SchNEWS 744, 22nd October 2010
Crude but Refined - Utmost secrecy, activist goodie bags and sheer determination shut down the the UK’s busiest oil refinery last week in one of the most well-planned actions the climate justice movement has seen so far. Stilt walkers, a samba band and around 500 activists blockaded the road to Croydon oil refinery in Essex on Saturday, stopping an estimated 400,000 gallons of oil getting to London’s petrol stations.

SchNEWS 743, 15th October 2010
Hammering home the Point - The ‘ITT’s Hammertime’ Smash EDO demo in Brighton on Wednesday (13th) ended with over fifty arrests, after police made it clear they were going to protect the arms makers at any cost. The demonstration planned to lay siege to Brighton’s premier weapons factory for the day, but police repression and a newly developed policy for preventative arrests put paid to the ambitious plans to push the factory out of town. With both a section 60 and highly restrictive section 14 in place, police were given even greater powers, which they gleefully exercised...

SchNEWS 742, 8th October 2010
Frontier Law - The No Borders camp in Brussels last week persevered in getting their message across by means of various direct actions despite widespread arbitrary arrests and shocking police violence, including physical and sexual abuse in police custody. At least 500 mostly ‘preventative’ arrests took place, and 14 people were seriously injured. Here’s a day by day report...  

SchNEWS 741, 1st October 2010
Unrest For The Wicked - Mass protests and strikes have broken out across the whole of Europe this week as the reality of already imposed and still pending austerity cuts becomes clear. Across the EU, rallies were held in thirteen capital cities and in Spain a general strike saw millions take action. On Wednesday (29th) around 100,000 representatives of the European trade union movement, including German miners and Polish shipbuilders, brought Brussels to a standstill to protest against the forthcoming savage spending cuts. The message “We will not pay for their crisis” is now resounding across Europe.  

SchNEWS 740, 24th September 2010
Brussels Sprouts Camp - No Borders Camp 2010 in Brussels kicks off this Saturday (25th) til the 3rd October, and plenty are converging on that part of the continent in an effort to create a world where no one is illegal. Among the objectives of the camp are the denouncing of European migration policy; showing the links between this policy and the structures of capitalism and repression; the blocking of Brussels’ deportation system and the organisation of an autonomous safe space for the voices of migrants and activists to be heard.  

SchNEWS 739, 17th September 2010
Gauling Behaviour - Weak to begin with, France’s attempts to deny that recent mass expulsions of Roma people were racist have been dealt a blow after a Ministry of Interior circular ordering evacuation of camps of Roma, as “a matter of priority” was leaked. From mid-August to early September this year, approximately 1000 Roma were deported from France and 128 Roma camps dismantled.

SchNEWS 738, 10th September 2010
Caravandals - The Hovefields Gypsy/Traveller site in Essex with 50-60 inhabitants has been evicted this week. At the time of writing, a group of these families are still on the road without anywhere to stop, having been also evicted from two other sites they tried to move on to, all within 24 hours. In fact it is illegal for them to stop anywhere as a group, as they are more than six live-in vehicles.  

SchNEWS 737, 3rd September 2010
Out of Their League - It was supposed to be ‘The Big One’ - that’s how the EDL were billing their Bradford rally - a climactic moment in their campaign against ‘radical Islam’. According to puff pieces released on Youtube before the event, there were supposed to be 5,000 leaguers descending on the Yorkshire town on Saturday 28th August. The EDL had warned women and children not to be present and one flyer bore the slogan ‘Burn, baby, burn’. In the end a mere 700-800 EDLers were on display...

SchNEWS 736, 27th August 2010
Royal BS - Camp for Climate Action 2010 finished this week having shut down operations at the RBS Global Headquarters, disrupting works at their administration building and closing numerous branches around Edinburgh's city centre. Activists also targeted Cairn Energy and Forth Energy, companies that had received huge wads of cash from the bank for not-so-environmentally-friendly projects.

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

Friday 29th October 2010 | Issue 745



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Story Links : Serious Organised Crime | First Cuts Not the Deepest | EDL: Down the Rabbi Hole | Somerset Sabs Attacked | Cuts Both Ways | Naples: Load Of Rubbish | Snogfest Vs Nazi Nonce | The US ITT Parade | And Finally



The six defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences this week (see SchNEWS 738). The harshest was the six years handed down to 53-year-old Sarah Whitehead. Sentences for the other defendants Tom Harris, Nicole Vosper, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping and Alfie Fitzpatrick ranged from a two year suspended sentence for the youngest, Alfie, to three and a half years for Nicole Vosper. All the defendants also copped lengthy ASBOs, which will prevent them from any further participation in animal rights activism.

All six were charged with ‘conspiracy to interfere with the contractual relations of an animal research organisation’ under the SOCPA legislation, a law brought in by New Labour to specifically target the animal rights movement. They were arrested in a massive series of raids in 2007.

A lot of shit has been talked about this trial and the defendants in the mainstream media. Most of the press has been happy to reprint the NETCU line that the defendants were personally involved in planting bombs and conducting violence against individuals. The Mail has claimed that SHAC and the ALF are one and the same thing. The BBC carried an article entitled ‘Under Siege’ that claimed that the six individuals sentenced were personally responsible for vandalism at his home over a period of seven years.

In fact the nature of the conspiracy charge means that the prosecution did not have to prove anything, except that the defendants knew one another and were part of the SHAC campaign against HLS - and that at least part of this campaign involved illegal activity. These ‘catch-all’ conspiracy cases are being used to attack a militant and successful movement against UK corporate interests. The last SHAC trial (see SchNEWS 663) saw activists receive up to 11 year sentences on similar conspiracy charges.

NETCU were of course gloating about the verdict, saying, “We are very satisfied with the outcome today. In 2004 a major police investigation was launched into the criminal activities linked to SHAC. Specialist support was also provided by the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Unit” then adding laughably, “The police service remains committed to facilitating the peaceful protest of the majority”.

Of course in real life the police have never neglected their role as defenders of power against truth. It is unlikely that the ‘major police investigation’ ended after the 2007 raids. Long-term police infiltrator PC Mark Kennedy (AKA Stone - see graphic) attended animal rights events as recently as September 2010.

Has this stopped SHAC? Hardly. During the sentencing, which took three days, demonstrations took place simultaneously, in London, at the gates of the two HLS sites as well as their beagle suppliers at Harlan Huntingdon and their rabbit breeders at Highgate Lincolnshire. There was even a brief foray into Cambridgeshire Police HQ looking for the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordinating Unit’s (NETCU) office.

* See

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OK Europe its not, but the first rumblings of discontent against the cuts are beginning to be heard - here’s a few snapshots from around the shires of a very British mutiny...

Students at Birmingham University occupied their vice-chancellor’s office on Friday (22nd) over £20million worth of planned cuts and a hike in tuition fees. Police arrived but the assembled students were quick to point out they weren’t actually committing any criminal offence, so the coppers assumed positions as ‘observers’. This forced the Registrar and Secretary into negotiations and the sit-in was called to a close after university management agreed to enter into talks with the student body on Monday (25th) about the planned cuts. Previously the only discussion had been with the student union president only, behind closed doors.

Cambridge, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Belfast and Bristol all saw demos on Saturday (23rd) with support from people in their hundreds marching through their city centres. Organised by groups opposing cuts in education, pensions and campaigning for the ‘Right to Work’, each action saw its fair share of banner waving and slogan shouting, although who knows what the French pensioner who joined the march in Cambridge thought about the difference in tactics.

Jenganomics - The game for elites aged 45 - 60

Actions were mostly peaceful, but coppers in Bristol got stuck in with a hugely disproportionate presence, trying to steal banners and generally hassling demonstrators, resulting in a few scuffles and two arrests.

Oxford saw a 1,000 person strong march on the same Saturday which managed to successfully break through several police lines to deviate from their ‘designated protest route’. Originally planned to coincide with a visit to the city by Vince Cable, who later pulled out after the demo was announced, the campaigners managed to pass through the busy streets of Oxford city centre to the Examinations Schools of Oxford University where he had been scheduled to appear.

By far the best attended demo of Saturday was in Edinburgh, organised by The Scottish Trades Union Congress. Numbers are somewhat disputed with organisers estimating around 20,000 people took part, the police low-balling at 6,500. Made up of NHS and council staff, students, civil servants, private-sector workers and politicians, the demo started at Waverly train station and finished at Princes Street Gardens for a rally.

Nearly 1,000 angry pensioners descended on Downing Street on Wednesday (27th) to protest against the cuts and to demand a basic state pension of £171 a week. The group gathered opposite parliament before going to lobby their MPs. The National Pensioners Convention general secretary addressed the crowd and called for everyone to stand together in the fight to save the one in five pensioners who already live below the poverty line.

Protesters closed down Vodafone’s Oxford Street store on Wednesday (27th) in response to the government letting the mobile phone giant off a massive tax bill. The group of around 40 activists staged a sit-in at the shop holding banners saying ‘Vodafone’s unpaid tax bill: £6billion – Cuts to welfare: £7billion’, and posted up signs with the company’s logo and the phrase ‘tax dodgers’. The shop closed soon after with the metal shutters coming down on a line of sitting demonstrators who were roughly pulled out of the way by police. The group then sat outside the closed store and spoke to passersby, most of whom were outraged at the hypocrisy of the government cutting benefits for the most vulnerable while letting corporations have huge tax breaks. Another demo on Oxford

Street will take place this Saturday (30th) and the call has gone out for groups to do the same at their local branches.

RBS was another big business targeted by campaigners as branches across Leeds were attacked with paint, sand and glue. The activists were demonstrating against the massive bailouts the bank has received, leaving RBS 84% publicly owned, while cuts are made in benefits and pensions.

More demos are planned for this Saturday (30th). Brighton’s Stop the Cuts march, starts at The Level at 12noon and Portsmouth is meeting at 11.30am at Guildhall Square.

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Rabbi, surfer, Tea Party activist, aficionado of aviator sunglasses. Senatorial candidate for California, supporter of fascistic English street armies: Nachum Shiffren is a deeply confusing (or maybe confused) man.

On Monday (25th), the rabid rabbi teamed up with far-right goons the EDL to march through London to show their opposition to “Islamic extremism” and solidarity with the state of Israel. Over 200 EDLers showed up to join Shiffren in a stroll past the Israeli embassy. They were met by a mixed bag of up to 100 counter-protesters.

In a rambling speech, the Shiff attacked Muslims – whom he described as “dogs” - politicians, lefties, Jews who didn’t buy into his message of fact just about everyone except fascists and racists. At one point he broke into a fist-shaking explosion of Hebrew after telling the baffled leaguers, “You won’t understand what I’m about to say but you will feel my meaning.” At least the good rabbi understands the level of debate the EDL operate on...

The smattering of useful idiots that make up the EDL Jewish Division were also on hand to defend the EDL. However, leader Roberta Moore’s speech came to an abrupt end when a cheeky anti-fascist shorted their PA with water. Enraged EDLers chased the mystery person down the street but he/she managed to evade capture.

The unlikely coalition of the rabbi and the racists was condemned by Jewish groups across the country. Amongst the counter-demo were a number of “Jews Against the EDL” protesters, including radical Jewish group Jewdas, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Jewish orthodox anti-zionists. The Board of Deputies of British Jews denounced Shiffren’s relationship with the EDL as an attempt by the group to play minorities off against each other.

* Thursday last week (21st), charges levelled at an anti-fascist protester were dropped just 24 hours before he was scheduled to stand trial. Alan Clough was preparing to defend himself against charges of threatening behaviour following last March’s EDL demo in Bolton (see SchNEWS 715), which saw over 60 arrests – almost all of them UAF or counter-protesters. The last minute U-turn came after footage previously hidden away on youtube and in the deep dark vaults of Granada TV which clearly showed a copper punching Clough in the face moments before the 63-year-old was arrested. After witnessing the assault on an innocent man deserving of his free bus pass, a disappointed CPS spokesman said: “Having viewed footage received from the defence team, we felt that there was no longer a realistic prospect of securing a conviction.” Shame.

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Hunt monitors from the South West sabs group were attacked by a violent mob last week, and had their cameras forcibly stolen. The sabs had been standing on a public footpath, monitoring a hunt taking place on the Mendips at Ston Easton and Emborough.

According to a spokesperson for the sabs, around a dozen men pulled up in vehicles with number plates obscured by mud. The men then launched their assault, shouting “get the cameras”. Several people were punched in the face and one man had his leg repeatedly stamped on.

The attack continued until the men had their hands on three video and one stills camera. After a complaint made by the sabs, local plod is now investigating – no doubt releasing all their detective bloodhounds in efforts to track down the culprits.

* See

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After the violent and illegal eviction of Gypsy travellers at Hovefields, Essex in September (see SchNEWS 738), attention is back on the much larger nearby traveller community at Dale Farm (see SchNEWS 669). But an unexpected factor has come into the equation to thwart a possible eviction: due to belt-tightening, the council haven’t got enough money for the police bill.

The cheapest thing would be to simply give planning permission for Dale Farm - but up til now, it wasn’t about money - no expense was spared - but rather about ethnic cleansing and intolerance by the Tory council. Already £2 million has been spent on legal costs and bailiffs Constant & Co are on a £3 million contract to evict the site. But now the police are saying their bill could be £10 million.

For half that money, the council could give the Gypsies a nearby site and let them be legal. Dale Farm are currently applying for planning permission to go onto Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)-owned land at nearby Pound Lane, but are up against institutional racism and intolerance.

However, in the current climate of massive spending cuts it seems that Tony Ball, Tory leader of Basildon Council, has picked a bad time to go cap-in-hand for money. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Home Secretary Theresa May are both being approached by the council and Essex police to stump up the bill - but it’ll be a battle to see which reactionary right-wing ideology wins out: savage public services cuts vs harsh retribution for those who step outside the bounds of ‘normal’ society.

* See

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A volcano of unrest seems ready to erupt as Naples has been rocked by a series of protests over plans for a new waste dump, inside a national park at the foot of Mount Vesuvius.

In an attempt to combat the government’s proposed plan for the area, demonstrators have set fire to vehicles and blocked the road leading to it with tree trunks, not to mention fighting police with rocks, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails. On Saturday (23rd) hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police with a reported six policemen injured.

Uncollected mountains of rubbish have been accumulating all over Naples and the surrounding region of Campania throughout the protests.

Locals are concerned that the existing dumping facility stinks and suspect it is being used to deposit toxic waste. Since the 1990’s the waste disposal business for Naples has been infiltrated by the local mafia, the Camorra, who use the incinerators and landfill sites to dump toxic waste if the price is right. Residents have become wary of agreeing to disposal sites that will be used by the mob in this way.

The situation has been getting progressively worse over the last few months, and on Friday (22nd) the bent Baron Berlusconi himself was forced to intervene and promise to suspend the opening of the new dump just in order to get the situation under control.

So the plans for a second dump at Terzigno National Park have been put on hold until the old dump fills up. But given the circumstances and the foul stench of Italian politics, the protesters refuse to back down until more substantial solutions are offered to combat the debris.

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SchNEWS’ favourite holy homophobe, his Nazi Nonceness Pope Benedict XVI, is headed for some enforced mind-broadening when he heads to Spain next month, after being targeted for a Queer Kissing Flashmob.

Organised in opposition to the Pope’s notoriously bigoted attitude to homosexuality (ironic for the man behind the church’s big child abuse cover-up), the demo will see a mass of man-on-man and woman-on-woman kissing action, all strategically planting their smackers in front of the papal procession.

The plans have incited the censorious wrath of Facebook, which has now twice removed events pages for the demo, the first of which had 12,000 supporters declaring they were puckering up their lips and raring to go.

One of the organisers Marylène Carole said, “It is curious to note how an act so noble as a kiss can be considered revolutionary, even in the 21st century.”

Let’s hope the Spanish all start talking in tongues.

* See (in Spanish and English)

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Yankee anti-arms activists hit out at EDO’s parent company, arms manufacturer ITT in Greenwich, NY last Saturday (24th). Choosing the current hometown of ITT’s president and CEO, Steve Loranger, demonstrators created a mock-up of a military attack drone and caught attention with a fake coffin draped in an American flag.

Protesting against the use of the hughly expensive - and reportedly wildly inaccurate - unmanned drones, for which ITT provides the target sensors, the group was foiled in its attempt to take their message to the man himself. He lives in a gated community, ‘Belle Haven’, complete with its own security.

They settled instead for a war memorial in the town centre, before taking their protest along Greenwich Avenue to stop outside the (possibley pearly) gates of Haven.

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Obviously miffed at the unwelcome reception to Saint Tony’s recent opus magnanimous (see SchNEWS 738), Cherie ‘Lionel’ Blair was seemingly outraged at the thought of a few people making a fast buck selling hubby’s signature on Ebay. So she attempted, under the cloak of online anonymity, to ‘undermine the market’ by selling it herself, cheap.

Having always overestimated Tony’s many wondrous qualities, it must have been galling to find out that nobody wanted it at the paltry offer price of £25. In fact, she had to lower it all the way down to a measly tenner before finding a punter willing to take a chance on such poison penmanship.

Cherie was uncovered when the thrifty millionaire bought a silver butter knife and glass dish from another ebayer who looked her account up and recognised it as registered to the Blair’s address.

Her enterprising attempts to crush a few entrepreneurs all seem a bit rich for someone who’s ridden the high life of high office, always happy to be ‘devoured’ by a passionate man willing to authorise the use of white phosphorous on populations he’d illegally declared war on. But then again, you don’t get that rich without being a bit mad with it.

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SchNEWS advises all readers, this office has been mole free since at least lunchtime. 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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