The horrific bombing in Bali last weekend was not the first act
of terror Indonesia has suffered. But somehow, other events that
have claimed thousands of Indonesian lives have never managed to
dominate the worlds news pages. Australian tourists killed
by terrorists must matter more than Indonesians killed by religious
conflicts or an Australian and US-backed dictator.
In the wake of the bombing of the Sari night club, little has been
said about the deaths of the Balianese men and women who make up
40% of the victims, or the injured locals who are left to suffer
in third rate hospitals while westerners are flown out. Its
the same with Iraqi civilians who are targeted by bombs, sanctions
and depleted uranium and pronounced collatoral damage
because they have the wrong leader; or refugees fleeing in the hope
of a better life who are jailed and sent back if they dont
face quite enough hardship at home. Its September 11 all over
again, kids - when Westerners die, people just pay more attention.
Heres one Australians take on the unfolding events in
Theres a well known song in Australia titled Ive
Been to Bali Too. Wired home for money, short of cash;
A dose of Bali belly and a tropical rash; Daddy came through - American
express; Bali t-shirts, magic mushrooms, Redgum bootlegs. Ive
been to Bali too, go the lyrics.
Bali has a special place in the hearts of many Australians.
For most, two week holidays are cheaper there than traveling interstate
and the shopping!! Well, those locals really know how to
please us Aussies. And then theres the cheap beer, cocktails,
mushrooms and sexploitation. Bali really does epitomise the global
consumerist tourist culture. A tiny island in the Indonesian archipelago,
its entire social fabric has been irrevocably altered by Western
tourism. The handicraft sector is now completely tourist-oriented,
as well as about 80% of employment on the island. How do I know
all this? Because Ive been to Bali too three times
in fact the first time as a very naive, very white, middle-class,
Australia is now shocked by the events of the last 24 hours
Why us? The horror of it! Were being plied with images of
our own running down the streets (which many of us have
been to), blood pouring down faces, skin peeling off bodies. And
yes, its horrid. But so was the drowning of 353 refugees off
the coast of Australia only one year ago, while our government sat
by and watched. Not only watched, but blamed those trying to save
their children for throwing them overboard. Not only
that, but our government has now been caught and not for
the first time either assisting in the sabotage of boats
such as these...
This time around, however, the Government has jumped to the
defence of innocents, with promises from the Prime Minister, John-munchkin-Howard,
that all of the resources of the Air Force will be available
for the task of bringing the injured back to Australia for
treatment. How blatant is our governments treating of some
lives as more important than others? After being caught in the blast,
the Forbes Rugby Club President explained how important it was to
get the injured Australians home, because he wouldnt
admit his dog to the hospital he was treated in.
But the most worrying thing about these events is the ability
of our government to use them to justify its slavish military support
for the US-led, so-called War on Terror. Already Howard
is talking of a national review of security measures against terrorism.
And of course we are now being bombarded with constant reminders
that this, or something like it, could happen to any of us, anywhere,
at any time. In practice this means the tightening of immigration
border controls and even harsher treatment of refugees (who have
become one of the Australian targets of the War on Terror),
a bolstering of the proposed terror laws in Australia, and most
importantly, a huge push for the war in the Gulf. But as demonstrated
by the 40,000 people on the streets of Melbourne last Sunday, not
all Australians back this war.
Amid the current hysteria, one bright commentator is even
claiming that This is the worst act of terror in Indonesias
history, (Gen. Dai Bachtiar, the national police chief).
Please! We have such short memories!! It was only a few decades
ago that the Indonesian Government, enthusiastically cheered on
by Australia, the US and Western Europe, massacred millions of Communists,
activists and anyone associated with them, as part of the coup that
installed the hated Suharto regime in Indonesia. Sorry not
just cheered, but advised, encouraged, armed and even directed.
The Sari nightclub is not simply a random target. While the clientele
may change throughout the year, the description is essentially the
same drunken, obnoxious, young(ish) Australians. It is a
hated symbol of Western imperialism for many no matter what
the age of the revellers inside. Every year thousands
travel to the island, stay in their Western Hotels, visit their
Western nightclubs, flaunt their money and feel like royalty for
two weeks, then travel home to a country which supports the repressive
regimes of the world. As the Sex Pistols put it, its a
cheap holiday in other peoples misery.
Thats not to say I support what happened last night.
But lets be clear
as long as our governments continue
to wage war on the worlds poor and working class whether
through economic, diplomatic or military means our government
will develop enemies
enemies which unfortunately mistake us
for our governments.
For the full article check out http://melbourne.indymedia.org
The site also includes stories on the Indonesian militarys
links to extreme Islamic groups including Jemaah Islamiyah, the
group being blamed for the blast.
* Read John Pilgers Lethal Hypocrisy about the
Bali bombing http://pilger.carlton.com
* If you would like to financially help the Balinese victims left
in the chaotic and hopelessly overstretched hospitals with no medical
insurance, no government support and few facilities email: email@example.com
Arrest of the Week
For bad taste in literature
Egyptian webmaster Shohdy Surur has been given a one year jail
sentence for posting a poem on a website! Kuss Ummiyat, a poem written
by Sururs late father 30 years ago, has been on the US-based
www.wadada.net for the past three years, and although Surur senior
was never prosecuted for writing it, Egyptian authorities are now
justifying Shohdys sentence by claims that the poem contains
passages that are an affront to public morals. Nothing
to do with the fact that the poem also harshly criticises Egyptian
culture and society, of course! www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=4030&var_recherche=surur
- The old Brighton Peace Centre in Gardner St. is still being
squatted by anti-war kidz. Visit them Friday (18) and Saturday
(19) nights for radical films & good food. £1.50 7:30pm-10:30.
- Last Saturday saw an anti-war demo at Shannon airport, where
US war planes land daily to refuel before heading to the Middle
East. Around 10 people were arrested and then released without
- Anyone interested in anti-war propaganda being put out in Manchester,
take a look at: www.uhc-collective.org.uk/warpages/warpages.htm
- An anonymous caller to a San Jose, California TV station took
credit for a pre-dawn fire at a military recruiting office on
Monday. Three military cars were set on fire, and the words pre-emptive
strike were painted across the front of the office in red
The people of Bougainville are attempting to sue British mining
giant Rio Tinto over the genocide and environmental devastation
that were a regular part of Rios 25 years of operations on
the small South Pacific island. The lawsuit seeks compensation for
every person who suffered during the nearly three decades of mining
that went on at the giant, now-defunct Panguna copper mine located
smack in the middle of Bougainville.
Bougainville is only a small island, but its one that has
been under siege since Papua New Guinea (PNG) took control of it
from Australia in 1975. Even before this, CRA, an Australian subsidiary
of Rio Tinto, had forced its way onto the island to build the Panguna
mine. 220 hectares of rainforest were destroyed to build Panguna,
and after 20 years, the mine had grown to a huge crater half a kilometre
deep and nearly 7 km in circumference, creating over a billion tonnes
of waste. This waste was dumped in the Jaba River Valley, creating
a wall hundreds of metres high and turning one of the islands
biggest river systems fluorescent blue.
By 1988, the islanders had started to fight back, successfully
closing the mine. The PNG government, which relied on the mining
for 45% of its export earnings, responded swiftly and violently
with Australias help. But despite ten years of violent oppression,
the Bougainville Revolutionary Army managed to keep the mine closed
and eventually PNG got out. Bougainville is now in the midst of
seeking its independence.
In solidarity with all indigenous peoples of the South Pacific,
there was a week of actions from October 5-12 targeting companies
and groups involved in ecological and cultural destruction in the
region. Rio Tinto was the first to be targeted. Entrances to Anglesay
Aluminium, a North Wales subsidiary of Rio Tinto, were blockaded
for most of Thursday (10). A Toyota office in Redhill was paint-bombed,
highlighting Toyotas involvement in logging in the South Pacific.
On Wednesday, the Indonesian embassy in London was forcibly entered
in protest over the countrys continued occupation of West
Papua and the murder of an estimated 100,000 indigenous people.
And last but definitely not least, the New Tribes Mission offices
were paid a visit at their UK headquarters in Grimsby. The missionary
group has stated that it is their intent to reach and preach to
every dark corner of the planet. But the people of West
Papua have declared missionaries to be one of the 4 biggest threats
to free peoples--one of the biggest reasons being that they build
airstrips in remote jungles which are eventually used by businessmen,
corporations and military personnel. First comes Christianity, then
comes Coca Cola. For more details on the week of actions, see www.eco-action.org/ssp
For more Bougainville history, check out the excellent film The
Please send letters of support to the 5 Stop Huntingdon Life Sciences
protestors who are on remand and facing charges of Conspiracy
to Harass. This raucous, harassing mob include Gavin, who
is partially sighted, and Rylma, a 70 year old pensioner
Medd-Hall [JK4564], Kevin White [JK4576] and Paul
Baker [JK4584], HMP Canterbury, 46 Longport, Kent, CT1 1PJ,
Robert Lewis [JK4563], HMP Elmley, Church Road, Eastchurch,
Sheerness, Kent, ME12 4AY, and Rylma White [KV4069], HMP
Holloway, Parkhurst Road, London, N7 0NU
The Jeff Free Luers zine we mentioned in last
weeks SchNEWS is available from Brighton ABC. Send 80p and
a stamped self-addressed envelope to PO Box 74, Brighton, BN1 4ZQ,
- Eviction of the Lappersfort Woodland protest site
in Brugge, Belgium started on Monday with numerous arrests. The
protestors, who have been living in the forest for over a year,
are trying to disrupt council plans for a four-lane highway and
industrial estate. They are asking for people to organise solidarity
actions at Belgian embassies across Europe or to come to the site
- Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the ironically named
Business Action for Sustainable Development (see SchNEWS 361/2)
was custard pied in London last week before speaking at
the Global Development Forum. The former Shell boss, now heading
the corporate lobby group that likes to sound like Mother Teresa
whilst making damn sure the Big Business profits keep rolling
in at any cost, shrugged off the attack by protestors saying,
It was meant in good fun. Yeah right Mark, we love
- Lt General Shaul Mofaz, Israeli commander of the illegal
occupation of Palestine from May 98 to July this year, is
coming for some dinners in the UK this month. Hell be in
Glasgow (26), Liverpool (28) and Leeds (29). Contact Leeds Earth
First! to make sure his tour goes off without a hitch. firstname.lastname@example.org
- The second issue of SchOUND OFF!, Plymouths direct
action newsheet, is out now. To subscribe, email email@example.com
- This Sat (19) London Animal Action are celebrating anti-McDonalds
day by having a demo at the Kings Cross branch of McDs,
cnr Belgrove St and Euston Rd, WC1, from 4pm onwards just
up the road from the Anoraks Bookfair.
- The Park Nook woodland protest site, near Liverpool,
has been squatted for the last five months and now has a 24-hour
presence. An eviction is imminent and people are needed to defend
the space! 0780 360 9721 http://rts.gn.apc.org/diary.htm
- Police tactics of mass arrests at Faslane Blocades have
been undermined by the recent High Court ruling that Tommy Sheridans
breach of the peace charge doesnt stick, which will set
a precedent for hundreds of others facing similar charges. www.tridentploughshares.org
- The folks at Counter Information news-sheet are holding
meetings to discuss the future of the paper. If youre interested
in going to a meeting or getting involved with the paper, contact
them in Edinburgh on 0131 557 6242 (ask for CI) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Theres still room on the Brighton mini-bus going to the
protest at the Dover Removal Centre this Saturday (19).
For a mere £3/£5, you get a seat on the bus, as well
as a ferry ride across the Channel to attend a later protest at
the Sangatte Red Cross Centre, soon to be shut down by the French
government. The bus leaves early (7am!!) but plans to be back
to Brighton on the same day. To book your spot, phone the Unemployment
Centre on (01273) 540 717.
- SchNEWS Of The World is now up on our website. Or if
papers more your style grab a copy from us for £7
this weekend at the Anoraks Bookfair.
When is a political refugee not a political refugee? When the Bush
administration decides theyre not. Prof Jose Maria Sison,
founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has lived in
the Netherlands since 1987, where he is seeking asylum as a political
refugee. But now hes been labelled a terrorist by the American
and Dutch governments, his funds (a meagre joint bank
account shared with his wife) have been frozen, and he is being
threatened with extradition to the US. There is a meeting on Oct.
24, 4-9pm in support of Sison at the Tohum Cultural Center, 2A Belgrade
Rd, London N16. Theres also an action on Oct 21, 12-2pm, outside
the Dutch Embassy, 38 Hyde Park Road, London. http://defendsison.be/
In The Ukraine
On September 30, anti-nuclear campaigner Ruslan Syninvsky was gunned
down by an unidentified man in Kiev. One month earlier, Public Control,
an organisation Syninvsky was deeply involved in, had filed a lawsuit
against the Ukrainian governments plans to build two new nuclear
reactors in a country still haunted by Chernobyl.
The polices official story is that Syninvsky was killed in
a bungled robbery attempt, but the fact that the Ukrainian Secret
Service has been harassing and threatening anyone who openly opposes
the new reactors makes the official version kind of hard to swallow.
In the Ukraine, whose population suffered the worlds worst
nuclear disaster in 1986, the vast majority of people oppose nuclear
energy. Knowing the opposition the project would face, Energoatom
(the nuclear company contracted to build the new power stations)
skirted the issue by neglecting to hold legally required public
meetings on the topic, and didnt publish any information about
the reactors in Ukrainian!
Funding for the proposed reactors would come from the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and from one of the
European Commissions EuroAtom loans (set up to
find new markets for Western Europes stagnant nuclear industry).
The whopping £400 million EuroAtom loan would be nearly impossible
for the Ukrainian government to repay, not to mention that it comes
with major strings attachedone of the loan conditions is that
the Ukraine allow for privitisation of its energy industry as well
as an immediate hike in energy rates. Bottom linethe average
Ukrainians energy bill would rise by 30% or more.
The EBRDs support for the project has been pure comedy. EBRDs
president, Jean Lemierre, went on record as saying his bank would
not support the reactors unless they were proven safe and economically
feasible. To prove this point, EBRD hired their own team of experts
to investigate. Unfortunately for Lemierre, the experts issued a
report stating that the building of the two new reactors was neither
safe nor affordable. Not being what the Bank wanted to hear, they
then commissioned Stone and Webster, a US-based nuclear contracting
company, to produce a second report. Surprise, surprise, the second
report stated that the new reactors were a fantastic idea! www.aseed.net/publications/ebrdreader
Sizewell Fits All
150 Greenpeace activists occupied the roof of Sizewell B nuclear
power station this week. Greenpeace have produced a report showing
that a quarter of the UKs energy demands can be supplied by
offshore wind in East Anglia, but the nuclear industry insists that
our ever increasing needs can only be met by them. www.greenpeace.org.uk
What goes around comes around
A local politician in a village
near Lugansk, Ukraine, was out one night taking his dog for an evening
pee when an over-zealous officer albeit junior in rank to
him pointed out that his dog was in fact in breach of regulations
by being off a lead, and unmuzzled. An argument broke out between
the two men culminating in the politician pulling a hand
grenade from his pocket, pulling the pin, and throwing it at the
young officer. What he didnt bargain for was his loyal pup
running to chase the grenade... and faithfully bringing it back
to his master. The macho man politician and his poor dog were both
killed in the explosion.
SchNEWS assures all readers - theyll never bomb Bognor
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SchNEWS and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures
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