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| Friday 26th May 2006 |
WAKE UP!! ITS YER ON A
ONE WAY TICKET...
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REIDS BETWEEN THE LIES ABOUT REFUGEES
Labours shift to the right has been frantically accelerating
over the past few weeks, with the Home Office in disarray after
civil servants misplaced more than a 1,000 (definitely guilty) prisoners
who should have been considered for a timely booting out of the
those bloody asylum seekers to think of - thats enough to
send any politician into a racist diatribe about how whitey is under
threat from a flood of people about to steal our crap jobs from
underneath our noses or how we better watch out because these people
are rapists, murderers, kiddie fiddlers and terrorists anyway.
foul mouthpiece of the Murdoch Empire, the Sun, to the
Daily Hate Mail and Torygraph, editors have felt obliged
to show little interest in the fact that the real story is that
the vast majority of migrants have come to the UK to escape repression
and the grinding poverty which has been forced upon them by economic
policies of UK plc and its G8 cronies.
Daly and his family. He fled Angola in 2001, after refusing to give
information about members of his congregation to a government which
was well known for its torturing, disappearing and killing
of political opponents. The family were visiting the Brand Street
immigration office in Glasgow to sign on and were promptly abducted
by a Home Office removal team and shipped off to the
Yarls Wood Removal Centre.
claimants are now caught in a Catch-22 situation every time they
walk in the centre for fear of deportation. The Daly family has
been active in the local community for some time and locals chipped
in by raising the £4,000 bail money which ensured their release.
Last Wednesday, the Home Office backed down after being challenged
with a judicial review of their decision to deport Daly, but the
threat of deportation still hangs over the entire family.
news that a Zimbabwean refugee was asked for sex by a UK immigration
official in return for help on her case may have shocked many in
the chattering classes, but for the refugee it was part of the same
process that had seen her fleeing sexual violence in the first place.
The gender bias which is present in decisions meant that Home Office
failed to take sufficiently into account the issue of domestic violence
that led Farhat Khan to flee a violent husband in Pakistan. Despite
threats from her husbands family to kill Farhat and her children
if they return to the country, she still faces deportation. The
Home Office and the immigration courts accepted that we had been
subjected to violence but refused to grant asylum Farhat told
campaign group Refugee Women, The issue of my daughters being
forced into child marriage was not given serious consideration.
I love Pakistan and wish that I could believe that my children and
I would be safe there. But I cannot return and put my children in
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are 2,600 such people in eleven detention centres across the UK
(See SchNEWS 538). Most of them are asylum
seekers from war torn and dictatorial places like Iran, Iraq and
Afghanistan, that the UK has been busy destabilising and plundering
for some time. And the government is filling the centres up so fast,
theyre having to build more so 4,000 more unlucky people can
be banged up ahead of a flight back to poverty, destitution, torture
and possible death. Those flights, by the way, are courtesy of British
Airways, which announced a record leap in profits last week.
to purpose-built detention centres, asylum seekers can find themselves
in places like Strangeways too. Last month more than 300 people
marched past the prison in Manchester, as part of international
protests against immigration detention, passing by a BA Office and
on to China Town for a remembrance service for the 18 cockle pickers
who died at Morecambe Bay back in February 2004.
of course, has privatised the profit opportunity that is the imprisonment
of migrants. Harmondsworth Detention Centre is run by United Kingdom
Detention Services, a subsidiary of Sodexho, the French hotels-to-schools-to-prisons
multinational (see SchNEWS 382). Their
regime of abuse and beatings of detainees caused Harmondsworth to
riot in July 2004, even as local coppers referred to the inmates
only as local residents.
removal centre is Colnbrook, adjacent to Harmondsworth, but this
time run by Premier Detention Services, a division of the Serco
Corporation which refers to itself as an international service
company which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service
ethos. This ethos extends to electronically tagging migrants
under the euphemistically entitled community monitoring programme
and ensuring that detainees are treated the same way as prisoners,
despite the fact that they havent actually committed a crime.
Lucky Serco investors have seen pre-tax profits rise by 21% between
2004 and 2005, but are still too mean-spirited to put doors on toilets,
so inmates cant even go to the loo in private.
- Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Unity
the Scottish Union of Asylum-Seekers are holding
a protest in Glasgow city centre, calling for the right
to work for all and for an end to dawn-raid style arrests.
Sat May 27th, 1-3pm, at the Donald Dewar statue - top of
Buchanan Street, Glasgow. For more info call 07779 785 529.
- Close Campsfield: Demonstration at Campsfield
Detention Centre also this Saturday, 12pm-2pm, Langford
Lane, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, to give support to detainees.
Bring instruments or saucepans to make some noise. This
regular event happens on the last Saturday of every month.
For more see www.closecampsfield.org.uk
- Also in Glasgow there will be a protest on Sat
June 17th against deportations and the Dungavel Detention
Centre at Brand Street, Ibrox, at 11am till 1.30pm. For
more see www.openborders.org
on his last political legs, expect new Home Secretary, John Reid,
to try and save his skin with a series of announcemets showpiecing
new initiatives to lock up more people. Responding to pressure from
the Daily Mail crowd, Blair accused judges of an abuse of
common sense, in response to their decision not to deport
nine Afghan men who hijacked a plane in Kabul and forced it to land
at Stansted airport. Now Neo Labour promises another attack on civil
liberties as it reviews the Human Rights Act, announcing that it
would be much better if all these worries about human rights could
be shelved so that ministers can get on with deporting all the criminals.
is to make human rights abusers such as Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan,
promise not to torture people who are deported from the UK. We can,
of course, trust the word of a government that has waged war against
its Kurdish minority. We can believe in the sincerity of the Pakistani
military dictatorship and have absolute confidence in an Afghani
state that barely controls a third of the country. If only Bliar
could have been bothered to read the court ruling which clearly
stated that his government had acted beyond the law by failing to
listen to its own immigration appeal panel. It seems that their
ruling about the real dangers the Afghan men faced if returned to
their former country was too liberal for the Tories that rule Neo
detainees at Colnbrook who had been refusing food since the 8th
April, were joined a week later by 125 Detainees at Haslar detention
centre in Gosport. Ten days after the original protests more than
300 detainees in Harmondsworth detention centre went on a mass one-day
food refusal, in protest at the length of their detention and in
solidarity with the protests in Colnbrook and Haslar. There are
ongoing actions against the imprisonment of people who have committed
ARREST OF THE WEEK
For using a megaphone...
Police cautioned one person and arrested another for
the subversive act of using a megaphone at the Palestine Solidarity
march in London during the week. Seemingly cops took exception to
anyone but the marchs organizers voicing their opinion.
Were not sure which law this comes under but
is obviously part of Neo Labours new Shut-up-and do-as-we-tell-you
Bill. One to watch out for.
Last Monday, activists dumped four tonnes of
soya at the entrance of the European Headquarters of commodities
giant Cargill. They also chained themselves to a gate across the
only access road, forcing the office to close. An investigation
by Greenpeace has highlighed how farmers supplying Cargill illegally
clear Amazon rainforest land to grow soya, often using slave labour.
Following last weeks protest which shut Cargills main
Amazon export terminal, theyve now been hit them closer to
home at the companys Cobham HQ on the outskirts of London.
As campaigner Pat Venditti put it, The Amazon is one of the
most bio-diverse areas on Earth and we need it to stabilise the
planets climate, but this company is trashing it for chicken
wraps and nugget dips.
* For more see www.greenpeace.org.uk
The RampArt Community Creative Centre and Social
Space is a squatted school from which the gospel of grassroots
DIY culture, creativity and participation is taught, practised and
promoted. The centre is two years old this week and are having
a big party to celebrate and youre invited
This weekend - May 27-28 from 4 pm: Street
Party with live action painting, shanties and singalongs with
Jan Maat, anti- folk/ folk, spoken word, vegan food and drink. Several
live bands plus DJs. Entry by donation.
Monday May 29th, 8pm: Talk by John Zerzan,
the primitivist philosopher (shurley shome mishtake) and author
of Elements of Refusal, amongst others. Dont ask questions
as language is merely the moment when hierarchy tightened its relentless
grip on the human soul.
* RampART, 15-17 RampART Street, London,
E1 2LA. See also www.rampart.co.nr
Jashinski is serving 120 days imprisonment as a Conscientious
Objector in the US Army for refusing to serve in Afghanistan. Her
current address is Harris County Jail, PO BOX 286, Hamilton, GA
31811, USA, but she may be moved soon.
also Iraq Veterans Against The War - www.ivaw.net
- The deadline for enrolling in the Earth Activist Training
course to be held July 15-29 at Ragmans Lane
Farm, Gloucestershire - is next Weds, 31st May. A permaculture
design course and more for community activists who want to learn
all about transforming a piece of land, a community and even our
political and economic systems. Those attending get a certificate
from the Permaculture Association. Cost - £100-£500.
Contact: C/o 3 Yew Tree Cottages, Pitt Court, North Nibley, Glos,
Gl11 6EB, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 27th May sees Anti-fur Protests in Central London. 11am
til late afternoon. For more details, email email@example.com,
or call 07950 669333
- The Battle of the Beanfield 21st anniversary reunion,
Thursday June 1st, Assembly Rooms, Glastonbury, 12 noon to 12
midnight. Admission free, donations welcome.
- June 1st is Amps benefit for the ArtMusicPolitic
Co-op. Indie and urban music, stalls, art, plus screening
of films like SchNEWS at Ten. Nambucca, 596 Holloway
Rd, London. 6:00 pm - 1:00 am. £4. www.artmusicpolitic.com
Tel: 07868 738315
- June 3rd is the Strawberry Fair - SchNEWS will have
free info-stall and be screening SchMovies at our favourite one
day free festival in Cambridge. For more see www.strawberry-fair.org.uk
- 4th June On the agenda? Military action against Iran.
Debate organised by Reading Peace Group. With Bruce Kent (CND),
Tahrir Swift (Arab Media Watch), and Emily Johns (Justice Not
Vengeance). 2.30 - 5.00 pm, Friends Meeting House, Church Street
(off London Street), Reading. Admission free. Call 0118 958 8281
- The Faslane Peace Camp Birthday Party will be on 10
- 11th June. Celebrating 24 years in defiance of the Naval base.
Music, bands, djs, food, bar, poi etc. Some accommodation
available, but bring yer own just in case. Free/donation. Call
01436 820901 for more.
- For full listings see www.schnews.org.uk/pap
The long-running government campaign to prevent anti-war campaigner
Brian Haw from protesting in Parliament Square ratcheted up a notch
this week (see SchNEWS 543). Last
Tuesday night at 3am fifty armed Police turned up and, with no sense
of the evident over-kill, proceeded to remove nearly all of Brians
placards, banners, and assorted evidence of UK war crimes. He was
only allowed to retain a display to fit within the three metre space
compliant with the conditions set out under the Serious Organised
Crime and Police Act 2005. With Brian due at Bow Magistrates Court
on May 30th for a hearing about the conditions, he might have assumed
the Police would leave it until it had been heard in court
but there was no such consideration made in the pre-emptive strike.
No discrimination was made between campaign materials and Brians
own possessions, many of which were also taken. Three of Brians
supporters were arrested into the heavy-handed bargain.
The following night, the police harassment continued Brian
is supposedly allowed up to 20 supporters with him at any one time
- but if they arent all now somehow within the three metre
area, its seems theyre fair game for hassle from the
On Wednesday morning, people gathered in solidarity to make their
feelings known to those inside the mother of all parliaments but
were left mainly eyeballing a heavy Police and Forward
Intelligence presence. One witness described the square as
looking like a model of totalitarian democracy.
Brian needs the continuous support of those willing to join his
protest and donations of food and bitsn bobs confiscated
by the bobbies.
* For more see www.parliament-square.org.uk
or call 07791 486484.
Anyone fancy a busmans holiday in the west of Ireland?
The Shell-to-Sea campaign are having a first anniversary gathering
at their Solidarity Camp outside Rossport town in County Mayo on
2-5th June. This is a beautiful part of the island, although how
long it remains that way is up for debate. If Shell have their wicked
way, pipelines will be placed through the countryside, pumping gas
from beneath the ocean floor to onshore refineries (see
Five farmers spent six months in jail last year for refusing to
allow their land to be abused by Shell. They were released after
huge protests. This is a winnable campaign, with Shell having a
limited window of opportunity to continue work on the pipelines
due to adverse weather during the winter months.
Last year the Solidarity Camp pitched on supporters land but bang
in the middle of the pipeline route, successfully fended off Shell
all summer. This year should see a repeat performance. Shell can
stick that in their pipe and smoke it.
* For more visit www.struggle.ws/rsc
Three animal rights activists got sent down for twelve years
apiece for their part in a long campaign to close down Newchurch
guinea-pig farm in Staffordshire (see SchNEWS
509). This campaign involved all sorts of tactics, including
regular demos outside the farm, but one act in particular - the
theft of a corpse from its burial place - repulsed many and secured
the three a lengthy sentence.
The Establishment of course jumped at the chance to portray activists
as lunatics and fanatics and its all too easy for them to
do so if you dig up someones gran. The three are now serving
more time than if they had raped or killed. Newchurch Farm has closed
down, but the impact of the alleged crime is certain to bring in
fresh and draconian legislation.
* See also www.shac.net
A gang of anarchist Robin Hood-style thieves,
who dress as superheroes and steal expensive food from exclusive
restaurants and shops to give to the poor, are being hunted by police
in the German city of Hamburg.
The Hamburglars (not sponsored by McDonalds)
take delight in injecting humour into their raids, which rely on
sheer numbers and the confusion caused by their presence. After
they plundered beef fillets, champagne and smoked salmon from one
gourmet store, they presented the cashier with a bouquet of flowers
before making their getaway.
In another recent swoop, the gang emptied a groaning
buffet table in a top restaurant into sacks, while one of their
number held up a sign saying. The fat years are over
- the title of a hit film currently doing the rounds in Germany.
A police spokesman said: They get off feeling
they are just like Robin Hood. There are about 30 in the group but
whatever their motives, they are thieves, plain and simple.
In Internet statements, the gang have made a point of saying their
booty is distributed to the poorest of Germanys long-term
Police say they are concentrating their investigation
on a loose collective of anarchists and malcontents called Hamburg
in Vain, to which they believe the superheroes belong.
The gang are also behind black market cinema tickets
which they distribute free to the poor, and they have printed leaflets
telling passengers how to dodge ticket inspectors on the citys
underground and buses.
SchNEWS warns all readers - our paranoid ravings
are finally coming true... Honest.
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