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| Friday 2nd June 2006 |
WAKE UP!! ITS YER STRAWBERRIES
The Ice | Camp for Climate Action | Crap
Non Arrest Of The Week | No Over-reaction?
| Arms Trade/War Listings | SchNEWS
In Brief | Getting On Their Tits | Well
Hung | Fever Pitch
Rising Tide writes...
icecaps, flooded communities, heat-waves, hurricanes and general
freak weather: yes, climate change is here, and it's only going
to get worse. We are currently on course for a 3C degree rise in
temperature, which could mean the deaths of 400 million of the world's
poorest people, and the extinction of 50 million species with which
we share the planet.
moment the richer western countries can use their wealth to compensate
for the effects of climate
change, by storing food or building sea and flood defences. But
our whole civilisation rests on a increasingly fragile web of ecosystems
and climate change threatens this life-support system in ways that
we as yet cannot understand let alone foresee. European crop failures,
the disappearance of the Gulf Stream which warms Western Europe
- either of these would have massive consequences for us in the
years of corporate-sponsored scientists creating the illusion that
climate change was merely a theory, it is now a fact acknowledged
across the board. Government public information is now putting across
messages that would have been considered fringe scaremongering a
decade ago. Despite this, the
government is promising that they do have the solutions: "Action
now can help avert the worst effects of climate change - with foresight
such action can be taken without disturbing our way of life,"
claims Tony Bliar - i.e. keep driving, flying and working for yer
pension because we can have 'sustainable' economic growth. A capitalism
without limits on a planet with finite resources.
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proposed such as nuclear power, a farcical European carbon-trading
scheme or a pitiful tax on the heavy polluters will in reality do
little to offset the impending disaster.
market-driven techno-fixes peddled by the corporations and the governments
they sponsor are all designed to keep the economy growing, growing,
growing. This is to avoid the one thing they can't face, the one
thing that can actually start to deal with climate change - a massive
reduction in energy consumption.
Ironically the certainty of climate change comes at the same time
as the concept of 'Peak Oil' becomes mainstream (See
SchNEWS 499). The current system simply has no answers.
Regardless of whether we put things off for a few years by using
nuclear power (See SchNEWS 522),
cuts are going to have to come across the board - and that will
require a massive restructuring of the way we live our lives and
how we organise our society. Our economic systems will have to be
transformed beyond recognition. The question is in whose interests
will they be remade?
why this desperately needed energy 'descent' is going to need a
hell of a lot of energy 'dissent'. It's time for us to open our
eyes to our collective denial, pull our heads out of the sand, stick
out our necks, get over our divisions and start working together
to build grassroots solutions to climate change. We all bear responsibility
for climate change and need to make changes in our own lives. But
we also need to act collectively. To undertake the urgent work of
energy descent/dissent, we need to work out what needs to be done,
what others are already doing, what we should be stopping - and
what we should be starting. Reading about how bad things could be
is obviously not motivating many of us to change, we need to get
together and do it!
for Climate Action
26 - September 4: A mix of workshops, meetings, socialising,
informationsharing and action.
will be held in a location in the north of England at a site
to be announced nearer the time. If you can help publicise
the camp, distribute flyers and posters or host a talk or
meeting, please email
you can give a workshop, contact email@example.com.
To offer financial or physical resources, find out how you
can get involved at www.climatecamp.org.uk.
Mailing address: Box 10, c/o Oxford Action Resource Centre,
E.O.C.C., 44b Princes Street, Oxford OX4 1HU
Camp for Climate Action will bring thousands of people together
for 10 days of action, education, and living the alternative world
we hope to build. It will be a hub for everything from solar energy
workshops and campaign updates to direct action against some of
the worst offenders of the fossil fuel economy. It will be a climate-friendly
gathering, powered by alternative energy,and will demonstrate practical
solutions in action.
be a chance for the diverse people and projects working on all aspects
of climate change to get together and make change happen. Although
it's crucial that existing campaigners and activists take part,
we want the camp to be an event that reaches out to the huge web
of people who are deeply concerned but have no idea how or where
begin making changes.
will be debates and info on various parts of the science and politics
of climate - we recognise that we are entering new territory and
no-one has all the answers. What level of carbon emissions is too
high, what future for the hydrogen economy, how are we going to
deal with peak oil? There'll be practical skills to learn and ideas
and practice for campaigning - from setting up an allotment to setting
up tripods, from how to deal with the press to how to mount a legal
challenge against your favourite climate criminal. And we want to
more than disaster-mongering; we'll have plenty of entertainment
and lots of activities for younger people - with an energy-use focus.
will also be a base for direct action against the fossil fuel economy.
Dealing with climate change is about more than personal action.
Changing light bulbs and stopping flying to Spain for the weekend
is one small part of the solution, but so is getting in the way
of the juggernaut with our bodies, our minds and our hearts. Some
might call this idealism or madness. We say madness lies in the
passive grey expansion of the suburbs, the packed motorways rumbling
towards oil depletion, the climate horror headlines next to an offer
for Christmas-shopping flights to New York. Madness is factories
that produce rubbish that people have to be brainwashed into buying
- sanity is pulling them down. In these times taking direct action
against the climate criminals is as real, as reasonable, as necessary
as it gets. Direct action, of all the forms of action to take, gets
closest to the heart of the problem as well as closest to the beating
heart of a trulysustainable, socially just, fossil fuel-free future.
events before the camp
- June 10th
Road Block national conference Fighting one of
the big causes of climate change - cars.Workshops and guest
speakers, central Birmingham. For details see www.roadblock.org.uk
- June 11
- July 1 - Art Not Oil, London Exhibition and campaign
political/ecological art, and ending oil sponsorship of
the arts - a project
of London Rising Tide. For info call 07708 794665 For full
list of events
have a short time to act and we're going to need radical ideas and
massive action if we're to make something good come out of this
change will not go away, and we need to understand that the longer
we leave the process of starting our 'energy descent', the more
difficult and painful it
will be. Ultimately, our whole "first world" way of life
is in question here.
we travel, the way we eat, the way we farm, the way we work. It
all needs to be re-examined and adjusted (or done away with) as
required. The notion of infinite industrial growth on a finite planet
must be discarded for the greedy fantasy it is and always has been.
change and fossil fuel depletion has and will create savage conflicts
over vital resources. If we don't act now, the dark history of the
twentieth century will pale by comparison with the Mad Max horrors
of the 21st.
CRAP NON-ARREST OF THE WEEK
knowing the law...
in Barnes, South West London, were just settling in to their new
abode and making it cosy last week when they were paid their first
house visit -by the owner and two henchmen, one carrying a large
After a bit of threatening
small talk on the front doorstep, they ran round the back of the
house and proceeded to bash down the door, only stopping when the
residents told them they were calling the police - well it's not
nice to have your door illegally smashed in, accompanied with violent
The Old Bill duly turned
up, had a chat with the owner and warned the residents he'd be soon
be taking them to court. But when asked why the police weren't arresting
the owner for threatening behaviour with a hammer, the squatters
were told the plod were taking no action 'because he didn't know
Funny how that excuse
never seems to wash when we try it...
talks between the 'major powers' continue, building up to a
eventual situation where Iran is made an offer they can't refuse
(or else) over their nuclear aspirations, readers of SchNEWS will
not be surprised to hear how the 'negotiations' with Iran and the
West's own stance in relation to nuclear weapons contains not only
a whiff of the usual hypocrisy, but that (once again) it's the UK
and US who are actually breaking international law.
few tears were shed over Jack 'Boot' Straw's demotion from the foreign
office, the speculation is that half the reason he was sacked was
over the growing rift between himself and Bliar over Iran. Straw,
who had previously commented that an attack against Iran was "inconceivable",
recently modified his stance saying that it was "inconceivable in
relation to the nuclear issue". But this wasn't enough. It appears
that Neo Labour, like the Bush Junta, has not taken the nuclear
option "off the table" when it comes to taking a corporate-backed
swipe at Iran. The Non Proliferation Treaty (See
SchNEWS 507) is supposed to give us all a more secure world
in which to live. Signed in 1968, it commits the five declared nuclear
states (US, UK, France, Russia and China) to disarmament and promotes
the transfer of peaceful nuclear technology to developing countries.
with its 10,000 nuclear warheads, together with the UK (19 million
tonnes worth of bang) are both currently engaged in developing 'new
generation' nukes. Former Defence Secretary, John Reid, confirmed
UK plc's commitment to a replacement for Trident, because "as long
as a potential enemy has a nuclear weapon we should retain one".
A classic approach to making the world safer by making sure we've
got the best weapons to win any war! Nice one John, with brains
like that no wonder you've been promoted to run the Home Office!
of course, is not extended to other countries like Iran, which sits
there wondering why the US hasn't picked a physical fight with nuclear-armed
North Korea. Over in the US of A, White House Inc. is planning to
upgrade their stockpile by building some 'low-yield' earth-penetrating
'bunker buster bombs'. Whether Donald Rumsfield and friends are
planning to test the new system against the 'sophisticated cave
network' which has hidden Bin Laden for so long, is anyone's guess,
but these 'useable' bombs have been designed to soften resistance
to the use of nukes in 'battle field situations' i.e. against rows
of soldiers, wiping out the need for a costly large scale ground
war, like the one that has the US bogged down in Iraq.
Resources Defence Council reports that just one usable bunker buster
bomb attack on an underground facility west of Pyonyang, North Korea,
would result in more than half a million civilian casualties. Meanwhile,
the Israeli military top brass have been playing war games with
battlefield nuclear weapons for some time, designing their new 'Lance'
nuke just for that purpose. Commenting on the negotiations which
are underway between Europe and Iran, Silvan Shalom, the Israeli
Foreign Minister, said that if the UK, France and Germany failed
to persuade Iran to ditch its nuclear ambitions, "Israel could not
live with Iran having a nuclear bomb", leaving the country in a
'lose-lose' situation where if the US doesn't attack, Israel will.
right people in power following a US led coup in 1953 (See
SchNEWS 519), the US found itself helping to lay the foundations
for Iran's nuclear program, equipping the Tehran Nuclear Research
Centre with a reactor in 1967. Following Iran's signing of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, plans were drawn up for the US to help
construct more than 20 nuclear power stations a cross the country.
The deal, negotiated by all-round-good-bloke Henry Kissinger, was
set to net US companies more than $6 billion. But since 1979 Iran's
political system has been dominated by religious fanatics and relations
with the US soured. Over the past 20 years the population has doubled
and now the c ountry's burning imported fossil fuels like there's
no tomorrow (a particularly apt expression!), devastating the environment
in the process.
the rest of the world adopts nuclear power to keep our unsustainable
consumer culture ticking over, Iran can go without. Plotting military
control of the world's dwindling energy supplies takes some serious
planning and without nuclear power stations they'd be no uranium
and without uranium they'd be no new nuclear bombs. The commitment
to replace trident can not be realised without a commitment to build
new nuclear power stations to supply the required radioactive materials.
Never mind Iraq's so-called 'dual use' facilities, this is Neo Labour
killing two birds with one stone.
3-11 Stop the Arms Trade Week An opportunity for co-ordinated
local campaigning. This year's focus is the Shut DESO campaign which
calls for the government's arms sales unit to be closed. Campaign
Against Arms Trade 020 7281 0297 www.calltheshots.org
4 'On the agenda? Military action against Iran'. A discussion
and debate organised by Reading Peace Group. 2.30-5pm, Friends Meeting
House, Church Street, Reading. 0118 958 8281
5 Phone Blockade of EDO MBM. Call bomb component makers EDO
MBM to ask them any questions you might have on the arms trade -
01273 810500 dial 141 first to withhold your number (or call from
a payphone). www.smashedo.org.uk
7 Reclaim the Bases - Global Call for Anti-militarist action
against war. Anti-militarist alternative - MOC, coordination of
antimilitarist groups from Spain, is calling for protests, nonviolent
direct actionsand civil disobedience at all military bases throughout
the world. More info (in Spanish) www.antimilitaristas.org/article.php3?id_article=2414
7 No Bases for Aggression. Meeting to organise a march with
a giant B2 stealth bomber to/from the MI6 building on 19 Aug - the
53rd anniversary of the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran - to protest against
the possible use of UK-controlled bases in Fairford and Diego Garica
in a US attack on Iran. 7pm, central London venue tbc. Contact 0845
458 2564 or firstname.lastname@example.org
10-11 Faslane Peace Camp Birthday Party. Celebrating 24 years
in defiance of the Naval base. Music, bands, dj's, food, bar, poi
etc. Some accommodation available, but bring own just in case. Entry
free/donation Call 01436820901 for more info see also www.faslane.co.nr
10 Fifth annual Stop The War Coalition Conference, Friends Meeting
House, Euston Road, London WC1 www.stopwar.org.uk.
19 The Horror of War Demo with creative ways of showing bomb
component manufacturers EDO MBM the true horror of war. 4-6pm, Outside
EDO, Home Farm Road, Brighton. www.smashedo.org.uk
- The Castle Mill
boatyard near Oxford (See SchNEWS
543) was evicted early this Weds morning when a large
number of cops and bailiffs descended on the site. A crane was
used to put the long boats - people's homes - back in the water,
which had been hoisted onto land for hull repairs. People managed
get in the way of the cranes, leading to at least two arrests.
For more see www.portmeadow.org
- Protesters from DSEI
Arms Fair last year (See SchNEWS
511) have been sentenced to 'Indefinite ASBO's',
as well as community service and one a six-month suspended sentence,
on May 24th at Snaresbrook Crown Court. More info will be published
after the protesters consult their legal council.
- The Earthship in
Stamner Park, Brighton, is now finished. An Open Day on Sunday
(4th) will see displays of woodwork, stonemasonary and permaculture.
Jim Tindle, author of a recently published book on the anti-roads
movement of the 90's - "Nine Miles"- will be doing
- The Hill Of Tara,
Ireland's ancient capital and home to ancient megalithic tombs,
is threatened by a four lane motorway screaming by under plans
to ease urban congestion around Dublin. This area of serene beauty
will be ruined. Proposals to use a train system have been ignored.
The notion that we could just make less cars hasn't even been
entertained. See www.tarawatch.org.
ON THEIR TITS
As the campaign to
save Titnore Woods near Worthing, Sussex reaches it's endgame,
protestors have seized an area of woodland and built a tree camp.
Landowner Clem Somerset was surprised and perplexed by the sudden
appearance of tree houses in the woods at 6.30 on Sunday morning.
Since then the camp has
grown and attracted a lot of local support, building on the widespread
campaign to save the woodland from development. This is a struggle
with wide local support.
Police reaction, after
circling in a helicopter during the afternoon, was to try and evict
the camp on Sunday evening under Section 61 of our old friend the
CJA 1994 (See SchNEWS 1 - 187).
However faced with a rapid retreat on to the increasingly sturdy
platforms and a lot of local media interest they backed
down and claimed that the incident had been merely 'a health and
Worthing District Commander
Jason Taylor said, "As far as the police are concerned we have
a situation which is, at the moment, legitimate. People are protesting
lawfully and are not causing particular problems. They're causing
problems for the landowner and he can go to court - but at this
stage I'm not going to endanger the protesters or people in the
area by enforcing the removal of people."
The camp is nearly a
week old and despite attempts by the landowner Lord Somerset, including
digging ditches and putting up fences to prevent access onto the
disputed land, and sending his farmhands to spray muck on the fields
next to the camp, the site is getting stronger. Ill-advisedly Lord
employed Mark Lynch, toothbrush moustache sporting head of Guardian
Security of EDO/MBM fame.(See SchNEWS 508)
One local protestor told
SchNEWS "It is quite clear to most Worthing people that something
had to be done to stop Worthing council and the developers getting
away with this horrific 875-home scheme, with its associated damaging
road widening. Having seen all the campaigners' efforts ignored
by the council and
the government, which refused to hold a public inquiry, some people
got together and decided it was time to take action. This is our
last big chance to really get across the power and size of our opposition
to the development. Let's make it quite clear to the bullies in
the town hall and the corporate boardrooms
that it's not just a few dozen protesters they're up against - it's
thousands of Worthing people determined to play our part in stopping
the Titnore devastation."
Here's how you
- Join the camp!
No reservations are necessary. Just turn up with a sleeping bag
and stay as long as you like!
- Practical help
- Are you a dab hand with a hammer or a spade? Want to help improving,
decorating or securing the camp?
- Materials -
Stuff like wood, rope of any kind, nails, food (preferably not
meat or dairy), tools fresh water and so on.
- Physical presence
- It is still very possible that an illegal and violent eviction
of the camp may be attempted. Can you spare a few hours on-site?
Even just popping in to say 'hello' is important.
- Spread the word
- Tell your friends, family and neighbours. Get texting or
phoning. Write to the papers to say you support the camp! Call
the local radio stations!
- Office space
- a dry indoor space in the area is needed to use as an office
- preferably with a phone line.
- Financial help
- Many thanks to those who have made essentials contributions,
but there will continuing costs. How about organising a fundraising
The camp is in woods
just north of "Somerset Lake", a fishing lake east of
BY TRAIN/ FOOT -
Nearest station is Goring by Sea with direct trains from Brighton,
Portsmouth and London. Walk north from the station and cross north
across the roundabout with the A259. You are in Titnore Lane, then
turn right after approx ½ mile onto Titnore Way. Go down
to the roundabout and turn left past the pub. At the end of the
road go down the footpath and left through a gap in the hedge (with
new ditch) Walk past the big clump of trees and the camp should
BY ROAD - A23
westwards from Brighton. Come off at the junction (after Durrington)
signposted A280 Littlehampton. Turn immediately left onto the road
marked Goring/Ferring. This is Titnore Lane. After approx ¾
mile turn left into Titnore Way and follow directions above. Camp
phone - 07804 245324.
It's a dirty job ,
but someones got to do it....at least that's what a certain
handyman from Suffolk is probably thinking. David Lucas, who lives
in Eldon Farm just outside the town of Mildenhall, was recently
exposed as a supplier of mobile lynching machines to Zimbabwae and
Libya. Single gallows poles go for about £12,000 each. Multi-use
hanging machines go for as much as £100,000. Lucas denies
his trade is sick, saying "some people deserve to be hanged".
The trade is due to be banned at the end of July. SchNEWS suggest
in the interest of quality control and safety that Lucas tries one
* For more see http://brettlock.blogspot.com/2006/05/david-lucas-is-sick-bastard.html
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So the bi-annual orgy
of football-related marketing is with us once again. Becks,
Lamps, Rooney et al will all be starring in a feast of slick new
jingoistic advertising and merchandising (which happily can be completed
without regard to injuries). Taking place at the same time is the
FIFA World Cup, this
time to be held at adidas and Puma HQ - otherwise known as Germany.
A few billion will be
glued to their television sets for a month - including many England
fans in £40 replica kits made by Chinese workers on 40p a
day - thrilling at the cheating, overpaid primadonna-wannabe-Maradonas.
Their 'heroics' will provide the hook for heroic marketing campaigns
like Coke, Gillette, McDonald's and a full rogues gallery of the
biggest corporate baddies.
The ball in question
will be made by some exploited child labourer in Pakistan more than
likely, where 90% of the world's balls are made. Brief outrage during
France 1998 at media exposure of sweatshop practices in Pakistan
led to 'code of practice' being adopted by FIFA and the major sportswear
promising no forced labour, equality of opportunity, work hour restrictions,
minimum wages and all the rest. Backed up by independent monitoring
Eight years later and...
guess what, little's changed. Child labour and substandard working
conditions are prevalent as ever, with subcontractors farming work
out to villages away from the monitoring zones, while some companies
are switching production to China where they get even less scrutiny.
At the end of the day,
an event like the world cup is a business gravy train for corporate
juggernauts - which has got nothing to do with helping the sport
on a grassroots level. Corporate shareholders and corrupt officials
in football associations around the world will make sure that precious
little of the bonanza
reaches the bare-foot kids in the majority world, all huddled round
one battered portable TV, dreaming of glory in the 'beautiful game'.
Nevermind, none of that's
nearly so dramatic as a penalty shootout....c'mon Eng-er-land!
warns all readers... talking hot air about climate change will not
save the planet - but action now just might. Honest!
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