Home | Friday 13th February 2009 | Issue 666
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER ALWAYS GOSPEL...
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Story Links : The Watchtower | ...from The Book Of Schrevalations | The Apes Of Wrath | My Bloody Valentine | Sounding Off | Keep It Spikey | ...and Finally...
NO NEW REVELATIONS FOR REGULAR SCHNEWS READERS AS WE LOOK AT THE LATEST CAMPAIGN FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES
It shows how bad things have got for freedom in this country if we’re pinning any hopes on the moderate left. They’re finally waking up to the wholesale destruction of civil liberties by the Zanu-Labour juggernaut. Freedom is suddenly back on the agenda, despite it being on SchNEWS’s for the last fourteen years.
This week saw the publication of the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords report ‘Surveillance: Citizens and the State’. The report noted that surveillance had become “an inescapable part of life in the UK,” and called it “one of the most significant changes in the life of the nation since the end of the Second World War”. The report goes on to document the massive extension of databases such as: ContactPoint – records on every child born in England and Wales. (SchNEWS 452); The computerization of NHS records (SchNEWS 481); ID Cards (SchNEWS 24, 454, 466, 580); RFID (SchNEWS 415, 616) etc, etc. – enough to make you wonder how many of their Lordships are loyal SchNEWS readers.
Even SchNEWS’ local MP David Lepper has hopped on the bandwagon after a police Forward Intelligence Team installed themselves opposite the Cowley Club during the Earth First! Winter Moot last weekend, taking photos of everyone entering and leaving. In a broadside attack the local rag the Argus lambasted their actions as “ham-fisted scare tactics”.
Girding their loins for the fight is the Convention for Modern Liberty – an odd coalition spanning Liberty and Amnesty International to the Countryside Alliance (wonder if our fox-hunting friends will be campaigning for the repeal of the Criminal Justice Act?). They’re hosting meetings across the country on 28th February – with a massive backslapping fiesta in London for yer Tony Benns, Shami Chakrabartis and Yasmin Alibhai Browns. But as ever the question remains - liberty for who? The devil is as ever in the details. Henry Porter, Guardian columnist and convention co-director says for example “no one is questioning the need for the state”. But the protest movements that bear the brunt of new repressive legislation: the climate camps, the animal liberationists, No Borders activists, the anti-militarist movement etc are in fact largely anti-state. The group most heavily affected – the muslim youth radicalised by the West’s assault on the Arab world have no say in the British state whatsoever.
And it’s these movements that are continually targeted. There were ‘revelations’ in last weeks Mail on Sunday of a new police unit (the Confidential Intelligence Unit) to tackle ‘domestic extremism’. This won’t come as any surprise to anyone involved in ‘domestic extremism’ (once known as ‘protest’).
The job advert for the head of the CIU that served as the Mail’s source for the story said the post involved the management of “the covert intelligence function for domestic extremism”. The fact that the CIU post is advertised by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) a private company free from scrutiny is incidental. But Special Branch have openly admitted to a long history of infiltration of the union movement, the anti-apartheid campaigns and more recently the anti-roads and animal rights movements.
The trouble with liberal outrage is that it’s so predictable. It’s OK to defend the free speech and movement of people who represent no threat to the status quo. If anyone’s in a position to effect actual radical change however then it’s OK for the gloves to come off. Will the Convention for Modern Liberty or the House of Lords be troubling themselves with the vicious sentences handed down to animal rights activists? Or will they be too busy cosying up to their fox-hunting pals?
The recent seizure of an Indymedia Server (SchNEWS 663) and the subsequent arrest of the system administrator says more about the state of liberty than any convention. On Monday Kent Police arrested a man in Sheffield under the Serious Crime Act 2007 in relation to the recent Indymedia server seizure. His home was searched and computers despite having neither technical, administrative nor editorial access to the Indymedia UK website. All he did was host its server. Kent police claim that they are after the IP address (despite knowing Indymedia do not log IP addresses) of the poster of two anonymous comments to a report about a recent animal liberation court case, which included personal details of the Judge.
Meanwhile some are fighting back – One F.I.T watcher (see SchNEWS 639) has just been convicted by magistrates of obstructing police for getting in the way of cameras last June. This judgement runs completely contrary to an earlier judicial review saying police had no power to remove obstructions to their view. However during the trial police were forced to admit that they take photos for databases and cross reference photos of different political views, of course this has been known for years but it’s good to have it from the horse’s mouth.
Our movements are under attack. It’s useful to have allies but ultimately...they have their agendas and we have ours...
...FROM THE BOOK OF SCHREVALATIONS
“A great Brown Beast shall overthrow his master in consort with the Prince of Darkness; he that is the Son of Mandel. And the sons of men shall be laid low before before the demon brothers Reseshun and Represhun. And there shall be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the land. The greed of man shall know no bounds and the rivers will run dry; the sea invade the land and the weather wax most wrath. All will bear the number of the beast and walk under the gaze of unblinking eyes. Every act of man shall be written in the book of the Grim RIPA. and many will be bound in iron and stone in the fortress of TITAN. Babylon shall fall in flames and War will burn the children of the Holy Land. Amen“
THE APES OF WRATH
AS HLS PRIMATE ABUSE EXPOSED...AGAIN
A few weeks after seven people from SHAC were sentenced from 4 to11 years in prison for “Conspiracy to Blackmail” after running a campaign to close down animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences. A video and report has been released that highlights why these people were campaigning against HLS. This is the seventh time in 12 years HLS have been exposed by undercover investigations.
The video and report by Animal Defenders International (not connected to SHAC) follows monkeys in small rusted cages in Vietnam on a 30 hour journey to Europe. The monkeys could not stand up in the cages and suffered illnesses after the long journey; high temperature and weight loss, cuts on their heads and faces, flaking skin and bruising.
On arrival at HLS an undercover worker in the labs saw shocking routine cruelty and injuries caused by poor quality housing and rough handling. Monkeys were routinely scraped and cut, one monkey lost its toes, another cut his hand open. One female monkey cut her arm and the vet stapled shut the wound, but when the monkey was returned to its cage it pulled out the staples; she was then re-caught and had the wound glued shut. The undercover worker said of one monkey, “the chains holding a cage door shut had sharp edges and one pierced the cheek of a female monkey, leaving her unable to eat; as a result she was force-fed twice a day.”
The procedures on the animals are themselves inherently cruel. Monkeys are forced to ingest substances being tested by having a tube thrust down their throats into their stomachs and the substance pumped in. This caused vomiting, diarrhoea, nosebleeds, skin disorders, excessive salivating and the immediate death of one monkey following dosing.
In other experiments monkeys are restrained by being strapped into special chairs, one member of staff was bitten and subsequently grabbed the monkey’s head and twisted it violently. The stress caused monkeys to suffer rectal prolapses and they had to be replaced in the study. In an inhalation study, three monkeys died and another three collapsed but were revived, autopsies showed the monkeys had blackened lungs.
Of course all this is done “humanely” and is licensed by the Home Office. So of course HLS can’t be doing anything wrong and if you say they are, then hey, you’re a dangerous extremist.
Report and video at: www.shac.net/HLS/exposed/2008/
* The jury in the re-trial of animal rights activist Mel Broughton retired this week to consider its verdict. He is accused of conspiracy to commit arson and possession of articles with intent to destroy property, relating to attacks on Oxford University property in 2006. Oxford University is later this year opening an animal testing laboratory. The main evidence is low copy DNA from a matchstick used in a fuse of a bomb that did not ignite. The use of low copy DNA based on tiny pieces of DNA was described as “potentially misleading” by Dr Jamieson, a forensics expert for the defence. Also significant is that Thames Valley Police have a personal vendetta against Mel after being caught on tape saying they will be “waging a dirty war” him and “to persecute him”. (SchNEWS 590).
MY BLOODY VALENTINE
A number of actions against Israeli national fruit and vegetable exporter Carmel Agrexco have been carried out across Europe in the weeks building up to Valentines Day (see SchNEWS 664). This is a busy time for the company as it usually rakes in cash from tonnes of flowers, grown illegally on Palestinian soil. Whilst the blooms are dished out across Europe as love tokens, Palestinians in the occupied Jordan Valley (where the majority of Agrexco’s settlement produce comes from) will be shivering in tents and shacks due to building restrictions imposed by the Israeli military authorities.
On 12th February 15 women locked themselves to the gates of Carmel Agrexco to stop the delivery of Valentine’s roses. At the time of writing three women had been violently arrested. One of the activists said, “The world did nothing as over 900 people were killed in Gaza last month. Carmel Agrexco, a state owned company, is at the heart of Israel’s colonisation and exploitation of Palestinian land”.
A large protest was also held last Saturday outside the Agrexco head quarters in Hayes. The British retailers’ cooperative also chose this time of the year to send a letter to Carmel Winery saying it will not market products with any part produced in ‘illegally occupied territories’, simultaneously announcing plans to enter into dialogue with Palestinian farmers in hopes of launching the first fair-trade Palestinian products later in the year’.
Activists on-board the Sea Shepherd conservation vessel, the Steve Irwin, are now returning after 27 days spent in hot (or maybe icy cold) pursuit of a Japanese whaling fleet south-east of Hobart. Braving heavy fog, loose ice and high winds they took advantage of a lucky break in the ice to track down the Nisshin Maru and harpoon vessels Yushin Maru numbers 1 and 2 in the middle of the Ross Sea. After nearly a month trying to avoid the activists, the whalers eventually decided to continue their sick mission despite the presence of the Sea Shepherd. The activists bravely fought the vessels to the end, using their ship to block the three vessels from hauling the harpooned animals aboard. They have now decided to trade their boat in for a bigger ship to take on the Japanese harpoon boats.
As the whalers are unable to do any harpooning whilst being chased, they have been desperately trying to shake their activist tail. So far they have used water cannons, concussion grenades, and have been throwing solid brass and lead balls at Sea Shepherd crew members. They have also threatened them with long range acoustic devices – military class weapons which cause serious disorientation, confusion, vomiting and permanent or temporary deafness. It’s illegal to use military weapons in the demilitarized Antarctic Treaty Zone, but then, technically so is killing whales for research and then selling their carcasses for meat.
With around 300 whales killed so far this year, down from 600 at this time last season, the aim is to stop the whalers bagging the 1000 whales they aim to kill under the legal loophole which permits ‘lethal research’ on marine animals (see SchNEWS 661).
KEEP IT SPIKEY
Up to 80 years ago, each homeless person was entitled by law to a warm bed and an evening meal...in one of the dreaded workhouses. Each workhouse had a separate building, known as a casual ward or “Spike”. There you could get a bath, grub and a bed for the night.
In 1998, some people looking for a home and a community centre didn’t wait for the state to sort them out and did it themselves. They took over an old burnt out, fly-tipped building in Peckham that in 1850 had been the Camberwell Resettlement Unit (or Spike).
They planted a garden and offered courses on permaculture. They put in a recording studio, rehearsal hall and video making facilities. They built a dojo for martial arts and yoga. Once a week there was a Well-being clinic that offered free complementary therapies.
The project had been used by thousands of people and was, according their website, “poised to reach out to an even wider community, particularly disaffected youth. Peckham is a notoriously deprived area, with gun crime and gang membership rife.” One ex-caretaker told SchNEWS, “this was always a supportive environment, never any trouble.”
But after ten years Southwark Council, despite offers of money and proposals for a community solution, decided to close the place down. At around 7am on Wednesday (12), 20 bailiffs, cops, PCSO’s and “community wardens” turned up and kicked everyone out.
Court bailiffs had promised at least two weeks notice would be given to allow the project’s equipment to be moved out, but no notice was given and people had to charm their way back in during the day to reclaim their vehicles and possessions. One caretaker told SchNEWS, “We had a cup of tea with one of the security guards and he told me how bad he felt, knowing that the building hadn’t been sold and how he was just costing the council money for no reason...” Nice move Southwark!
The Spike has launched an appeal for help finding a new location for the project, or failing that, for individual elements of the project to continue. The Music Studio, Well-Being Space & Community Garden all need re-housing to continue their work. If you can assist contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7252 9733
Save Spike documentary at www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXLunawGrI8
It’s well known that SchNEWS never knowingly checks its facts and is dangerously over-reliant on Wikipedia as the source of all knowledge (maybe we can be forgiven for having no budget, no resouces, no time and no inclination to care?) – but can the Conservative Party really think the whole world runs this way?
Seemingly so as a Cameron knucklehead in Party central office got caught out this week after changing the artist Titian’s date of birth on Wikipedia soley so Davey boy could make a minor point-scoring quip to Gordon Brown by claiming he’d got the artists age wrong in a crap speech at the World Economic Forum recently.
Thank heaven they’re too stupid to know about IP addresses or else they could be rewriting history all over the place and we’d be swallowing it left, right and centre. It’s not like the good old days when that lovely sensible Lady Thatcher was in charge...
Keywords: david cameron
, gordon brown
SchNEWS warns all readers - don't believe everything you read in the Bible. Honest!
THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film - is out on DVD. The film
police tried to ban - the account of the four year campaign to close down a weapons
parts manufacturer in Brighton, EDO-MBM. 90 minutes, £6 including p&p
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THREE - SchMOVIES Collection DVD 2007 featuring thirteen short direct
action films produced by SchMOVIES in 2007, covering Hill Of Tara Protests, Smash
EDO, Naked Bike Ride, The No Borders Camp at Gatwick, Class War plus many others.
£6 including p&p.
For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve
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DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005.
Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.
At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc
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de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p
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