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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...
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.