GRRRrrr8 IT AINT
"The harmful effects of the corporate globalisation project
have led to mass popular protest and activism in the South, later
joined by major sectors of the rich industrial societies, hence
becoming harder to ignore. For the first time concrete alliances
have been taking shape at a grassroots level. It is fair to say,
I think, that the future of our endangered species may be determined
in no small measure by how these popular forces evolve. -
Noam Chomsky, author, academic and general trouble maker.
For five hundred issues SchNEWS has been providing information
for action to people involved in fighting for a better world. In
that time weve covered hundreds of campaigns and struggles
from across the world and learnt a simple lesson from all of them
- without breaking the rules, the fight against injustice is a waste
Its a lesson quickly learnt by anyone involved in the biggest
single issue campaign in history - anti-capitalism. Well paid propagandists
are always telling us how corporate capitalism is the only way of
running things and that any other way of organising society simply
wont work. But people in power have always said that
from the Roman Emperors to Hitler with his Final Solution and thousand
years Reich. The individualistic, consumerist culture based on ever
expanding credit that capitalism created in the second half of the
20th century has made things quite nice for large middle classes
in the US, Europe and elsewhere - but only on the basis of sweatshops,
poverty and war in the majority world*. And its completely
The United States is easily the strongest military power in the
world but its increasingly selfish and warlike nature is a sign
of weakness, not strength. USA inc. runs a $500bn annual trade deficit
US citizens consume $10bn more a week than they create. The
American way of life is a credit-based bubble subsidised
by the rest of the world - as well as an increasing number of Americans
forced into poverty - and is only maintained by the threat of overwhelming
military force. It cant go on.
And then of course theres climate change. At the heart of
capitalist culture is a massive denial of the fact that economic
growth, on which all its economic prosperity is based, is entirely
unsustainable. Blair and the boys may be talking about it at upcoming
G8 Summit at Gleneagles but capitalisms inbuilt need for growth
means theyll be entirely incapable of doing anything to prevent
By the time children alive today are hitting middle age, for instance,
the Himalayan glaciers will be disappearing, causing droughts that
will threaten the rice production that feeds one third of humanity.
Thats just for starters. Capitalism cant solve these
problems - only popular anti-capitalist movements uniting worldwide
can. And the good news is there are lots of them.
As reported in SchNEWS over the years, anti-capitalism is alive
and kicking across the majority world*. From the slums of Venezuela
and Bolivia to the anti-occupation uprisings in Palestine and Iraq,
people are organising against poverty, privatisation and injustice.
Anti-capitalism, in a hundred forms, isnt a choice for millions
of people in the South*. Its a necessity.
There are important lessons we need to learn from these struggles,
most importantly the need to build solid, local campaigns about
the things that concern people most. The privatisation of basic
services, casualisation, the endless growth of eco-cidal consumerism
are things most people in Britain outside fatcat areas oppose. We
need to show people how direct action can resist them and win.
But living in the heart of the beast, surrounded by the boardrooms
and hotels where deals shattering the lives of millions are made,
also gives us special responsibilities. We can expose these deals
and sometimes stop them by invading the gatherings of gangsters
making them. The people in the countries affected cant do
this. Its important that we do.
Those in power can handle people going on the occasional police-controlled
march. They can also, lets be honest, handle small groups
of people doing actions that no one else gets involved in. What
they cant handle is people making alliances, building links,
supporting and learning from each other through action. Weve
always been at our best when weve joined up with others
supporting the Liverpool dockers when their union deserted them,
shutting down the World Trade Organisation in Seattle alongside
NGOs, faith groups and many others - and been at our worst when
weve retreated into subcultures that revel in being different
from everyone around us.
That doesnt mean we should never do anything that offends
people who think you can change the world by asking politicians
nicely. But most people wanting to resist capitalism (as opposed
to talking about it) know instinctively that youre not going
to achieve anything if you play by capital's rules.
Thousands of young people these days are getting involved in politics
through development charities, anti-war groups and environmental
campaigns because they hate the obscenity of poverty, war and a
capitalist system that is killing our planet. It would be a crime
if the only people talking to them were sects telling them that
police-approved marches and listening to speeches mark the limits
of anti-capitalist activity.
But that will happen if we always look for differences to argue
about with new people rather than points of agreement to act on.
An instinct for unity in action is the breath that keeps anti-capitalism
alive. Without it we might as well give up.
Social centres can be important places for building links with
local communities. But when they become home to a lifestyle proud
to be cut off from others they represent a retreat, not a success.
If everyone is white and under 35 and no ones talked to the
people at the mosque across the road because muslims are hierarchical
its probably time to get out more.
- CABER TOSSERS
Tony Blair recently said that it would be very odd if people
came to protest against this G8
I dont quite know what
theyll be protesting against. If we want to wipe the
smile off this lying, duplicitous war criminal, we have to make
our protests against this mafia get together effective.
If a few small actions against the G8 get picked off while big
demonstrations do what theyre told by the cops Blair and Co
will sleep comfortably in their five star beds. But if we start
convincing the mass of protesters that demonstrations need to break
the rules to be effective we can send a message of anti-capitalist
solidarity around the world. Lets do it.
* vocab watch- majority world and the South
meaning the vast amount of the planet screwed over by the minority
world (western worlds) greed.
Crap Arrest of the Week
For not wanting to fall off a cliff!
At the demo against Brighton arms manufacturers EDO this week police
corralled 50 people into a thin strip of land between a road and
a crash barrier in front of a 50 foot drop onto a railway line.
Anyone daring to step into the road was arrested for breaking an
injunction, police also pushed people back towards the cliff!
National Demo - noon, 11th June, The Level, Brighton.
SchNEWS Marquee At Strawberry Fair
2pm: Legacy Of The Battle Of Beanfield (see below) - Talk
by Andy Worthington
3pm: FILM - SchNEWS AT TEN - The Movie. Screening
4.15pm: FILM - Auchtapalava - SchMOVIES visits town next
6pm: Have I Got SchNEWS For You - Live interactive infotainment
In the proper paper version of SchNEWS (how many people didn't
know that SchNEWS is printed on 2 sides of A4 paper every week and
distributed about the city/country/world?) this is a double issue
with 3 months worth of the Party and Protest guide in the middle
pages. You lot reading this online or on email can check out the
whole guide at www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm
You can even print out your own paper copy of from the PDF link
at the top of the page. If yer really keen you can copy it and give
it out to anyone you might think may be interested. Aren't we nice!
BATTLE Of The BEANFIELD - 20 YEARS ON
June 1st was the 20th anniversary of the Battle of the Beanfield,
a notoriously brutal one-sided confrontation between 450 unarmed
travellers including many women and children and a
quasi-military police force of over 1,300 police and MoD. Bolstered
by a mandate from on high, and some dodgy injunctions, preventing
83 named individuals from approaching Stonehenge, the police brought
to a violent end the 11th annual Stonehenge Free Festival, and set
about decommissioning the new Travellers movement.
For the festival and the travellers had joined the ranks of Thatchers
enemies within. With the eviction of squats in the late
70s and widespread unemployment, thousands of people bought
old buses and trucks and took to the roads each year. Many found
a living on the free festival circuit, whose central focus was the
gathering at Stonehenge, which had become an alternative state of
100,000 people by 1984.
Despite four months planning, the police operation was a
shambles. Plans to stop the convoy at a roadblock near the A303,
blocking it at the front and back, collapsed when an outrider spotted
the roadblock and directed the convoy down a side road, where they
met a second roadblock. After a first wave of violent assaults by
the police, in which windscreens were smashed and the occupants
dragged out screaming, most of the vehicles broke into a neighbouring
field, derailing the police plan still further.
For the next four hours, there was an uneasy stand-off, while Lionel
Grundy, the officer in charge, insisted that everyone was to be
arrested under the pretext of finding out who had committed a number
of alleged crimes earlier in the day (the theft of some petrol and
a bit of shoplifting). Thats crazy, said one of
the travellers. If you had a couple of football hooligans
in a football stadium, you wouldnt arrest everybody in the
stadium just to get at the hooligans.
But Grundy wasnt listening. The final assault began at 7
pm, when the police arrested men, women and children with indiscriminate
violence, pursuing the stragglers as they fled into a neighbouring
Beanfield. Nick Davies of The Observer saw what happened when the
police surrounded the last vehicle: They were like flies around
there was no question of trying to make a lawful
They just crawled all over that vehicle, with truncheons
flailing, hitting anybody that they could reach. It was extremely
violent and very sickening.
By the end of the day, 537 people had been arrested 420
at the Beanfield, and most of the rest at Stonehenge itself, where
a separate gathering was also broken up. All were dispersed to holding
cells throughout southern England, dozens of women were strip-searched,
and social services took children into care. At the Beanfield, the
remaining vehicles were systematically looted and smashed.
All those arrested were charged with obstruction of the police
and the highway, but most of the charges were dismissed in the courts.
The travellers unexpected saviour was the Earl of Cardigan,
whose family owned the forest where the convoy had stayed the night
before. On the day, Cardigan had tagged along out of interest, and
his descriptions of a heavily pregnant woman being clubbed, and
of riot police showering a woman and child with glass, prevented
what would otherwise have been a severe miscarriage of justice.
20 years on, what happened at the Beanfield remains relevant in
a number of ways. Without the events of that day, the steady erosion
of civil liberties over the last two decades would not have been
so easily achieved. Gypsies and travellers have been targeted in
particular, but you can see the chain of events that leads from
the Beanfield to the 1986 Public Order Act, the 1994 Criminal Justice
Act and the legislation dreamt up by the current government, that
the repercussions of that dark day for British justice on
our right to gather, to party, to protest, to dissent are
still being felt.
For the full story, see the new book The Battle of the Beanfield,
edited by Andy Worthington www.andyworthington.co.uk
Get on board the Resist G8 Trains!
The G8 Summit takes place in Gleneagles, Scotland from the 6th-8th
July 2005. However, there will be many events, demos and direct
actions around Scotland in the days leading up to the summit. The
South East Assembly has chartered two trains to take people up to
the protests. This will also include the huge Make Poverty History
march on July 2nd in Edinburgh. Every day there will be different
protests at nuclear bases (Faslane July 4th), detention centres
(Dungavel July 5th) and several other initiatives which need support.
The trains will depart early morning from London Kings Cross and
arrive in Edinburgh where accommodation (bring sleeping bags and
tents!) will be provided for free.
Tickets are £50 - BUT you must buy your tickets NOW:
The G8 meet 6-8 July at Gleneagles, Scotland (see front page),
there are protests against it before and during the summit:
2 Make Poverty History March. March around Edinburgh
to encircle the City Centre. www.makepovertyhistory.org
Also to include a Make Capitalism History block, cos after
all Capitalism makes poverty.
3 Make Borders History. Visits to organisations involved
in locking up and deporting Asylum seekers around Glasgow.
3 G8 Alternatives Summit, Edinburgh. Counterconference
"Ideas to Change the World"aims to present a serious
ideological challenge to the corrupt policies and ideology
of the G8. www.g8alternatives.org.uk
4 Big Blockade at Faslane nuclear submarine base. Help
snub the subs... www.faslaneg8.com
4 Carnival for Full Enjoyment Street Party, Edinburgh.
Meet around the West End 12 noon email firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Close Dungavel. No borders demonstration to be held
at Dungavel Immigration Detention Centre.
6 Global Day of Action at the opening day of the G8 Summit.
Get your arse to Gleneagles and send a big fuck off message
to Bush, Blair and his mates. If you cant make it to
Scotland then do something locally on this day. www.dissent.org.uk
6 Blockade The G8. A series of rural and urban blockades
around the area of Gleneagles to disrupt the summit www.g8blockades.org.uk
6 Demonstration Against the G8. From Gleneagles Train
Station to the entrance of Gleneagles. Lets see how close
the cops let em get! www.g8alternatives.org.uk
7 Peoples Golfing Association are planning to
host an open golf tournament on the exclusive Gleneagles Golf
8 International Day of action on the root causes of climate
change. Stop climate chaos - flood the G8! www.dissent.org.uk/G8climateaction
DON'T BELIEVE THE TYPE
News is what someone does not want you to print - the
rest is advertising,
- Randolph Hearst, publisher
Frank Luntz is a happy man. Hes staring at two lines on a
computer generated graph: red for Republicans and green for Democrats
and theyre starting to merge. He dashes excitedly into a room
full of people hooked up to his computer system. They are told to
turn a dial to indicate when they feel good or bad about what a
water company executive has to say about privatisation. With the
merging of the lines on his graph Luntz can see that both the Republicans
and Democrats in the room just love words like new,
responsibility and changing from old to new energy
sources. This PR generated speak is the strategy to convince
people across the political spectrum of the benefits
Luntz is a corporate propagandist, pollster and political consultant
to the Republicans, his specialty is testing language and finding
words that will help his clients sell their product or opinion.
Dont talk like economists. Words like capitalist
turn the average voter off. I am sorry to say that emotion beats
intellect he tells his fans. Instead they should emphasize
the value and benefits of a free market economy. Capitalism
reminds people of harsh economic competition that yields losers
as well as winners. Conversely, the free market economy provides
opportunity to all and allows everyone to succeed.
Luntzs work helping clients choose the right language
for their discussions with the press and adding a resultant shine
to corporate power - is a growth business that is destroying our
news content. In Britain, members of the Public Relations Consultants
Association saw incomes rise from £18m in 1983 to over £400m
by 2001. Ideally news becomes press releases - providing a publishable
article that an over-worked (or lazy) journalist can use with minimal
effort. And more and more newspapers and other media outlets are
acquiring content from press agencies such as Reuters or the Press
Association, companies which themselves are closely linked to the
PR industry. One of the Press Associations 27 shareholders
is United Business Media; they own PR Newswire, a major propaganda
tool for corporate interests. On the day French voters said Non
to the European constitution and another British soldier was killed
in Iraq, PR Newswire broke one of the days key news developments
even we, at SchNEWS towers, missed out on: the release of guide
book issued by one of its clients, none other than A Total
View of the US Adhesives and Sealants Industry Today. Good
to hear that someones covering the big stories!
At the DSEi arms fair in 2003 at least two exhibitors were flogging
Depleted Uranium shells - radioactive weapons shown to cause cancer
and nervous system defects, used in the War on Iraq (sorry, I mean
War on Terror), deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution
which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction.
So with our glorious leaders fighting an illegal war with illegal
weapons, what did the BBC have to say about the UK government supporting
the sale of weapons right in the middle of London? Not much. Their
online business editor Tim Weber must have been too happy to notice
as he cheerfully reported that organisers were allowing open
media access to the event for the first time. Facing such a golden
journalistic opportunity, Tim climbed into a BAE Piranha II fighting
tank, not asking the arms dealer whether they were selling to despotic
regimes, but whether the vehicle had a new tank smell.
And dont bother switching channels for another perspective.
ITN share an office with the Corporate Television Network (CTN).
Half owned by ITN and PR giant, Burson-Marsteller, CTN used the
same ITN staff to make misleading corporate videos for clients like
Shell (NOT drilling for Oil but exploring for energy) as those reporting
on events like the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni rights
activists, arrested for their part in demonstrations against Shells
environmentally destructive investments in Nigeria. Mmm, fair and
balanced? Oh well, theres always Sky
Faced with news based on corporate press releases and the buy-off
of journalists by PR companies, Luntz advises his clients to make
the most of such a favourable situation. But they have to be cautious:
Speak in threes he urges them, any more than three
facts confuses the issue.
At SchNEWS we can sum it in up in one sentence: Its
a load of old bollocks and its far better to write your own news
than rely on this bunch of wankers for info.
LOCAL NEWSLETTERS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
With most of the local media in the pockets of the big corporations
and advertisers, you wont find too many stories about local
corruption, creeping privatisation and the like. So radical local
newsletters are a great way of cutting through the bullshit and getting
to whats really going on in your community. Online info websites
like Indymedia might be great for national and international news,
but for getting out information on a grassroots level nothing beats
a sheet of paper handed to people in the street, dropped off around
pubs, cafes and local community centres. So isnt it about time
you started one in your local area?
Heres a few simple tips to starting yer own newssheet
Think of a good name. For example, saying that On
The Bog from Little bogweed is published by the South Bogshire
Emiliano Zapata Revolutionary Militia Propaganda Outreach Cell would
probably be an own goal.
Keep it simple. Two sides of A4 every month should do the
trick and not overstretch a few mates. Hey, you can even nick our
format - we wont charge.
Try and make it funny. Dont get bogged down with long
words or try to be too clever - nobody cares that you went to university
and read lots of books by men with beards who died years ago.
Keep it free ask for donations, but keeping it free
means that people you dont know might actually get to read
Write about local issues so people can relate to stuff in
it - then try and link it to the bigger picture.
Before you start we reckon its best to check out some of the other
publications but as Worthings Porkbolter crew told
us Just do it, keep doing it and dont give up, its
a cumulative effect and youve got to be patient. Its
not like a revolution has happened in Worthing because of the Porkbolter,
but I do feel its been worthwhile. Stuff we put out in our
newsletter and at our meetings hopefully is normalising our views
as opposed to the media and governments plans which are to
marginalise and criminalise protestors.
In fact Worthings Porkbolter is a great
example of how to do it well. A pun-tastic newssheet thats
been shit stirring in this sleepy seaside resort for the past seven
years, full of local news and very good at linking these to the
bigger picture. Theyve also got a How to set up your
own newsletter on their website at www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
Walthamstow Anarchist Group produce The Underdog
a quarterly newsletter, presenting items of local interest
with a decidedly radical slant. The latest issue covers councillors
scams which leads to a piece about direct democracy; theres
a big article on bullying at work, stuff on the Olympic bid and
how it will affect the borough plus the regular Wot Anarchists
Think column. www.walthamstowanarchy.org.uk
The Bristolian has been publishing in Bristol
on and off for the past few years getting rid of thousands of copies
per issue. Its in-yer-face, full of swearing and politician
baiting, and people lap it up, with headlines like Wankface
McNulty sensation... Theyre currently taking a holiday
trying to encourage more local scandal sheets around the country.
Good luck to them! email@example.com
In fact theres a depressing lack of local radical newsletters,
and far too much web based stuff that only reaches a limited audience.
The only ones that SchNEWS can find are Haringey Solidarity Groups
Indypendent, Brightons Rough
Music, Cardiff and Gwent Anarchists Gagged,
Bristol quarterly newspaper Bristle, Norwichs
irregular Now or Never and Newcastles long
running newsheet Think Globally Act Locally.
Hopefully weve missed some out, but come on we can can do
better than this!
Something cool happening in your area let us know! www.schnews.org.uk/pap/yourarea.htm
Fiction: Who owns your local press?
|Rupert Murdoch may dominate
the national papers but on a regional level in the UK it's four
firms who own the bulk of the local dailies. Take Newsquest
for instance who run 25% of UK regionals, including the Brighton
Argus, and are owned by the US's largest publisher Gannett Corporation.
Gannett own numerous other rags including USA Today.
As the world is forced to sit back and watch science react to
the devastating consequences of global warming, some Germans have
decided that we can actually cunningly outwit nature.
They reckon that the effects of the gaping hole in the ozone layer
can be dramatically overcome by swaying physics in our favour. Introducing
World Jump Day meaning that if everyone jumps at the
same time (given you live within the correct jumpzones),
we can knock the world off its axis, nudge it out of heats
way and not have to worry about all that longwinded reducing pollution
bollocks. Yes really! SchNEWS proposes World Yawn Day
- if everyone yawns at once we can muster up a tornado to blow all
those petrol stations, cars and German scientists into orbit.
* To find out your nearest jump zone visit www.worldjumpday.org
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