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Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective


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WAKE UP! It's yer fuelish...

SchNEWS

Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

ISSUE 281, FRIDAY 3rd November, 2000

TRUCK OFF!

With the worst storms and flooding for 50 years and a new report on how climate change will affect Europe, the fuel protestors picked a good week to announce its next days of action.

Without a sense of irony it was announced there would be another Jarrow march - except unlike the last one in 1936, where starving unemployed Tyneside workers walked to London to demand jobs, this one will be in the form of a four-day convoy of slow-moving lorries. Their demand - a 26 pence cut in fuel duty, for the right of the motorist to-drive-anywhere-we-like-for-as-little-as-possible, and bugger the consequences. And it gets better - the protests will begin on the very first day of the Climate Change Conference in the Hague! Hello, is anyone home?

And can't you see the similarities between the original Jarrow crusaders and the hauliers and farmers. The original crusaders lived in a town with 80% unemployment with a means test benefit system that made you sell everything you owned in order to qualify.

But if you think that's hardship look at what some of the fuel protestors have to live on. One of the leaders, Nigel Kime, struggles by with his haulage firm worth just 2 million. Another, Derek Mead, owns a piddling 1,600 acre dairy farm in Somerset. Poor old Derek Lynch owns just one haulage company in Kent, while Richard Haddock owns a farm covering just 800 acres. How embarrassing. These people are obviously starving!

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Does SchNEWS have to spell it out? Our love affair with the motorcar not only means a never-ending sprawl of concrete covering our land, but that in the not to distant future the weather patterns we've been seeing over the past few weeks will be the norm, and huge swathes of the country will be permanently under water.

Perhaps commentator John O'Farrell summed it up best "After the burning of fossil fuels, our second greatest source of greenhouse gases is apparently the methane from cows' bottoms. But with the amount of bullshit coming from the fuel protesters at the moment, this figure looks set to rise as well. They used to give out free glasses with petrol. They should start to give out sandbags and life-jackets instead."

* Spare a thought for the poor old oil companies too.in the UK, North Sea Oil operating profits have almost doubled during the last 10 years, yet tax on them has remained non-existent.

* It's now less than two weeks till the Climate Change Conference at the Hague, and things are hotting up, so to speak. Unsurprisingly, the world's richest nations will be battling to carry on regardless, while the majority of the 'developing' world will be battling to get their voices heard. Actions and events will be happening throughout the conference, including a Counter Summit.

* For info about climate change get a copy of ASEED's excellent new booklet Send 3 to Aseed Europe, PO Box 92066, 1090 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands. www.aseed.net/climate/climate.htm

If you want to go to the Hague from the UK contact 01865 791 391 or info@risingtide.org.uk

* 12th November, eve of the climate talks is the anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's death. Activists will gather outside Shell HQ in The Hague.

* 13 Critical Mass bike ride to co-incide with the opening of the Hague Conference Meet 7.45am at Devonshire Green, Sheffield. criticalsheffield@yahoo.com

* The South African Government aims to distribute one million bicycles by 2010 as a sustainable transport solution. Ten thousand bikes are to be distributed in rural areas early next year. Check-out www.afribike.org

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SchNEWS 6th BIRTHDAY PARTY
& Brighton Peace Centre Present


Three Floors of Hip Grinding, Candle Blowing, Pamphlet Guzzling, Rib Ticklin Kiss-Me-Quick Entertainment

Featuring SchLIVE plus Timmy Wobble (As seen on TV) * Marcus (Innerfield) * Da Void (Stompafunk) * Jude (Planet Yes) * DJ Wah Wah * Misti Love * Sister G * Bobby Dazzler * Dom & Cosmo's Bottleneck Bluegrass Band * And films Big Rattle In Seattle * Revolting In Prague * Capital Ills

Thursday 16th November 9 til 2

@The Ocean Rooms - 1 Morley St Brighton

2.50/2 Con/Student

This is a benefit for both SchNEWS and the Peace Centre.

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CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For taking stuff out of a bin.
It seems Lewes cops aren't in tune with the recycling tip after two people were arrested for taking a kid's bike, a cheese grater and a wok out of a skip. As readers may already know Lewes was one of the towns in the South East to be hit by the recent floods, and to claim on insurance all sorts of stuff was thrown away- destined for landfill. The cops seemingly take a very dim view of this recycle/re-use culture sending 3 Range Rovers to nick the miscreants who were then held for over seven hours, while pictures were taken of the bike, the cheese grater and the wok as evidence! The two "crims" were released on bail while the cops try and find out who owned the said items before they are no doubt once again thrown away back into a skip!

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Fawke Off
It's Bonfire Night this weekend, but if Guy Fawkes was alive today in Stockton-on-Tees he'd get slapped with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) for his trouble (as well as a bit of torture, burning at the stake etc). Hot on the heels of pre-pubescent terror tots, joyriding knicker thieves and foul-mouthed smackhead neighbours from hell, 'unofficial' November 5th bonfire-makers are the latest targets of Jack Straw's war on 'off-message' citizens. Under an ASBO, those deemed troublemakers are given a slapped wrist, with the threat of five years jail if they fail to comply.

Part of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, ASBO's were originally talked up as a way of dealing with persistent criminals and tearaways on estates. But by October last year, Jack was horrified to notice that only 5 had been issued. So an urgent call went out, and councils have responded with gusto. Over 150 ASBOs have now been slapped on a whole range of miscreants, from 'problem families' to prostitutes- though whether the councillors, cops and judges among the latters' clientele will get similar hassle is open to question.

Some councils have gone even further- a ticket tout earned his ASBO for asking passengers at Brixton tube for their Travelcards. Other agencies have been quick to notice 'alternative' applications. ASBO's have been mooted in discussions between government, police, scientists and 'law-abiding' animal rights groups as a means of dealing with 'extremists', who visit or threatening vivisectionists and 'home visiting' staff. "People can be treated more leniently because they are seen as idealists," warns the Home Office. "They aren't. They are criminals." As, it would seem, so are the homeless and beggars. In fact everybody except, funnily enough, truck driving, road blocking fuel protestors.

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Glastonburied

Every year Mendip Council refuse the Glastonbury Festival's license, yet it always goes ahead. But this time, they are refusing to renew the license unless "the Festival Organisers and Police co-operate in resolving the issue of intrusion by the New Age Travellers convoys each year to the Festival site." Intrusion? What a bloody cheek.

Glastonbury today would not exist without the "intrusion" of the free-festival community. Even the greenest of young festival goers could not fail to perceive a marked difference between the chaotic 24-hour non stop carnival that is Glastonbury and the sanitised, lights out and bugger off at 11.30pm glorified pop-concert-in-a-field that is Reading/V2000 etc. Almost every article on Glastonbury this year raved about the casino Lost Vagueness, with photos showing the travellers who invented and ran it. Other site venues and bubbles of pure old-style festival spirit are run by people who were doing their thing on the travellers site 10 years ago but have gradually become an intrinsic part of the whole event.

According to the council report, 58 complaints were received concerning the site at Pipplers field. "Some members of the public could put up with their presence during the Festival only if they were quiet." So that's several thousand travellers' annual party threatened by 58 people who object to the inconvenience of a couple of days of basslines. What seems beyond the comprehension of opponents is that, for people who live on the road, Glastonbury is a traditional family gathering. Because their contribution to the festival over the years has not been cash based, the travellers have become increasingly marginalised.

Michael Eavis has attempted to accommodate them whilst conforming to license requirements, but this latest report signals a new onslaught of intolerance. Free festival veteran Tash told SchNEWS, "I have 30 years of experience in festivals. With outfits like Festival Welfare Services and Travellers Aid Trust, we have helped run the medical and welfare services at lots of events and did so as volunteers. Many will be excluded from Glastonbury under the new criteria although we have contributed to the festival for years. As far as those policing the event are concerned, we are 'travellers'. This is how they terrorised and fragmented the movement before in 1985 at the beanfields. If we have no annual gathering, we are less united."

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  • Extract from the Avon and Somerset police report: "The levels of crime.....within the vicinity of the perimeter fence are significantly and unacceptably higher than normal crime levels in that locality." No really? Is that cos 99% of the time it's farmland? What do they expect - bovine gangstas?
  • Check out Tash's two fine sites about festivals, parties, and travellers at www.gn.apc.org/tash (website) and http://wappy.to/tash (WAPsite).
  • Travellers' Times is sorting out a photo project called "Picture This". If you've got any photos contact Rural Media Company, 01432 344039, info@ruralmedia.co.uk
  • Tragic Roundabout, Brighton's very own festival minstrels, have just launched their funky new web site: www.tragicroundabout.freeserve.co.uk/

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  • SchNEWS in brief
    As part of a whole week of actions there is a protest at the US Embassy against the economic sanctions on Iraq. Saturday 25th November 1pm Grosvenor Square, London W1. Workshop and legal briefing on the day before 7.30-9.30pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. Voices in the Wilderness, 01865-243232, http://welcome.to/voicesuk
  • 16 November: premiere of the film 'Big Ben to Baghdad'. Epic story of a 15,000 mile journey made by an antique bus from London to Baghdad. Brunei Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 6.30pm The event is free but donations are welcome. Afterwards there will be a debate on the current situation in Iraq.
  • A new webpage featuring best recent union campaigns on health and safety issues has been set up. They want input and links for the page www.hazards.org/campaigns/
  • Issue 5 of Bread and Roses is out now - magazine of the Industrial Workers of the World. PO Box 4414, Poole, Dorset BH15 3YL
  • While you're at it, relieve the stress of work by visiting www.mybosssucks.com
  • 13-16 November: British Crop Protection Council Annual Conference, Hilton Metropole, Brighton. This is a pro-biotech conference with speakers from Aventis, Zeneca and Monsanto and Huntingdon Life Sciences exhibiting. There is a meeting about actions against this at 8pm, 7th November at Branch Tavern, London Road, Brighton
  • After running scared from Seattle, the World Trade Organisation went running to the Arabian monarchy of Qatar, but rumour has it that they can't now meet here. Apparently there isn't enough hotel space for all the delegates and hangers on. The meeting usually held in November would also clash with the Muslim festival of Ramadan
  • Check out our website for the latest Party and Protest dates.

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Nursery Crimes
The spirit of youthful resistance is alive and kicking in the London Borough of Hackney, where parents and toddlers have occupied two council-run nursery schools in opposition to closure plans. The troublemaking tots have been there for two weeks, with massive support from nearby residents, trade unions, and even the local branch of Tesco's donating food to the pre-school squatters. As a result the council have backed off from closing the nurseries - but only for the time being.

Plans to shut the nurseries are part of a huge cuts package proposed by Hackney Council, currently 40 million in debt. The council's Labour - Conservative coalition (says it all really, doesn't it ?) want to introduce a "new era of political stability" for the borough by, er, cutting services, sacking staff, and slashing wages to reduce the debt. Sounds familiar? Also on the agenda is privatisation of council services (see SchNEWS 226) - even though contracting out Hackney's benefits section to the private company ITNet resulted in three years of chaos, with late payments causing 20,000 people to run up rent arrears and hundreds more being threatened with eviction.

Hackney's debt is no worse than that of several other local authorities, but it is one of the poorest local authority areas in the country. Residents and council employees believe they have been targeted for the axe by Central Government because of the borough's history of militancy during the 1980s and early 1990s. The council will meet on Monday 6th November to discuss a cuts package - but the same day will see all out action to shut down the borough in protest. Meet at 1pm at Hackney Town Hall to join the fun. More details: 07979 823597. For the thespians among you, there will also be a forum theatre performance about Hackney's debt on the 6th - contact Nick on 07946 048602.

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Inside SchNEWS
Saturday 4th there is a rally in London celebrating the Prague events and showing solidarity with those still in jail. Meet 2pm, Speakers Corner, Hyde Park.

Five protesters still remain in Czech jails in relation to the S26 events. The Civic Legal Observers are going to file complaints about alleged abuse against protesters to the Czech authorities within the next few weeks, and Czech Police have promised to take any complaints seriously (yeah sure).

On November 17 there will be a protest in Prague to denounce the fact that after the Velvet Revolution not much has changed for the majority of Czech people, and that there remains an extraordinarily level of active repression. This date marks the date that students protests sparked the Velvet Revolution. A call has gone out for solidarity actions around the world.

Michael Collins, a May Day prisoner on remand would really appreciate letters. He has been forced to accept a plea bargain, accepting Arson and Violent Disorder. He's up for sentence on 3rd November, and expects to get 4-5 years. FR6303, HMP Wandsworth, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HS

  • For the latest list of prisoners check out all the new Brighton Anarchist Black Cross/SchNEWS prisoners pages at www.schnews.org.uk/prisoners

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Positive SchNEWS
Fed up with looking at an empty open space outside their tower blocks in Salford near Manchester, a group of tenants decided to set up their own community garden. Now three years later the garden is thriving with a traditional fruit and nut orchard, a wildflower meadow and a native woodland as well as allotments growing organic vegetables. Not only has the garden produced cheap fruit and vegetables for local residents, it has also provides a social space. It has proved so successful that loads of projects have been inspired by it, including a school tree growing project. Last month saw the opening of the Urban Oasis Centre within the gardens to provide training for those interested in transforming their own derelict spaces. For more info contact The Arid Lands Initiative, Machpelah Works, Burnley Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8AU Tel: 01422 843807. Also available free from the local council is the 'Grass roots guide to good practice for open spaces.' For your copy phone 0161 7933762.

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  • ...and finally..
    Folks at Nineladies Anti-Quarry protest camp in Derbyshire are breaking new ground by getting their kit off for the cause. 'The Naked Nineladies 2001 calendar' will feature twelve months' worth of treetop titillation from the dishy dissenters. SchNEWS eagerly awaits shots that will see 'em turned on while locked-on, giving fresh meaning to the phrase 'harness tart' - and, we trust, not a pubic louse in sight. They are seeking commercial sponsorship. Interested parties and dirty old men should call the site mobile on 07799 528871.
  • Not to be outdone, "Anarch-ho pro-duck-tions" are looking for erotic writers, camera people and budding porn stars who are willing to bare all (balaclavas okay) to further the goals of anarchism in an anarcho-porn movie(!) The production -Black Bloc of Smouldering Desire- will come out next year, and give an insight into what really happens in an affinity group.
  • The SchNEWS Crew regrets to announce that we have no plans to go starkers for the cameras this Christmas (.though predictably, if you got the beers in, it's a safe enough bet that a few of us would oblige on an individual basis).

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disclaimer
SchNEWS warns all drivers they're living in a fuel's paradise if they're fuelhardy enough to ignore a flood of protests in the pipeline. Honest (fuel stop)


Cor-blimley-they’re-practically-giving-them-away book offer SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 5 inc SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 5 inc. SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more 6 + 1.20 postage (US Postage 4.00 for individual books, £13 for all four). In the UK you can get the fist three for 15 inc. postage. And finally.... The Schquall book at only £8.00 inc postage. In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. All the above books are available from the Brighton Peace Centre, saving postage yer tight gits.



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Last updated 3rd November 2000
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