SchNEWS Of The World


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SchNEWS of the World Editorial/Foreword

You Make Plans, We Make History

Welcome to the seventh SchNEWS annual. As usual it's built around another fifty issues of our free weekly newssheet - this book covering the year between April 2001 and April 2002.

SchNEWS was born in a squatted Courthouse in Brighton in 1994 as part of the campaign against the Criminal Justice Act. From the anti road protests at the M11 in London to the Newbury Bypass to the big Reclaim The Streets events of the nineties SchNEWS was there. From worker struggles such as the Liverpool Dockers, fights against the privatisation of public services, racism, genetic engineering, to reporting on positive solutions - week in week out SchNEWS reported the news from the direct action frontline.

Then in February 1998 some of the SchNEWS crew went to Geneva to the first ever Peoples Global Action conference. Here we met people involved in grassroots protests from across the world, swapped stories, made friendships and began to see the bigger picture; that most problems everywhere had the same root cause - it was that 'c' word [capitalism]. We also became aware of the globalised and institutionalised nature of this international economic exploitation - namely the World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund), WTO (World Trade Organisation) etc, and like many others who had been involved in localised direct action campaigns, much of our attention now turned to also attacking the corporate carve-up of the entire planet. The first signs of this new shift was in May 1998 when mass demonstrations were held world wide simultaneously against the G7 Summit in Birmingham, then again on June 18th 1999 (J18). It was the mass protests against the WTO in Seattle in November 1999 which really brought this 'movement' to the world's attention. These days no meeting or summit of the rich and powerful happens without mass demonstrations.

SchNEWS prides itself in publishing the news the mainstream media ignores [wonder why], and as the mainstream media becomes ever more controlled by the hands of fewer people, the alternative media becomes ever more important. The internet has enabled independent voices to reach every corner of the planet, instantly, which is key to the international nature of our resistance. We have seen the emergence of the many alternative news websites, most significantly the worldwide Indymedia network- where anyone can post a story on the web instantly. We update our website weekly and also reach a wide audience that way, but that's not to say that the paper copy isn't still the primary version of SchNEWS. In this cyber-age let's not forget the importance of the print media in the counter-propaganda war going back to Calvert and the pamphlet makers of the 1600's, right through to the independent zines and newsletters of today.

So - this book is the collection of the SchNEWS issues of the year, in addition to another 200 pages of articles which expand on the stories which SchNEWS, being just two sides of A4, may have only briefly reported at the time. These stories are mostly contributed by activists actually involved with the issues, not journalists or academics; SchNEWS writers and our mates have done the rest. We have used material from Indymedia, Corporate Watch, A-infos, Allsorts, Bristle, The Paper, Squall, Loombreaker and other trusted sources - writers for whom positive change and saving the planet is more important than their journalist career.

Added to this is a newly updated contacts list - this time shortened and put in easier-to-use categories. If you want the full 'yellow pages' contact list of 800 plus campaign groups - or the last 250 back issues of SchNEWS - or our massive party and protest section listing festivals, demos, meetings etc. as well as radical contact points around the country - or our DIY section with useful tips on everything from setting up your own newsletter to making your own bio-diesel - then check out our website.

And Finally, the book is called 'SchNEWS of the World' because of its obvious focus on global issues. Despite September 11, we wanted to make sure the book wasn't dominated by it, and focus on other stories from everywhere else. But while we avoided overdoing the 9-11 stuff, there was no getting away from discussing the global impact of the United States, the tentacles of the IMF, the Bush cabal and the US oil lobby, who are at the core of every other article in the book. Argentina, Congo, Chechnya, Colombia, Afghanistan, you name 'em - it's going to be about oil or extorting other resources for the West, and people starving because of 'structural adjustment'.

Our bottom line remains - 'Information For Action' - which means this book is not to stick on your shelf with your other right-on literature, or to help you write that essay - but to give you the kick up the arse - and the facts - to go out and...