| 18th October
1996 | Issue
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S
YER DARK AND BITTER...
"Guinness are vindictive
bastards. We are all furious; not only have they evicted our new
friends, they have flattened the site. London Wildlife Trust surveyed
the site, and declared it a site of prime Metropolitan importance.
I've now got massive floodlights glaring through my window. We have
to hit them where it hurts - their profits. I want a national boycott
- Len James,
Wandsworth local resident
On Tuesday morning 300
police and bailiffs invaded the Pure Genius site in Wandsworth and
evicted 150 eco-activists. The 12 acre site had been derelict for
six years before the occupation by The Land Is Ours campaign in
May. In five months the campaigners built a sustainable, low impact
community offering and alternative to the unsustainability of modern
life. Vegetables were planted in raised beds, dwellings constructed
and keys to the site were handed over to locals to share the running
of the site.
Guinness like to describe
themselves as an "environmentally sensitive company". Some people
even believe them. In the same week that they kicked everyone off
the Wandsworth site they won the Ecology Sponsorship Award in Geneva!
The brewery giant evicted
the greenies a month before a public enquiry decides whether to
give planning permission to build a supermarket on the site. It
seems unlikely that Wandsworth Borough Council will grant permission
for the supermarket and luxury flats originally destined for the
site, especially in light of the nine other superstores within a
mile and a half radius.
A spokeswoman for Guinness
told SchNEWS, "I'm not surprised that the eviction went ahead.
We tried to offer an 'orderly resolution' to The Land Is Ours while
they were illegally squatting but they refused to cooperate and
continued the occupation."
Orderly resolution? Guinness
offered to include The Land Is Ours in talks about 'possible future
co-operation on one of the conservation projects in which Guinness
in involved'. A prime example of words not deeds. Unfortunately,
nice little corporate funded projects don't house people or offer
radical solutions to urban problems.
The eco-village managed
to highlight issues surrounding urban regeneration, but it also
highlighted a recurring problem in the direct action movement. People
with mental health, drink, drug problems or just couldn't-give-a-toss
attitudes appear when we create 'temporary autonomous zones'. At
the eco-village, life was often severely disrupted by people not
willing, or able, to take responsibility for their own actions.
Thanks to the government's
'Care in the Community' scheme and the continued running down of
social services, thousands of people with serious mental health
problems are finding themselves with little or no help - and on
the streets. People are turning up at protest sites with severe
problems that we do not have the time, energy or resources to deal
Chris from the Third
Battle of Newbury told SchNEWS, "It is slightly arrogant to assume
that we can "heal" people who may have been ill for many years,
especially when living on protest camps can be highly stressful
(at least 6 people have been sectioned at Newbury under the Mental
Health Act) and they are far from an ideal environment for people
who are vulnerable to start with."
As one activist told
SchNEWS, "ideally, each of us would like to be free to do as
we please , but when this infringed on the rights of others and
diverts for the issue at hand, action mist be taken. It has been
the case in the past that the irresponsibility of a few have put
themselves and others at risk on actions. Let's be honest - the
last thing you want at an eviction is some pissed nutter trying
to throw themselves or someone else off the roof."
It isn't inevitab1e that
any space we take over should end up like this. In other parts of
the world community activist groups have found ways to deal with
these problems. In Brazil, The Movement for Rural Workers Without
Land organise land occupations of up to 12,000 people, but they
eliminate major problems by enforcing a strict set of rules. Drunks,
drug users, and prostitutes are told to leave, and children are
expected to go to the school run by activists. Nearer to home, the
Exodus Collective in Luton take a pro-active stance by using peace
stewards to patrol their parties. The yellow jacketed crew look
out for everyone's safety, and ensure mutual respect among party-goers.
Thousands of organisations,
especially in the poorest and most oppressed countries in the world,
have learnt important lessons about how to organise effectively
amongst those kicked around the most by the powers-that-be. It's
not easy, it means being organised and self-disciplined - and it
works. We are learning more and more about how and why we stop people
disrupting our actions. But we're not forgetting that the people
responsible for cutting health services, social services and housing
are the same people that employ the police and bailiffs to stop
us challenging their destruction of the planet. They're the real
enemy - and no one is going to stop us organising effectively to
put them out of for good.
* Fairmile... we hope
you haven't been holding your breath for the eviction. Despite the
camp going on Red Alert last week (and every bloody week for the
past year), the bailiffs still haven't shown their ugly mugs. So,
there's still time to get on down there...Call 01404 815 729 for
* Naburn Hospital Site..
.our York corespondent informs us that, despite the eviction of
Naburn Woods in September, local support remains strong and the
protest isn't over yet. Heavily guarded fencing was erected around
the site for a week... at a cost of £30,000. The organisers now
want to know of any more hospital sites around the country that
have been trashed by developers. Contact York LEAF on 01904 410
YES, THE JSA
BRINGS YOU... CRAP JOB OF THE WEEK
by Brighton dole-workers. Security Guard £1.50 an hour bring
your own dog! Ring the SchNEWS-desk with your crap job of
everything in black and white makes sense
SEE YA LATER ID CARDS
It's official ID cards
have kicked the bucket at last! Following a Green Paper, widespread
public consultation (by both the Home Office and the Data Protection
Registry); a Select Committee inquiry and a previous announcement
in August that a voluntary scheme had been given the go ahead.
In a rare victory for
civil liberties, a Liberty spokeswoman told SchNEWS that three factors
had swung the decision. "First public opinion -the more publicity
the idea received, the more unpopular it became. Second, we discredited
every single argument Michael Howard produced - about crime, immigration,
social security fraud, so called consumer convenience - even the
police changed their mind because they thought it would have a bad
impact on relations with the public! Finally, some of the scheme's
most vociferous opponents were the Eurosceptics in the cabinet.
Michael Howard could never decide whether he was selling us the
idea as a law and order initiative or as an item of consumer convenience,
which made the idea easier for us to discredit. If you keep telling
people, as the government did, that 'those with nothing to hide
have nothing to fear', then eventually people will start to smell
In 1989 Prakash Chavrimootoo
married a British citizen in Maurititis. She came here on a year's
leave but suffered a daily beating at the hands of her husband.
Unable to tolerate any more, she fled Birmingham with her son Prem.
Now the Home Office arc
trying to deport the two back to Mauritius under the '12 month rule'.
This ru1e requires a marriage to last for a year before residence
can be granted. A Home Office spokesperson said "Exceptions
could only be made on compassionate grounds." Apparently being
beaten to shit regularly by your husband does not merit the compassion
of the office.
Prakash is a care worker
with Birmingham Social Services - but will face destitution and
homelessness if she and her son are forced to leave the country.
Ring West Midlands Anti-deportation
Campaign on 0l2l 507 1618 to see how you can help.* The Government
has drawn up a White List countries where asylum seekers will find
it much harder to seek refuge in the UK "fast tracked" out
of the country if they are from India, Pakistan, Romania, Ghana,
Cyprus, Bulgaria and Poland and will face greater problems in trying
to prove their case. More info from the Refugee Council: 0171 820
Are you involved in "conduct
by a large number of people in pursuit of a common purpose?"
Then bugger off. The Security Services Act became law this week
and means M15 now have the legal right to gain entry into your home
or business premises, look through your personal property, burgle,
install cameras, tap phones, put in surveillance equipment and bugging
devices without you ever having committed a crime. And you will
probably never known they'd ever even been in your home. If you
do end up in court, these people will be screened from you as they
present evidence against you - and you won't even be able to cross
examine them. All good clean fun, see SchNEWS 75 for the complete
The 9th Of November
Nearly one year after
the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other environmental and human
rights activists in Nigeria, campaigners across the country are
preparing for an anniversary week of events from the 4th to the
10th of November. The focus is on pressing for the release of the
imprisoned Ogoni activists. They are seriously ill and facing trial
and possible execution for challenging Shell, just like Saro-Wiwa
and the others last November. Action is planned for all over the
world, including video showings, mock hangings, workshops and literature
readings. Grassroots activists in one country are planning to shut
down all Shell garages nationally. Think about it, Shell are as
unrepentant as ever to its devastating pollution and amoral political
persuasions. Around 1800 Ogonis have been massacred, more still
could die. Get down to your local Shell garage on the anniversary,
and let them know that you know what they're up to, and you're not
particularly happy about it.
Contact Delta, Box Z,
13 Biddulph St., Leicester, LE2 1BH Tel 44 116 255 3223
You Don't JSA
Tips on how
to defeat the JSA!
We want your hints
and tips on how to overcome the Job Seekers Allowance. The
theory is that 'You Don't JSA' will build into a handy guide
to defeat the Dole Snoopers and give you that little extra
quality time! So, you know our number, why not call us?! Example:
when told by dole staff you have to take a crap job, fuck
up the interview by asking about unions, sick pay and holidays,
reveal a criminal record, make it clear that you area dedicated
activist and state the reason for leaving a previous job as
arguments with bosses etc.
We've received reports
of a prisoner being seriously messed around by tic Prison Service.
George Black is being intimidated by prison authorities for protesting
his innocence and seeking decent justice or himself. He has been
moved around 41 times to 20 different prisons - getting a kicking
en route most of the time, and has had his property stolen five
times in three years. Brighton Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) are calling
for people to send him cards and messages of support (recorded delivery
is safest, 60 pence extra). Write to George Blacking GL0728, HMP
Full Sutton, Moor Lane, Full Sutton, York, YO4 1PS.
Prison can be an isolating
and intimidating experience for many people, and Brighton ABC are
currently supporting loads of prisoners, many of whom are banged
up for their political views, direct action etc. To get involved
contact: Brighton ABC, c/o Priory Hoase,6 Tilbury Place, Brighton,
*Another Newbury protester
has been sent down. Jerome Baker is in HMP Bullingdon for at least
six weeks. His prisoner number is KG3028. Write to him at HMP Bullingon,
PO Box 50, Bicestcr, Oxon, OX6
Were you at the Reclaim
The Future actions last week? Witness any dodgy copper activities
(you'd have to been Stevie Wonder not to have)? Liverpool Dockers
want oral, video and photographic evidence to get a public enquiry
into police handling of events. Ring Steve Ballard on 0181 889
Nationa1 action in support
of the striking dockers are happening on Friday 25th all over the
country. In Brighton meet 12am Churchill Square. More info 0181
SchNEWS In Brief
Those nice military dictators
of Indonesia have got the hump after hearing that an exiled resistance
leader to the county's illegal occupation of East Timor and a Roman
catholic Bishop have both been declared joint winners in this year's
Nobel Peace Prize. They were honoured for their "sustained and self
sacrificing contributions for a small but oppressed people"
(last count 200,000 people have been killed by the Indonesian army
-see SchNEWS 84)
*** JSA Day School: 10am
onwards, Sun. Oct 20th, Brighton Unemployed Centre, Tilbury place.
*** NVDA training workshop
in Yeovil ring Kate 01458 851061
*** new SQUALL's out
*** Bomb out in Bradford.
Youth and student CND gathering Oct 15-20th. Contact Y&S CND
0171 607 3616 to book a place.
*** Nice one! to the
Brighton fans who led the walkout 15 minutes from the end of the
match against Hereford. How about a banner drop from the floodlights
*** Friday 25th 'Silent
No Longer' - stories, slides, speaker's and songs telling tales
of people in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala & Cuba at Unitarian
Church, New Rd., Brighton. And its free!
Keep that cash rollin'
in by going to all these SchNEWS Benefit nights:
Sat 19th SchNEWSnight.
Political Cabaret, SchLive, Flannel Undrugged and much more. Sanctuary
Cafe, Hove £2. (This could well be a fortnightly fixture from now
on if all goes well).
Mon 21st Merry Pranksters
from Rumpus Rooms Plus DJs Foldfingers, Xavier, URI & the Hectic
Collective & Backroom Sleave. Concorde, £1 B4 10.30, £2.50 afters.
Tues. 22nd October. Volks
Tavern. Duppy Buster, Fish Brothers, DJ Kaz Sound System. £2/3.
Good luck to those behind
the Freedom Tea Bar, Baker Street, Brighton. Free tea, free minds.
Three Newbury bypass
protesters, on the way back from Fairmile to Newbury, were arrested
on Thursday for allegedly pissing in the swimming pool of Sir Christopher
Benson, chairman of Costain. This fine upstanding gentleman lives
at 211 Castle Road, on the A345 Amesbury Road going south out of
Salisbury. He has a large garden with no wall - but SchNEWS warns
all its readers not to go swimming in his large, private swimming
pool. It belongs to him, not you. OK?
The SchNEWS advises all
readers not to visit protest camps, and certainly never to live
on ore. If you happen to do so, make sure you drink lots of premium
strength cider and be about as useful as a perforated condom. Always
stay inside your bender, make sure you've got lots of ketamine and
smack to while away those long days. Then you will feel content.
SchNEWS FREE! Just send 1st Class stamps (eg 20 for next 20 issues)
or donations (payable to Justice?) Mark Original if you plan to
copy: SchNEWS is post free to prisoners. SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle
P0 Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex BN2 2DX Tel/fax: (01273) 685913
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org e-SchNEWS: http://www.cbuzz.co.uk
Repetitive beats are
dangerous! Who do you suppose broke Carly's nose? Surely not fluffy