SchNEWS 748, 18th November 2010
Complete Hissy Fit - Still smarting from the failure to contain the student rioters in central London, the Met are peevishly taking out their anger against an old enemy. On Monday evening the hosts of the FIT WATCH website were asked to close it down on the grounds of it “being used to undertake criminal activities”. In a letter from the MET, the company were warned that the website was being used in an attempt “to pervert the course of justice”. The DI demanded that the site be taken down for ‘twelve months’. Deciding caution was the better part of valour, Justhost decided to take it down.

SchNEWS 747, 11th November 2010
Losing Their Faculties - Finally, perhaps, the wave is cresting... The fightback against the vicious Tory cuts programme has so far been restricted to placard waving demos and petitions. Not any more – the placards are still there but now they’re being used to build bonfires in front of a windowless Tory HQ. And they say young people don’t take an interest in politics.

SchNEWS 746, 4th November 2010
The Vodafone-y War - In the past week as many as 21 Vodafone stores have been hit with direct action. The phone giant have become a widespread target for the national anti-cuts campaign following their multi-billion government-sanctioned tax-dodging shenanigans. 

SchNEWS 745, 29th October 2010
Serious Organised Crime - The six defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences this week. 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.

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.  

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

Thursday 25th November 2010 | Issue 749



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The second wave of student protest this week saw thousands walkout of their classrooms and on to the streets all over the country.

Whilst events in London were amply covered – albeit traditionally skewed - by the mainstream media, SchNEWS was braving it on the frontline at the Brighton demo where around 3,000 students marched through the city centre.

The demo began around 2pm when around 1000 school-bunkers loitering in Dyke Road Park were joined by groups that had walked out from local universities and colleges (as well as the obligatory Trot paper sellers and anarchist infiltrators). The atmosphere was jovial but determined, with a higher proportion of face paint and animal costumes than at your average demo. A sound system added to the carnivalesque atmosphere.


Once the crowd had made their way into town they made it clear they were not going to stop on command. Or, as Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett put it, after protesters “peacefully followed the agreed route...a group of protesters who were unconnected with the original march seemed to have hijacked the protest” - keeping to the official, national narrative of a small minority of disruptive troublemakers and conveniently ignoring the fact that the vast majority then went on to target several key buildings throughout the city.

Most demonstrators were clear on what they think is at stake if the rise in fees goes ahead. Typical was,“They’re unfair, and it’s sad. Students will have to seriously think about whether they can afford to go to university. Your university days are supposed to broaden your horizons, and a lot of people in the future are going to miss out on that.”

One Brighton University student commented: “They don’t think cuts through, they just do them and don’t think about the consequences.”

A first attempt to occupy Grand Parade, a Brighton Uni building conveniently located 10 metres from the official end point of the protest, was bungled with the main bloc telegraphing its intentions thus allowing staff and police to block and lock the doors. Luckily enough (like an educational version of Starbucks), there is another campus building just down the road which several agitating undergrads were able to occupy, draping their fabric signs over the balcony and at the window.


Meanwhile, another bid for occupation was made at the Priory House council building next to the Town Hall. Several students made it inside but were removed by police shortly after.

The police kettled around 200 demonstrators outside the Hall in Bartholomew square and brought out the dogs. Various overheard conversations suggested that the teenage protesting newbies were shocked and angered by the police’s repressive tactics. Some protesters managed to make an escape from the containment through a side alley before a few scuffles ensued as cops moved in to block it off.

Another splinter group had made their way to the police station, where a clash took place between a number of protesters and some particularly violent police; clearly shaken and surprised that they should be a target for protesters they had spent the past few hours manhandling. A hysterical mother looked on as her 15-year-old son was aggressively bundled to the ground. He was eventually released on police bail on suspicion of assault police, presumably for the damage done to police boots and batons inflicted by his head during the arrest.

In a final bid to turn the next generation against them, the police then formed another kettle in the North Laine area around a group that appeared to largely consist of confused under-18s. Meanwhile about 40 protesters stormed a branch of (tax-dodging) Vodafone. Riot cops cleared the store, only for them to cross the road and budget-ransack Poundland for out of date biscuits and plastic crap.

Overall six people were arrested, five of them school students between the ages of 15-16. The occupation of Pavilion Parade, Brighton Uni’s humanities building, is still (Thursday night) ongoing. Numbers are fluid, but approximately 40 students are maintaining a constant presence in one lecture theatre; screening films, holding meetings and entertaining the local media. A few NUS reps brought food but, when pressed, sat awkwardly on the fence unwilling to either upset the rabble or contradict their glorious leader Aaron Porter (NUS president and Labour activist) who accused student groups of “naively and opportunistically [aligning] themselves with the anarchists”.


With similar, and more destructive, scenes of ‘kid-power’ breaking out in the capital and around the country this week, it has all left the police somewhat bemused. Used to painting all ‘trouble’ as down to the agitation of a few bad (cl)eggs, this new wave of protesters doesn’t fit their ‘domestic extremism’ mould.

In Brighton, cops made remarks to seasoned activists - who’d merely turned up cos it seemed like something interesting might be going on - which clearly implied they thought it was all orchestrated by them, and how sick it was to be using the kids like that. If only! This has been a genuine grassroots mass uprising of the type that never seemed that likely until recently. Not to mention the sparsely attended SchNEWS campaign table at fresher fairs in recent years...

The deep anger and readiness to express it is all bubbling up from previously more ‘mainstream’ apolitical youth, but it’s not all that surprising; these kids are realising they are victims of such large-scale financial and environmental generational theft that they now have so little to lose they may as well really go for it.

How long before the authorities realise that they now have a genuine mass movement on their hands? One which no amount of attempted marginalising, illegal and violent policing and empty soundbites on ‘fairness’ is going to suppress. (Sadly, they’re bound to give all those things a good go in the meantime.)

The second day of action is planned for Tuesday 30th November. In the meantime keep a watchful eye on and for further fun and games.

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The winter of discontent is hardly over for Europe as another Euro zone member feels the cuts. On Wednesday (24th) Portugal was practically on its knees as flights were cancelled, trains stalled, health and bank services halted as an expression of rage over recent government cuts and unemployment rises.

As the general strike started taking hold, Portugal’s largest exporter, Volkswagen, ceased operating as its production line ground to a stop. A picket line was held outside the motor giant’s entrance.

A number of other car and shipbuilding factories halted production also. National airline TAP cancelled a a large percentage of its flights for the day, whilst ports were sealed, rubbish collection frozen and postal services went out the window (not literally, fortunately for passers-by).

Unions accused the police of violently dispersing post office pickets which the cops naturally denied.

Western Europe’s poorest country has hit its highest unemployment point since the 1980s, over 10% and likely to rise significantly higher as the cuts bite.

Unlike other suffering Euro siblings such as Spain and Ireland that saw phases of boom and bust, Portugal has not really ever had the euphoria of boom to cheer it up and now wonder why they should be paying for everyone else’s bust.

The budget its government is trying to impose hacks public sector wages by 5%, freezes pensions and raises VAT from 21% to 23%. Once again the brunt of these policies is felt most by the people that can handle it the least. “It’s the workers who are paying for the crisis, not the bankers nor the shareholders of big companies”, said a 65-year-old pensioner on the scene.

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Jammers, creatives, revolutionaries: Our rebellion is in full swing and this Friday/Saturday/Sunday we hope it reaches an exhilarating climax … Let’s deliver a blow to the consumer capitalist system from which it will never fully recover.

This Buy Nothing Day, up the ante. Shut off your lights, disconnect your television, lose your cellphone and walk away from the internet. Go out into the streets, protest wildly and live like a cat on the prowl for a few magic hours.

There are 400+ Buy Nothing Day actions scheduled in more than 45 countries. Join up with your fellow rabble-rousers at (It’s not ‘Donate Nothing Day by the way’ see below)

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SchNEWS is, as ever, financially desperate. We’ve been getting by for years flogging T Shirts, doing benefit gigs and the occasional big donation. A few folk have been good enough to set up direct debits giving us anything from a pound to a tenner a month. Our thanks to you all.

Although it hasn’t been down to a massive over-leveraging based on easy but illusionary forms of cheap credit, we are, nonetheless, according to our in-depth financial forecasts, gonna be well brassic by Xmas.

Back in the day the Levellers (remember them?) used to give us a free office space; but now we have to rent one with real money, even if it does help to support our local radical social centre, the Cowley Club. That’s three grand a year from us - a volunteer newsletter. That’s before we start forking out for printing, phone bills, broadband and bourbons.

Anyway the point is that we need a more regular income so we can keep bringing you bang up to date direct action news from around the world. We need a hundred people (at least) to sign up to giving us two pounds a month.

Please help us in our hour of need. All money we are given (and more) gets used in fighting the good fight and none gets syphoned off to plug the large gap in our pension fund.

The easiest way to donate is via Paypal but they do take a small cut.

The best way is to set up a regular direct debit to:

The Co-operative Bank
P.O. Box 101
1 Balloon Street
M60 4EP
Account Name: Justice
Account no.: 50084500
Sort Code: 089025

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SchNEWS advises all readers, even if you don't cut it at skool no more, always keep up wiv ur lifelong lernin. 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.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.

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