Home | Friday 6th March 2009 | Issue 667
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER ALL GEE'D UP...
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Story Links : Fools Rush In | Secret Policeman's Bill | Tat For Tit | Ruff Justice | Inside Schnews | Full Sale Ahead | Dun Deal | Gaza Hunger Strike | Trump This | And Finally
FOOLS RUSH IN
WHERE FINANCIAL LEADERS FEAR TO TREAD AT G20 SUMMIT
While the global economic meltdown continues, plans are afoot to welcome delegates to the forthcoming G20 summit meeting in Britain. On April 2nd finance ministers and central bank governors from nineteen of the world’s most ‘advanced’ and ‘emerging’ states plus the European Union will be meeting at the Excel Centre in Docklands.
Collectively, the G20 economies control 90% of global gross national product, 80% of world trade (including EU intra-trade) and two-thirds of the world population. In other words - it’s all their fault.
The summit has gotten off to a bad start even before they’ve met. The ‘Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ consists of er, 22 countries. The group that’s charged with saving the economy can’t even count in double figures. Even the blue-chip, pink pages of the FT aren’t exactly counting on salvation from the summit presided over by El Gordo. Vaguely worded principles about how they’re going to regulate the financial system (the same one that they deregulated) and the tried’n’ failed tactic of stuffing government money into the back pockets of bankers are what’s on offer.
The real solutions to the crisis (crises actually) are at hand though. There’s all sorts of anti-G20 action going on. Whether it’s illegal wars, environmental devastation or global economic thievery, take yer pick of reasons to throw a spanner in the works of this world leaders’ shindig.
As well as a traditional A to B march the Saturday beforehand, there’s plenty of political action in flavours other than vanilla. A whole range of up-fer-it direct action creativity is in the offing.
‘We can’t pay, we won’t pay and we are taking to the streets’ kicks off with four carnival parades on April 1st at 11am led by the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse from various rail stations – Moorgate (red horse for war), Liverpool St (green horse for climate chaos), London Bridge (silver for financial crimes) and Cannon St (black for land enclosures and borders - the 360th full circle anniversary of The Diggers). Financial Fools Day then heats up at 12 noon outside the den of sin and iniquity itself The Bank of England. Bring the apocalypse to ‘em!
CHOOSE YOUR HORSE
APRIL 1st (Financial & Fossil Fools Day)
* Financial Fools Day Street Party
Assemble at Cannon Street, Moorgate, Liverpool Street or London Bridge stations 11am to form four marching blocks heading towards the Bank of England for 12-noon, in the ‘Square Mile’ of the City of London. Bring a portable radio! www.g-20meltdown.org
* Climate Camp in the City
The climate camp are camping in the European Carbon Exchange, Hasilwood house, City of London 12-noon. Bring sleeping bag and goodies! www.climatecamp.org.uk/g20
* Fossil Fools Day: ‘Your Party’s Over!’
Climate Criminal BP is celebrating its centenary with cocktails and canapes at the British Musem. And we will be there too, between 6-7pm, to say ‘Your party’s over!’ Meet at 6pm at the British Museum’s Gt. Russell St. gate. Bring banners, musical instruments, a sense of climate justice and a nonsense of foolery. www.fossilfoolsdayofaction.org
APRIL 2nd (The day of the G20 summit)
* Crash the Stock Exchange
Eat capitalism for breakfast. Disrupt the traders whose financial egomania perpetuates global injustice: let’s shutdown trading for the day. Meet outside the London Stock Exchange, 10 Paternoster Square, City of London, London EC4M, 7am (traders arrive at 7am, trading commencing 8am). Nearest tube: St Pauls - have a pleasant journey in... tubes might be busy.
* Excel Centre
Direct action all day at the Excel Centre, Canning Town where the G20 will be meeting. ExceL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL www.g-20meltdown.org
* A coalition of groups including The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, The British Muslim Initiative, and CND have called two protests against the G20; a march and rally in central London on the afternoon of April 1st, and a protest to the conference itself on April 2nd. http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1084&Itemid=27
SECRET POLICEMAN'S BILL
There’s yet another piece of government legislation sneaking its way through parliament that will give the state even more privacy but strip away what remaining few rights to privacy you have left. The Coroners and Justice Bill 2009 contain clauses that will give formal cover to perpetrators of state violence and will blow a hole in what little data protection there exists for the public.
The bit dealing with inquests allows the Secretary of State to appoint a judge to hear an inquest into a person’s death in secret - there would be no jury and relatives of the deceased would not be allowed in. A secret hearing can be ordered under a wide range of possibilities: national security, diplomatic relations, for the prevention or detection of crime, to protect the safety of a witness or third party, or on general public interest grounds. In other words the government will have a green light to prevent any embarrassing information about someone’s death being made public knowledge. It’s obvious they want no repeat of the embarrassing revelations that came out in the Jean Charles de Menezes inquiry (see SchNEWS 647).
But even if this doesn’t make it into law the security services already have power to withhold information under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act: facts relating to covert surveillance can be withheld from an inquest. This has led to massive delays in inquests, for example Azelle Rodney’s, who was shot six times by armed police in April 2005. In August 2007 the coroner ruled that he could not hold a full inquest because of the large number of passages crossed out in police officer’s statements. Under the new laws Azelle’s family would still not know the full truth as to why he died as the inquest would likely be held behind closed doors.
INQUEST (www.inquest.org.uk) argue that “The proposals amount to a fundamental attack on the independence and transparency of the coronial system in England and Wales; are fundamentally flawed; disconnected from legal principles and have come about without any consultation.”
And this isn’t the only Big Brother state intrusion on the cards of course. The government are seeking to remove all limits on the use of personal information - including medical, financial and employment records and communications data. A proposed clause would amend the Data Protection Act so as to allow ministers to grant ‘information sharing orders’, enabling the sharing of data with other agencies (including private companies and foreign governments) for purposes other than the original one. The only proviso is that it needs to fill a “relevant policy objective” - a phrase that could be easily pressed in to service to fit any situation. As campaigning group NO2ID (www.no2id.net) say: “The data sharing powers in this Bill are a perversion of justice and of language, converting the Data Protection Act into its exact reverse. If this passes, you can forget you ever had privacy.”
TAT FOR TIT
The Titnore Protest Camp (See SchNEWS 648) is moving towards action stations as Tesco begin groundwork on its new mega-store near Titnore Woods in Durrington, West Sussex, with the actual building work rumoured to be starting in May.
But work is beginning without full planning permission – Tesco’s usual build-first-get-the-paperwork-sorted-later tactic, with Worthing Council still to see the latest planning application. The \A318-20 million development doubles the size of the existing nearby Tesco, including a 800-bay car park.
The entire \A33 billion development includes 875 new homes to provide Tesco with its captive consumers, which is a separate planning application that the town’s development control committee will look at by the end of March. However with any luck the credit crunch will scupper the plans of Taylor-Wimpey, Heron Homes and Persimmon Homes – whose shares have slumped to the worst in three years. Building projects around the country are being shelved due to the hard times, so fingers crossed that this group of shysters all go broke as well.
The camp was set up in May 2006 to protect one of only two ancient woodlands left on the Sussex coastal plain, and is directly affected by the housing plan.
To show Tesco that protests will escalate if work begins, there were a number of actions this week. As workmen set up a mini-compound in the Tesco carpark, protesters locked them out of their portacabin and digger for the day, as well as holding an impromptu riot-in-the-aisles at the current Tesco, with campaigners making merry in the alcohol aisles with bottles going left, right and centre.
Support the campaign by donating cash, food, clothing, polyprop rope or climbing gear to the camp which is 20 mins from Goring station and 5mins from Durrington Tesco.
* See also www.protectourwoodland.co.uk
, flood plain
, protest camp
, tree camp
, west durrington
Animal Welfare campaigners are holding a demo outside Crufts, the prestigious Kennel Club beauty contest for dogs. They say “Since the broadcasting of ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’ the BBC, RSPCA and Pedigree Chum have all pulled out of Crufts and now it’s time for the public to put another nail in the coffin - Join us at the Birmingham NEC to pass on two very important messages to the public: 1. Breeding unhealthy dog’s for aesthetic purposes is morally wrong. 2. Breeding dogs is pointless when there are existing dogs all over who need homes.”
Protest against Crufts at Birmingham NEC, Sunday 8th March, 10am till finish.
See the damning documentary at http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=44215931
On February 16th charges against the six EDO decommissioners (see SchNEWS 663) and three others were changed from the original burglary and criminal damage to conspiracy to commit criminal damage. Eight of those charged are out on strict bail conditions but two remain banged up on remand. Elija Smith has been moved to Horfield prison in Bristol, he would appreciate visitors. Robert remains on remand in Lewes prison.
Please support them by writing: Robert Alford VP 7552, HMP Lewes, 1 Brighton Rd, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 1EA; Elija Smith VP 7551, HMP Bristol, 19 Cambridge Rd, Horfield, BS7 8PS
FULL SALE AHEAD
As the Sea Shepherd returns from fighting the good fight for whales in the ‘sanctuary’ of Antartica (see SchNEWS 666), the crew have learnt that their ship Farley Mowat, seized over a year ago in international waters, has been ordered ‘sold’ by the Canadian government without charge, trial or warning.
Captain Paul Watson has released a statement warning would-be buyers that, "Whoever buys the ship should be aware that we retain the registry and the original Bill of Sale and we will take back what is ours at the first opportunity. You don’t steal a ship from a pirate without repercussions."
Denouncing the ‘bananas’ Canadian government he says, “My country has freedom of speech until you speak, freedom of expression until you express yourself, and the freedom to hold property until the government takes it from you. Nothing that Canada does - where the red of the flag stands for the blood of millions of slaughtered seals - surprises me any more. The fact is that they stole our ship without any charges laid against it or the owners, and now they have ordered the sale of our property against our wishes.” Purchase at your peril folks!
* See also www.seashepherd.org
Workers at a packaging plant in Dundee took direct action after being fired with immediate effect on Wednesday. Without the statutory week's notice, the twelve Prisme Packaging staff were told there was no money to pay their wages, accrued holiday or redundancy pay – instead their erstwhile bosses helpfully tried to send them to the local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Refusing to accept the invitation, seven of the twelve instead occupied the factory and vow to stay until their legal redundancy entitlements are met. Faced with no recourse but a lengthy wait for an employment tribunal, workers took matters into their own hands, outraged at being “trodden on”, as now ex-employee David Taylor put it.
One worker, Matthew, told SchNEWS, “We decided we’re not leaving until we receive what we’re entitled to. We’re not giving them the opportunity to lock the doors while we’re out so we end up with nothing... we’ve received great local support and massive media interest”.
Text/phone messages of support to 07970 875455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org See www.indymediascotland.org/node/15002
Keywords: direct action
, prisme packaging
, workers rights
GAZA HUNGER STRIKE
Outside 10 Downing St on the 10th of February, Maria Gallestegui brought to a close her impressive thirty day hunger strike after receiving medical advice that continuing would cause permanent harm to her organs. Having survived on drinking liquids and taking vitamin supplements for four weeks, her act of solidarity with the people of Gaza has continued to attract little coverage from mainstream press, despite taking advantage of SOCPA legislation in order to protest inside Downing St itself every week for the last month. As Ministers gathered for the cabinet meeting, she arrived outside number ten during her hunger strike to personally delivered a petition to the Prime Minister detailing her demands.
Her presence also in Parliament Square as part of the constant Vigil for Gaza has been a powerful message of protest, calling for an end to the occupation of Gaza, arms sales to Israel and an investigation into Israeli war crimes.
* See www.vigilforgaza.net
This Tuesday (3rd) saw the “Plane Stupid Scotland Golf Open 2009” in the early hours of the morning on the tarmac at Aberdeen Airport, in protest against the approved expansion of the airport.
Having surrounded their crazy golf course with security fencing, tee-off started around 2am, preventing the runway re-opening at 5am, for another day of churning out CO2 into the atmosphere. The golf theme was in relation to plans to expand the nearby Donald Trump golf course – more land due to be lost as well as the expanded airport – both of which Trump is a keen supporter of.
But the impromptu tournament was brought to a premature close after six hours when police told the golfers that the taxiway where they had set up their course was needed by an emergency helicopter transporting a baby that required urgent treatment. The eleven protesters duly complied, and were then nicked, charged with breach of the peace and locked-up all night.
It has since emerged that the police were possibly not being entirely honest. Or that maybe they were lying through their teeth. Following the action Plane Stupid contacted Aberdeen Hospital, who told them that not only were they unaware of any transfers requested by air on the day in question but also that Aberdeen A&E had its own emergency helipad and could only envisage using the airport if the accident was there.
Despite the denial, Grampian Police later claimed that the flight had actually taken place. The protesters are now investigating the possibility that police were using an unfairway to handicap the campaign.
* See www.planestupid.com
Dunderheads at the BNP PR department are no brainier than any of their election candidates.
Needing a poster for their latest campaign – to evoke the spirit of bulldog Blighty in its finest hour and whip up nationalist fervour as a prelude to blaming foreigners for the state of things - they came up the idea of sticking a picture of a WWII spitfire on it. Well, red-blooded Brits killing foreigners was heroic back then eh? Except er, whoops! It turns out they cut’n’pasted some seemingly generic war plane pic only for it to turn out to actually be one that was part of Squadron 303 – a Polish Air Force squadron! Flying under RAF colours, their contribution to the war effort was far from minor either – during the Battle of Britain they accounted for 12% of all Nazi planes shot down. They come over ‘ere takin’ our jobs...!
SchNEWS warns all jockeys - don't let them shut the stable door before the horses have bolted - Honest!