Home | 18th October 1996 | Issue 95


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"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 of Guinness."
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.

Kicked Off

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.

Energy Vampires

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 with.

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 details.

* 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 410 185

Spotted by Brighton dole-workers. Security Guard £1.50 an hour bring your own dog! Ring the SchNEWS-desk with your crap job of the week.

Not everything in black and white makes sense


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 a rat.

Desperately Seeking Asylum

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 3044

Hello MI5...

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 low-down.

Remember Remember 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.

Prisoner Support

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, BN2 2GY.

*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

Liverpool Docks

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 7255

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 806 0249

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. 26th Oct

*** 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 next time?

*** 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.

And Finally

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. Honest.

Subscribe! Keep 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: src022@abdn.ac.uk e-SchNEWS: http://www.cbuzz.co.uk

Repetitive beats are dangerous! Who do you suppose broke Carly's nose? Surely not fluffy Morag!?


SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone/Fax: +44 (0)1273 685913
email: schnews@brighton.co.uk

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