| Friday 24th August
2007 | Issue 600
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER FLIGHT OR FIGHT...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Climate
of Fear | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Totaly
Un-Henged | Rave Heart | Inside
Schnews | Party & Protest |
Brecon The Law.|
AS COPS CLAMP DOWN ON
CAMPERS' RIGHT TO PROTEST AT HEATHROW
If nothing else, police attitudes at the climate camp indicated
that the road to sustainability is likely to be a rocky one.
If the camp's media collective seemed to be pumping out the message
that a peaceful negotiated solution to climate change is just on
the horizon, and airhead mass-media celebs confuse low-carbon living
with the Atkins diet, the Metropolitan Police at least seem to realise
that any genuine attempts to push our society towards a carbon-neutral
and eco-friendly future will mean a total smashing of the status
quo. And needless to say that's something the boys in blue and their
bosses are none too keen on.
Almost as soon as the climate camp was established cops began
to make their presence felt (see SchNEWS 599).
A site invasion by the police on Monday morning enabled the presence
of four officers permanently on site. However a later incursion
spearheaded by the FIT team was repelled a day later as 150 campers
surrounded the thirty cops and pushed them off site. For the first
three days police blocked Sipson lane (the main access route to
site) forcing everything to be brought onto site by hand.
Throughout the week campers were subjected to assaults, constant
stops and searches, sexist comments, aggression and sarcasm from
the Met. One element of police repression which attracted some mainstream
media attention were the searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism
Act. In fact by Wednesday most stops were being conducted under
Section 1 of PACE (this meant that the police claimed to suspect
everyone of 'going equipped to cause criminal damage'). One man
was stopped on the basis that he was thus 'equipped', even though
two minutes before he was being kicked out of West Drayton police
station with no possessions and wearing a paper suit! Stops and
searches were carefully coordinated with a team of police photographers
making sure that everyone stopped had their mugshot taken. People
were forcibly and illegally detained until the happy snaps could
be shot. Of course 99% of these searches produced no evidence of
anything (see Crap Arrest of the Week).
Although most campers were aware that it is not a legal requirement
to give your identity when stopped and searched, cops soon began
to arrest people refusing to give their details for being in possession
of their own bank/credit cards. These arrests didn't make it to
the police station and were a way of extorting peoples identities
out of them in the threatening confines of a police van. The object
of the exercise was clearly intelligence gathering. FITwatch activists
did their best to prevent photographers from getting a clean shot
by holding banners in front of the cameras.
On the day of mass action the tension boiled over. Following a
media stunt march round the site, protesters equipped with home-made
shields forced their way out south from the back of the camp making
a bee-line for BAA headquarters. Mounted police began trying to
break up groups and riding down individuals. Gloriously one horse-borne
copper fell off... twice! Seemingly caught by surprise the Met -
in full public order gear - soon regrouped in the estate to the
south. This time there were few cameras in evidence as squads of
hate-spitting, baton-wielding Tactical Support Group masked up,
removed their shoulder numbers and began laying into anyone they
could find. Numerous activists received head injuries. One group
were chased into residential back gardens, pinned down and punched
in the face. One commented, "At least we held up the police
so others could get to BAA. Anyway, I'd rather have a black eye
than spend 12 hours in a cell."
** Hassle with the cops at the camp? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
GLUE OR DIE
Apart from the day of mass action there were loads of small
affinity group actions:
Thursday started with lock ons at Farnborough,
Biggin Hill and Northolt airports - all
private airports catering to super-rich binge flyers. Blockaded
by two teams of climate activists, our elites found that their flying
taxi services were running a little later than usual.
- The doors of six London travel agencies were
chained shut and plastered with signs saying 'Closed, gone to
the Climate Camp'
- Ten people occupied the office of private charter company XL
which has a contract with the Home Office to deport rejected asylum
seekers to the Congo.
- Out came the superglue as people stuck themselves
to the front doors of the Department for Transport's
- Kids and parents blockade at the World Freight Centre
in Heathrow, protesting at the damage caused
by unnecessarily flying of food around the world.
- 30 campers brought a banner to a picket of striking cargo workers
at the Nippon Express depot.
- 50 people occupied Carmel Agrexco's Heathrow
warehouse in Hayes, where produce is air freighted
in from territories occupied by Israel. Highlighting the issues
of food miles and the unjust and unlawful distribution of natural
resources in the Middle East, activists kept up the pressure on
Agrexco for three hours before six people were arrested, four
on suspicion of burglary.
- The day kicked off with three teenage girls dropping a banner
reading 'Make Planes History' from the roof of
Heathrow Business Academy, close to BAA headquarters.
- Carbon offset companies were occupied by protesters dressed
as red herrings with fifteen people occupying the offices of Climate
Care in Oxford, and ten more leafleting the offices of the Carbon
Neutral Company in London.
- Five protesters locked on to concrete barrels outside Sizewell
A and B nuclear power stations, Suffolk.
- Eighteen occupied the office of the owners of Leeds Bradford
airport, Bridgepoint Capital.
- Later on in the evening, the BA World Cargo depot
was blockaded for about four and a half hours by eight protesters
locked to each other.
ARREST OF THE WEEK
For being on the chain gang...
Climate camp was a fine week for any connoisseur of police misbehaviour
but this arrest grabbed the attention of the SchNEWS crew... One
hapless camper was arrested during a stop and search for possession
of a key-chain! Apparently his 18 inch long metal chain could be
used 'to cause criminal damage'. Police have refused to be fobbed
off and are now investigating his alleged links to al Key-eda.
The battle to save the Hill Of Tara from a motorway continues.
Carving a path of destruction through one of the most important
archaeological areas in Europe, several ancient buildings and burial
grounds have been already been destroyed despite the discovery of
more relics during excavations (see SchNEWS
597, 585). The 8,000 year old henge
discovered recently at Lismullen was trashed after a rushed archaeological
effort to catalogue it. There is protest camp at the site, and direct
action continues to fight it every step of the way.
Last Thursday a group of twelve took a walk along
the route, and managed to play hide and seek with security and do
some digger diving. After blockading a gate at Collierstown, they
moved onto a digger preventing it from moving. With three on the
roof, they sung and banged on the roof until the driver got out.
After half an hour they were gone, avoiding the Gardai (police),
when they returned to the first gate and rushed onto a site with
four diggers and other trucks working. Although Health & Safety
laws require the machines to be turned off in this situation, some
carried on, while other drivers were amicable. Many workers and
Gardai themselves have said they don't want the road to go through
Later that day there were more hi-jinks as protesters moved around
several work sites, evading security and interrupting digging work.
At one point a woman separated from the group was surrounded by
thirteen security intent on holding her until the cops arrived -
but when informed them said that she wouldn't move, that the road
was illegal under EU laws and that she was protecting land and ancestors,
the security just let her go.
On Friday there was more digger diving when the
Roestown site was hit with 25 protesters spreading out over the
site occupying eight diggers and over fifteen other machines for
an hour and a half; again without arrests. This followed a blockade
of the gates at the Lismullen Henge as National Road Authority-sponsored
lackey archaeologists arrived at the site. Police seem reluctant
to arrest to avoid media coverage of the protests.
What sites are remaining are under imminent threat and the protest
camps are urging more people to get down there. The camps also need
to usual tat - tents, tarps, food, CB radios, climbing harnesses,
technical support, donations etc.
* To get to the camp take a bus from Dublin to Tara Cross, 20-25
minute walk from the Tara Vigil Camp. For more call Vigil Camp 00353(0)
861758557, Rath Lugh Action camp 00353( 0) 867372983 Or see www.tarapixie.net
THE WAR MACHINE!
EDO ACTION CAMP 2007
WILD PARK, BRIGHTON
The camp will be a base for action and workshops on effective
For more info: Tel 07875 708873
For the past four years, the SmashEDO campaign
has targeted Brighton arms firm EDO MBM, who make bomb rack
parts for the UK, US and Israeli military. Its successes include
beating a High Court injunction, the resignation of five directors,
and stimulating a 'freedom to protest' coalition that has
defied police repression of protest marches.
Angry party-goers laid siege to a police station last week in Great
Yarmouth. It all kicked off after police seizure of a soundsystem
at a warehouse on the Harfrey industrial estate. After the killjoys
confiscated the rig some revellers turned riotous and attacked Great
Yarmouth nick in an attempt to liberate their tunes. Put on the
defensive, but keen to ensure that no-one had unlicensed fun, 100
cops responded by dishing out liberal amounts of CS spray and battering
heads left, right and center. "This was by far the worst amount
of police brutality I have seen" said one party-goer. "The
fact that they use their shields as weapons is appalling - I saw
them smash a girl's car windows and drag her out by her hair - she
With the free-festival scene effectively squashed under the Tories,
Neo-Labour have turned their sights on non-profit events. New licensing
laws mean more money has to be spent on hired goon security who
must now come with certificates to prove their respectability. Regulations
also mean that organisers need a higher blockhead to punter ratio,
raising the cash stakes even more.
And that's without mentioning the Al-Qaeda threat - if you're thinking
about putting on an event you now need written plans to show how
you would deal with a bunch of terrorists blowing up the DJ stand.
This year the Big Green Gathering saw its security costs rise to
£200,000 - up from 40 grand in 2005. A serious blow to this
and other festivals, calling into question their future survival.
It seems UK plc is more than happy to embrace the pierced masses
as long as they've paid handsomely for the ticket, the event is
heavily policed and comes laden with lucrative sponsorship deals.
At the Glastonbury 'Make Poverty History' moment thousands of people
held hands in unity against poverty by standing under an advert
for the Orange mobile phone network! Although the festival organisers
argue that the ticket price of the £145 (plus fees) just about
covers the cost of running the event - sponsorship and pitch rental
deals are huge. Some reckon the festival is worth 20 million nicker
a year. Mean Fiddler Holdings plc - the company with an increasingly
large stake in Glasto managed to turn an £8.3m loss in 2002
into a £2.7m profit in 2004 - the year it took a 32% stake.
Nice little earner.
Then again - why bother with the licence? Despite the confiscation
of a sound system and resulting stand off with cops in Norfolk last
weekend, the free party scene is having a bit of a well needed revival.
Many more events have gone ahead trouble-free, reversing recent
declines in night time sub cultural activity. Dust off yer dancing
shoes and have a look at www.squatjuice.com
to see what's coming up…
Despite Gordon Brown recently hinting about maybe possibly rethinking
some of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act restrictions
on the right to protest, none of his populist liberty soundbiting
has managed to turn into anything real. Under SOCPA if you want
to run a demo near parliament you've got to ask police persmission.
Milan Rai, the first person to be convicted under
the SOCPA for "organising an unauthorised demonstration"
in the 1km no-go zone around Parliament Square (See SchNEWS
583) was sentenced this week to 14 days imprisonment. Failing
to cough up (on principle - not necessarily cos he was broke or
forgetful) the £600 levied in various court room shambles
has now left Milan banged up in Wandsworth prison for a fortnight.
August: 31 - No Borders Benefit Gig, for the upcoming
Gatwick No Borders camp (see below) With live acoustic sets and
DJ, 7.30pm-midnight, RampART Social Centre, 15-17 Rampart St, London,
E1 (Tube - Whitechapel) £5/£3/free asylum seekers. www.noborders.org.uk
31 - Critical Mass - The peddle powered direct
action where cyclists retake the road en-masse. Events are held
in cities around the world, including several in the UK - for list
September: 9 - Urban Green Fair - Brockwell Park,
Brixton. Music, cafés, kids' zone, speakers, poets, workshops,
DJs, craft and campaign stalls, all powered by renewable energy.
11 - Disarm DSEi - a day of actions against the
Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi), the arms sales
expo held every other year at East London's ExCel Centre. www.dsei.org
19-24 - Gatwick area No Borders Camp. A space
to share information, skills, knowledge and experiences, and to
plan actions together against the system of border controls. email@example.com
23 - Big name benefit gig to raise money for
court costs to get the Serious Fraud Office to investigate BAE Systems
bribes in Saudi arms deals, with Mark Thomas, Russell Brand, Omid
Djalili and others. Hammersmith Apollo. Call Ticketmaster (0870
Brecon The Law
The Brecon Beacons gas pipeline works were sabotaged
during a night of covert action this week. It's the latest effort
in the campaign to fight the building of a high pressure gas pipeline
across southern Wales (see SchNEWS 593
and 576). A small crew managed to bypass
security and equipped with just a wrecking bar were able to immobilise
eleven earth working machines including tippers and excavators,
and hole the pipeline itself in several places. Protesters badly
damaged engines and hydraulics on the machines. Check www.fightthepipe.co.uk
THERE'S NOWT AS QUEER AS VÖLK: Here's a tip
for our far-right readers - it might not be best to give your homophobic
opinions a public airing on the hottest day in the gay calendar
- Brighton Pride. While you might see big gangs of skinheads in
cherry red doc martens - look again and you'll see that they're
Undeterred by common sense, Sid "I'm the only Nazi in the
village" Williamson of the National Front, along with three
kids, six 'fighting fit men', two pensioners and a dog, held a demo
on the route of the Pride Parade. Holding a banner saying "Bring
back Clause 28" in the middle of a 150,000 strong march, the
odds were stacked against them.
Clearly expecting an easy fight with a bunch of fairies, the NF
got the pink pounding they deserved. Afterwards Stormtrooper Sid's
been reduced to moaning on far-right hate sites like Stormfront
about how they only had "two very disinterested coppers"
to protect them. Sid is particularly aggrieved that so few brothers
had joined in the fight for race and nation, exposing him to copping
a black eye and broken glasses after someone had lobbed a bottle
of pop his way (even whinging that it had not been opened!). "We
will not forget this treatment by the reds or the homosexuals"
he blusters, "Turn up next year nationalist comrades and don't
leave us in this sh*t ever again!"
Anyone interested in supporting Suicidal Sid can no doubt join
him on his 72 hour one-man white supremacist action at this week's
Notting Hill Carnival...
SchNEWS warns all readers we are armed only with cynicism, puns,
and peer-review-free propaganda. Honest!
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