| Friday 23rd May 2008 | Issue
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER ILLEGAL AID...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Links: Self Defence | Rubbish
Arrest of the Week | Skelton's in the Closet |
Harlem Globesquatters | Dubya
or Quits | Party & Protest | Squat's
the Big Deal | Tied Up in Notts | Coalmouth
Action | ...And Finally...
STUDENTS ARE DENIED LEGAL AID FOR IMPRISONABLE OFFENCES
students are all bone-idle skiving filth who haven’t even got the wit to
tie their shoelaces properly? Well then you’d be in disagreement with Judge
Parsons (of Brighton magistrates). He’s just refused legal aid to seven
students up in front of his bench for ‘aggravated tresspass’ (punishable
by up to three months inside) on the grounds that “they are intelligent
enough to represent themselves”.
The seven are
accused of D-locking and supergluing to EDO MBM’s infamous factory of death
in Brighton on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. Despite the fact that the
student protesters are all in their first year and none are studying law, the
judge is perhaps paying the defendants a compliment in considering them equal
in legal know-how to a barrister (who study for around six years before they are
considered ready to defend their clients). They are under stringent bail conditions
to stay away from EDO MBMs factories.
Of course legal aid
is gradually being whittled away for all of us (See SchNEWS
618). But the decision to cut off the supply this time is interesting in the
light of how many cases against EDO protestors have ended in failure for the authorities
(See SchNEWS 535). Campaign spokesman Andy Beckett told
SchNEWS “By robbing these defendants of their rights to adequate legal
representation, the authorities are launching an attack on our campaign as a whole.
They’ve been forced to drop cases when it looked as if evidence of police
collusion with the factory owners was about to emerge. But that evidence only
emerged after careful examination by trained solicitors. The whole thing smacks
of a desperate attempt to secure convictions against supporters of our successful
The National Union of Students is
up in arms at this abuse of the student’s status to trick them out of their
right to legal representation. In the words of the USSU education officer; “That
students are being denied legal assistance simply because they are students is
disgraceful. A fair and public trial is a human right. When students take on international
arms dealers without legal representation it is laughable to claim that the proceedings
could be fair or equal. At a time when civil liberties are under attack nationally,
this court is specifically targeting students as an isolated and disempowered
To support the defendants, fight for
civil liberties and take action against the arms trade join Smash EDO at the Carnival
Against The Arms Trade...
RUBBISH ARREST OF THE
One Wrexham woman found herself on the wrong side of the law when she helped herself
to four plastic garden chairs from a privatised council tip. The Waste Recycling
Group - instead of lending her a hand for helping push towards their target of
65% of all rubbish being recycled – phoned the cops.
One house search later and the chairs have been returned to their rightful place:
a landfill, and the would-be Womble is waiting to see if the CPS is going charge
her under the Theft Act.
Smash EDO campaign would like to invite you to join the Carnival Against the Arms
Trade - a big, lively and interactive experience featuring live music,
a critical mass bike ride (meeting 11.30am by Brighton train station), and other
creative festivities of resistance. Bring your own whistles - instruments - banners
- masks or anything else you can think of. The event will have a theme of red
to symbolise the victims of the arms trade.
So far this
year has been a hectic but successful one for the Smash EDO, especially with the
campaign film ‘On the Verge’ touring the country,
despite heavy police repression.
The Carnival will be
a great opportunity to show EDO that the movement is bigger than ever and growing.
If you want to promote it yourself in any way, flyers can be downloaded from the
Meet June 4th, The Level, Brighton, 12 noon.
IN THE CLOSET
information is slowly coming to light about Sussex Police’s attempt to censor
‘On the Verge’ – the Smash EDO movie (see SchNEWS
625). Initially Chief Inspector Laurence Taylor put out a statement denying
all police involvement. The very next day Sussex police P.R. dogsbodies issued
a press release stating “Brighton and Hove Police were aware that ‘On
The Verge’ was being shown at the Duke of York cinema. However, we do not
become involved in, nor do we have knowledge of, the law relating to film certification.
That is a matter for Brighton & Hove City Council. However, a junior officer,
who is not based in the city, alerted the city council to the showing and they
advised the cinema of its responsibilities.”
More recently thanks to diligent inquiries by one SchNEWShound the name of the
officer involved has come to light. The man responsible for contacting Brighton
Council’s environmental health officers was one Detective Constable Ian
Skelton. Now Ian isn’t based in the city it’s true but he’s
not exactly a maverick lawman patrolling a rural backwater either. In fact his
base of operations is Sussex Police HQ in Lewes, all of seven miles up the road.
Following the Brighton hoo-ha, the film received police attention wherever it
was shown around the country. Sussex Police then denied involvement in a campaign,
telling The Guardian “To confirm, we haven’t sent a circular to
other police forces.”
Sussex Police are being
charmingly coy about exactly which department DC Skelton works for but his rank
indicates that he’s probably in a plain clothes outfit. SchNEWS wonders
how SPECIAL a constable Ian really is, but don't want to BRANCH out into unwarranted
More news soon as the Freedom of Information
wheels grind their slowest – we expect a full and accurate explanation sometime
after the London Olympics.
* See also SchNEWS
Residents of Dalston,
London, being priced out of their houses as they watch the economic forces of
gentrification fill their streets with overpriced coffee chains and other global
franchises, are to be visited by some seasoned anti-gentrification activists from
New York. Juan Haro, a speaker from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, will bring
his experience of fighting the same forces in Harlem to help Dalston residents
resist the landlords and multinationals who are destroying the fabric of their
Haro commented, “Here in El Barrio
(East Harlem, New York City), landlords, multi-national corporations and local,
state and federal politicians and institutions want to force upon us their culture
of money, they want to displace poor families and rent their apartments to rich
people, white people with money. They want to change the look of our neighbourhood,
with the excuse of “developing the community.”
* May 24th, at Passing Clouds, Richmond Rd, Dalston, The talk
has been arranged by Hackney Solidarity Network, starts 7pm, followed by Latin
bands and djs (talk - free, music - a fiver). firstname.lastname@example.org
Doing one last junket over to Europe before
he goes off to Hangar 19 to get his brain de-programmed and re-booted by the aliens
responsible for 9-11, George Bush (remember him?) is coming to London from June
The last time he was here in November 2003 (See
SchNEWS 431), he was met by protests up and down
the country, including 300,000 in London – thought to be the biggest mid-week
protest ever. Only last week John Bolton – former Bush apparatchik and warmonger
– cancelled a visit to Bristol because of anti-war demonstrations.
* Watch out for updates about anti-Bush demonstrations in SchNEWS.
31st - Say NO to Heathrow’s 3rd Runway - the Carnival March
will walk around the airport perimeter to Sipson – the village which would
be wiped out by a 3rd runway. Called by Campaign against Climate Change, HACAN,
NOTRAG and others. Assemble Hatton Cross Underground Station (Picadilly Tube Line)
12 noon www.make-a-noise.org
- Stop the Arms Trade Week – there will be a week of events by
CAAT around the country, concentrating on the Control BAE campaign, bringing the
government to justice about the BAE-Saudi arms deal. www.caat.org.uk
7th - Manchester Anarchist Bookfair -
For all your anarchist requirements including books, pamphlets, t-shirts, paraphernalia,
plus cafe and vegan food. Jabez Clegg, 2 Portsmouth Street, off Dover Street,
off Oxford Road (opp Manchester University Student Union), M13 9GB. 11am-5pm,
- ARUK2008 - UK Animal Rights Gathering - talks, discussions and workshops
on a wide range of issues and activities related to animal rights campaigning,
as well as a chance to relax with like-minded people and socialise and network
with other campaigners from all over the UK. at Friend Farmed Animal Sanctuary
near Tonbridge, Kent, www.veggies.org.uk/event.php
SQUAT'S THE BIG DEAL
The International Days of Action for Squats and Autonomous
Spaces, which took place on the 11-12th April, saw a flurry of squatting activity
across the UK, with new spaces established and a range of events taking place
(See SchNEWS 628). The Days of Action, which emerged
from the international squatters meeting in Dijon last year, saw a variety of
creative forms of resistance, ranging from a Reclaim the Streets in Wellington
to a bicycle tour in Rotterdam and theatre performance in Athens (see http://squat.net/en/news/april2008world060508.html
for the full round up).
Squatters and community direct
action groups in Britain demonstrated the resurgence of a networked and politically
active squatting movement, marked by the national squatters meeting that took
place in Leeds in February. During the weekend in April, eight cities across Britain
saw city-centre buildings occupied – some just for the weekend, others are
It will come as no surprise to regular SchNEWS
readers that these spaces have received special attention from the authorities,
as the boys in blue continue their quest to dispose of positive, non-corporate
community jaunts. The former Wilco building in Cambridge, squatted to provide
a cinema, caff, and activities space, was raided by armed police after a ‘tip-off’
from a neighbour on the pretext of looking for illegal drugs. After a thorough
search, Cambridgeshire’s finest uncovered a supermarket trolley, and the
Mill Road social centre lives to fight another day. It will host a welcome meeting
tonight (23rd) at 7pm.
Meanwhile, in the capital, the
space opened for the days of action has at last taken the revolutionary step of
giving itself a name. The Bowl Court social centre in Shoreditch attracted mainstream
media attention for their Squatters Estate Agency and, despite customary threats
from the building’s owners, intends to carry on its good work. Check http://bowlcourt.co.nr
for the latest.
The last few weeks have also seen spaces fighting back against court orders, with
the sacrosanct possession order being resisted in London and Brighton.
WominSpace, off Mare Street in Hackney has, over the past three months, hosted
welding, stencil-making and herbal skill-share workshops and held a regular café
and meetings space. The first eviction attempt was thwarted with the help of the
North East London Squatters Network, but on the 9th May their luck ran out and
the space was evicted.
After successfully defying police and bailiffs last Monday (see SchNEWS
632), the 88 London Road social centre, a former Methodist church in Brighton,
remains fighting and has been hosting a regular ‘free kaff’ on the
street outside. Clearly peeved, Brighton’s police have vented their frustration
at anyone else unlucky enough to be squatting in the city, with three illegal
police evictions carried out in the last ten days.
you fancy joining in on the community spirit, look for an empty building in a
city near you! Check out www.squat.net
for inspiration, information and advice.
TIED UP IN NOTTS
Two men arrested by Nottingham Police
under the Terrorism Act have been released without charge – after 7 days.
One was a student the other a member of staff at Nottingham University. Nottingham
cops staged a major uniformed operation on campus during the arrests and subsequent
And what triggered the clampdown? –
the discovery by a clerical worker of an edited Al-Qaeda training manual. One
small thing – it had been downloaded from a U.S Government website. The
student was in fact researching U.S foreign policy and his personal tutor stated
that she was in possession of similar materials.
bent over backwards to assist the cops, saying the institution “has
been co-operating fully from the outset throughout this inquiry. Here, at the
institution, we fully accept that this sort of police operation is necessary and
reasonable for the welfare of our communities.” This fawning was repaid
by one investigating officer who told academic staff “This would never
have happened if the student had been white.”
During questioning, the police regularly attempted to collate information about
student activism and peaceful campaigning. They asked numerous questions about
the student peace magazine ‘Ceasefire’, and other student activities.
The overt police presence on campus, combined with increased and intimidating
police presence at recent peaceful demonstrations, has created a climate of fear
amongst some students. Many saw the operation as a message from the police that
they are likely to arrest those who have been engaged in peaceful political activities.
University authorities also spoke of stopping groups or individuals who “unsettle
the harmony of the campus.”
Activists fighting the building of new open cast
coal mines in Britain are planning a mass trespass and picnic at a new site in
Derbyshire which is about to be destroyed in the pursuit of the black stuff. With
Earth campaigners urging world leaders to look to renewable, clean energy sources
before we fuck the world up beyond repair, UK Coal carry on in their pursuit of
money regardless and have plans to build seven open cast mines in the UK.
The new site is 122 hectares and will have one million tonnes of coal ripped out
of it over the next five years. Supported by Earth First, the Leave It In The
Ground campaign hope to kick-start their campaign against open cast mines with
a fun day and trespass allowing people to see the pretty site before it’s
permanently destroyed when the diggers and drills roll up. Bring your picnic mats,
sturdy footwear and vegan sausage rolls to the Visitors Centre in Shipley Country
Park, Heanor at noon on the 26th May.
07852 460871, email email@example.com
A German mail company
came unstuck when it ‘inadvertently’ issued stamps of Rudolf Hess,
Hitler’s one-time right hand man deputy. Fortunately stopping at a mere
20 stamps, the Nazi collectables were the result of a service that allowed clients
to order custom made envelopes.
* Rudolf Hess was the
Nazi top dog who flew to Britain to arrange a truce with the leading racist genocidal
empire of the time... er us.
warns all readers - if you're going to take the law into your own hands, don't
try do-it-yourself when it comes to representing yourself in court. Honest!