This Time Last Year
7th May, 2004
BORN TO BE FILED Big Brother reaches out a "helping hand"
to the youth of the nation... yeah right! Also SchNEWS tour report,
inside SchNEWS, and all the usual...
451, 30th April, 2004
BANKERS' CRAMP! SchNEWS takes a look at the European Investment
Bank and finds plenty of skeletons in its closet. Also anti-fascist
news, positive SchNEWS, and more...
450, 23rd April, 2004
IT'S A BIG 'UN! May Day comes around again, with nation-wide
action expected despite May Day being "banned" by the corporate
media. SchNEWS also looks at the relationship between big business and
the EU. Also fleecing Iraq, more on May Day, and all the usual.
449, 16th April, 2004
WUD'JA FALLUJA IT? As bombs fly into Falluja, few accurate reports
are coming out on the corporate media - SchNEWS investigates and offers
alternatives. Also squat updates, Coca-Cola update, NHS telly hell,
448, 2nd April, 2004
GACK ATTACK SchNEWS looks at the evils of the food industry and
food advertising, as well as some alternatives to unsustainable fast-
and junk-food industries. Also poll boycott in Indonesia, anti-GM victory,
protest camp updates and more...
447, 26th March, 2004
CROAKER COLA We discover that not only is Coke's fancy bottled
water is just filtered tap water but that it's got cancer causing chemicals
in it too! If that weren't enough, they'er killing trade unionists in
Columbia and stealing villiagers water in India too... Also South African
repression, protest camp update and more...
446, 19th March, 2004
TOTAL PAZ TAKE Bombings in Madrid from a perspective not seen
in the corporate media - mass murder siezed upon to remove civil liberties
and continue the so called "war on terror". Also Coca Killer,
Catakiller, animal killers, "I'm no killer" and more...
445, 12th March, 2004
MAIZE OF LIES Neo Labour gives the go-ahead for the UK's first
GM crop - ScNEWS says (again) GM ain't all it's cracked up to be. Also
Aldermaston march, SHAC, first Indymedia Regional Meeting, SchNEWS Tour
444, 5th March, 2004
MINER SURGERY SchNEWS looks back at the struggle between striking
miners and Thatcher's government. Also US involvement in Haiti, camp
updates, Bayer update, anti-terrorism case thrown out, and more...
443, 27th February, 2004
PENTA-GONER A Pentagon think-tank recently issued a report describing
climate change as an urgent "national security threat" - whilst
Bush and his cronies continue to try and deny it all. Also racist cops
cause trouble for Sydney aboriginals, Fortress Road Social Centre still
under threat of eviction, fairtrade and more...
442, 20th February, 2004
SHOP 'TIL THEY DROP Chinese cockle pickers died because they
are at the bottom of the food production chain. We look at how the big
supermarkets exploit imigrant workers and then everyone else. Also Bayer's
anti protest injunction, Thessaloniki arestees charged dropped and more..
441, 13th February, 2004
SPELLBOUND Road protest camps, the 'Harry Potter ruling' and
more... Also: alternative community centre, Birmingham Northern Relief
Road, direct action and shoddy journalism in Dublin, clampdown in Argentina,
440, 6th February, 2004
DUSTING DOWNER More on Depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq and the
movement against their usage and in aid of their victims. Also: forced
evictions in Chiapas, Mexico, Sydney Opera House "redecoration"
case, WHISC worldwide (the School of the Americas), camp updates, and
439, 30th January, 2004
PRIMATE CHANGE Cambridge University finally abandons controversial
plans for a primate vivisection lab. Also: Chelmsford travellers evicted,
Costain tree-felling, Trident sub trials, Old Kent Road Asda, and more...
438, 23rd January, 2004
BOMBAY MIX The fourth World Social Forum, held in Mumbai, India,
examines the real impact of Globalisation, and also offers an
international alliance to battle the multinationals. Also: crap
jobs, FSB harassment of Russian activists, Monsanto rapeseed case rapes
farmer's living, seed swap, free Vanunu campaign and more...
437, 16th January, 2004
FLAW AND DISORDER The proposed Civil Contingencies Bill, Neo-Labour
wet dream come true, would further erode civil rights in Britain. Also:
travellers fighting eviction in Coventry, Nine Ladies anti-quarry camp
in the Peak District, finger-printing Americans in Brazil, and more...
436, 9th January, 2004
UP THE INJUNCTION Bayer wins an injunction severely limiting
the rights of anti-GM protesters. SchNEWS takes a look at Bayer's legal
history. Also: "strategy of tension" steps up in Italy?, IDF
sniper arrested for murder of ISM volunteer, and all the usual...
435, 19th December, 2003
FUEL BE SORRY Bigger airports, failed Climate Change summit,
no plans for tax on flying, stinking carbon sinks and more all add up
to a bright future sun cream sales in Scotland. Shame about the 120,000
deaths a year. Also US repression of Iraqi trade unions, tidal electricity
and festive cheer...
14th May 2004 |
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER AB-NORM-AL-...
Norm Rules OK? | Shell
Out | Oil Rule The World | Crap
Arrest of the Week | Trunk
Call | Call That Line?| Inside
SchNEWS | SchNEWS In Brief | Brighton
Briefs | Haw Thorn | Monsento
| ...And Finally...
NORM RULES OK?
It is easier and less costly to change the way people
think about reality than it is to change reality Morris Wolfe,
Last month was the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human
Rights where one of the hottest topics up for discussion was the
UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Trans-national Corporations
and Other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights
(or Norms for short). The Commission eventually decided
to give the Norms a 5-year mandate to develop and try them out further.
These norms arent another bureaucratic attempt to bore us
into submission but are proposed decency guidelines for multinational
corporations to stick too. The norms ask companies to respect the
laws of the countries they operate in, ensure equal opportunities
and avoid racism and sexism. More troublesome for the corporations
will be the proposed clause asking them not to profit from war crimes,
genocide, torture, and violations of international law. The norms
also include workers rights (to form unions for example), avoidance
of bribery and corruption, fair business practice, protecting consumers
from harmful products and environmental protection. Which seem pretty
reasonable to us here at SchNEWS Towers, but not of course to big
business which feels it is obviously above such silly red
tape and would rather regulate itself.
Corporate lobby groups such as the International Chamber of Commerce
(ICC) launched a fierce campaign to kill off the proposal in the
run up to the meeting, with the gurus of greenwash Shell
playing a leading role. But what is all the fuss really about when
all these Norms are just a way of trying to get multinational
corporations to obey existing laws and international treaties on
the environment and human rights? Right-wing governments and business
groups have managed to get a disclaimer added to the conclusion
which means that the Norms still do not have any official status,
but at least they will stay in the pipeline for the next five years.
In fact these regulations actually already exist in UN treaties
such as the Convention Against Torture or in human and labour rights
conventions. The idea of the Norms is to bring together these treaties
and close a loophole in the law to make them apply to multinational
corporations - who could face compensation claims if they ignore
It may come as a surprise to some that oil giant Shell are leading
the opposition to these proposed norms, claiming that they dont
find them helpful because well, they already have such high human
rights standards! Their website proudly proclaims, Shell works
hard to meet environmental commitments and we invest time and money
to improve environmental performance beyond that required by legislation
and that, The welfare of our staff and the communities in
which we live and work is fundamental to our approach to business.
Shells publicity is full of this type of drivel: Our
core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people define
who we are and how we work. These values have been embodied for
more than 25 years in our business principles, which since 1997
include a commitment to support human rights and to contribute to
sustainable development. And you couldnt get more sustainable
than oil now could you?
In early March a scandal around Shells overstatement of its
oil reserves forced Chief Executive Phil Watts to resign, but you
wouldnt find any Shell top brass resigning over its overstating
of green credentials. Recent reports from Friends of the Earth and
Christian Aid documents Shells operations in the Niger Delta
in Nigeria, that are still causing serious problems for local communities,
nine years after the execution of nine people who paid the ultimate
price for campaigning for the most basic of human rights: the right
for clean air, land and water (see SchNEWS 49). The alternative
annual Shell report from FoE states that The decades of pollution
caused by Shells rusting network of pipes continue to blight
daily life, ruining farmland, poisoning water tables and creating
the constant risk of serious fires. The Christian Aid report
also highlights that most of the community development projects
presented in various glossy Shell reports are in fact failing.
Hospitals, schools and water supply systems remain unfinished and
new roads mainly help boost easy movement of its oil production.
But beyond the debate about how much greenwash Shell are spouting,
it is clear that the company is determined to prevent the emergence
of international mechanisms through which communities could hold
it accountable to its pledges. As those multinational investigators
Corporate Europe Observatory point out the company generally
gets away easily with its inflated claims concerning its social
responsibility record. As Amnesty International UK Director
Kate Allen said Any attempt to de-rail the Norms, in particular
any referral of the Norms
would effectively turn back the clock
on years of progress on corporate social responsibility.
OIL RULE THE WORLD
Discoveries of massive oil reserves in West Africa are condemning
the region to more greenwashing (which means exploitation and bloodshed)
by big oil companies. Angola is currently the only nation in Africa
where US oil companies currently dominate. European oil companies
such as Shell and BP have traditionally controlled this market.
In the late 90s new offshore oil techniques were discovered (Exxon
Mobil, has led this exploration). New coastal oil has been discovered
in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe which will
conveniently be the site of a new US Navy Base. By 2015, it is projected,
the US could get 25% of its oil from West Africa.
But its a risky and troublesome part of the world, incompetent
repression means that the oil is out of control. Piracy
resistance in Nigeria, where local people rise up and sabotage
or steal oil, costs big oil companies 100-300,000 barrels of oil
a day, and companies say they need military security from the US
to operate smoothly. So when the US has finished freeing Iraq from
or was it making them independent from freedom
it looks like they might be moving in to West Africa.
So its no surprise the corporations are fighting tooth and
nail to avoid mandatory reporting on their activities, because despite
all their guff about social responsibility, there only obligation
they feel is really important is lining their shareholders pockets.
For this they rely on lax environmental regulations in poor desperate
countries and making sure the locals dont kick up a fuss about
* To read the Christian Aid report www.christian-aid.org.uk/indepth/0401csr
* For more on the Norms www.corporateeurope.org
Crap Arrest of the Week
For not putting a seatbelt on a dog
Traffic police in Kempten, Germany slapped a fine on a dog for not
wearing a seatbelt. Bobbie the dog was traveling in the back of
his owners car when traffic police pulled the vehicle over.
They handed his owner a £17 fine which has grown to £29
because hes refusing to pay it. A police spokesman who defended
the fine said: Small dogs belong on the floor and larger dogs
need to be kept in a harness or in the boot.
Is tree planting the new rocknroll?
Action has been taken this month against two companies who offer
to make their customers carbon neutral - whether
that be at work or play. Future Forests and Climate Care claim that
any process involving CO2 emissions can be neutralized by planting
a certain amount of new trees in forests they manage. Both have
had complaints made to the British Advertising Standards Authority
over misleading adverts placed in press.
Heidi Bachram of Carbon Trade Watch: The idea that people
can burn fossil fuels and then plant trees to clean up the carbon
dioxide that results is simply wrong. This false solution
will merely keep people digging up oil instead of trying to shift
to clean energy.
This false solution has proved popular; predictably Future Forests
corporate clients include BP and Sainsburys, but their clientele
also lists Coldplay, Atomic Kitten and Jamiroquai. Every part of
the rock star life style is catered for: long distance flights,
CD production, and touring emissions can be neutralised if you pay
someone to plant some friendly pollution eating trees in their forest.
Maybe Future Forests have a solution to the noise pollution some
of these bands emit?
* Glastonbury 2003 was declared carbon neutral after
an anonymous donor paid for 1,700 trees to be planted by Future
Forests. See www.tni.org/ctw-docs/aspress.pdf
CALL THAT A LINE?
Ferhat Kaya a Turkish Human Rights defender and chair of the Kurdish
DEHAP party was arrested last Wednesday after a meeting where he
was demanding proper compensation for those who were affected by
BPs Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. Ferhat has been fighting to have
their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights respected.
He said he has been humiliated and beaten during his detention,
and on Wednesday began a death fast hunger strike to
The pipeline will run through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey connecting
the Caspian Sea Coast to Turkish Mediterranean, and providing oil
and gas for European and US Markets (SchNEWS 433). The project depends
on political and financial support from Western Governments and
international financial institutions with the World Bank and European
Development Bank each approving a £300 million contribution.
However the project has yet to demonstrate real development benefits
to the peoples in the Caspian region with the World Banks
own advisers have reported that oil industry projects often worsen
rather than relieve poverty. Kurdish Human Rights Project 020 7287
2772 www.khrp.org For more about
the pipeline www.baku.org.uk
* An Exhibition of Resistance to BP and Big Oil, June 15th-21st.
To get involved 07969 786770 www.londonrisingtide.org.uk
Two West Papuan tribespeople who blocked a road trying to stop
illegal logging have been jailed. Please send letters of support
to: Matius Nasira and Manase Furima - both at Lembaga Pemasyarakatan
Manokwari, Jl. Sabang No.4, Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia. For more
information about these two and the situation in West Papua check
SchNEWS In Brief
- Foreigners arent welcome in Britain - unless of course
they are willing to work in the NHS. The Royal College of Nursing
have complained that this poaching of nurses from developing countries
is tantamount to people trafficking.
- Two of the terrorists who we were told by the cops
were going to bomb Old Trafford, were last week invited to a game
by the Manchester United Independent Supporters Trust!
- Theres a public meeting on ID Cards next Wednesday (19)
at the Old Theatre, London School of Economics, Houghton Street,
WC2A 2AE. 1.30pm. If you want to go email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Anti terrosim laws, Then and Now meeting
Wednesday 26 7pm, Grand Committee Room, House of Commons. Organised
by the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities 020 7586 5892
- Theres a Respect the Unity Coalition festival
at the Dane John Gardens, Canterbury this Sunday (16) starting
- Historians speak out against fascism. Tom Lineham - East
End for Mosley; Jim Wolfreys - The Politics of Racism in France
and Liz Fekete, Institute of Race Relations will be talking next
Saturday (22) 1-3pm, Senate House, Malet Street, London. www.LondonSocialistHistorians.org
- Greenpeace USA is in the dock next week for the actions
of two of its activists who boarded a ship carrying timber illegally
exported from Brazil and hung a banner saying President
Bush: Stop Illegal Logging, but rather than prosecute the
smugglers, the US Justice Department has charged the whole of
Greenpeace USA with conspiracy and illegally boarding the
ship under an obscure, rarely used 1872 law. www.greenpeaceusa.org/trial
- 155 people who were arrested at the World Trade Organisation
protests in Seattle in 1999 (SchNEWS 240) could be entitled
to a share of $250,000 for wrongful arrest. The police had photocopied
the arrest warrants from one original which effectively said that
one police officer had warned and arrested all 155 people! If
you are one of these people contact Allison@hagens-berman.com.
A second class action suit for people arrested inside the allegedly
unconstitutional no-protest zone is still underway
and awaiting the result of an appeal. WTOARREST@riseup.net.
- Why the great surprise over Abu Ghraib? asks
Jennifer Harbury, a human rights lawyer whose husband, was tortured
for two years and then either dismembered or thrown from a helicopter
by Guatemalan military officials who were receiving generous CIA
payments. This has been standard operating procedure for
- Mark Thomas has organized a Coca Cola - Nazi advert
challenge to highlight the links between the company and the Nazi
regime 24th to 30th May ,The Nancy Victor Gallery, 36 Charlotte
Street, London W1T 2NA, tube: Goodge Street & Tottenham Court
Road and 10th to 30th June at The Foundry, 86 Great Eastern Street,
London, EC2A 3JL. Tube: Old Street. www.foundry.tv
Busy Saturday in town -
- Festival of resistance against the corporate takeover of
Brighton. Meet 12 noon at Pavillion Gardens
- Theres also a funeral march to Defence Minister Ivor
Caplins surgery meet 11.30am North end of George St.,
Hove. Wear black for a march to Hove Town Hall. At 2pm assemble
at Churchill Square to protest against local arms company EDO.
07973 228335 www.safp.org.uk
- Later some of the SchNEWS crew will be speaking at the Cowley
Club, 12 London Road at 4pm, so come and find out all about
Brightons premier direct action news sheet (ok its
the only one).
- And dont forget Brightons premier pirates Radio
4A on the airwaves this weekend celebrating their 5th birthday
party featuring all kinds of people that we have played with
them over the last 5 years. 101.4 FM web streams http://web.ukonline.co.uk/radio4a
- Theres a Mad Pride Night happening at the Cowley
Club next Thursday (20) 6pm including a showing of the short film
With Endless Love about Mad Pride legend Pete Shaughnessy.
- The World Bank will be recruiting students from Sussex
University on 17th of May. In 2000, their attempts to recruit
were disrupted by people acting in solidarity with those imprisoned
for their role in the demonstrations against the World Bank/IMF
Summit in Prague Sept 2000. Make sure you get along to their career
day for some work experience!
Brian Haw has been protesting at a continuous picket in Parliament
Square against Sanctions and the war on Iraq. Clearly fed up with
his presence the police had said that they wanted to remove him,
but didnt know what bit of legislation they would use. This
followed a landmark High Court ruling which found in favour of Mr
Haw and his right to protest.
At just after midnight on Monday police moved in and formed a cordon
under the Terrorism Act because of suspicious parked
car in the vicinity. Police arrested Brian Haw for failing to leave
a security cordon and assaulting a police officer, but Brian suffered
injuries from handcuffs and was held face down in a police van by
four coppers suggesting he was the one assaulted. Just after Brians
arrest the car was (conveniently) identified as just being some
tourists who had parked in the wrong place and the security threat
The police also decided to rip down all his placards for safekeeping,
this is despite one of Brians supporters who was luckily in
the area at the time saying she would look after them. Later that
evening after being released the police dumped all the placards
back on the pavement and Brian resumed his protest.
Brian is in court at Bow St Magistrates Ct on 18 May at 10am and
would welcome support. Info: email@example.com
This week Monsanto announced that it would abandon plans to develop
genetically modified wheat anywhere in the world. This is despite
investing years and hundreds of millions of dollars into researching
and developing wheat to be resistant to its own Round-Up pesticide.
Massive consumer resistance to GM crops in Europe and Japan have
meant that the Canadian and American farmers growing the crop would
have had very little export market making the crop commercially
unviable. Monsanto have also announced that they are pulling out
of developing GM oil seed rape in Australia and sugar beet in Europe
This is yet another massive blow for the GM industry and comes
hot on the heels of the Spanish government withdrawing the consent
for Syngentas Bt Corn, the only GM crop being commercially
grown in Europe, because of fears that it could lead to anti-biotic
resistant super bugs, and Bayer backing out of growing GM crops
in Britain (SchNEWS 448). www.biotechimc.org
What does a French policeman do to get an extra bit of income?
Prostitute himself! Thats what one copper admitted to doing
after being arrested after a car chase on the outskirts of Paris,
wearing nothing but a pair of fishnets tights!
SchNEWS warns all readers... normal service will be resumed
as soon as possible. Honest!
NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual
2003 - £8 + £2.00 p&p
- SchNEWS Round
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