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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER HELP FREE MUMIA...

SchNEWS

Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

SchNEWS 195, Friday 11th December 1998


MAXXAM DAMAGE

"I sit here looking out over the Eel River valley at a view that I have watched change over the past year while living 180 feet high in this amazing ancient redwood tree, Luna. I listen to Columbia Helicopter in the distance pull logs from once forested slopes. Slopes that Pacific Lumber has now turned into a legacy of clear-cuts, poisons, and mudslides. I think about majestic trees thousands of years old being cut down to become siding and decks. I think about the incredibly committed activists who have been tortured with pepper-spray by the police for merely sitting down in protest, and David Gypsy Chain who was killed by a tree, purposely cut in his direction, while protesting an illegal timber harvest operation. I think about our government compromising away the health and quality of the environment and that of our very lives in order to appease a criminal corporation and I have to wonder why people still ask "why are you still up there". Even now some still don't understand."
- Julia Butterfly

It started with people trying to stop one of the last remaining redwood forests in America being clear-cut. One Earth First! (EF!) activist has spent a year tree-sitting up a redwood, while another was recently tragically killed trying to stop logging. Now environmentalists have joined forces with steelworkers to stop the MAXXAM's Pacific Lumber Company. This is the story of the Headwaters campaign of California - and it's been one hell of a week week.

MONDAY and a coalition of striking steel workers, members of the International Workers of the World and EF! successfully blockad a ship at the port of Tacoma Washington. Some people picket the port, others lock onto a crane and conveyor belt, while a flotilla of small boats block the waterway forcing the 650 tonne ship Sea Diamond to anchor off. Members of the Longshoreman's Union refuse to cross the picket and when the Sea Diamond does dock, it still cannot unloaded for several days as the dock conveyor belt has been mysteriously damaged to the tune of $50,000.

WEDNESDAY and Sheriffs' Deputies and employees of the Pacific Lumber start to evict tree-dwelling EF!! activists. The tree-sitters have been living high in the branches of several redwood trees at the site of the recent death of David 'Gypsy' Chain, trying to protect the scene of Gypsy's death while calling for an independent investigation. Instead of prosecuting the company for illegally logging, the local sheriff said he was thinking of charging the protesters with involuntary manslaughter!

THURSDAY marked the one year anniversary of Julia Butterfly's ascent into the ancient redwood where she has stayed ever since.

The campaign to save the ancient redwoods of California has been raging for the past thirteen years since Maxxam took over Pacific lumber Company.

When Charles Hurwitz's MAXXAM company took over the Pacific Lumber Corporation, they tripled the rate of logging in the Redwoods along with liquidating the timber workers' pension fund. Over the years they have broken US Forest Practice Rules domestic water sources of Elk River residents, and its policy of clear cutting even on steep mountain slopes caused a massive land slide which destroyed the homes of seven families.The companies logging licence was eventually suspended last month after its continual law-breaking became even too much for the state of California.(Not that this will mean much to Pacific who contract the actual logging to smaller operators who won't be affected by the ban). Still, the company is to receive $380 million 'compensation' for selling a small section of the forest back to the California state with permission to trash an "as yet unspecified" site elsewhere. Nice work if you can get it.

"They're using a sterile gauze pad, and they were squeezing it (pepper spray) out over her eyes, dripping the stuff across her eyes. She was screaming in a lot of pain. The solution was so bad it was melting their latex gloves."
- Earth Firster Mike McCurdy, explaining tactics used against a women 'locked-on' to stop Headwaters being logged

Meanwhile in September 3,000 unionised workers from Kaiser Aluminium (KA) went on strike over the threat of massive job redundancies.KA is 63% owned by MAXXAM, so when it lost its timber operator's license it sacked its 180 loggers, then offered them "opportunities" to break the strike at KA. As one activist put it

"MAXXAM rapes the land here in Northern California, puts its loggers out of work, and increases its bloody scab pool to gain a stronger hand in its efforts to bust the union!"

As the banner unfurled on Monday's read "HURWITZ CUTS JOBS JUST LIKE HE CUTS TREES". Once again it shows there is no such thing as a single issue. The same coporations that are destroying the planet, are the same that are treading all over workers rights. The sooner we all start learning these lessons, making the links and working together, the quicker we will start to topple the MAXXAM corporations of this world. Northcoast EF!, PO Box 4796, Arcata, CA 95518 http://www.enviroweb.org/headwaters-ef/

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RACIST CRAP OF THE WEEK

For owning a large pestle for pounding grain. Belmondo Wantete, an electrical engineer from the Congo who now lives with his family in Dublin was arrested in June and charged with amongst other things with 'having a dangerous implement at home' - the pestle. This follows a campaign of harrassment by the Gardai police including a raid at 3 am with one plain-clothes cop putting a gun through the letter box and shouting "I'm going to kill you if you don't open the door " before dragging him off naked in front of his children and holding him for a week dening access to a solicitor or interpreter.Since then his house has been searched again, he's been stopped in the street and charged with little known laws about "having insufficient indentification", and on another occasion was detained on a warrant that wasn't even in his name.

A group of people in the area have set up Residents Against Racism to support Belmondo and can be contacted at PO Box 6371, Crumlin, Dublin 12.

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BIRMINGHAM RELIEF ROAD EVICTION BEGINS

In a surreal version of Custer's Last Stand the communications and office caravan for campaigners at Britians first toll road has had the police and security compound built around it! Last night police confiscated mobile phones and address books from people on site leaving the office as the only way of communicating with the site. The caravan door is guarded by four plod and the occupants are not allowed to leave or even look out the window. "They keep coming in and searching the place whilst we are trying to carry on campaign business". Although 3 or four people have been arrested the eviction has so far been low key and fluffy. The 'men in black' have still been unable to get in to the tunnel system but in a worrying move considering the continous rain is turning the ground to mud, baillifs have started laying heavy metal tracks over the tunnels to bring in equipment, this makes their claims of health and safety breaches by the underground activist moles ridiculous. The 'men in black' have been identified as 'Specialist International Rescue' which has nothing to do with the right on 'International Rescue who do such good work helping in natural disaster situations and in places like Bosnia. Before the Labour Party swept to victory, Frank Dobson, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport at the time, said: "The Labour Party is opposed to the building of the Birmingham NorthernRelief Road". The eviction is expected to be themost difficult yet, with protesters defending the site in speciallyconstructed lock-ons and tunnels.Construction work on the BNRR is due to start in January 1999,costing an estimated £700 million . All communications with the campaign are now from Birmingham FOE 0121 632 6909 Site mobile 0467 622 825

BNRR Web page: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/3081/bnrr.html

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INSIDE SCHNEWS

WRITE TO A PRISONER AT XMAS

"Writing is probably the main event in my life. I'd write all day every day if it was possible because it is the only way to get my thoughts out of the four walls that wrongly confine me...So far I have been in prison for 10 fucking years...There are many things in life I have missed because I am in prison for crimes I did not commit...I write to people who have shown support and am pleased to say I have made some good friends from it...believe me I'M angry I get real low but never have I lost the will to fight on. It's cold. Very little light gets in. I'm in a cell."
- Raphael Rowe

Raphael was one of the men found guilty of the 'M25 Murder.' Even during the trial the judge said "So much of the evidence is itself tainted for one reason or another and there is considerable uncertaintly and inconsistency in important areas." Such as the fact that police were looking for three men, two of whom were white, one with fair hair and blue eyes - while those convicted were all black.

Write to Raphael at HMP Kingston, Milton Road, Portsmouth, PO3 6AS.

At the age of 19 KENNY CARTER was convicted of killing his cellmate in Durham prison, where he was nearing the end of a short sentence. Strongly maintaining his innocence for ten years, he has been the subject of constant aggression and abuse by prison officers, because of his resistance to the prison regime. He's spent time in solitary confinement, the notorious Parkhurst psychiatric wing and on one occassion being beaten so severely his wrist was broken and he had wounds requiring 27 stitches. Even when his girlfriend died of cancer and his daughter was kiiled in a road accident, he was heartlessly refused permission to attend either funeral.

Kenny Carter, AD3434, HMP Full Sutton (segregation unit), Moor Lane, York, YO4 1PS

Mark Christian Cullinane is serving a six year sentance in Tanger, Morocco for possession of cannibis resin.Conditions in prison are horrendous: 25 people in one cell measuring 5m x 7m sharing one tiolet between them, with one tap above the loo for use as a showerand for general food and clothes washing, one meal a day of vegetable soup and very little natural daylight.

Write to him at: No 21486, Chamber 5, Chartier C, Prison Civil Tanger, Marroccous-Maroc, N.. Africa.

Prison life is extrememly boring so letters are generally the highlight of the day. Don't know what to say? Talk about your life, things you are up to - just be careful not to say anything that will get people into trouble. Send the first letter recorded delivery to make sure it gets there. Most prisoners are not the evil monsters you hear about in the press, but people like you or me.

A man and wife from Hove have both received prison sentences after they were arrested during one of the demonstrations against Hillgrove cat-breeding farm. Thomas Monaghan is will serve 12 months, while his wife Anna will serve four. The couple have three children.

Thomas Monaghan, BV6144, HMP Bullingdon PO Box 50, Bicester, Oxon, OX6 0PR
Anna Monaghan, ZT3425, HMP Brockhill, Redditch, Worcs, B97 6RD.

'If You Want to Know The End (then look at this Beginning)' featuring work by four innocent black prisoners Raphael Rowe, Satpal Ram, Michael Davis and Winston Silcott who have collectively spent over 45 years of their lives in prison. £8.99 (inc.p+p) cheques payable to Ihsan Communication, PO Box 550, Bradford, BD10 OYF

"All Things Censored, Volume I" - A compact disc of essays written and read by Mumia Abul Jamal on Death Row for a crime he did not commit " Reflective, humorous, anecdotal, and focused, it is the voice of a professional journalist and gifted storyteller. That voice can penetrate even concrete, bend the power of law towards justice, and melt institutional cowardice" Send $15.00 (includes p+p) to Prison Radio / Quixote P.O. Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94141 radioqc@sirius.com 415-648-4505

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SCHNEWS IN BRIEF

  • Earth First! Winter Moot."On 29-31st of January 1999 Earth First! will be holding it's 'introverted rabid navel gazing National Winter Moot to question who we are and what we're doing' More details from EF! Winter Moot, c/o Notts EF!, Box EF!, 182 Mansfield Rd,Nottingham, NG1 3HW. (If you have to bring kids or dogs book them in by 7th of January or they can't come)

  • Oxyacetylene is a new free fortnightly direct action newsheet for Oxford. Copies from Box G, 111 Magdalen Rd., Oxford, OX4 1RQ oxyace@hotmail.com

  • Tuesday 22 December 1998 8 a.m.is the time for the Winter Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge. Contact Stonehenge Campaign,c/o 99 Torriano Av. London NW5 2RX http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9000/glastone.htm

  • TELLING IT LIKE IT IS: 'Chinese Society for Human Rights' new web site was intended to provide the official view on the country's human rights record, but American hackers added their own comments: "China's people have no rights at all, never mind humanrights. I really can't believe our government deals with them. They censor, murder, torture, maim, and do everything we [thought] left the earth with the middle ages."The page usually contains links to government documents and articles from the state-run-media

  • Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the much ignored Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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BOYCOTT BACARDI - SUPPORT CUBA

Activists from the Cuba solidarity campaign have been subvertising Bacardi adverts around London as a boycott campaign against the drinks company. One activist told SchNEWS "The adverts using the vibrancy of Cuba's music and culture to sell its rum hides the fact that although Bacardi promotes its Cuban roots vigorously, in reality it is a major opponent of the Cuban Revolution."

Before being booted out in 1959, the wealthy Bacardi family made huge profits out of the wretched poverty and hard labour of Cuban sugar workers. Today, based in the Bahamas and worth $1.8 billion, Bacardi is a major backer of the illegal United States blockade of Cuba and its lawyers helped draft key sections of the Helms-Burton Act, which further tightens the blockade and demands the return of its lands and assets in Cuba seized by the Revolution. She continued "Drinking Bacardi means supporting US aggression against Cuba. Drinking Havana Club rum, meanwhile, now produced in a joint venture between Cuba and the French company Pernod, actively helps supply hard currency to the Revolution. So avoid a hangover from the past - drink with a clear conscience and support the Cuban Revolution."

Rock around the Blockade, c/o BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX tel 0171 837 1688.

  • SchNEWS VOCAB WATCH: Subvertising To subvert an advert by cheekily pasting on words in the same typeface as the original and/or changing the artwork.

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39 TREES VERSUS 32 CARS

Lone eco-activist "White Seagull" has been fasting in his treehouse in order to protect a local beauty spot and the environment of the Isle Of Mann. His fast has lasted from November 22nd, until todays planning review for the proposed 32 space car park in Silverdale Glen, Ballasalla, Isle of Man. He is prepared to continue his campaign until land owners The Dept.of Forestries. Fisheries and Agriculture (DAFF) propose a viable alternative.and act to preserve the trees, wildlife habitat and ancient walkways, for future generations.

Contact: 'White Seagull' or 'Woody', The Big Ash Tree, Silverdale, Ballasalla, Isle of Man, British Isles. Tel: 07624 480914 01624 835778 or email: mcunningham@enterprise.net

And/or send objections to:
DAFF, Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas, Isle of Man, British Isles Email: daff@gov.im

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FULL FRONTAL

The NF failed to march in Dover last Saturday (SchNEWS 194) after Newbury Travel which has twice before bussed the NF to Dover, caved in under pressure from anti-fascists and trade unionists.

The NF had aimed to capitalise on hostility local racists have been whipping up against the 400 asylum-seekers currently housed in the area. Instead over 200 anti-fascists from London and the South East gathered in Dover marching along the intended NF route leafleting Christmas shoppers.

The day before, 103 Romanian gypsies arrived in the UK having gone to the lengths of hiding in a lorry, prompting the NF to venture out leafletting in Dartford. The NF press release boasts the recruitment of an elderly couple, and threatens a march in the area. Dover Residents Against Racism c/o Refugee Link, PO Box 417, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4GT

Web: http://www.canterbury.u-net.com/Dover/ [Doesn't work 12/12/98 - Online Editor]

Over 130 illegalised workers on Hungerstrike in Saint Agnes church in The Hague - the Netherlands 30th of November 1998, a group of over 130 illegalised workers, began a hungerstrike following governmental refusal to grant legitimate rights of residence in the Netherlands.

The latest move in a 1.5 year campaign, they have sought sanctuary in the church as they face deportation, despite having lived and worked in the country for many years. "It is paradoxical that...in a country seen as the cradle of human rights and democracy we have to risk our lives to preserve this."

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GET WARM FOR FREE!

After freezing ourselves silly in this flat through two winters we have just taken advantage of the scheme below. It is so exciting as we are now so toasty with our 8 inches of insulation above our heads, it has obviously made the most enormous difference immediately, but naievely we are still in shock with ourrosy cheeks. It only took three weeks from making the first phonecall to the stuff being fitted - so don't delay."

If you're receiving Income Support, Housing Benefit, JSA, Family Credit etc., you can get a grant of up to £315 which covers cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, draught proofing and energy saving light bulbs, among other things. If you're are sitting in front of a single bar electric fire as you read this, cursing your landlord for letting you die of hypothermia, GET ON THE PHONE!!! Ring 0800 072 0150 and ask for details of the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme. It's free, it's easy, you'll save cash and feel very righteous. Thanks to Veggies for passing this on, read their news letter on http://www.innotts.co.uk/~rainbow/veggies/

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AND FINALLY

British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) got the hump the other day when a rogue guerilla group ambushed one of their plutonium-carrying trains at a level crossing. Then it transpired that the People's Nuclear Train Militia was led by Subcommandante Mark Thomas of Channel 4, who, along with 40 others in combat uniform, two military vehicles and a helicopter, showed how simple it really can be to stage your very own terrorist train hijack.

BNFL's indignance glowed hotter than their fuel rods. "This was in very bad taste. For Mark Thomas to turn up with his tank and toy soldiers will be deplored by all right-thinking people." So are we right in thinking that for BNFL, that esteemed arbiter of public good taste, the image stings more painfully than the reality? SchNEWS would love to join their chorus of righteous indignation at Mark Thomas' toy soldiers, if only theirs was a toy nuclear hazard.

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DISCLAIMER

SchNEWS warns all readers that it's in favour of human cloning, then we could have an office staff of 200, there'd be 29 hours in everyday, Newbury would still have a forest, the Labour party would have a majority of 2,001, wibble, wibble, ga ga...

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Congrats to Baggage and Wren, and hello Baby Eris
Mark you git

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Last updated 17 January 1998
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