Copyleft - Information for direct action - Published weekly in Brighton since 1994


SchNEWS 678, 5th June 2009
Convoy Polloi - Twenty four years have passed since the defining moment of the Thatcher government’s assault on the traveller movement - the Battle of the Beanfield - SchNEWS revisits it all... plus, the G8 returns to Italy, to the site of the recent earthquake, fourteen road protesters say goodbye to court as their cases are dismissed, a Texas court dishes out draconian punishment to aid charity, a legal victory challenges police methods of storing protest pictures, and more...

SchNEWS 677, 29th May 2009
Mosquito Bite - The Mískito people on the coast of Nicaragua have broken away and declared themselves a new nation, in defiance of Daniel Ortega's government... plus, Bury Hill Wood, part of the Abinger Forest, Surrey is under threat from oil exploration by Europa Oil and Gas, plans are afoot to squat land in the Hammersmith area of London and turn it into an eco-village, things are getting harder for vivisection lab Huntingdon Life Sciences, as major shareholder Barclays bank pulls out investment, and more....

SchNEWS 676, 22nd May 2009
Final Frontiers - No Borders special as SchNEWS reports on the humanitarian crisis in Calais caused by British immigration policy... plus, will the belated withdrawal of British backing affect the Colombian military and their reign of violence, the Sri Lankan government claims victory over the Tamil Tigers but we question at what price, anti-Trident protesters have occupied a new site at the Rolls Royce Rayensway hi-tech manufacturing facility in Derby, and more...

SchNEWS 675, 8th May 2009
Brighton Rocked - As Smash EDO Mayday mayhem hits the streets of Brighton we report from the mass street party and demonstration against the arms trade, war and capitalism... plus, the bike-powered Coal Caravan concludes its three week tour of the North Of England, a US un-manned Predator drone accidently bombs the village of Bala Baluk, killing up to 200 innocent civilians, RavensAit, the squatted island on the Thames near Kingston, is finally evicted this week, the Nine Ladies protest camp, having won its ten-year battle to stop the quarrying of Stanton Moor in Derbyshire, has finally tatted down and finished, and more...

SchNEWS 674, 1st May 2009
May the Fourth be With You - With Smash EDO's Mayday Mayhem about to hit Brighton, here's some useful information covering the day.... plus, RBS are seeking £40,000 in compensation from a seventeen year old girl who damaged one computer screen and keyboard at the G20 demo last month, the Metropolitan Police are forced to admit they assaulted and wrongfully arrested protesters during a 2006 demo at the Mexican Embassy in London, the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington DC is met with three days of protests, one London policeman is sacked for admitting that the police killed someone while another is merely disciplined for saying that he 'can't wait to bash up some long haired hippys', and more...

SchNEWS 673, 24th April 2009
Quick Fix - The twelve students arrested this month as alleged 'terrorists' have been released without charge - like many 'anti-terrorist operations' in Britain, this one becomes a joint operation between the police and the media... plus, a protester in the West Bank town of Bil'in is killed by the Israel military while protesting against the 'Apartheid Wall', Birmingham squatters prevent two separate community squats in the city from being evicted on the same day, the bloodshed continues in Sri Lanka, a coalition hasformed called The United Campaign Against Police Violence, and more...

SchNEWS 672, 17th April 2009
Easy, Tiger... - A civil war is escalating in Sri Lanka between the Army and the separatist rebels of the Tamil Tigers, with the death-toll mounting... plus, pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt face overwhelming repression in last weeks planned 'Day Of Anger', the truth about the murder of Ian Thomlinson by police at the G20 protests is coming out, Mexican authorities get revenge by framing leaders of 2006's mass movement for social and political change, one of the so-called EDO 2 receives sentence for Raytheon roof-top protest, and more...

SchNEWS 671, 3rd April 2009
G20 SUMMIT EYEWITNESS REPORT - As the G20 Summit takes place, we look at what the leaders are discussing, along with an eyewitness account of the G20 protests around the Bank Of England on Wednesday April 1st.... plus, a report from day two of the protests, on the day when the G20 Summit began at the ExCel entre in the East London Docklands, the squatted island at Raven's Ait, on the Thames near Surbiton, is under threat from eviction and calling for help, groups of sacked workers who are feeling the direct consequences of the financial crash are protesting, and re-occupying their work places, peace campaigner Lindis Percy causes traffic chaos outside the USAF airbase at Lakenheath in Suffolk, and more....

SchNEWS 670, 27th March 2009
G20 SUMMIT SPECIAL - SchNEWS looks how deep the financial problems are for the banks and the British Govt, and how they won't learn from their errors. We ask the question: the crash which looked inevitable in 1999 has happened, so we look to how we can survive this.... plus, ex-Royal Bank Of Scotland boss Fred 'The Shred' Goodwin, has his home and car attacked by demonstrators, Horfield Prison in Bristol is surrounded by a noise demo in solidarity with Elija Smith, one of the EDO Decommissioners, Climate change campaigners stop work at Muir Dean open-cast coal mine in Scotland, and more...

Home | Friday 12th June 2009 | Issue 679



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Story Links : Cop That! | Crap Mass Arrests Of The Year | A Right Hula-peru | One Nil'in | Star Rucks | School Of Protest | Well Unfair Reform | Form A Disorderly Kew | Plane Selfish | And Finally


As SchNEWS takes a wild swing in the direction of the latest Smash EDO trial...

It was smashing news this week for one anti-arms trade protester. Chris Bluemel, a music teacher from Southampton, was acquitted last Friday of assaulting Police - despite admitting to punching a cop in the face!

The case arose out events at last year’s Carnival against the Arms Trade in Brighton (See SchNEWS 634) which saw a mass car-park invasion of EDO/ITT by protesters. Chris was charged with both Assaulting Police and Common Assault. His defence rested on the excessive force used by police in clearing the car-park and the beating he himself received. He showed the court photos of bruising on his arms and back – bizarrely taken on a Naked Bike Ride three days later (with the naughty bits covered by post-its!). 

In their verdict three magistrates said that the evidence of PC Dugan, who received a punch in the face after beating Chris to the ground, had been ‘vague and contradictory’ in his description of the timing of events, while in contrast Chris was clearly a man of good character who had been ‘credible and consistent’ about what had happened.

Commenting on the policing of events, magistrates said that although the actions of police had been lawful at first, they descended into unlawful and excessive force in the last moments when protesters were being driven from the car park with batons and police dogs. There was no evidence of any violence used against the police by the protesters. In the circumstances Chris had been reasonable in fighting back against the police who were clearly ‘not acting in the execution of their duty’.

Chris told SchNEWS “This marks the end of an extremely difficult year, which began with a police raid on my house, in which a huge amount of computer equipment and campaign materials was seized, and ended with a trial on ludicrous charges. The police have so far refused to apologise for the disruption and stress they have caused to my life, including the fear of losing my job had I been convicted.”

* See


In London the Met police have been rounding up and arresting children as young as ten who have committed no crime, for the purpose of getting their DNA on record. A FOI request has revealed that in 2008, police in the Camden area arrested and took DNA samples from 386 under-eighteens in a practice they describe as a “long-term crime prevention strategy”. This big fishing expedition will furnish the UK database on children with DNA records which will be held for six years or until the kid turns eighteen.

The European Court Of Human Rights has come into conflict with the Home Office over the extent of British plans for a National ID Database, which stores DNA data amongst other biometric details. In December 2008 at the ECHR in Strasbourg a panel of seventeen judges unanimously condemned British powers to hold DNA data of all arrestees indefinitely - and regardless of the seriousness of the alleged crime - as ‘blanket and indiscriminate’. The judges ruled that some 857,000 innocent people should have their DNA data deleted. The Home Office is fobbing the ECHR off by only slightly watering down their plans and will still store samples of those arrested (but not convicted) for serious crimes for twelve years, and keep DNA data six years for those arrested (but not convicted) of minor offences. Those who are convicted will have their DNA information held indefinitely.

The National Identity Register (See SchNEWS 466) and the Children’s Act 2004 – which saw the creation of a database for every child in the country (See SchNEWS 452) are just two components of the grand Neo-Labour vision for an Orwellian British state, and no doubt the Tories will be happy to carry on the good work if they get in.


Keywords: crap arrest of the week, data retention, met police, national identity register



Last month SchNEWS reported on mass protests in the Amazonian region of Peru as thousands of people from indigenous communities blockaded waterways and roads, and staged marches, pickets and occupations in opposition to legislation that will allow the plundering of the region’s natural resources (See SchNEWS 675). The protests have continued ever since and last week erupted into violence when Peruvian special forces attacked protesters blockading a bridge.

At 2am last Friday (5th), police approached sleeping protesters, who were into the 56th day of a previously peaceful protest. When they refused to disperse, the police opened fire - first with tear gas, then with live ammunition - firing from both sides of the bridge and from helicopters. In recordings made during the attack police were heard to shout “Shoot the dogs in the head” as protesters fled. A number fought back, wrestling weapons from the police and turning them on their attackers.

The raid left at least 22 police and between 30 and 100 protesters dead. It has been impossible to ascertain exactly how many were killed as an aggressively enforced curfew in the area has prevented the community from searching for missing people. There have also been reports of police burning corpses and dumping bodies into the river to conceal the extent of the crime. At least 150 people are still being detained following the attack while local hospital workers have claimed that police forcibly removed some of the hundreds of wounded and took them to an unknown location.

So far the mainstream Peruvian media have toed the government line and have only reported on the deaths of the police officers. President Alan Garcia has responded to the situation with a torrent of racial abuse and paranoid ravings. After denouncing the indigenous protesters as “savage and barbaric” and intent on leading “Peru into irrationality and a backward primitive state” he then suggested they were being manipulated by “foreign forces” - a thinly veiled broadside at Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales in Venezuela and Bolivia.

Following the attack Peruvian authorities ordered the arrest of Alberto Pizango Chota, a leader in AIDESEP - the indigenous organisation which has been coordinating the movement - on charges of sedition and inciting violence. Pizango Chota took refuge in the Nicaraguan embassy where he was granted asylum this Tuesday (9th) when the Nicaraguan ambassador, Tomas Borge, declared him to be “a victim of political persecution”.

Despite the violence, the indigenous communities have vowed to stand their ground and the protest has now spread to the districts of Trompeteros and Andoas where protesters have seized control of two oil installations, shutting down the Northern Peruvian oil pipeline run by Argentine company Pluspetrol. The authorities meanwhile look set to continue the clampdown and have declared their intention to remove a blockade on the motorway between the cities of Yurimaguas and Tarapoto. 

* See

Keywords: alberto pizango chota, amazon river, indigenous people, peru


Israeli forces murdered another peaceful protester against the Apartheid Wall (See SchNEWS 544) in occupied Palestine last Friday (5th). Yousef Tzadik ‘Akil’ Srour became the fifth resident of Nil’in village to be killed in a year of weekly demos against the Wall cutting through their West Bank village, which stands to lose another 600 acres of its agricultural land when the Wall is completed. 

Akil, who was prominent in the weekly anti-Wall demos, was shot in the chest with live ammo. According to a local eye-witness, “the soldier was to our right and Akil was running to the left to help an injured man… when he was shot in the heart.”

Meanwhile, over in Gaza on the same day, a farmer was shot in his lower spine by the Israeli army as he was leaving his fields. Khaled Ismail Mohammed Jahjuh had been harvesting the fruit from what was left of his orange and olive trees near Rafah, when he was shot in his jeep on his way home. He’s the 18th person to be shot working in their fields in Gaza since the end of the massacre in mid-January.

* See

Indigenous Palestinian farmers from the Jordan Valley at risk of losing what little remains of their land to illegal Israeli colonial settlements will be touring Brighton and London from June 12th-19th. Last week two villages were demolished in the Valley with hundreds more locals due to be made homeless soon. The ghettoisation of the West Bank continues relentlessly despite Obama’s recent much hailed lip service to peace and justice for the Middle East.

* For more on the campaign to stay on their land visit

Keywords: apartheid wall, israel, palestine, west bank


Anti-Starbucks protesters in Brighton have been stepping up their year-long campaign against a new branch of the giant coffee chain as a public enquiry against it got under way this Wednesday.

A make-shift alliance of small businesses, local residents and campaigners started protesting outside a former bookshop in the Kemptown area when Starbucks opened without planning permission just over a year ago. It has managed to stay open as a coffee shop despite the trading license being for retail use only. The campaign has succeeded in bringing Starbucks to a public enquiry, and protesters showed up in force outside Brighton Town Hall at the start of the three-day hearing. One member of the campaign who attended the hearing said the first day went well as the Starbucks representative “got roasted”. The planning inspector is set to decide on the issue in six weeks time.

Despite the council filing an enforcement order against the branch - which has been flagrantly ignored - it is the protesters who have faced a clampdown from the authorities. Police have kept a constant presence and protesters have been photographed and warned under council noise by-laws for speaking on megaphones. Earlier this week the American anti-consumerist performance artist Reverend Billy came along in a lively show of support for the campaign.

Locals are concerned that the vibrant St James Street will lose its character as local businesses are squeezed out by multinationals. Local campaigner Jon Barrenechea commented that “there are already sixteen other coffee outlets in the area so there is no need for it. Those local, independent businesses need all the help they can get.”

Keywords: brighton, protest, starbucks


Protests are continuing at Lewisham Bridge Primary School, which is being occupied by locals to prevent the Grade II listed building from being knocked down by the council and replaced with a privatised mega-school. This week the Hands Off Lewisham Bridge group extended its ongoing occupation of the rooftop to the nearby garden, which will be used for a community space and food growing. The rooftop protest camp has received an eviction notice, and will need support to resist an eviction. There is an open day today (12th) from 3pm, so all are invited to come down and say hello and have a cup of tea. Find the school on Elmira St, London SE13 7BN.

* See

Keywords: eviction, privatisation, protest, protest camp


The Welfare Reform Bill was designed for the land of the never-ending boom. We are now stuck in the quagmire of recession.” - Frank Field, MP.

With unemployment in Britain passing the two million mark and steadily rising, the government is seemingly still clinging to a fantasy that they can boot everybody off benefits and into non-existent jobs. The Welfare Reform Bill received its first airing in the House Of Lords this Wednesday, proposing a dismantling of the welfare system on a scale Margaret Thatcher would be proud of if she still had any marbles left.

This is a multiple attack on the most vulnerable in society. Income Support will go - affecting amongst others, maternity and carers’ allowances, and especially single parents. Mothers will face a fine - leading to prison - if they refuse to name the father of their child on the birth certificate, and up to seven years for giving false information. Non-payment of child maintenance may lead to the seizure of passports and driving licenses. Drink and drug addicts will have to submit to testing and rehabilitation, and those who can’t find jobs after a two year period will have to ‘work for their benefits’. There will be sanctions for non-attendance at job centres and work-focused interviews for the over 60’s. The list goes on. Inevitably immigrants, who, because of institutionalised racism, are the lowest paid and often the first to lose their job, will also be disproportionately affected.

Of course there’s good side to all this for someone: employers will be able to bypass the minimum wage by workfare, and privatised prisons will continue to profit from an increase in ‘criminals’. That this Bill is being waved through by MPs who have been busy lining their own pockets with taxpayers money – during a time of economic crisis where vast amounts have gone on bailing out the banks - shows how completely divorced from reality they are.

* The Policing and Crime Bill is also currently going through Parliament, further criminalising prostitution as new offences, longer sentences and forced rehabilitation for sex workers and clients is put on the table. Safe brothels will be closed and police and prosecutors will be able to keep 50% of all monies seized, heightening their vested interest in staging raids. The bill will inevitably force prostitution underground, yet another blow to vulnerable sex workers whose numbers can only increase as a result of the benefit cuts.

Keywords: financial crisis, house of lords, parliament, welfare state


The London Eco Village (See SchNEWS 677) is up and running on squatted landed in Brentford, west London. Last Saturday (6th) around 70 people descended on a site at Kew Bridge, clearing it of debris, installing a kitchen and compost toilet and beginning work on a herb garden.

A spokesperson told SchNEWS that the guerilla gardeners have had an extremely positive reaction from the local community and that even the old bill dropped in, telling them to give them a call if anyone gives them any hassle.

As well as developing the garden, the aim is to open up the site to the community to promote sustainable living by staging regular open days and workshops and inviting local schools to get involved in the project. 

Anyone wanting to get involved or willing to contribute much needed materials can contact Carolyn on 01727 812369 or Gareth on 07515 166011 or email

Keywords: community garden, eco-village, london


In the early hours of Wednesday morning five people cut through the perimeter fence of London City Airport and locked themselves to a private jet forming a large human wheel-clamp out of their bodies and metal tubes.

The five protesters from Plane Stupid were highlighting the selfishness of private jet use which until the recession was the fastest growing section of the aviation industry. A spokesperson for Plane Stupid said “Because of their low passenger capacity, small jets emit between five and ten times more carbon per passenger than commercial flights. In an age where we face potentially catastrophic climate change, this is no longer an acceptable form of transport. It’s time that private jets were grounded for good.”

London City Airport, while being a hub for rich business people, does very little for the residents of Newham: air pollution levels regularly exceed European safety limits and Newham has the highest levels of mortality in under 30s in the UK from asthma. In just over 20 years the airport has only managed to directly employ 120 Newham residents out of the 406 directly employed staff the airport claim to employ. 

The five were arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass.


Keywords: anti-airport expansion, direct action, london city airport, plane stupid


The Ministry of Justice, naturally unconcerned about pursuing MP expense fiddling crooks, is more worried about slang in prisons. It seems that those doing bird are refusing to conveniently refer to drugs openly using such words as ‘heroin’ and ‘crack’ and apparently have taken to using code words. Fancy that! But this is not exactly a new idea of course – in fact the lingo worrying the rozzers so much is apparently similar to Elizabethan thieves’ cant, believed to have been developed from Romani roots by medieval gypsies.

Rochdale prison officers say that after exhaustive code breaking they have determined the cantish terms ‘chat’ and ‘onick’ mean heroin, ‘cawbe’ is crack and ‘inick’ is code for a cell phone or a SIM card. 

They don’t explain what 16th century blaggers were doing with words for mobile phones – let alone heroin or crack - but the MoJ is taking no chances and has put all chokeys around the country on alert to look out for coney-catchers.


SchNEWS warns all readers - we're really glimfl ashy about all these hulvers running the ox-house. Honest!


UNCERTIFIED - OUT NOW on DVD- SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2008 - Films on this DVD include... The saga of On The verge – the film they tried to ban, the Newhaven anti-incinerator campaign, Forgive us our trespasses - as squatters take over an abandoned Brighton church, Titnore Woods update, protests against BNP festival and more... To view some of these films click here

ON 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 (profits to Smash EDO)

TAKE 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.

V For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve short films produced by SchMOVIES in 2006. only £6 including p&p.

SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005. Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.

SchNEWS Books

SchNEWS At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc p&p (within UK)

Peace de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p

SchNEWS of the World - issues 300 - 250, 300 pages,£4 inc p&p.

SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001 - SchNEWS and Squall back to back again - issues 251-300, 300 pages, £4 inc p&p.

SchQUALL - SchNEWS and Squall back to back - issues 201-250 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Survival Guide - issues 151-200 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Annual - issues 101-150 - Sold out - Sorry

(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).

These books are mostly collections of 50 issues of SchNEWS from each year, containing an extra 200-odd pages of extra articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. SchNEWS At Ten is a ten-year round-up, containing a lot of new articles.

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