BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 691, 17th September 2009
Bloody Poor Show - The fox hunting/sabbing season is back on – but will this be the last year before the Tories get in and repeal the barely enforced, sham fox hunting ban?... plus, the English Defence League again suffer another defeat on the streets of London, the Mainshill protest camp is still going strong but calling out for help, update as protests against the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight continue, direct action against a giant coal-fired power station near Melbourne, and more...

SchNEWS 690, 11th September 2009
Dissin’ The DSEI - SchNEWS reports from the street during protests against the DSEi Arms Fair in London... plus, protests continue at the Vestas factory, on the Isle Of Wight, the far-rigth English Defence League have another demo in Birmingham, but find themselves being taken to Coventry, a protest camp has been set up in Finland to stop the building of a uranium mine, a journalist was arrested and had his equipment confiscated at a demo at the Oxford animal testing lab, and more...

SchNEWS 689, 4th September 2009
Common People? - The London Camp For Climate Action passes off this week largely without incident. The focus on the camp was more about about training than direct action, and some are questioning whether the climate camp is becoming too soft or theoretical... plus, Workers at the occupied Zanon ceramics factory in Argentina have won a court battle and now legally control the factory, Zippos Circus, an animal abusing circus, continues to see protests as it travels around the south coast of England, the DSEi Arms Fair – the world's largest arms fair – is back on next week at it's usual location, the eXcel Centre, Docklands, London, and more...

SchNEWS 688, 21st August 2009
Stock Horror at HLS - Under pressure from animal rights protesters, more investors pull out of Huntingdon Life Sciences, leaving it in a financially precarious position... plus, after Scotland and Wales earlier this month, the Camp For Climate Action moves towards a location somewhere in London, the BNP have their Red White And Blue festival in Derbyshire, but the far-right revellers were outnumbered by anti-fascist protesters, protesters get into Faslane Naval Base in Scotland, which has the nuclear-armed Trident submarines, and more...

SchNEWS 687, 14th August 2009
Fash Get the Brum Rush - A new grouping of far-right racists demonstrate in central Birmingham – and have their arse kicked by local anti-fascists... plus, a snapshot of what anti-fascists are up against on the mean streets of Moscow, the Vestas protests continue on the Isle Of Wight as workers continue their occupation, the Scottish Camp For Climate Action ends and the Welsh Climate Camp begin - both targetting the coal mining industry and it's climate impact, a 77-day long militant occupation by sacked workers at a Ssangyong car plant in South Korea ended this month with a dramatic raid by 300 police and 100 commandos, and more...

SchNEWS 686, 7th August 2009
Blowing in the Wind - Protests continue at the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight, where sacked workers are occupying the factory, and the protest becomes national... plus, the Scottish Camp For Climate Action starts at the site of a current protest camp against open-cast coal mining at Mainshill near Glasgow, protesters end a week-long camp outside Highgate Farm in Lincolnshire, which breeds ferrets and rabbits for the vivisection industry, the murder of Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya last month causes us to look at the Russian-backed despotic regime in Chechnya, and more....

SchNEWS 685, 27th July 2009
SPECIAL REPORT - Big Green Gathering Shutdown - THE BIG GREEN GATHERING HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN BY POLICE!.....plus, clampdown in Calais on migrants trying to get to Britain, redundant workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory on Isle Of Wight occupy workplace in protest, repression in Iran continues, with protesters being killed by security forces and thousands detained, Liverpool BNP activist Peter Tierney is in court for violently attacking anti-fascist protesters, and more...

SchNEWS 684, 17th July 2009
Good Plan, 'Stan - As British soldiers are regularly returning dead from Afghanistan SchNEWS asks what is the broader deathtoll of this unwinnable war, and why are the US/UK military there anyway?... plus, fox hunters fail to get injunction placed on those monitoring their illegal activity, protesters in Britain demonstrate against Dow Chemicals, owner of Union Carbide and liable for the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster, sacked French car part workers who are occupying their workplaces have rigged explosives and are threatening to blow it up, and more

SchNEWS 683, 10th July 2009
Bobbies on the Bleat - SchNEWS has cast our cynical eye over the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) report about the policing of the G20 protests... plus, the biggest Chinese government massacre since Tiananmen Square, an update on the military coup in Honduras, Israeli warships board Free Gaza Movement boat on humanitarian mission, Rossport pirates attack Shell supply ship, and more...

Copyleft - Information for direct action - Published weekly in Brighton since 1994

Home | Thursday 24th September 2009 | Issue 692

WAKE UP!! ITíS YER BOOYAKA BOOYAKA...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Junglist Missive | Ffos'n' & Fightin' | Tesco Alfresco | Sean Free | Co-mutiny Service | Serb Your Enthusiasm | Coal D-locks | Glam Rocked | Zelaya Cake

JUNGLIST MISSIVE

REPORTS FROM CALAIS AS POLICE EVICT THE JUNGLE MIGRANT CAMP

In a move that left home secretary Alan Johnson “delighted”, the long predicted clearance of the migrant camp in Calais (see SchNEWS 682, 684, 685) took place on Tuesday (22nd). Around 500 French riot police moved into the “jungle” at 7.30am, bulldozing tents and seizing the migrants.

At dawn that morning the remaining migrants of the camp had gathered around a fire where they waited for police with banners in English and Pastu, one proclaiming: “We need shelter and protection. We want asylum and peace. Jungle is our home”.

No Borders activists confronted the advancing police, at one stage using a length of rope to form a human shield around a group of frightened teens. The police cut the rope and rushed in, knocking the activists and migrants to the ground, resulting in the dramatic footage that graced the national press.

After the police had left, one activist described the scene: “The Afghan-Pashtun jungle has been completely razed - it’s like a road-building site.”

In total police arrested 278 migrants, 132 of them minors. Those of them that have been released have described how police took away their money, phones and clothes.

Although some have been sent as far away as Toulouse, a third of the migrants have already been returned to the streets of Calais. They now have no possessions, nothing to eat and nowhere to stay. No Borders activists are remaining in the area, with one saying “We’re busy trying to help people rebuild the camps - we’ve brought loads of tents and tarps over from the UK.”

Another described the situation: “[it] seems to be calming down now – with less and less police visible – but our work load has been ramped up because of the situation these people have been left in.

There are seven or eight other camps around Calais but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a move towards evicting them, which suggests that the whole thing was a P.R stunt
.”

The situation in Calais, a short ferry hop away, remains one issue where British activists can make a real difference to a horrendous situation perpetuated by our government. One activist summed it up, saying “What we’re doing here makes a huge difference, when we’re there and shit happens, police back off a little, but because the journalists are interested in what we do and they can legally film the cops, it can calm the situation right down – we’re making it a story”.

There have been solidarity demos in Wales, Manchester, London and Brighton.

* For information on going to Calais ring (from UK) 00 33 63481071 or email calaisolidarity@gmail.com

* For updates see:www.calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

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FFOS'N' & FIGHTIN'

Wales has been following up their inaugural climate camp with continued action targeting the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine. On Wednesday (23rd) employees arrived for their day’s work to find two climate protesters suspended in nets from the bridge used to transport freshly removed CO2 nuggets and rubble to waiting trains. Most of this is destined for Aberthaw Coal Fired Power Station, the biggest polluter in Wales.

The demonstrators cast their nets at 4am and halted mining works until 2.30pm. Once the two had been rumbled, an enormous turnout of coppers and officials followed, with at least 30 plod shutting down roads around the site. Specialist police climbers abseiled from the bridge in true Mission Impossible style and promptly arrested the campaigners, who were later charged with aggravated trespass after being held in cells for around five hours.

In a slight oversight on the police’s part, one demonstrator was released without any bail conditions and the two were handed back all of their climbing gear with their possessions – obviously the force are not too bothered about a possible re-enactment of the escapade.

* See www.earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/23134

Keywords: climate change, coal, direct action, ffos-y-fran, wales
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TESCO ALFRESCO

Work was disrupted this Tuesday (22nd) at the site of the Tescos development at Durrington near Worthing, when the Titnore Protest Camp held a Picnic Against Tesco. Work on the Tesco mega store has been going on for around two months. The steel frame of the building is already starting to go up in a compound with heavy security. All a few hundred metres from ancient woodland and the likely South Downs National Park boundary.

Around 20 people set up a picnic in front of the gate into the building site, stopping all vehicle access. Two women ate their sandwiches locked to a dumper truck on the site. Others ran an info stall outside the existing Tesco. Most of the workers were sent home for the afternoon and delivery lorries were turned away.

Later the picnic moved over to the protest camp in Titnore Woods. The camp is not yet under immediate eviction threat as the Tesco construction is a field away, but it’s at risk as soon as the housing development begins. Watch this space! Donations and visitors welcome at the camp.

* See www.titnore.wordpress.com.

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SEAN FREE

SEAN KIRTLEY FREE AFTER APPEAL

After 16 months in prison, long-term animal rights prisoner Sean Kirtley has been released following a successful appeal. There are still fearsome reporting restrictions surrounding the case and, as Sean is still awaiting the Crown Prosecution Services decision on whether to re-open the case, SchNEWS can’t give ya the full low-down. (Although we can tell you he went straight to the pub after getting out)

Sean was convicted back in June 2008 of conspiracy to ‘interfere with the contractual obligations of an animal research organisation’, an offence under section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (See SchNEWS 634). He was sentenced to four and half years (out of a maximum possible five). That sentence has been quashed, as has a potential five-year ASBO, which would have totally restricted his ability to exercise his freedom of speech. The charge related to an ongoing campaign against Sequani, a vivisection laboratory based near Ledbury in Herefordshire. His ordeal began with wave of arrests code-named ‘Operation Tornado’, a NETCU* coordinated strike at the animal rights movement.

Sean was the only one of two people convicted (one other man plead guilty at an early stage), and the only one imprisoned. His six co-defendants were all acquitted. Evidence relied heavily on phone and e-mail records that the prosecution used to suggest a ‘conspiracy’. This charge was useful to the prosecution because the Sequani campaign had been entirely peaceful, and there is not one shred of evidence linking Sean to any violence against people or property. The central plank of the evidence against him was that he updated the campaign website.

Despite being almost the definition of a ‘prisoner of conscience’ it’s been nearly impossible for Sean’s comrades to get any of the mainstream civil liberties organisations interested in his case. Instead, the fear of being tarred with the animal rights brush has silenced those who would usually be most vocal about such a blatant attempt to stamp on a campaign. Also, funnily enough NETCU - usually lightning fast to gloat on their website when one of their victims gets a prison sentence - haven’t got round to press releasing the news of Sean’s successful appeal yet.

* See www.sequani.wordpress.com

** National Extremism Tactical Co-ordinating Unit (See SchNEWS 581).

Keywords: animal rights, netcu, sean kirtley, sequani, socpa
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CO-MUTINY SERVICE

The great ship Co-mutiny sailed into Bristol last week, taking over an abandoned cathedral deep in the heart of consumer paradise. The banners proclaiming “another world is possible” hung next to chi chi wine bars and Asian fusion restaurants. The squatted cathedral provided a free shop, daily cheap vegan meals, workshops, prop making, music and meeting space. The Co-mutiny convergence project was designed to provide a space for those working for social change in Bristol to gather and work together, and for other people to come into contact with alternative ways of organising and living. Elsewhere in the city Susie Darlington and company set up a squatters estate agency - “Places for people”.

The squatted space and themed days of action opened to the public with an estimated 700 people attending the Bristol Anarchist book fair. Thousands of copies of a spoof newspaper, The Evening Pest hit the city and were distributed around the city advertising the week of events - ranging from radical knitting and song writing to daily themed actions covering animal rights to climate change.

Monday saw a critical mass bike tour of Bristol anti-militarist targets, followed on Tuesday by a well-attended No Borders rally and workshop outside Trinity police station, where migrants are processed.

Bristols inaugural Anarchist Games were staged on Wednesday with a variety of feisty events, all to reclaim some space in the vast private shopping centres that blight central Bristol.

On Thursday a group of confused penguins invaded Bristol Airport wondering where all their ice had gone while on Friday a carnival toured the banks of Bristol chucking custard pies at the credit crunch baddies and handing out thousands of leaflets arguing to repossess banks not houses. Angry lumps of coal then headed for RBS where they demanded to be put back in the ground.

While Co-mutiny have may failed to sink the entire good ship capitalism, the hearty crew certainly shivered a few timbers during the week, and we hope those involved will continue the raiding parties...arghhhr!

* See http://comutiny.wordpress.com

Keywords: bristol, co-mutiny, direct action, no borders, squatting
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SERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

In 2001 Serbia’s first Gay Pride march ended in disaster after groups of fascists and football hooligans attacked the marchers, hospitalising 20. Despite threats from far right groups, including threats of lynching, LBGT groups tried again this year, organising another march for 20th September.

In preparation, organisers liased constantly with police, but at the eleventh hour the police refused to provide any protection. They then revoked the permit, making it an illegal gathering.

Facing off against 5,000-10,000 fascists and being targeted by cops was not the sort of day anyone had in mind. The offered alternate venue of a field on the outskirts of town was hardly Gay Pride style either and was refused on principal and the march abandoned.

As this goes to press, some of the organizers have already fled the city to lay low after their details, including photos and addresses, were published on a far right website.

* See also http://eng.belgradepride.rs

* Solidarity with Serbian LGBT demo today (25th) outside the Serbian embassy in London 3pm-5pm

Keywords: fascism, gay pride, lbgt, serbia
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COAL D-LOCKS

The residents of Mainshill Solidarity Camp have been keeping up the pressure on Scottish Coal this week, disrupting preparations for an opencast mine that would extract 1.7 million tonnes of coal and destroy 340 acres of South Lanarkshire woodland (See SchNEWS 691).

Along with stopping the logging machines gaining access to the site with a massive barricade - rigged up to the suspended walkways - protesters have been routinely stopping any work happening by digger diving and maintaining a stealthy presence in the area marked for clearing, making it impossible to fell trees safely. Local residents have been holding things up by approaching machinery and talking to operators about the impact of opencast coal mines on their community.

The ever-considerate local constabulary have been escorting workers and machinery on to site, helping pull down defences and barricades they meet on the way.

On Tuesday (22nd) one person scaled the drilling rig and prevented work for five hours. Specialist police climbers eventually managed to remove her. She reported,“Once they’d got me down they tried to carry on drilling, but because they’d stopped for so long, the hole had become unworkable, so they had to abandon boring.” She was arrested and appeared in Lanark Sheriff Court the following day, receiving a six month suspended sentence for breach of the peace. Scottish Coal claimed in court that the interruption had cost them £2,200. Our source confirms: “This is a crucial time for action. The longer we can delay preparatory work and the more we can cost Scottish Coal in the process, the greater the chance we have of winning this campaign.”

Their perseverance is certainly making an impact. A logging company sub-contracted by Scottish Forestry Commission have pulled out of the project after refusing to work while the camp is occupied.

* For directions and how to get involved see www.mainshill.noflag.org.uk

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GLAM ROCKED

Last week a group of travellers in South Wales faced eviction not only from the squatted land they’re living on but from the whole county it’s in! They are living on a road which is part of a council estate (in Penarth near Cardiff) that has sat mostly empty for around eight years. Despite there being 5000 homeless people in the Vale of Glamorgan, the residents were evicted from the social housing in order to build yet more yuppie flats. The council are yet to do anything to the site and clearly don’t like the attention the travellers have brought to it so they are attempting to ban them from ‘residing in their vehicles’ throughout the county for three months! The order was directed at named and unnamed individuals suggesting that anybody who spends too long in their vehicle in the area could be breaking the order and face arrest, impounding of vehicle or a £1000 fine.

Bizarrely the case was held in a magistrates court, (a criminal court) despite being a civil matter. One of the travellers (and previous winner of Crap Arrest) told SchNEWS, “Basically our solicitors told us that if we hadn’t challenged this it would have gone through on the nod, but it was a total misuse of the law”. The case has been adjourned for a month to go to county court.

* Having eviction problems? Try the Advisory Service for Squatters www.squatter.org.uk

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ZELAYA CAKE

After two days hitching rides on tractors through the mountainous back roads of Honduras, hiding from military checkpoints in car boots, Honduras’ democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya quietly slipped into the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa last Monday (21st). Zelaya promptly appeared on the embassy balcony to announce his return, sparking a siege of the embassy and a wave of protest and repression across the country.

On hearing of Zelaya’s return, thousands immediately descended on the embassy to show their support and protect the president. After seeing their laughing denial of Zelaya’s return disproved, the coup regime responded by announcing a national curfew, cut off the embassy’s electricity and water and sent hundreds of soldiers and police to surround the embassy. At 5am the next morning the military began to disperse the peaceful crowd with tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and live rounds.

During the assault, police also attacked the offices of the Committee for Detained and Disappeared Persons of Honduras (COFADEH), firing tear gas into the building. COFADEH Director Bertha Oliva said: “The people can’t even walk the streets in peace. They’re being beaten just for stepping out of doors. [The police] hunt them as if for sport.” COFADEH alone documented 36 serious injuries and at least two deaths while independent reports indicated police arrested around 350 people and detained them in the Villa Olympica football stadium.

After dispersing the crowds, masked police and soldiers cordoned off the streets around the embassy, preventing access even for international journalists and human rights workers. A few hours later they wheeled in a pick-up with massive speakers in the back and began to direct a constant stream of loud music at the embassy building.

Honduran congressman Marvin Ponce, who was with Zelaya in the embassy, described the regime’s reaction as: “a reflection of their philosophies, this government of putschists. They don’t respect human rights. They don’t want a political dialogue.”

Despite the curfew remaining in place throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, Hondurans have continued to take to the streets, with thousands marching against the coup, setting up barricades of burning tires and participating in protest caravans of hundreds of vehicles. Attempting to regain control, police and military have been confronting marchers on the city streets and in residential areas, raiding houses in poor neighbourhoods in search of dissidents.

Coup leader Roberto Micheletti initially demanded Brazil either grant Zelaya asylum in Brazil, or turn him over to be tried. However, he now appears to be cracking, first stating: “I will talk with anybody anywhere at any time, including with former President Manuel Zelaya”, before inviting an Organisation of American States (OAS) delegation to the country to broker an agreement. Short of a full-on assault on the embassy of the country with Latin America’s biggest air force, it might be the only chance he’s got.

* For background see SchNEWS 691, 682

** See also www.narconews.com and www.hondurasresists.blogspot.com

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS advises all readers - refugees didnít go to Calais for a Bruise Cruise. Honest.

 

SchMOVIES

REPORTS FROM THE VERGE - Smash EDO/ITT Anthology 2005-2009 - A new collection of twelve SchMOVIES covering the Smash EDO/ITT's campaign efforts to shut down the Brighton based bomb factory since the company sought its draconian injunction against protesters in 2005.

UNCERTIFIED - OUT NOW on DVD- SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2008 - Films on this DVD include... The saga of On The verge – the film they tried to ban, the Newhaven anti-incinerator campaign, Forgive us our trespasses - as squatters take over an abandoned Brighton church, Titnore Woods update, protests against BNP festival and more... To view some of these films click here

ON THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film - is out on DVD. The film police tried to ban - the account of the four year campaign to close down a weapons parts manufacturer in Brighton, EDO-MBM. 90 minutes, £6 including p&p (profits to Smash EDO)

TAKE THREE - SchMOVIES Collection DVD 2007 featuring thirteen short direct action films produced by SchMOVIES in 2007, covering Hill Of Tara Protests, Smash EDO, Naked Bike Ride, The No Borders Camp at Gatwick, Class War plus many others. £6 including p&p.

V For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve short films produced by SchMOVIES in 2006. only £6 including p&p.

SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005. Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.

SchNEWS Books

SchNEWS At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc p&p (within UK)

Peace de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p

SchNEWS of the World - issues 300 - 250, 300 pages,£4 inc p&p.

SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001 - SchNEWS and Squall back to back again - issues 251-300, 300 pages, £4 inc p&p.

SchQUALL - SchNEWS and Squall back to back - issues 201-250 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Survival Guide - issues 151-200 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Annual - issues 101-150 - Sold out - Sorry

(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).

These books are mostly collections of 50 issues of SchNEWS from each year, containing an extra 200-odd pages of extra articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. SchNEWS At Ten is a ten-year round-up, containing a lot of new articles.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.