SchNEWS 694, 9th October 2009
Swooper Troopers - The Great Climate Swoop descends next week on the coal-fired power station at Ratcliffe-On-Soar near Nottingham... plus, the brutal eviction of refugees from camps in Calais continues, the racist English Defence League are marching against this weekend, this time in Manchester, with two marches in Wales later in the month, the IMF and World Bank meet this week in Istanbul as riots break out on the streets, and more...

SchNEWS 693, 2nd October 2009
Who Are Ya? - Who are the far-right English Defence League, and what are their strategies?... plus, Brighton journalists are forced to give police their footage for evidence gathering, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak makes and appearance at the Labour Party Conference, while lawyers apply for an arrest warrant for him for war crimes in Gaza, protesters and police in Denmark have a dress rehearsal for December's Climate Conference in Copenhagen, and more...

SchNEWS 692, 24th September 2009
Junglist Missive - The refugee camps in Calais called the 'jungle' are smashed by French police... plus, climate campaigners blockade the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine in Wales, the Titnore Protest Camp near Worthing holds a direct action picnic halting work on the new Tesco super store, animal rights campaigner Sean Kirtley is released from prison on an appeal, an abandoned cathedral in Bristol is squatted for a week of events and actions called Co-Mutiny, and more...

SchNEWS 691, 17th September 2009
Bloody Poor Show - The fox hunting/sabbing season is back on – but will this be the last year before the Tories get in and repeal the barely enforced, sham fox hunting ban?... plus, the English Defence League again suffer another defeat on the streets of London, the Mainshill protest camp is still going strong but calling out for help, update as protests against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight continue, direct action against a giant coal-fired power station near Melbourne, and more...

SchNEWS 690, 11th September 2009
Dissin’ The DSEI - SchNEWS reports from the street during protests against the DSEi Arms Fair in London... plus, protests continue at the Vestas factory, on the Isle Of Wight, the far-rigth English Defence League have another demo in Birmingham, but find themselves being taken to Coventry, a protest camp has been set up in Finland to stop the building of a uranium mine, a journalist was arrested and had his equipment confiscated at a demo at the Oxford animal testing lab, and more...

SchNEWS 689, 4th September 2009
Common People? - The London Camp For Climate Action passes off this week largely without incident. The focus on the camp was more about about training than direct action, and some are questioning whether the climate camp is becoming too soft or theoretical... plus, Workers at the occupied Zanon ceramics factory in Argentina have won a court battle and now legally control the factory, Zippos Circus, an animal abusing circus, continues to see protests as it travels around the south coast of England, the DSEi Arms Fair – the world's largest arms fair – is back on next week at it's usual location, the eXcel Centre, Docklands, London, and more...

SchNEWS 688, 21st August 2009
Stock Horror at HLS - Under pressure from animal rights protesters, more investors pull out of Huntingdon Life Sciences, leaving it in a financially precarious position... plus, after Scotland and Wales earlier this month, the Camp For Climate Action moves towards a location somewhere in London, the BNP have their Red White And Blue festival in Derbyshire, but the far-right revellers were outnumbered by anti-fascist protesters, protesters get into Faslane Naval Base in Scotland, which has the nuclear-armed Trident submarines, and more...

SchNEWS 687, 14th August 2009
Fash Get the Brum Rush - A new grouping of far-right racists demonstrate in central Birmingham – and have their arse kicked by local anti-fascists... plus, a snapshot of what anti-fascists are up against on the mean streets of Moscow, the Vestas protests continue on the Isle Of Wight as workers continue their occupation, the Scottish Camp For Climate Action ends and the Welsh Climate Camp begin - both targetting the coal mining industry and it's climate impact, a 77-day long militant occupation by sacked workers at a Ssangyong car plant in South Korea ended this month with a dramatic raid by 300 police and 100 commandos, and more...

SchNEWS 686, 7th August 2009
Blowing in the Wind - Protests continue at the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight, where sacked workers are occupying the factory, and the protest becomes national... plus, the Scottish Camp For Climate Action starts at the site of a current protest camp against open-cast coal mining at Mainshill near Glasgow, protesters end a week-long camp outside Highgate Farm in Lincolnshire, which breeds ferrets and rabbits for the vivisection industry, the murder of Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya last month causes us to look at the Russian-backed despotic regime in Chechnya, and more....

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Home | Friday 16th October 2009 | Issue 695



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Amid the annual September celebrations of independence and revolution, a series of explosions hit symbols of capitalism across Mexico, each accompanied by anarchist graffiti. What the Mexican press have labelled the ‘Anarcho-bombings’ has since been used by the authorities to launch an attack on Mexico’s autonomous universities – hotbeds of radical politics and action.

After the first explosion on September 1st, the improvised butane bombs went off once or twice a week throughout the month, torching banks, car-showrooms, fast food restaurants and animal testing labs, causing thousands of pounds of damage but no injuries. As well as classic circled ‘A’s, the bombers daubed the targets with slogans denouncing animal rights abuses, demanding an end to prison construction and calling for an end to capitalism.

A previously unknown group called the Subversive Alliance for the Liberation of the Earth, Animals and Humans (ASLTAH) claimed responsibility for the bombings in an internet communiqué, raging, “your filthy techno-industrial system provokes our rage and hatred and we say to you now that we will not stop until we see your ashes.”

On September 30th, federal agents arrested Ramses Villareal Gomez, a 27 year-old student at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in Mexico City, in connection with the bombings. Villareal Gomez claims police threatened him with a 40-year sentence and said they would rape his wife if he did not co-operate in their investigations. Cops also searched his mother’s house, reportedly stealing money and two computers. They initially claimed they found a rifle, a pistol, explosives and documentation linking him to a “subversive” movement in the search.

Police claim they arrested Villareal Gomez after a newspaper clipping of the bombs with “Ramses” was left in an anonymous tip box. Three days later, following violent protests by anarchist groups, a judge ordered the authorities to release Villareal Gomez due to a lack of evidence. After his release Police admitted that they had been “mistaken” about the weapons, explosives and incriminating documents.

Since the arrest, a case dossier has been leaked to the Mexican media. Of the suspects named in the dossier, at least 15 are students at public universities and high schools. All are under 26. The dossier links the suspects to organisations such as the People’s Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) in Atenco (See SchNEWS 543), the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO - see SchNEWS 567), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) General Strike Council, and “national and international insurgent organisations.”

The Mexican authorities have been engaged in a struggle with students and academics over how autonomous universities are run since the UNAM opened in 1910. The universities have control over their budgets and the appointment of rectors and regents. They also prohibit the police and the military from entering the campuses without the rector’s permission and deny the authorities access to student records and biographies.

The level of political freedom and protection from repression and harassment on autonomous campuses has created an environment where students have been able to play important roles in political struggles. As well as the groups mentioned in the dossier, students have been particularly active in the Zapatista movement (See SchNEWS 250), and the man the authorities claim is Subcomandante Marcos, Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, was even a student at UNAM and a professor at UAM.

Some students have also been involved in solidarity campaigns with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who are at the centre of Colombia’s bloody civil war (see SchNEWS 656). Last year four Mexican students were killed in the Colombian military’s airstrikes in Ecuador which killed FARC commander Raul Reyes. One Mexican student, Lucia Morett, survived the attack.

Following the bombings, the search for Morett and her associates led to increased harassment and surveillance on campus activists under the pretext of ‘combating terrorism’. Morett’s name was also in the ‘Anarcho bombings’ dossier’.
The dossier claims Morett was in contact with Villareal Gomez, a charge she denies. Not one of the newspapers which have a copy of the dossier has printed any evidence related to Morett, Villareal Gomez or any of the 15 students.

Since the bombings, the ASLTAH have been making noise about “the battle for the dissolution of civilisation”. But, in a state riven with social strife and in danger of being overwhelmed by a bloody narco war, it is unlikely anyone is taking a fringe group of pyro-enthusiasts too seriously. The radicals of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Atenco however, remain a serious challenge to the status quo and the autonomous universities a real tool in their struggle. The ‘Anarcho-bombings’ now look set to be leapt on by the Mexican authorities as another opportunity to try and repress that struggle.

* See and

Keywords: anarchists, mexico
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          SchNEWS ADVERTORIAL          


Looks like hunt sabs are gonna be cleaning up this winter. Cosmetics manufacturer Lush have released a new soap called Fabulous Mrs Fox – on sale from now ‘til Boxing Day. Every penny of the profits is set to be spent on funding sab groups up and down the country as they disrupt bloodsports.

Of course the Countryside Alliance types have got themselves into a lather (copyright – all newspapers) claiming that Lush are out to support ‘dirty fighters’ and claiming that Lush will ‘pay for its politics’. But Lush maintain, “We’re on the side of the foxes!” (and perhaps they think the anti market is a big dollar right now). To capture the full thrill of a day’s sabbing in the comfort of yer own bath, the Lush aromaologists have concocted “a blend of citronella, engine oil and organic special brew”. Well, what are you waiting for?

* See

Keywords: advertorial, animal rights, hunt saboteurs
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The Mainshill protest camp has had a busy few weeks in their fight to protect the land from being turned into an open-cast coal mine (See SchNEWS 686), as earth clearing and tree-felling work goes ahead. This Tuesday (13th), they blockaded the road and stopped logging for day by placing people – and a sky-raft – in the path of the heavy machinery. One was arrested.

Last week saw some dramatic events when late on Tuesday (6th) night, the camp had a dangerous situation on its hands when a harvesting machine appeared from the darkness and began cutting through trees near to the actual camp where protesters were camped in treehouses and tunnels. The driver didn’t mind putting peoples’ lives at risk and breaking company health & safety rules, and initially tried to continue working – but after a near-miss, was chased off.

Then came another piece of heavy machinery driven by even more belligerent nutters than the first one. The driver refused to stop, with his co-driver jumping out at one point to tell protesters ‘I’m going to kill you’. Police arrived and instead of arresting the drivers for dangerous driving, claimed the campers were endangering themselves by being so close to machinery. The only concession was that Scottish Woodland agreed to stop tree felling at night.

Then the following night, pixies just so happened to sabotage three of the large machines by superglueing their locks, stopping work until late the following day.

The Mainshill camp is calling for all to get involved now. It’s off the A70 towards Douglas, South Lanarkshire

* See

Keywords: climate change, direct action, mainshill, open-cast coal mining, protest camps
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A man received a £22,000 payout from the British Transport Police (BTP) this week after he was nicked for witnessing a stop and search in Seven Sisters, North London. Ken Hinds stopped to observe eight cops aggressively grab a black teenager near the tube station. “There were seven or eight officers tugging at this teenager. It caught my attention because the youth looked scared and alarmed. I wanted to watch to make sure he had a witness in case he was hurt.

“But an officer spotted me and told me to f*** off. When I told him I knew my rights, he said to his colleague, ‘I’m going to nick him’. They then put me in tight handcuffs which was very painful.” As any SchNEWS reader knows, police are quite happy to nick anybody who looks at them sideways or acts as if they know their rights, especially if they happen to be, like Mr Hinds, a big shaven-headed black guy.

Unfortunately for the ignoramuses of the BTP, our Ken is quite the respected member of the community. Not only is he an experienced community youth worker (who helped broker a truce between rival gangs in the area) but he sits on the Metropolitan Police’s Black Independent Advisory Group and (the ironies just keep coming) is chairman of a monitoring group for police stop and search in Haringey. Oops.

Originally charged with threatening and abusive behaviour, police were forced to eat humble pie, apologise and cough up. Two cops received formal warnings and one was deemed to be “not a credible witness.”

Keywords: london, police racism, stop and search
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The Ramparts Social Centre in East London was evicted yesterday (15th) after five years of a squatted occupation. An eyewitness inside the building – one of the people present for the eviction - said that at 5.30am they heard the front door being cut with a chainsaw. A team of 13-14 bailiffs entered the building, while outside around 50 police blocked off the three streets which lead to Ramparts, including a checkpoint further up the road. Climbers went to the roof in a similar manner to the raid during the G20 protests this April (See SchNEWS 671). Once inside, the eviction team found three people and a dog.

Afterwards police gave out a phone number for those with possessions inside to retrieve belongings, and the building is now empty, with four burly Polish blokes hired as security goons outside.

If you are able to help move stuff out, and for other info email or see

* Also on Wednesday (14th) Sheffield squatters intending on setting up a social centre, had their second building evicted in a fortnight. Hours after the courts had granted a possession order to the owners (the NHS Trust) of the building at 10 Northumberland Rd, a team of bailiffs gave the squatters several hours to get out before sealing the building. This is the second building this crew have taken which has only lasted a week after they were evicted on the 7th from Pisgah House, a derelict, listed building owned by the University of Sheffield. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky for the crew in their plans to create an ongoing social centre. For updates see

Keywords: london, ramparts, sheffield, social centres, squatting
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SchNEWS was on the scene for the latest attempt by the English Defence League (See SchNEWS 693) to bring anti-Muslim extremism onto the streets, this time in Manchester.
Although the EDL’s demo wasn’t due to start until 5pm, by midday a small knot of the lardy larger louts - brandishing England flags - had gathered near Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre. Surrounded by lines of police they were confronted by a several hundred strong group from the Unite against Fascism counter-demo.

A game of push and shove followed with the cops eventually using dogs to clear a path for the EDL. Both demos were then cordoned in the centre of Piccadilly Gardens. Factions from both sides avoided the kettle and were moving around the outskirts of the demo. So far, so good but as the afternoon wore on more and more arrived to join the EDL demo. Although they were still outnumbered by counter demonstrators by around three to one, this still made it the EDLs biggest mobilisation yet with around three to four hundred present.

The stand-off inside Picadilly Gardens lasted ‘til 5pm with crowd surges and occasional bottles being lobbed. Outside the cordon the two groups eyed each other up but there were only occasional scuffles and a lot of strange conversations. One anti-fash protester told SchNEWS, “A lot of the EDL types didn’t know why they were there – I heard comments ranging from ‘Islam is a paedophile religion’ to the old NF slogan ‘There ain’t no black in the Union Jack’ What was most surprising was just how young many of them were, there seemed to be a lot of fifteen year lads out”.

Eventually police marched the EDL back to the train stations. Altogether 48 arrests were made for public order offences.

* The EDL bandwagon moves to Wales this week with demos in two cities this month – both to be responded to by counter-demos: The EDL have set up a ‘Welsh Defence League’ to spread the anti-Muslim ignorance west of the border. This Saturday (17th), they’re in Swansea – with the local community holding a counter-demo, meeting 4pm outside the YMCA, St Helen’s Road, Swansea. Then on the 24th it’s off to Newport – meet 1pm at John Frost Square.


* Further demos on the EDL calender include October 31st in the Leeds city centre at 1pm; followed by Glasgow city centre on November 14th (not yet confirmed), and Nottingham on December 5th - details of counter-demos to follow.

* For more coverage with footage of last Saturday in Manchester see

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Another victory for climate campaigners this week as Heathrow’s owners BAA announced they are withdrawing their application for a third runway. With Kingsnorth power plant also shelved indefinitely (see SchNEWS 694), next up it’s Ratcliffe on Soar. Emma Jackson, a spokesperson for the Climate Camp, said: “E.ON and BAA know that the days of committing new climate crimes are over. Now we have to start shutting down existing coal-fired power stations, and that’s why we’re going to Ratcliffe-on-Soar next week.”

Fifty-five Greenpeace activists scaled the Houses of Parliament last Sunday (11th) before setting up camp on the roof. They stayed for 28 hours, making sure they were there in the morning to welcome back MPs returning from their summer hols with their climate change message. All were arrested on their descent. See

Live animal exports from Portsmouth docks look set to begin in the next two weeks. In contradiction to previous docks policy that only allowed for ten animals a week to be exported for breeding purposes only, it appears the exports will be large scale and the animals destined for slaughter. Demos against the exports are now being organised, call 07955897075 to get involved.

The trial of six activists arrested at a ‘Die-in for NATO’s victims in Afghanistan’ outside Northwood military HQ earlier this year has been scheduled for November 4th. Support is welcome, for details call 0845 458 2564 or email

Keywords: greenpeace, heathrow, live animal exports, portsmouth
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In one of Earth's most inhospitable landscapes, tens of thousands of indigenous people live under military rule in annexed territories, a colonial power having taken control of the region's abundant natural resources, launched waves of subsidised immigrant settlement and built a series of bloody big walls to keep out hundreds of thousands living in refugee camps in a mine-filled no-man's land. Welcome to Africa's last colony: Western Sahara.

With such a story to tell you might have thought you'd have heard more about it but the media landscape on the subject is, well pretty desert-like.

Last week the UN's Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) meeting in New York heard petitions from academics, politicians, human rights campaigners and, that increasingly rare breed, indigenous Saharawi's who wanted to impress upon the international community the urgent need for action in their country.

Decades of dithering, weak resolutions and hands off treatment has following the bitter war for control between Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the home-grown Polisario Front - seeking self-government and independence – that was sparked after Spain finally pulled out of Europe's last colonial occupation in 1975.

After its other neighbours eventually dropped out for one reason or another, Moroccan armed forces eventually prevailed (helped along by shedloads of Western military kit), with human rights abuses galore against the Polisario, more or less completing the job in the early 1990s. Morrocco built walls and fortifications, shipped settlers in and native Saharawis out, they now rule the area to such an extent that the Moroccan government is the largest single employer and the Kingdom refers to the country merely as 'the Southern states'. Large numbers of displaced Saharawis have been left living in squalid refugee camps in Algeria with others eeking out life in the area to the East of the Moroccan walls, a mine-filled no-man's land they optimistically call the 'free zone', where the Polisario have maintained their existence as the political representatives of the refugees and a guerilla force still clinging on in the teeth of the program of armed suppression and incremental cultural eradication.

Despite pointedly refusing to recognise the Moroccan claims to sovereignty, the rest of the World has pretty much left them to get on with it, and shown plenty of willingness to business with them while the UN has tried and failed to get anywhere with numerous failed attempts to get Morocco to agree to engage in any sort of negotiations that don't ultimately leave them in charge.

But why would anybody be especially interested in this militarily insignificant wasteland of sand, scrub and searing heat in the day and chilling sub zero nights?

Well it's all about the money of course, stoopid! WS has one of the planet's largest deposits of phosphates, a key ingredient in the fertilisers that modern farming relies on.
This is what kept Spain in WS so long, and Spanish mining interests did deals with Moroccan counterparts to ensure their finger remained in the pie after their official withdrawal. The first thing Morroco did was secure the phosphate mines, eventually building a wall around the entire main mining town, Bou Craa, now almost entirely inhabited by Moroccan mining employees.

To ensure the smooth flowing of the profits, they have in fact built the longest conveyor belt in the World (over a 100km long – you should see their version of the Generation Game). Morocco exports at least half of the world's phosphates, dealing internationally with almost every country, in a hugely lucrative trade.

Whilst the WS mine only currently constitutes a small fraction of this, there are large known deposits to extract there, and with scientists now fearful of 'peak phosphate', as limited resources decline under the vastly increasing demand, the appeal of plundering WS is unlikely to diminish any time soon. Not mention the lure of valuable uranium, iron, and titanium deposits all ready for the exploitin'. Ever willing to make a buck, Morocco's even made a small packet exporting Saharan sand to the Canary Islands to beef up the beaches ready for the European holidaymakers jetting over for a bit of winter sun.

Also making it worth the colonisation is the potential for oil and gas development. It is suspected there are stashes of these to be found, and Morocco actually signed exploration deals with Total (one of SchNEWS favourite oil companies, see SchNEWS 611) and an US firm, Kerr-Mcgee in the early 2000s, which only stalled after a concerted campaign by pressure groups and NGO's led to the firm's shareholders getting jittery and they both eventually pulled out. Presumably, as energy becomes more and more important globally, there will be further attempts to make such deals politically palatable again.

And there's always other fish in the sea. Load of them in fact; the western coast of WS is teeming with relatively undepleted stocks of fish – which Europe is extremely keen on, it's fishermen having laid waste to so many of the other oceans of the world. In fact, the EU has recently done a deal to open up some of the waters to them, so it's unlikely they'll want to rock the boat any time soon.

Meanwhile, the Saharawi people have been left largely deserted in the desert by the West. While Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Nambia's President Pohamba and South Africa's Jacob Zuma all spoke on the issue at the UN General Assembly last month, more than a mere oasis of global support and pressure for action is going to be needed to sway Morocco from its course. And even then what price that it will be the powerful resource-hungry businesses that muscle in to make sure any resolution puts their interests above those of any remaining beleaguered native inhabitants.

On August 5th, six Sahrawi student advocates returning from a fact-finding mission from the refugee camps, and heading for a conference on conflict resolution in the UK, were stopped and arrested by Moroccan police at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca. Whisked off they were detained in unknown locations before being released under heavy surveillance with injuries including a broken ankle, cuts, lacerations and and severe bruising. Fears for their safety remain and any imminent threat of awareness-raising presence over here safely averted by the Moroccan authorities for the time being.

Today campaigners around the world will mark the 34th anniversary of the International Court of Justice Ruling – the UN's first ignored proclamation of the region's right to self rule.

See and

Keywords: africa, morocco, resource grab, western sahara
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...As this week farmers take their protest about dairy pricing to Brussels, where they milk it for all it’s worth...

Keywords: brussels, eu
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SchNEWS warns all readers, using animals for protest stunts is an udder disgrace. Honest.



REPORTS FROM THE VERGE - Smash EDO/ITT Anthology 2005-2009 - A new collection of twelve SchMOVIES covering the Smash EDO/ITT's campaign efforts to shut down the Brighton based bomb factory since the company sought its draconian injunction against protesters in 2005.

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.

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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

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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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