SchNEWS 728, 25th June 2010
Cutting 'N' Running - So ‘austerity’ took shape this week as George ‘where were you hiding during the election campaign’ Osborne went for broke on Tuesday with his hard-hitting ‘fuck the poor’ budget. Yes, taxes & VAT are going up and almost every type of benefit is being slashed (and tied into being available for whatever work they deem you fit for), but hey! it’s not all bad news - corporation tax is being reduced!

SchNEWS 727, 18th June 2010
Raving Madness - Around 2,500 partygoers descended on Dale Aerodrome in Wales last May bank holiday for the 2010 UK Teknival, only to be met with a massive police response. Police broke up the party on the first day, arresting 17 people in the process. Four remain on police bail and six have been charged.

SchNEWS 726, 11th June 2010
Slick Publicity - In response to America’s largest ever environmental disaster, Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, said, “I’d like my life back.” We’re sure he does, as would the eleven workers who died on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig when it exploded 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20th.But you have to sympathise with Tony. The fact that BP failed to test the strength of the cement in the well, despite knowing that the casing was “the riskier of two options” and that it “might collapse under pressure” can’t be held against him. Even though the same disregard for safety killed 15 and injured 170 BP workers in the Texas Oil Refinery explosion of 2005.

SchNEWS 725, 4th June 2010
Israel Attacks Freedom Flotilla - The shocking news of the assault by Israeli Navy commandos on the Gaza flotilla has swept across the world, bringing the violent and complex conflict that is Israel and Palestine to the forefront of the global media. The flotilla was in international waters approaching the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded by Israel for the last three years. The six ships of the freedom flotilla were carrying aid supplies and a multinational collective of people who oppose the conflict centred around Gaza.

SchNEWS 724, 28th May 2010
Flight Brigade - Migrant rights activists across the UK are readying themselves for next week’s European Week of Action Against the Deportation Machine. Campaigners are calling out for a week of protest and direct action targeting the government agencies and private companies responsible for shipping migrants out of Blighty and back to the desperate situations they risked their lives to flee, often subjecting them to violent abuse on their way

SchNEWS 723, 21st May 2010
All That Romains... - Welcome to the age of austerity. Romania has erupted in protests as harsh measures continue to grow and waves of discontent flood Europe. Romania’s capital, Bucharest, stood still for a day on Wednesday (19th) as ferocious cuts cripple the Romanian populace. The city was brought to a halt as an estimated 50,000 protesters marched through the streets in the largest of the demonstrations seen since the cuts were announced.

SchNEWS 722, 14th May 2010
Squaring Up To 'Em - Only four days into the brave new Libservative era and the population is getting into the national coalition-building mood - a rag-tag rainbow alliance of the disaffected is set to pitch up in Parliament Square this Saturday (15th). But will it be a strong, stable protest in the national interests?

SchNEWS 721, 7th May 2010
A Smashing Defence - In the early hours of 17th January 2009 six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons’ components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. On May 17th nine people will stand trial accused of ‘conspiracy to commit criminal damage’. Three were arrested outside the factory. The trial is expected to last for ten weeks at Hove Crown Court. The decommissioners will be running the defence that their actions were legally justified as they were “acting to prevent a greater crime”. 

SchNEWS 720, 30th April 2010
Crash of the Titans - Greece is further troubled as government officials get ready to announce IMF imposed wage cuts that will resonate across the country’s entire public sector. Emergency demonstrations were held across the country (Thursday 29th April) in protest against the cuts by grass-roots trade unions, leftist and anarchist organisations.

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

Friday 2nd July 2010 | Issue 729



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Story Links : They Think It's All Over... ITT is Now!!! | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Village People | Community Guarding | Calais Update | Atenco Prisoners Free | Fin Tuned Tactics | And Finally


“It’s a real victory for the anti-war movement, The jury were presented with the facts and they supported our motivations. If people in Britain knew the truth away from media manipulations they would all support our actions” - Ornella Sabeine, EDO Decommissioner.

After a nail-biting twenty-four hour hiatus, the jury came to decision on the Decommissioners Case (see SchNEWS 721 ) - 100% Not Guilty! Six of the seven defendants Tom Woodhead, Bob Nicholls, Ornella Saibene, Harvey Tadman, Simon Levin and Chris Osmond came smiling out of Hove Trial Centre at the end of a gruelling three and half week trial. Elijah Smith was remanded in custody for another offence. Five were acquitted on Wednesday afternoon, the other two Chris and Elijah had to wait until this morning. They had waited eighteen months for this moment.

The jury decisions were all completely unanimous, an indication perhaps of the depth of feeling ignited by the evidence presented of war atrocities committed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

It was on the night of the 16th January 2009 that six activists broke into EDO MBM’s manufacturing facility on Home Farm Rd Brighton (see SchNEWS 663). For an hour they wreaked havoc with hammers. Filing cabinets and computers were hurled from top-floor window. Machinery was also sabotaged. One of the reasons that the six had so much time in the factory was ironically that Sussex police saw a bomb in the car-park and cordoned off the area for specialists to arrive. The ‘bomb’ was in fact a dummy, a prop for EDO to display at trade fairs, precision guided out of an upstairs window by the decommissioners.

The six had pre-recorded videos to be posted on Indymedia after the action (see In his video Elijah Smith said “I don’t feel I’m going to do anything illegal tonight, but I’m going to go into an arms factory and smash it up to the best of my ability so that it cannot actually produce munitions and these very dirty bombs that have been provided to the Israeli army so that they can kill children. The time for talking has gone too far. I’m not a writer, I’m just a person from the community and I’m deeply disgusted”.
 The jury requested to view those videos again before they made their historic decision ...and they obviously liked what they saw.

In effect the trial was turned around: it was EDO MBM in the shape of managing director Paul Hills who found themselves in the dock. Laughably they had come to court intending to pass themselves off as a company primarily manufacturing in-flight entertainment equipment. He was presented with a dossier of evidence painstakingly built up over the years by campaigners, which pointed firmly at the company’s complicity in war crimes.

Paul Hills was due to be giving evidence again on Thursday after accusing a campaigner of intimidating him as a witness at the regular weekly noise demo. Funnily enough Hills wasn’t available at the time and the court heard that he was flying to the U.S. Perhaps we should spare a thought for Paul standing right now in front of ITTs board explaining how a bunch of goddam two-bit limey punks were able to smash his factory up with hammers and walk out of court smiling.

The answer is that Paul Hill’s evidence was more full of holes than his factory’s windows. Here’s just a few edited highlights of five days of his cross-examination.

Hills revealed that the company have owned the rights to the main bomb rack used on Israeli F-16s - the VER-2 - since 1998. He admitted removing website evidence of his company’s dealings with Israel as early as 2004, the date of the first protests. He admitted having interfered with the crime scene, retrieving debris and papers, before police photographers arrived. He claimed to have police permission but no police statement backed him up. There has been speculation that £189,000 is actually an underestimate of the damage caused and that more controversial evidence may have been spirited away. After being warned at one stage by the judge that he was at risk of perjuring himself if he contradicted evidence he’d produced in earlier court cases, crucially he ended by admitting that anyone looking at the evidence presented to him in court would form the reasonable belief that his company was involved in arms sales to Israel.

It was this that the defendants needed to convince the jury of - that there was an obvious link between this factory and the bombardment of Gaza.

EDO Decommissioners A witness, Sharyn Lock, provided the background necessary for the jury to understand the full scope of the horror then unfolding in Gaza. Now a trainee midwife, in 2009 she was a human-rights volunteer in Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City. She was in the Gaza strip for the whole of Operation Cast Lead, and able to show footage of a missile strike on the hospital, just metres from the maternity ward. The jury also saw news reports of the white phosphorus attacks on the UNWRA compound, which incinerated much-needed food and medicine. Sharyn closed her evidence by saying she had no doubt that those who armed the Israeli Air Force ‘had the blood of children on their hands’.

After hearing of the verdict she told SchNEWS “Brilliant news. I am so proud not only of the eight UK civilians who risked their liberty to protect fellow civilians whom they may never meet - but also of the jury who recognised that it is everyone’s responsibility to uphold international law, even if that means decommissioning the weapons.”

By the time this went to print the news of the verdict was spreading. Right-wing nutjob and Daily Mail journalist Melanie Phillips was first in with her considered opinion on ‘the ignorance and bigotry of the judge’. The Israeli ambassador was crying foul saying that it was ‘not a great era of the British system’ (sic) - according to Israeli news source he was reportedly ‘furious’ at the judges ‘blatant anti-semitic stand’. Even David Icke put it up on his website.

On the more positive side, the decommissioners were congratulated by Noam Chomsky, who said “I would like to express my respect and admiration for those who are undertaking non-violent resistance to oppose British participation in Israel’s cruel crimes in Gaza”.

So what next for Smash EDO? Unable to extract any usable quotes from the after-verdict party at the Community Garden, SchNEWS spoke to an increasingly bleary eyed Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for the campaign: “When we first started banging pots and pans outside the factory back in 2004, we never believed we’d get anywhere like this. EDO must be reeling, their dirty laundry is now flapping out there for the whole world to see. We’re not to going to let up the pressure on this factory - watch this space”.

* See *

* *

* View these SchMOVIES of the trial: The opening day of the trial - * The day of the first verdicts -

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For riding a bike...

Imagine cycling along happily during a Critical Mass bike ride, providing the tunes with a soundsystem on a trailer, only to be distracted by a wave of fluorescent yellow and stopped by the police - that is, made stationary, against your will - and then be charged with obstruction of a road and cycling without due care and attention.

This happened to one unlucky cyclist in Edinburgh on the 25th. Warning to all cyclists: the hazard of police cars swinging into your oncoming path without warning or reason.

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The Democracy Village occupation in Parliament Square (see SchNEWS 728) had a High Court ruling against them on Tuesday (29th) to vacate by 4pm today (2nd). However, minutes before, solicitors for the village managed to lodge an appeal, giving a reprieve for a fortnight.

They’re appealing on grounds that the ownership of the land is far from clear-cut - and the judge had bent the law to give Boris Johnson and the GLA the right to evict.

The camp are launching Operation Rolling Thunder, an ongoing programme of non-violent direct action. They want people to come and do their own actions, to help with the site, keep it tidy and maintain the gardens.

After the appeal was lodged, the village – surrounded by press – took the protest off the square later in the afternoon and moved towards parliament. Two managed to climb onto the lawns at the front of the Houses of Common, and managed to stay for 20 minutes before being nicked. Meanwhile a group of about 40 – and these numbers were more than doubled by participating tourists, as well as press, spilled out onto the road and blocked the road outside the Commons for up to an hour.

The protesters then left and moved up towards Downing St. Whitehall was blocked for 15 minutes leading to eleven arrests for obstruction.

Further civil disobedience is planned – and all are welcome to get involved. Those with experience in direct action are particularly welcome.

* See and or see Facebook site. Site mobs 07981877462, 07722444146

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Lewes Road 1 Tesco 0

Lewes Road Community Gardeners have won the first spat in their bid to keep the Brighton thoroughfare greener and Tesco-free.

As contractors pulled up at 7.45am on Friday (2nd) to the garden entrance with a bulldozer, activists put themselves in harm’s way to save Brighton’s guerilla garden (set up on the site of a derelict Esso garage in May 2009 – see SchNEWS 727) from a supermarket and betting shop.

Two refused to give way as the ‘dozer driver recklessly swung his metal bucket over the fence in an attempt to dislodge them from the entrance. One was hit on the head, although not seriously.
 In the end as more community supporters and the local press/TV arrived the contractors from Gilbert-Ash and Terrins turned surprisingly more conciliatory and even asked for the metal buckets that they had left on the wrong side of the fence, back.

As the day progressed an appeal against the original possession order (June 21st) was rapidly put together by garden supporters and nearby residents and lodged at Brighton County Court putting the ki-bosh on further eviction attempts that day.

Which was kinda handy as the EDO Decommissioners trial verdict victory knees-up took place in blazing sunshine in the garden environs, much to the dismay of the local filth seen driving up and down Lewes Road, disgruntled, during the afternoon.

Gardeners and residents are now bracing themselves for further eviction attempts on Monday/Tuesday (July 5/6) should developers Alburn Minos Ltd and Tesco go for a High Court writ. The appeal against eviction should give 14 days grace but no-one’s holding their breath.

In the meantime Garden reps are cranking up the pressure over the flawed public consultation process by Brighton Council and their hand-in-glove relationship with the developers.

Come and support the gardeners all next week as they enter a second week of battle-station occupation. Lewes Road Community Garden next to the Co-op.

* See

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SchNEWS travels to Calais in the wake of the eviction of Africa House...

Following the eviction of Africa House two weeks ago (see SchNEWS 727), the remaining Calais migrants are now camped out in hidden ‘jungles’ and small scale squats scattered around the city.

The surly CRS cruise the streets in riot vans and constantly raid the camps and squats, sending the migrants sprinting to hiding places in the bushes or the nooks and crannies of abandoned buildings. As one Sudanese man commented, “Here we live the life of rats”. The success of the migrants in evading the CRS has led to an increase in arrests as they walk to the food distribution centre, something the CRS has agreed in writing not to do. No Borders activists are now trying to escort migrants on their way to eat.

The presence of No Borders activists is crucial in preventing police abuses. The establishment of a morning police watch with whistles and an air horn to warn migrants put a stop to the early morning raids that had plagued the new African squat. And although SchNEWS got called an “English dog” by a CRS officer with a ginger Poirot-esque moustache, the police can do little except glare and take passport details.

SchNEWS spoke to migrants who had fled wars, dictators and extreme poverty, people who had left their families behind and risked everything, including their lives, to try for a better life. They were bewildered at how the fabled democracies of Europe could treat them with such inhuman brutality and racism and could have such disregard for their own laws. A Sudanese man told SchNEWS, “In Africa, they say if you have a problem, go to Europe. But we are here and life is very bad. We have no answers.” But they spoke with respect for the No Borders activists and the work they carry out, a number proudly proclaiming “I am No Borders”.

However, numbers are currently low and activists limited in what they can achieve. Those on the ground are urgently calling out for more people to take the short ferry hop over (free if you sweet talk you way into a car) and make a real difference to desperate people.

* See

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Twelve Mexican political prisoners seized in the aftermath of the 2006 Atenco uprising (see SchNEWS 543) have been released following a sensational high court ruling. Judges ruled that not only was there no evidence to sustain the prosecution's case but also that the charges the twelve faced - organised kidnapping - didn't even exist in Mexican law.

The victory was celebrated by activists in Mexico and around the world who have relentlessly campaigned for justice over the last four years. Outside the courthouse, Trini del Valle, wife of one of the prisoners, Ignacio del Valle, told the gathered crowd from the Popular Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) and the Justice and Peace Committee for Atenco, “I see tears of happiness in the eyes of my compañeros and I would like to say thank you to everyone, thank you to the Mexican people and international solidarity. The federal and state governments are not invincible!”

As the High Court judges assembled on Tuesday (29th), international campaigners staged solidarity demos in Spain, Germany, the US, New Zealand and Britain. In London, activists from across the UK assembled outside the Mexican embassy and leafleted passers-by while blasting out Mexican revolutionary tunes. Following the ruling, a spokesperson for the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network, told SchNEWS, "It's a fantastic example of how links across the world can make an enormous difference. There were demonstrations in so many places and I think if the supreme court of justice hadn't thought that people were watching all over the world then they would have just left them in prison."

Before the ruling the twelve had been serving sentences ranging from 31 to 112 years for their role in detaining police officers during the 2006 rebellion. The bloody clashes were sparked by an assault on local flower vendors, (see SchNEWS 543)who police were targeting to pave the way for a new commercial centre. Atenco residents and the FPDT came to the flower-sellers' aid, driving off the police in skirmishes that saw police beaten by crowds and 15 taken hostage before being released to the Red Cross. Thousands of revenge hungry police then marched on the town armed with batons, tear gas and sub-machine guns. The residents defended themselves by building barricades and arming themselves with machetes and Molotovs.

The next day the police launched a brutal attack on the besieged town. Hundreds were savagely beaten and two people killed, including a 14-year old boy hit by a tear gas canister. Twenty-six women were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, a number of them raped. Homes were invaded by marauding coppers and around 200 people were arrested.

The rebellious residents of Atenco have been challenging the Mexican state since fighting off plans for an airport on local farm land in 2002 (see SchNEWS 367). Following that victory they declared the town the first 'autonomous municipality' outside of the Zapatista zones in Chiapas.

Nearly a decade on and that spirit of rebellion is still going strong despite the oppression and injustices of the last years. The announcement of the ruling led to an impromptu town festival, while hundreds of locals and activists established a vigil outside the prison holding (1st) Ignacio del Valle Medina, Felipe Álvarez and Héctor Galind. There, they waited for the release of the prisoners behind a giant banner proclaiming "Welcome, compañeros, to your town".

* See

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Bluefin tuna must be heartened to know that there are at least some out there willing to prevent their ending up on an expensive sushi platter in the short term, and extinction of their species in the long run.

800 endangered bluefin tuna were released from fishing nets by Sea Shepherd anti-poaching activists (SchNEWS 713) off the coast of Libya. The action was carried out as part of Operation Blue Rage, targetting the illegal overfishing of bluefish tuna. The fish are being pushed out of existence as a sushi delicacy popular in Japan.

The Sea Shepherd’s vessel, the Steve Irwin, has been patrolling the Med during summer 2010 to monitor fishing of the species. The fishing of the bluefin tuna is supposedly monitored by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, yet evidence suggests that their quota of 13,500 tons a year is exceeded to the tune of tens of thousands of tons and there is little enforcement.

Activists on the Steve Irwin approached the Italian trawler Cesare Rustico in the afternoon of June 17th, but when confronted, the crew insisted that the haul did not exceed any quotas, and that the nets contained fish caught by other vessels. These excuses evaporated when activists inspected the nets. A five person crew then took the risky decision to dive down to the cage and succeeded in releasing the lucky 700-800 fish.

Its not all plain sailing, however. Two days later, the Steve Irwin was attacked in Libyan waters while attempting to inspect the contents of the second of the Cesare Rustico’s nets. The Cesare Rustico was supported by three other vessels, which fired a barrage of flares at the deck and wheelhouse of the Steve Irwin. The activists were forced to retreat to safety, yet, demonstrating true Sea Shepherd resilience, the mission now continues the search for bluefin poachers in the waters of Cyprus and Turkey.

* See

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Now, the SchNEWS crew have become somewhat divided on the subject of voting. But one thing’s for sure a few of us would have been tempted to put the big X next to the name of Jon Gnarr, now mayor of Reykjavik. Doyenne of the city’s bohemian underground (his massage therapist wife is Bjork’s best friend), he named his party - “the Best Party”, handily putting it head and shoulders above the rest.“No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.” His manifesto commitments included free towels at swimming pools, the re-introduction of the polar bear and the promise of “a drug-free parliament by 2020”. They gained 34.7% of the popular vote.

Mr Gnarr is best known there for playing a television and film character named Georg Bjarnfredarson, a nasty, bald, middle-aged, Swedish-educated Marxist whose childhood was ruined by a militant feminist mother. In reality he’s an anarchist whose political party is a who’s who of the Icelandic punk scene.

With his party having won six of the City Council’s fifteen seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire”. The Social Democrats duly brushed up on the antics of Stringer Bell et al and joined the Best Party in power. Shee-it!

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SchNEWS warns all arms manufacturers around the country that they may be next. 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.

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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