BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 693, 2nd October 2009
Who Are Ya? - Who are the far-right English Defence League, and what are their strategies?... plus, Brighton journalists are forced to give police their footage for evidence gathering, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak makes and appearance at the Labour Party Conference, while lawyers apply for an arrest warrant for him for war crimes in Gaza, protesters and police in Denmark have a dress rehearsal for December's Climate Conference in Copenhagen, and more...

SchNEWS 692, 24th September 2009
Junglist Missive - The refugee camps in Calais called the 'jungle' are smashed by French police... plus, climate campaigners blockade the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine in Wales, the Titnore Protest Camp near Worthing holds a direct action picnic halting work on the new Tesco super store, animal rights campaigner Sean Kirtley is released from prison on an appeal, an abandoned cathedral in Bristol is squatted for a week of events and actions called Co-Mutiny, and more...

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...

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

Home | Friday 9th October 2009 | Issue 694

WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! ITíS YER FUEL TO THE FIRE...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Swooper Troopers | Brimar Republic | Calais-ing It Bare | Constant Threat At Dale Farm | Madchester Revisited | Young Turks | And Finally

SWOOPER TROOPERS

POWER TO THE PEOPLE AS DEVELOPMENTS FEEL CLIMATE PROTEST PRESSURE

Phew, what a scorcher of a summer it’s been for climate change campaigners in Britain - with three climate camps, protest camps and direct action targeting both open-cast coal mining and coal-fired power stations. And it’s not over yet as next weekend (October 17th-18th) sees The Great Climate Swoop at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station near Nottingham.

This mass action is a follow up to the Climate Camp Swoop on the City of London back in August (See SchNEWS 689), and is buoyed by recent news that the development of the Kingsnorth coal plant – the site of the 2008 Camp For Climate Action (see SchNEWS 642) has been shelved (Who said direct action was ineffective?).

The Great Climate Swoop will descend upon Ratcliffe power station, the third biggest polluting plant in the country. Ratcliffe is represented as one the bastions of the new ‘clean coal’ industry by its corporate owners and government investors, by virtue of their promise that technology to ‘capture’ and ‘store’ carbon might be possible sometime in the future.

The technology to trap and store carbon is unproven (unless of course you just leave it in the ground where it is already of course trapped and stored) - and the government and power stations themselves admit that ‘clean coal’ power plants are unlikely to be available for decades, if at all.

Coal is now the biggest growing source of carbon emissions, rising some 20,000 times faster than at any point in the Earth’s billion year history. And the UK is the world’s biggest per capita emitter of fossil fuel carbon dioxide, followed closely by the US and Germany. There are currently plans for eight new coal-power stations to be built in the UK, all on the promise of ‘clean coal’.

The Swoop is going to involve a convergence on the main gates of Ratcliffe at 12 noon, where a camp will be held for 24 hours. Bring warm clothes, tents and enough food for a day. There will be four blocks, including a mass demo at the main gates and others who will take direct action within the plant. Affinity groups from all around the country are set to arrive, but if you are coming independently the website gives all details including a map – see www.thegreatclimateswoop.org

* Transport: The Big Lemon Bus is taking people from Brighton to The Swoop on Friday Oct 16th , 6pm, from Old Steine, returning Sunday. Bus tickets are £35 (£25 concession), to cover costs, and are available at the Brighton Peace and Environment Centre or through Big Lemon Bus website. For other transport see http://climatecamp.org.uk/actions/climate-swoop-2009/transport

** Over the last few months there has been a bombardment of action confronting the fossil fuel industry – particularly the mining and burning of coal – including: the Camps For Climate Action (www.climatecamp.org.uk) in Scotland, Wales and London as well as continued protests at Mainshill Protest Camp in Scotland (See SchNEWS 692), plus actions at Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine in Wales (See SchNEWS 692). Elsewhere, there’s been a 1,500-strong mass action at a coal-fired power plant in Copenhagen (See SchNEWS 693) as well as a demo at Hazlewood coal-fired power station near Melbourne, which is the dirtiest coal plant in the world (See SchNEWS 691, www.switchoffhazelwood.org).

In Germany a couple of weeks ago the courts revoked permission for a new coal fired power station in Datteln on environmental grounds. The E.ON plant was half way to completion and would have become Europe’s largest coal-fired power station. Despite the German energy corporation being busy building power stations all over Europe – including Kingsnorth and Ratcliffe-on-Soar – it goes to show E.ON can be stopped, even on their home ground.

And it was more bad news for E.ON as this week their plans for a new coal power station at Kingsnorth were scrapped. On Wednesday (7th Oct) E.ON threw in the towel and stopped the development of the first new coal-fired station to be built in the UK for 30 years. This is a massive victory for environmental campaigners who have been taking continuous action against the plans.

With Kingsnorth on the back burner, next stop Ratcliffe-on-Soar… and then on to Copenhagen for the COP15 Climate Conference, December 7th-18th see www.climate-justice-action.org

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BRIMAR REPUBLIC

The number of activists using incendiary Smash Edo style tactics to organise against the UK arms trade continues to rise (up). The latest group, joining other such luminaries as Smash Raytheon and Shut Down Heckler & Koch, are Target Brimar; aiming to put a spanner or two in the works of their local weapons manufacturer.

Last Saturday’s Manchester Anarchist Bookfair saw the launch of the new campaign, going after Brimar, a company in Oldham producing military targeting and viewing systems. Brimar’s controversial heads-up, heads-down display systems, specialist cathode ray tubes and in-helmet displays are used in wars in Gaza, Afghanistan and Iraq by Israeli and British Apache helicopter pilots, US marine tank operators and US fighter pilots. Although Brimar also has its civillian arm, the majority of its output goes to producing military-use ‘visual solutions’, allowing soldiers to aim and deploy their weapons more effectively. The company even boasts on its website that ‘war-fighters around the world rely on Brimar products every day’. Nice.

Target Brimar emphasise that the company was not always as heavily involved in the production of military gear as it is now, and that it would be perfectly viable for the company to return to only manufacturing products for civilian use.

They kicked things off last Monday (5th) with a surprise action at the factory as a number of civilian weapons inspectors turned up and tried to search the premises. They also released a research dossier detailing the links between Brimar and the bloodshed and publicised their call out for a public demo at Brimar’s premises in Chatterton on Saturday 17th October. The day’s actions will be in solidarity with the EDO decommissioners* and will include a Critical Mass from the centre of Manchester. For more see www.targetbrimar.org.uk

* The decommissioners, of course, being the six people who broke into EDO/ITT during the bombing of Gaza and trashed the place (See SchNEWS 663). Their court case has now been adjourned until May next year (See SchNEWS 693) which doesn’t much help one them who is now stuck longer on remand in HMP Horfield. Please send messages of support to Elijah Smith, XP7551, HMP Bristol, 19 cambridge Road, Horfield, BS7 8PS

** Those interested in coming to the October 17th demo from Brighton or London can contact smashedo@riseup.net for transport details.www.smashedo.org.uk

Keywords: arms trade, brimar, manchester
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CALAIS-ING IT BARE

Throughout the last week French police have continued with their brutal eviction of migrant squats and camps in Calais. A deportation charter destined for Kabul had been scheduled for Tuesday (6th) but was cancelled following outcry from migrant groups.

After police had broken up the Hunger Strike being staged by migrants (see SchNEWS 693), chasing the participants away, news came that the charter flight had been cancelled due to “Diplomatic difficulties”. It later emerged that the French government had pulled out on the joint British and French flight. The flight had been fiercely and loudly opposed by a coalition of 32 refugee, human rights and migrant support groups. The British flight went ahead and 25 Afghans were deported to Kabul.

The next day police evicted the migrant camp at the Calais docks, arresting 55. They then fenced off the area to prevent anyone returning.

On Thursday, more than 15 CRS vans surrounded a number of migrant squats. Police moved in, arresting over 30 migrants. Migrants personal belongings were dumped into containers before tractors razed the homes, shredding sleeping bags, mattresses and clothes.

This side of the channel, the British government have also stepped up immigration control as work continues to ensure more cells are made available in a new deportation centre. The 245 ‘guest’ rooms of an Arora hotel near Heathrow are currently being converted into prison cells to swell the number of existing places available at nearby Tinsley House and Brook House. No Borders activists staged a demo outside the proposed building on Tuesday (6th).

Word on the SchNEWSvine is that a weekend of action by international solidarity groups against continued police harassment is planned for the weekend of 16-18th. Contact your local No Borders group for more information on getting involved in the uprising anticipated in Calais over the next few weeks.

* See www.noborders.org.uk

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CONSTANT THREAT AT DALE FARM

The residents of Dale Farm in Basildon are living on a knife edge facing forceful eviction from their homes at any time, as the council plan to clear the whole site.

The 1,000 or so Romani Gypsy families have been building their community, near Billericay in Essex, since the 70s and have been fighting for the legal right to remain on the site for over seven years. But, after the Lord’s recently refused to hear their appeal case, eviction is now almost certainly on the cards.

Constant & Co, the unscrupulous, violent ‘gypsy eviction specialist’ bailiffs (see SchNEWS 669), are expected to carry out the eviction. It would be the biggest clearing operation of a community from their homes in the UK, at an expected cost of three million pounds. Gypsy Council president Richard Sheridan commented, “Even now the council could buy land for an alternate site for half the money being spent on bulldozing our homes. The eviction plan makes no sense except to racists.”

The Government’s Health & Safety Executive has said if bailiffs attempt to bring heavy machinery onto Dale Farm while children are still present they will be committing an extreme breach of health and safety law. An HSE official told SchNEWS, “If you tell us bulldozers have arrived on your property with kids around, we’ll phone the agents and the council right away and send someone down if need be.”

In August, residents and supporters protested outside Basildon town hall and presented a legal memorandum (supported by International Human Rights NGO Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions) showing how the eviction contravenes international human rights law and asking Basildon council to seek out other alternatives.

The only legal avenue now left is an appeal to the human rights court in Strasbourg, but this could take two years - time which Dale Farm residents don’t appear to have.

Although Basildon council is required to provide land for travellers by 2011, the council has stated they will not be reserved for homeless Dale Farm families. Alternative places to live are not even being discussed  in the council’s so-called engagement talks with Dale Farm representatives.

The threat of eviction coincides with the launch of ‘World Zero Evictions Days’, calling for a new Urban Social Pact demanding an end to evictions and increased funding for housing, and the UN Habitat day. Richard Sheridan said, ‘We’re flying the flag of the United Nations over Dale Farm in solidarity with Roma across Europe, who, like us, are being victimized, attacked and driven from their homes’.

* Email dale.farm@btinternet.com

* World Zero Evictions info at www.habitants.org

Keywords: constant & co, dale farm, essex, gypsy
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MADCHESTER REVISITED

Half-cut halfwits the EDL (see SchNEWS 693) are gearing up for another attempt at pushing their islamophobic agenda, this time in the centre of Manchester on Saturday (10th). They will again be met by a coalition of anti-fascist and anti-racist groups.

The EDL say they’ve held lengthy negotiations with the police and have agreed on a plan for the day. The idea is that EDL marchers arrive at a Weatherspoons pub at noon, where they will be penned in by police before being released for their march at 5pm.

Ever wary of the old honey-trap, the plan has sparked controversy in the EDL world. Many members on the EDL forum (the things we do for news and truth) are convinced the plan is a police conspiracy to get them tanked up before unleashing them on an unsuspecting Manchester, creating juicy footage for the vultures of the lefty press to use against them. One of the more literate posters said, “Weatherspoons is cheap as s**t for a pint/whiskey etc. Think they may want us pissed to increase the possibility of bad behaviour in front of the press? More chance of the odd mixed up gay jewish nazi tagalong seig heiling for the cameras?

There will be a counter-demonstration in Piccadilly Gardens from noon organised by Unite Against Facism (UAF), Show Racism the Red Card and the Muslim-Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester. They will be no doubt also be backed by any members of the community not wanting to see the fash marching in their backyard and anyone not wanting to see the fash marching anywhere. In the words of that great Nazi-battler Lance-Corporal Jones, “They don’t like it up ‘em”, so get down there. See http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com

* The EDL bonehead bandwagon moves to South Wales later in the month, and again will be met with resistance. On October 17th they are in Swansea – for counter-demo meet 4pm outside YMCA, St Helen’s Road, Swansea. Then October 24th its on to Newport, meet 1pm at John Frost Square. Call 01633 8840098. For more about Newport Communities Against Racism see http://networkedblogs.com/p13232975

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YOUNG TURKS

As sure as night follows day, angry mobs follow IMF conventions. A joint session of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank met in Istanbul this week to plan their nefarious scheme for world domination / response to the global financial crisis. In response, thousands of protesters converged on central Istanbul to focus their anger at the global elites’ loan shark.  

A crowd of assorted (mainly Turkish) protesters; students, trades unionists, and the full spectrum of lefty groups from Stalinist parties to the anarchist block (including the rather brilliantly named Resistanbul) gathered at Taksim Square. A peaceful start soon turned to full scale rioting when the police intervened to stop the demonstrators from marching on their planned route to the Harbiye Congress Center (where the bankers were meeting). Police tear-gas and water cannons were met with Molotov cocktails and catapults: running battles were fought as protesters weaved in and out of side streets dodging the cops. Over 100 people were arrested and several banks were damaged during the rioting.

Turkish people know the IMF only too well. Back in 2001, during the country’s last crisis, the organisation arm-twisted the country’s then government into accepting huge loans (it’s only just managed to pay them off). Tayip Erdogan, the current leader, has refused further IMF advice, and the country’s economy has gone back into the black ever since.

The IMF’s blurb speaks of how a “fiscal stimulus amounting to nearly 2 percent of world gross domestic product ($1 trillion)” has really helped turn things around for the global economy. They have been promising “a virtuous cycle of peace and prosperity” (actual quote), once this current crisis has passed. For those who haven’t noticed, capitalism is always in crisis. Crises serve as the excuse to fleece money from the people that make it and stuff it into the back pockets of those in charge of the global economy. Given that it cost $300 million in today’s money to totally eradicate smallpox from the globe, thinking of the benefits that a clean trillion bucks invested in water, food, shelter and medicine could bring makes you want to take aim with that Molotov.

* See http://resistanbul.wordpress.com

Keywords: imf, istanbul, molotov, turkey, world bank
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AND FINALLY

Operation Cast Lead and the ongoing Israeli stranghold on Gaza has given the owner of Gaza’s only zoo a real headache after his (ok, somewhat dubious) operation was damaged in the military offensive. Some animals died and others escaped or were stolen.

Deprived of money and resources to rebuild, the ‘attraction’ has been ailing with the stock of animals left to lure the punters with in depressingly short supply – down to a mangy lioness, donkeys and some cats. Not exactly box office. So the enterprising head keeper took the only option he could come up with in the circumstances and hired a local artist to cunningly paint the donkeys black and white to look like Zebras. Hey presto, instant exotica. The tarted-up mules now apparently bring the kids flocking.

Presumably he’s only copied the tactics of the Israelis who have been painting an apartheid wall as a picket fence for years.

Keywords: gaza, israel, palestine
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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, itíll take more than a spoonful of sugar to make the climate medicine go down. 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.

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