All this iris scanning and recorded information will be an enormous
mountain of data to manage but luckily itll be in the
hands of IT experts with good track records. Heres a few examples
of government adventures into computer and IT technology to calm
Just this week a huge project to put all the nations magistrates
courts on one computer system was condemned in a report by the Commons
public accounts committee as one of the worst public finance projects
ever. The scheme, known as Libra, aimed to streamline more than
300 magistrates courts saving millions of pounds. In fact it did
the opposite: The cost of installing 11,000 PCs in courts worked
out at £21,000 per computer! The cost of operations tripled
and it doesnt work! An MPs report found: The
department... ran a poor competition, attracting only one bidder
(ICL), and it failed to take decisive action when ICL did not deliver
what was required. For its part, ICL did not understand the departments
requirements, took on excessive risk and under-priced its bid.
A report, Public Interest, Private Profit, by the London
Assemblys budget committee criticizes the way Londons
congestion charge has been handled by Capita who were recently fined
£1m for poor performance in the first seven months of operation.
London mayor Ken Livingstone came close to sacking Crapita, describing
their customer services as completely unacceptable.
However he still gave them an extra £31 million in July to
iron out problems - £3.5m going to improving computer systems,
which ought to have been paid for by Crapita, rather than Londons
taxpayers. They are also responsible for the Criminal Records Bureau
- where last year delays in completing checks on teachers caused
some schools to open late last autumn.
According to some projections the government will be spending £13.1
billion a year on IT by 2005. This is 14 times more than the average
spent by other European governments. The spin is that IT investment
results in more efficient public services and therefore is money
well spent, which might be true if any of it worked!
Privacy International - www.privacyinternational.org
Crap Arrest Of The Week
For holding a banner!
US activist, Brent Bursey is going to court this week after being
charged for holding a sign reading No More War For Oil
at an airport in South Carolina last October. Bush was supposed
to be arriving later that day
and people had gathered to show him what they thought of the war
on Iraq. Bursey was charged with trespassing, even though he was
on public property, cos he hadnt been standing in the
zone. Protesters were only supposed to be half a mile away
where nobody, least of all Bush, could see or hear them. Bursey
told police he had been under the impression that the whole of America
was a free speech zone and local authorities dropped
the charges. Six months later federal authorities renewed the case
using a rarely enforced statute allowing the Secret Service to restrict
access to areas near the president. If convicted, this charge carries
a penalty of up to a $5000 fine and six months in jail. Bursey is
being denied a jury trial.
Thessaloniki Hunger Strikers In Critical Condition
Seven protesters were fitted up and banged up at the anti-EU demonstrations
in Thessaloniki, Greece last June. Simon Chapman from London
had molotov cocktails placed in his bag as he lay bleeding on the
ground after being beaten by police (See SchNEWS 413). Now five
of the prisoners: Simon, Fernando Perez Gorraiz, Carlos
Martin Martinez, from Spain, Souleiman Kastro
Dakduk, a Syrian and Spyros Tsitsas, a Greek have been
on hunger strike for between 39 and 56 days.
Last Friday they collectively decided to refuse liquid as well
in protest at not being allowed to receive mail, having no toilet
privacy rights and not being allowed to contact their lawyer. After
two days the authorities granted them these concessions but then
at 2am on Tuesday, without their lawyers knowledge, all five
were transported 400 miles to another prison hospital in Athens.
Obviously seriously weakened, they were made to sit up for the whole
journey in a cold cage in the back of a police van and werent
even given any blankets for the cold. When theyreached Athens, Fernando
and Kastro were in such a bad way they were taken to a civilian
hospital instead of the prison one where they remain, unable to
There are ongoing demonstrations and actions all over the country
and abroad in solidarity with the Thessaloniki 7 so get involved
this is really important as these guys may die very soon.
And why not ring the governor of the Athens Prison (Mr Stakias)
and tell him what you think on 0030 210 777 2811. For more info
or phone 07970 113770 for the full story www.freesimonchapman.org
* Benefit party for the prisoners this Friday (14) at The Eton
Mission Social Club, 91 Eastway, Hackney Wick, London E9 8pm -6am
£3 * Another benefit at the 1in12 Club, Bradford next Friday
(21) with a short film about police beating and then fitting the
prisoners up followed by a speaker about prisoner solidarity. 01274
Bush Bashing Briefs
Dubya will be in England this week and would love to meet yall.
Actions are happening all round the country all this week.
- 15th Direct action training day to prepare for Bushs
visit 2-5pm The South Wing, Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton
- Sheffield Demo assemble for 12pm Barkers Pool (in front
of City Hall)
- 18th Burning Planet march against Bush -
the day he arrives in the UK. 6 pm at Lincolns Inn Fields
(Holborn Tube) to march via the ExxonMobil (Esso) offices and
- 19th RESIST BUSH - Day of mass non-violent civil disobedience,
with announced meet up points or affinity group actions.
- London Actions: Alternative State Procession Cavalcade
with cyclists, taxi drivers, scooter clubs etc. 11am, Jubilee
Gardens, South Bank.
- School Students Rally. 11am, Parliament Sq.
- Street Party 12 noon, Malet St outside Uni of London Union -
for a good old fashioned street party.
- O-I-L Womens peace picnic 1pm, Trafalgar Sq.
- Resist Bush Tea-Party, 3pm, Buckingham Palace.
- Around The Country: Bristol Topple a statue of Bush 5pm,
Bristol Peace vigil - City Centre, opp Hippodrome
- Cambridge 6:00pm Market square
- Chester 5pm Town Hall Square
- Edinburgh 2pm Bristo Square, 6pm from Charlotte Square
- Menwith Hill Spy Base, Yorkshire 6-8pm
- Oxford Assemble 5pm, Oxford Brookes Uni outside main
entrance,Gipsy Lane campus. 5.15pm
- Sheffield 12pm, 5pm Town Hall/Peace Gardens.
- Swansea Stop the City Assemble 5.30pm, Castle Square.
- Dharma-Yatra-style walk to Buckingham Palace
for meditation. 1pm, outside the Odeon, Marble Arch
- 20th NATIONAL DEMO AGAINST BUSH. 2pm University of London,
Malet Street, to Trafalgar Square. Organised by Stop the War Coalition,
CND and Muslim Association of Britain. Transport details nationwide
- Kids from four Schools in Bromley have already pledged
to walk out of school and, er storm Buckingham Palace! They want
other kids to join them.
- 21st Guantanamo Bay Protest, 11am US Embassy, Grosvenor
Square. Nearest tube: Bond Street
Go to Party and Protest
Guide for full national listings
Get Yer Bar End Away!
URGENT - Help is needed right now to help defend the tunnels
and walkways preventing the completion of a park and ride on a meadow
at Bar End near Winchester.
The story of Bar End goes back to the original Twyford Down road
building in 1992-93 the battleground which spawned the anti-roads
movement. At the time the people of Winchester were promised as
sort-of compensation for the destruction at Twyford Down that the
site of the original Winchester by-pass would be
returned to meadow land for perpetuity. So the tarmac
was removed, topsoil from Twyford Down put in its place and today
it is a popular nature spot. Well now things have changed and the
council want it back. A protester told SchNEWS that the vast majority
of the locals dont want the park and ride, wont be using
and that the whole scheme could be about extending the adjacent
industrial park, which has got handy access to the M3.
Its mad they tarmac-ed the area for the Winchester
by-pass, then they took that away and made it a meadow
they want to tarmac it again. says a Bar End protester.
This week the council cleared the way to bring heavy building equipment
in to open the new park and ride, making an eviction eminent. The
camp is registered as a land squat, but the council havent
applied for a court order to evict so any eviction will be
illegal. Added to this the Hampshire police have admitted already
that they arent too fussed about the finer legal points, and
will call in colleagues from other counties.
The camp is off Bar End Road, (an extension of Chesil Street) about
a mile and half from the railway station. Or, leave the M3 at junction
10 and head for St Catherines park and ride site, which is
next to the proposed new site. The camp urgently needs people and
tat now. 0776 4633056
* For some background about Twyford Downs www.schnews.org.uk/sotw/twyford-down-plus10.htm
* If youve been Bush Bashing and are up for helping fight
the destruction caused by the oil industry at ground level get down
to Bar End now.
Last Friday 500 people descended on the Paris métro armed
with pots of glue, spray cans and colourful determination. More
invaded the Brussels metro with their own buckets of ideas.
In Paris they split into groups of 40, radically repainting vulgar,
buy-buy-buy advertising boards, transforming them with brushstrokes
from private spaces for profits into public spaces of resistance.
In Paris and Brussels subvertised advert boards screamed No
Adverts!, Advertising Kills, The Street
is Ours, Advertising is Hazardous to Your Mental Health.
In the end, 130 stations were reclaimed and repainted in Paris while
7 were visited in Brussels. All 40 adbusters arrested were quickly
released back into a subvertised Paris.
These actions of mass redecoration were called by Stop Pub (Stop
Ads) and other collectives in France. The aim was to reconquer
public space in the face of mass privatisation, repressive
neo-liberal states and a life drowned in empty, consumerist adverts.
Everything is seen as a commodity, said one ticketless
adbuster, Gilles, We dont want to be visually polluted.
And to the hundreds of students, workers, artists, mums, dads and
skaters that took part in these actions, the links between bigger
adverts, less social rights and more cops was all too obvious. So
the adbusters went calmly and non-violently from station to station,
peacefully going about their decoration of vulgar car and clothes
ads while chatting with the public and handing out info on the reasons
for their actions. Métro passengers largely supported the
actions, found them funny and in a few cases they even got their
hands dirty doing some redecorating themselves.
This Thursday yet another action is planned. In the light of all
this success, 16 organisations jumped on the adbusting train this
week in France with Attac, Greenpeace and others starting a campaign
against advertising. Why not bring this colourful train to a station
near you? www.bap.propagande.org
For photos see: http://paris.indymedia.org/article.php3?id_article=9453
9th birthday party this weekend, Sunday (16) at the Free Butt
with the Fish Brothers, Anal Beard, Crowzone and Amateur Ninja
Club. £3, 7.30 till 10.30 pm
SchNEWS In Brief
- Brightons premier pirates Radio 4A back on
the airwaves this weekend (14-16) 101.4fm www.radio4a.org.uk
- Theres a tenth anniversary demonstration to close down
Campsfield detention centre on Saturday 29th November 12
noon to 2pm, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Speakers
and music from Oxford Sol Samba Band, supported by Rhythms of
Resistance. For transport details around the country call 01865
- Next Monday (17) Indymedia are showing three films about
the Argentinan struggles 7:30pm in the gallery area of
the Spitz, 109 Commercial Street E1. Free/Donations
- Political cartoonist Polyp will be talking about his
book next Thursday (20) from 6pm at the Cowley Club, 12 London
Rd., Brighton. If youve ever wondered what a zine was or
fancied putting one together then get along to the Cowley the
following Thursday (27) at 6pm to find out about them. Both events
- November 29th theres a Mayday Conference to chat
about next years plans for the ungovernable, non state sanctioned
day of the year. 1-5pm in Room 3a at ULU, Malet Street London
- The Vacuum Cleaner will be aiding consumers of Starbucks
in returning faulty paper cups to the coffee chain. Join them
in the City of London this Friday (14th) at 11 am. Power dressed
ladies and gents, armed with 200 defaced paper Starbucks cups,
will be returning and installing the faulty cups in
the city Starbucks. www.thevacuumcleaner.co.uk/20803.html
- Meanwhile an employee of Starbucks has been given the
sack for wearing a fuck off starbucks t-shirt. He told SchNEWS
A bit stupid of me I know but it took them a few months
before they noticed! www.starbucksfuckoff.com
Fed up of rip off landlords and spiralling rents? Then get along
to the Introduction to Housing Co-operatives meeting
on December 13th @ Brighton Unemployed Centre, 6 Tilbury Place.
Its free but you have to book yerself a place by calling 01273
327480 by the end of the month.
The Bush administrations crusade against environmentalists
gained momentum last week with attorney-general Ashcroft wheeling
out an 1870 law to launch a prosecution against Greenpeace. It is
the first time an organisation has been prosecuted for the actions
of individual members and could have serious civil liberties implications
for environmental groups and free speech in general. If found guilty,
Greenpeace will have to regularly report its activities to the government
and will lose its tax-exempt status.
The law being used against Greenpeace has only ever been used twice
before - in the nineteenth century - and was designed to prevent
sailor-mongers from getting crew-members pissed, kidnapping
them and then selling them on to another ship!
So is that the kind of thing Greenpeace activists are up to nowadays?
Er...no. Their only crime was hanging a banner saying Bush
stop illegal logging on a ship carrying Brazilian mahogany!
But the Bush administration has hated Greenpeace since they first
dubbed Dubya the Toxic Texan though we cant see
why they should object to such an apt nick-name. Only last week
the Poisonous President announced that investigations into 50 power
plants charged with violating the Clean Air Act were to be dropped.
No SchNEWS next week cos were all off to London to visit
the Queen (and President Bush)
NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual
2003 - £8 + £1.70 p&p
- SchNEWS Round
issues 51 - 100 Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 £3.70 inc. postage.
- SchNEWS Survival
Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £3.70 inc. postage
- The SchQUALL
book at only £6 + £1.70 p&p.
and SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures from
the direct action frontline. £3 + £1.70 p&p. You
can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the
ISBN 09529748 4 3.
- SchNEWS Of
The World issues 301 - 350. 300
more pages of adventures from the direct action frontline. £7
+ £1.50 p&p. You can order the book from a bookshop
or your library, quote the ISBN 09529748 6X
In the UK you
can get SchNEWS Annual, Survival Handbook, Yearbook 2001 and SchNEWS
of the World for just £15 inc p&p.
£6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).
In addition to
50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons,
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to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues)
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