Merseyside cops have been busy playing with their latest toy, literally. A remote control 'pilotless drone' is being trialled for three months. With built-in CCTV cameras and an UFO look that's more like a flying bin lid than Airwolf, it will be hovering in the skies above suspicious looking Scousers. The military-built machine is under a metre wide and able to take video pictures from a height of up to 500m, and small enough to be actually classed as a toy (who wants a Fisher-Price Panopticon for Christmas?!) and not subject to civil aviation regulations. The drone will be used to 'monitor public disorder, crowds and traffic congestion'. Cops are even proposing that it be used in 'firearms operations' perhaps indicating that they'd like to stick a gun on top so cops get to live out their Robocop fantasies. "Our drone will be used primarily to support our anti-social behaviour task force AXIS" (of Evil?), says Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne. But the real benefit, natch, is cash: "For us this is a cost effective way of catching criminals." How soon before the day when we are policed by mindless robots, obeying nothing but their programming? Oh.
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