| Friday 22nd June
2007 | Issue 593
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER STILL SLINGING THE MUD...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Put
the Kettle on | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Stone
Me | Still On The Pipe | Lost
The Buzz | Burn Out | Away
With The Faeries | ...and finally...
the Kettle on
AS SchNEWS REPORTS BACK
FROM THE G8 SUMMIT IN GERMANY
Now the cheap red wine hangovers have faded it's time for
some critical reflections on the G8 Summit party and protest
- and some endless rambling war stories. SchNEWS has collated the
accounts from several of our roving reporters on the ground and
kicks off coverage with with the 70,000 strong Rostock march on
Saturday 2nd June (see SchNEWS
The march was followed by a 'Move Against the G8' concert in Rostock
harbour. Thousands of riot police entered the harbour area. When
the crowd stuck together to resist the arrest attempts a pitched
battle began between cops, armed with tear gas, pepper spray and
water cannons, and assorted throwers of rocks, bottles and sticks.
One car was torched, but while all this was going on, thousands
of people continued to watch the concert, described by one as "the
most surreal in my life: a riot with a sound track". 164 were
arrested, with hundreds of cops and protests injured. Two people
are facing prison sentences for the Rostock demo who have undergone
accelerated trial processes that allow no time for them to prepare
When German fascists asked permission to demonstrate in the city
of Schwerin near to the summit, trying to present themselves as
the 'only real anti-capitalists', a large anti-fascist contingent
moved in to stop them. People from the camps around Rostock came
to lend support, clutching pamphlets on 'how to spot a Nazi'. Police
'kettled' the anti fascist activists holding them for several hours
before being pulled out one by one, loaded onto buses and arrested.
Everyone was let out by the evening, but the legal support team
declared the detentions illegal and a mass civil action has started
against the police.
On the Sunday thousands participated in a day
of environmental action. In the morning a third of an acre field
containing GM crops received a well deserved trashing and later
on a group of 50 people dressed as clowns occupied McDonalds. A
solidarity demo was also held outside the detention centre where
those arrested on Saturday were being held.
Monday 4th June began with police attempting
to stop and control groups leaving the camps for the day's demonstrations
around the issues of immigration and freedom of movement. One group
had their train stopped by armed cops and were told they would have
all their details checked and bags searched, but managed to sneakily
get around police lines by running across the railway tracks.
The demo started at the Ministry of Immigration, moving on to
a LIDL supermarket (a chain known for keeping its prices down through
low-wage labour and strong anti-union practices) and then to Sunflower
House, a home for refugees, which was attacked and set on fire by
fascists in 1992.
Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of the Israeli
occupation of Palestine with an action against a local Caterpillar
depot - the company supplying D9 bulldozers to the Israeli Occupation
Forces. Later in the day, reports came through that all the machines
at the depot had been burnt in a spontaneous action in support of
the Palestinian people. Around 1,500-2,000 people demonstrated at
EADS - an arms company with links to the UK weapons manufacturers
June 6th and 7th promised plenty of civil disobedience
and direct action, as people used a variety of tactics to block
road and land access to the summit and cause a bit of logistical
chaos. Although everyone knew that the main "dignitaries"
would be flown in by air, a summit is more than just a meeting of
eight people, so support staff and middle level delegates were the
For the past year in Germany, a large coalition had been forming
with the stated purpose of disrupting the conference. Block
G8 brought together over 120 different groups and asked
that people organised themselves into 'affinity groups' and turn
up ready to participate in direct action. Details such as time,
place and route of the blockades were organised by a central planning
group and info was not given out to participants until hours before
the blocks left camp. Block G8 agreed that they would not start
any violence and any started by the cops would be dealt with through
On the day, thousands of people streamed from the camps, organised
within the mass in small groups and "fingers" (a tactic
where the crowd splits into five streams making it difficult for
the police to control and surround, the theory being that some of
the streams may be stopped, but others will get through). The road
on the eastern side of the summit was taken as 8,000 people set
up camp and stayed for the next 48hrs. Reports came back of a festival-like
atmosphere and the inevitable clowns appeared. Meanwhile 5,000 were
reported to be holding the western gate with a small block of several
thousand in the south.
Many decided to do more mobile actions, partly as a rejection
of the perceived "self policing" of the Block G8 process,
but also because mass blockades were only agreeing to take on two
points so for the whole block to be effective smaller actions were
essential. It's difficult to tell how many groups were running around
in the woods building barricades but one SchNEWS reporter knew of
at least four groups of several hundred roaming the woods around
the security fence to the west.
The next day there was a mass walkout from the Reddelich camp
to reinforce the western blockade of the gate. 2,000 marched through
fields in the blazing heat and while a large group approached the
gate, others continued small group actions. As they approached the
police lines around the fence they streamed around the riot cops
and water cannons, taking the road with shouts of "we are peaceful,
what are you?" As the day wore on, at the west gate the cops
steadily cranked up the pressure as seven huge military helicopters
circled overhead bringing in re-enforcements. By the early evening
the action medics were having to deal with some serious casualties
including one spinal injury and another man from Liverpool with
a detached retina.
All road access to the summit had been blocked, Greenpeace sent
boats into the sea exclusion zone but 1,100 arrests later and the
G8 shindig still went ahead. One of the problems with trying to
fight capitalist globalisation is the way it runs through every
aspect of our lives. Finding where to challenge it is a challenge
in itself. G8 summits can be a focus point for people to come together
and oppose capitalism both with their bodies, in actions, and with
their lives in the camps. Making it as hard as we can for these
"leaders" to meet - behind a 13 million Euro fence designed
to keep out those they claim to represent - is a symbolic victory.
And as one SchNEWS reporter says, "the experience of running
through the fields, knowing there are more of you than them and
that you have control of the roads was incredibly inspiring..."
ARREST OF THE WEEK
For robbin' the rich...
Whilst SchNEWS doesn't generally have a very high opinion of bank
managers, in the small town of Tauberfranken, Germany, one example
of the species, Peter Taubinger, has broken the mold.
Clearly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the bank-induced social
injustice all around him, he set about taking direct action by nicking
£1.5 million quid from rich customers' accounts - and started
redistributing it into the overdrafts of more deserving punters
like single mothers, pensioners, and those unable to work due to
It's no good playing Robin Hood if you grass yourself up though
and it all came to an end after Pete turned himself in, realising
he couldn't hide what he'd done. Receiving a 34 month jail sentence
he has at least set a tremendous example to banks and their bands
of merrymen everywhere!
Avebury, one of the largest neolithic monuments in Europe, a 5000-year-old
stone circle (which now has a pub in the middle), is a popular Solstice
meeting point, a tranquil alternative to the flood-lights, hamburger
vans and policing of Stonehenge in recent years, post-Battle Of
The Beanfield in 1985 (See SchNEWS 25)
when no solstice celebrations were allowed at Stonehenge.
Last year the Kennet council served an enforcement order on the
National Trust - who control the site - preventing camping in the
carpark at Avebury during solstice celebrations. So with the solstice
sunrise falling this Thursday morning, a height restriction was
brought in to prevent caravans, vans and travellers' buses parking,
with no alternative provided. Policing was stepped up to enforce
the ban. The local Gazette biblically warned of 'Village Braced
For The Invasion - many fear the sunrise will leave chaos in its
During Wednesday afternoon, enthusiastic coppers started towing
away tourists cars, while Brendan McCarthy of the National Trust
said, "The simple message is, we'd rather thousands of people
didn't come, but if they do, they should come by bus". Er,
that's what they're trying to do innit? "We're scared out of
our minds things could turn nasty," said Jenny Baldrey of the
parish council, following it up with the charmingly Nazi-ish "We
just want it sorted once and for all..." On the plus side,
our man on the ground reports a public-spirited chap who has built
a rudimentary passage grave in the car park, where he's inviting
people in for bucket bongs. You can't kill the spirit, eh!?
For more solsticery, see www.themodernantiquarian.com/forum/?thread=40475
ON THE PIPE
Evictions have begun in force at the Trebanos/Brecon camp where
campaigners have been stopping work on the National Grid's 200 mile
gas pipeline project since February (see SchNEWS
569). Activists have locked themselves to trees and inside tunnels
as they hold out against the bailiffs in a last ditch attempt to
prevent work at the site.
As of Tuesday evening, six protesters had been arrested before
police and bailiffs packed up for the night, leaving three hardcore
tree defenders still locked on for the duration. In their usual
low-profile style the cops and bailiffs blocked the road all day
and barred journalists and supporters from the site. One defiant
protestor told SchNEWS, "We are willing to risk arrest as the
consequences of this pipeline will be far more devastating than
spending a night in a police cell. National Grid, as a private company,
are putting shareholder profit before people's safety, both locally
and more globally. We are putting ourselves in the way to say this
is completely unacceptable."
The eviction looks set to continue, as the protesters show no
intention of leaving soon - although the National Grid have wasted
no time in getting down to business and started stripping the land
as soon as the eviction began. This £6 billion scheme to transport
gas in from Qatar - as the National Grid themselves admitted - is
a quick fix for Britain's declining energy reserves and expanding
energy demands. It will be the largest gas pipe anywhere in Europe
and North America.
The 48-inch, high pressure pipe is a type normally used in third
world countries where life and litigation is cheap. It's considered
so dangerous that it is banned in the US - not a country famous
for its health and safety laws. When a similar pipeline exploded
in Kalakama, Nigeria, it devastated an area 20 miles square and
killed 11 people.
Even though it looks like the Brecon site's days (hours) are numbered,
locals and give-a-monkey's types will continue their fight against
the destruction of Brecon's (& the Earth's) ecosystems. So come
on people, get yerself down to Wales for round two ... For eviction
updates call 0778 6151033 or see www.fightthepipe.co.uk
SchNEWS already knew that cutting down on flying wasn't the bee
all and end all in the quest to avoid eco-geddon. A reminder of
nature's complexity and our reliance upon it comes from the United
States where bees have been suddenly and mysteriously dying off
in staggering numbers. Alarm led to a survey which discovered that,
across the country, up to 750,000 colonies have disappeared in the
last year (that's hundreds of millions of dead bees - a 60 to 70%
loss in some areas). The speed of the extinction has panicked even
US scientists and has lead to a new buzzword to describe the crisis:
'colony collapse disorder.' And as new data comes in suggesting
that similar problems are occurring in other countries, including
Poland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada,
Taiwan, and with new cases every week, the fear is it may have a
massive impact on ecosystems and world food production.
Opinion is currently wildly speculating as to what is causing
the hive nose dive. Suggestions range from global warming helping
parasites like the varroa mite or the bee-astly Nosema ceranae fungus,
to radio masts affecting navigation, or GM crops like Monsato's
bT corn which may suppress bee immune systems. Maybe it's just pesticides
or some other general environmental imbalance but, whatever the
reasons, there's no way to honey-coat the fact that human activity
is screwing up the planet in ever more unpredictable ways. And if
Albert Einstein was right there could be a real sting in the tail:
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man
would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination,
no more plants, no more animals, no more man." For more see
* UK bee populations are also under threat. Although not yet collapsing,
3 species went extinct last year. To find out about taking some
direct gardening action to encourage more wild flowers which support
different types of bees, see www.bumblebeeconservationtrust.co.uk/bumblebees_in_crisis.htm
* And beekeepers have been helping in the fight stop GM crop trials
in Britain. On May 16th, BASF u-turned and announced that they are
abandoning their attempt to trial mutant potatoes in Hull (See SchNEWS
585). This was partly due to their inability to tackle the problem
of pollen contamination of local hives. It's a development which
may prove a useful precedent in defences against GM in the future.
But BASF also can't have failed to notice the upswing of resistance
since their schemes were discovered - so it's one down and one to
go for the current crop of anti-GM activists as their other trial,
in Cambridgeshire is still on the cards...
* There's a protest action on Sunday 1st July
at noon: Bring costumes, families, footwear and clothing for a country
stroll and your favourite potato-based dish. Starting from Girton
Parish Church, Girton, Cambridgeshire.
* For more see www.mutatoes.org
The fight against the building of a giant incinerator at Newhaven,
East Sussex (see SchNEWS 488), continues...
After the government refused to call in the dodgy decision by local
councillors to press ahead - a vote which saw everyone in the region
gang up to force it on Newhaven (and one neo Labour councillor actually
claimed that the small seaside town will be made 'more attractive'
by an industrial toxic polluting plant!) All routes of 'legitimate'
protest have increasingly been run, and it will soon be time for
direct action to step in as the only way for residents to demonstrate
their opposition. Activists are calling out for noisy people to
go to the council's 'Land Grab' meeting at County Hall, Lewes on
26th June from 9.30am, where a compulsory land purchase on behalf
of Onyx / Veolia Waste is being discussed.
* For more see www.dove2000.org.uk
WITH THE FAERIES
The Hill of Tara in Co. Meath, Ireland, one of the most important
archaeological complexes in the world, is under threat due to a
motorway being built nearby (See SchNEWS 585).
Once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the area has at least
160 archaeological sites from 3600BC through to medieval times but
now the plan is to put a huge motorway interchange at the bottom
of Tara, cutting across the Skryne Valley.
Having been given the green light by the Irish government, the
destruction has begun. There are two protest camps in place - a
vigil, and a direct action camp bang in the line of fire. Other
campaigners, meanwhile, are going through legal channels to get
Tara protected on archaeological grounds.
Several weeks ago a site along the path of the road at Lismullin,
which had been fenced off and under guard, was revealed to be a
bronze-age wood henge, which had the potential to derail - or at
least re-route - the road scheme (See SchNEWS
586). But, in his last heroic act as Environment Minister and
just before the elections last month, Dick Roche rubber-stamped
a decision to allow the monument to be studied then destroyed. Despite
the fact that the monument had survived for the last few millennia,
the outgoing minister claimed that if it was left in place it would
'result in its destruction by the elements!' Roche claims he's done
John Gormley - the new minister - a favour, who is feigning powerlessness
to overturn the decision. A permanent camp has been established
at Lismullin and demonstrators are refusing to allow builders or
government-lackey archaeologists on to the site.
* June 20th-24th is a Midsummer Festival at Tara, celebrating
Tara and Irish heritage with music, poetry, storytelling, and a
Solstice celebration this Thursday morning.
* See www.savetara.com
With the weird (wired) and wonderful punters at Glastonbury this
weekend parading around in a full rainbow of fashion styles, from
fancy evening wear through designer hippy chic and fancy dress to
all out nudity, they should be grateful that the festival's not
being held in the US state of Louisiana. Uptight Delcambre town
council have made themselves the butt of jokes by making it an actual
crime to wear low slung trousers or any clothes that expose your
underwear. The crackdown is on particularly for the hip-hop-stylee
sagging pants look, leading to some accusations of racism. Having
effectively literally created a state fashion police, they're now
out to demand $500 fines or six months in jail from anyone caught
with their pants down. SchNEWS reckons the law is an ass...
all Glastonbury punters - a silly hat does not make you mad and
Download free short films
produced by SchNEWS, or order a copy of 'V For Video Activist,
the new SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection only £6 incl.
here for more info
OUT NOW!!! 'SCHNEWS
AT TEN' - A Decade of Party & Protest - £5 inc p&p
Peace de Resistance -
issues 351-401. £5 inc p&p
SchNEWS of the World
- issues 300 - 250. £4 inc p&p.
SchNEWS and SQUALLs
YEARBOOK 2001. £4 inc p&p.
The SchQUALL book Sold
out - Sorry
SchNEWS Survival Guide
Sold out - Sorry
SchNEWS Annual issues
Sold out - Sorry
(US Postage £6.00
for individual books, £13 for above offer).
In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
photos, cartoons, subverts, a yellow pages list of contacts,
Subscribe to SchNEWS:
Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable
to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS
supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if
you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.