| Friday 5th October
2007 | Issue 605
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER LOONIES ON THE GRASS...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Parlia-ment-al
| Crap Arrest Of The Week | In
Grand Style | Pigged Farm | Diced
Sham | Party & Protest | Always
A Crackling Read | Saving Their Bacon | Total
Swines | Bangers & Smash | And
...A-TO-B PEACE MARCH
BANNED AS UK JUNTA CRACKS DOWN IN SHOW OF SOLIDARITY WITH BURMESE
This is rather
a ham-fisted attempt to prevent us from demonstrating. What they
(the government and police) do is up to them. We will just ignore
them and we have the moral and logical high-ground. I will be marching
on Monday 8 October. - Mark Thomas
Police forbid a march
on the centre of government Rangoon? Nope, London. While
Gordon Brown reminds the world of our commitment to human rights
and expresses his disgust at the treatment meted out to Burmese
protestors, its a different story when it come to the overwrought
mother of parliaments.
The previously studiously
uncontroversial Stop the War Coalition has run up against
the big protest clampdown. Their planned Troops Out
march on October 8th from Trafalgar square to Parliament has been
banned by the Met police. But theyre planning to march anyway.
- March In Defiance Of The Ban
Monday 8th October, 1 pm, Trafalgar Square, march to Parliament
Square. Venerable greybeards Tony Benn and Walter Wolfgang
will be leading the united defiance of celebrities and public
* For more see www.stopwar.org.uk
Usually STWC conducts
totally legal demonstrations and has not previously lent its support
to illegal direct action. On this occasion they were in negotiation
with the police for some weeks beforehand and by cunningly apparently
getting round the Public Order and SOCPA legislation by fully complying
with it, the march appeared to have the police go ahead. Their marches,
which tend to be of the go from a set A to B, hear Tony Benn
affairs, have been sanctioned and facilitated before by the police
- in a marked contrast to heavy handed treatment of unauthorised
events such as Sack Parliament (see SchNEWS
564). Pundits used to the Mets usual attitude to protests
were left slack-jawed at the minimal policing in evidence on the
massive march in Feb 2003. In fact discussions between the organisers
and the police included plans to neutralise anarchist elements,
such as samba group Rhythms of Resistance.
However, last Friday
in a room at New Scotland Yard, in a meeting with events co-ordinator
Inspector Stuart Cornish claiming to be acting on a steer
from upstairs, he informed them that the march would not be
allowed within one mile of parliament. In return the organisers
were offered a static demo and to their credit they walked
out of the meeting.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
To achieve this the cops
dusted off the the 1839 Sessional Orders legislation, which allows
the granting of orders to allow the free passage of MPs and peers
into Parliament. The Act ORDERED, That the Commissioner of
Police of the Metropolis do take care that the passages through
the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that
no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to
and from this House. When this act was passed the greatest
threat to the state was Chartism,
a riotous movement demanding democratic freedom. What next? Public
gatherings broken up under the 'Corn
Laws'? The return of the ducking stool?
The Sessional orders
do not actually confer any extra powers on the police, being merely
a formal expression of parliaments wishes. Those wishes being
of course being that the people should in no way attempt to interfere
with the business of their masters. But it is anticipated that police
will make arrests under the usual Do What Youre Told Act if
any attempt is made to breach the cordon around parliament.
ARREST OF THE WEEK
For Armchair Intifada...
One student office temp
cum work-top warrior has got a little more than he bargained for
when, obviously bored with the inanity of the usual desktop decorations
of toys, xxxxx, Britney Spears / Peter Andre calendars (delete as
applicable), he decided to go for something a little edgier to the
mindset of big business. His insurance firm was less than impressed
at the small cotton patch with a peace dove and Free Palestine
on it, a leaflet saying CatterKiller about the use of military bulldozers
and a postcard saying Boycott Israeli Goods.
He swiftly lost his job,
his one-man mission to bring down the international finance system
from within seemingly over.
But no, a month later
he received a knock from the Thought Police who arrested him for
Aggravated Racial Harassment, searched his house and
confiscated literature relating to the Israel Palestine conflict,
then detained him for nine hours. He has now been bailed until October
Perhaps hell stick
to You dont have to be crazy to work here... but it
helps! posters next time!
OVER 1000 ARRESTS
The Faslane naval
base holds nuclear-armed Trident submarines, and since 1982
has had nuisance neighbours in the form of the Faslane peace
camp. This Monday was the Big Blockade send-off for the year-long
Faslane365 action and it went with a bang. After over 100
separate actions during the year by anti-war groups coming from
all around the country and beyond, SchNEWS was wondering whether
the total arrests would hit the 1000 mark on the last day, and we
werent disappointed. During the year we began a Faslane365in365-o-meter,
to track whether there was going to be 365 arrests in the year
with a prize to the 365th arrestee, which happened only three months
into the campaign. (For the record we did actually meet him and
he graciously refused any prize well never get rid
of some of those old books!) So even we were obviously out of touch
with current police peace protest arrest-rates.
On the day of action
around a thousand people from across the UK and Europe descended
on the main gates of the base. By 7am, the Northern gate was blockaded
with protesters chaining bits of their bodies to the gates and others
super-gluing themselves together and pouring paint over themselves
(just to impede police). By 8.30am, the South gates were blocked
preventing all road access to the base. By mid-morning the police
response had kicked in with around 100 arrests, and at the days
end they tallied an impressive 180.
There was also a roadblock
including at tripod on the A814 to Garelochhead, leading to The
Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) at Coulport, Loch Long - where
Trident nuclear missiles are stored. For those not arrested during
the morning, the day continued at the North gate in a noisy fashion
with all the usual demo theatrics like clowns, and live music powered
by Rinky Dink. It ended at 3.30 with a closing ceremony.
With the Faslane365 arrests
figure hovering around the 970 mark, by mid-morning the 1000 barrier
was smashed, leading to a total of 1150 arrests during the year.
Notching up an impressive average of over three arrests every single
day for a whole year, it is claimed that the police bill for Faslane
365 has been over £5 million. A drop in the ocean next to
Trident of course...
* See also www.faslane365.org
* Faslane Peace Camp
Police raided the UK
Animal Rights Gathering in Kent on Sunday. There was a heavy
police presence throughout the gathering, culminating in a demand
to enter the premises (an animal sanctuary). When this was predictably
refused, they went away to get a warrant to search the farm for
drugs. Given two hours warning the two hundred campers were ready
and greeted the cops with video cameras. They even set out benches
in a semi-circle so that onlookers could enjoy the farce in comfort.
Needless to say the assembled plod walked away empty-handed.
* For other animal rights
Activists arrested at
the DSEi arms fair for trying to get into the exhibition
hall (see SchNEWS 602) have already their
charges dropped. Around fifteen protestors were arrested, most were
released without charge on the day. The remainder were charged with
tresspass with intent of disrupting lawful activity
and were gearing themselves up for a political court case where
they could argue that DSEis activities were illegal. (Co-incidentally
shortly after the arrests a number companies exhibiting more legally
dubious hardware were asked to leave the exhibition). It's no coincidence
then that the London CPS deicided not to press ahead with such a
potentially embarrassing court case.
* For more see www.dsei.org
- OCTOBER: 7th -
Stop Bombing Afghanistan walk
to mark the 6th anniversary of the 2001 invasion. Meet 10am, St
Ethelburgas Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, 78 Bishopsgate,
London EC2N 4AG. Tel: 0845 458 2564 or visit www.voicesuk.org
- 7th - New Roots
Co-op is holding its annual open day at Moulsecoomb
Allotments on the corner of Natal and Nesbitt Roads, Brighton.
All welcome, dogs on leads please. Come and have a nosey and enjoy
some of the produce thatll be on show. New Roots (formerly
Re-Evolution) is an organic producer with permaculture as the
founding principle. 2-6pm
- 9th - Stop Deporting
Anti-deportation, anti-immigration acts demonstration called by
UK Cameroon Support Network (CSN). 12-2pm at UK Immigration Service,
Sandford House, 41 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3RJ.
- 13th - Keep
Space For Peace
week protest - as part of the international actions called for
by the Global Network Against Nuclear Weapons and Power in Space,
the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) is
demonstrating at the American base at Menwith Hill. 12noon-4pmish
at the main entrance, Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
For more info tel: 01423 884076, email: email@example.com
or visit www.caab.org.uk
- For full listings
updated weekly see www.schnews.org.uk/pap
a Crackling Read
Its a big up to
the Pork Bolter which has reached a decade in power as the
authoritative voice of radical Worthing. Just to prove that the
seaside town is anything but a boring place to be, this weeks
issue has a bonus centrepage-spread overviewing 10 years of local
activism. Each month the cheeky PB journos give us the low down
on camp Titnore, corporate crime and police stupidity in and around
the town - with the occasional scoop on which boozer provides the
best late night pub activity.
* Check out the newsletters
website at www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
So Gordon man of
the people Brown let slip on his Iraq visit a limited backwards
advance from Iraq. Facing up the military reality of failure? A
moral crusade to end war by newly- converted peacenik Gordo or a
cynical attempt to run around making loads of popular promises before
calling a snap election in attempt to get another 5 years without
electoral threat? You decide! (probably on Nov 3rd apparently).
At least Brown didnt
hide his real position, also saying, I am very proud of what
our armed forces are achieving here ... We will discharge our obligations
to the Iraqi people and to the international community and we will
discharge our obligations to our armed forces, who are doing this
difficult job. A job not getting any easier, in so many ways
for so many reasons...
Meanwhile, what are our
erstwhile shoulder-to-shoulder chums the US up to? The Bush junta
has just confirmed the USs plans to really concrete in their
presence on foreign soil... by building the worlds biggest
embassy in Baghdad. The 104 acres site, surrounded by blast walls
is a mere ten times the size of the embassy in Bejing and six times
bigger than the whole UN complex in New York. Now thats diplomacy!
According to the publicity material the place will be completely
self-sufficient. But dont expect allotments and
compost loos they mean therell be no need to
rely on the Iraqis for anything..
Despite reports that
head of the military junta, General Than Shwe has agreed in principle
to meet the pro-democracy NLD party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the
regimes vicious backlash to the protests in Burma (See
SchNEWS 604) continued this week, with
state snatch squads raiding all over Rangoon. One account has ten
thousand rounded up for interrogation and many thousands are reported
as disappeared killed, detained for torture or
destined for remote prisons. Many have tried to flee the city, as
military vehicles were sent onto the streets complete with loudspeakers
blaring: We have photographs. We are going to make arrests.
* A mass solidarity
demo and a mass die-in has been called for today (5th) at London
TOTAL Oil HQ (See SchNEWS 488 for why there) 8.30am-10am at 33 Cavendish
Square, London, WC1. See www.burmacampaign.org.uk/total.html
* For more about a similar
action on Tuesday, see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/10/382635.html
* For more background
about Burma see www.burmacampaign.org.uk
* Read John Pilgers
book Freedom Next Time, about how corporate interests
exert power over former authoritarian regimes -
After their action camp
last month (See SchNEWS 601) SMASH
EDO activists were back to their usual tricks. In the early
hours of October 3rd, eight activists entered the grounds of bomb-builders
EDO MBM, angered by the continued local presence of a company
supplying parts for the war machines in Iraq and Palestine and Afghanistan
to mention but three.
Activists scaled the
fence at the crack of dawn and quickly managed to superglue all
six entrances to the factory, making it impossible for employees
to enter, shutting EDO down. Two campaigners locked on to the two
main doors at the front of the building. True to form, there were
a series of confrontations between the protesters and the onsite
security goon. He attempted to chase those not locked-on out of
the car park by driving at them in his car, pinning one against
the metal fence. Guardian Guards seem notorious for placing aggressive
thugs at EDO MBM, and this clown proved no exception. In the time
it took for the police to show up he had assaulted and racially
abused three of the protesters.
It didnt take too
long for the police to show up but were slowed down by an unexpected
inconvenient barricade which appeared at the bottom of Home Farm
Road. When they did eventually make it through to the factory, they
began arresting activists, leaving just one locked to the entrance.
But not before a baffled Paul Hills, the managing director, had
felt he had no other option but to break into his own factory by
smashing a window! After the fire brigade refused to attend the
incident, police managed to unlock the last activist at 8.30am.
Cops then began to confiscate
cameras, claiming that they needed the footage for evidence of criminal
activities. When one cameraman struggled to hold onto his property
he was also collared, taking the arrest count up to five. All re
now bailed with charges pending.
Activists were informed
at Hollingbury nick that EDO MBM had lost a lot through this ordeal,
having to replace all locks on all entrances, a pane of glass for
the window, and generally making losses as employees were unable
to continue with their days important work. Just like any
job its always nice to get some positive feedback on the work
* For more see www.smashedo.org.uk
Heightened paranoia over
the severe terrorist threat last week proved to be a
recipe for a disaster in one Soho street anyway. A funny
smell set alarm bells ringing for disaster-primed locals who hit
the panic button. The emergency services were summoned to a suspected
chemical attack, leading to police sealing off the area for three
hours. At least one office was evacuated. The fire crew arrived
at ground zero only to find, instead of an Al-Qaeda cell, just a
few bemused chefs from a Thai restaurant. Theyd been preparing
Nam Prik Pao, an eye-watering dip but hardly an explosive concoction
which involves the rendering down of 3 kilos of chilli. Having neutralised
the sauce of the evil plot, the terrorist threat in the area has
since been downgraded to caution: extra spicy...
SchNEWS warns all readers
- the hogs of war only tell you porky-pies. Honest!
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