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| Friday 19th May 2006 |
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! ITS
YER OFF THE WALL...
Of Shame | Crap De-Arrest Of The Week
| Publish And Be Damned | Red Hot
Chile | Seeing (Red) | Barmy Army
| Party & Protest | ...and finally...
pushes Palestinians further into crisis
remnants of Palestinian civil society, brutalized by the occupation
and ongoing encirclement by the apartheid wall, is now reeling under
the shock of the sudden removal of all US and EU aid. Their crime?
To have voted in free and fair elections for a movement, Hamas,
which Bush and Blair argue is terrorist.
to the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been blocked by the US. Slowly
but surely the PA is being starved of the funds needed to maintain
basic services and infrastructure. The civil workforce have not
been paid for two months and hospitals are desperately short of
vital medicines. Jack Straw argued that aid to the PA had to be
cut because Hamas refuses to recognise Israel or renounce the right
to resist the occupation. Yet the UK is an enthusiastic backer of
the Israel whose new Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said I
believe with all my heart in the people of Israels eternal
historic right to the entire land of Israel. - meaning a racially-exclusive
state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. Hamass claim to
the same territory, with roots in living memory rather than biblical
mythology is treated as terrorist rhetoric and attracts crippling
sanctions from the West. Are we about to do to Palestine what was
done in Iraq during the nineties?
UK arms sales to Israel have doubled over the last year to £25m,
and since 2000 the UK has sold £70m worth of arms to Israel,
including tanks, helicopters, mines, rockets, machine guns, tear-gas,
leg irons, components for fighter jets and surface-to-surface missiles.
Over the last 30 years Israel has been by far the largest recipient
of US foreign aid.
regime is being conducted against an occupied people on behalf of
an occupying power. While the West demands that Hamas renounce violence,
the low intensity war against the civilian population in Palestine
continues. In the months of April and May, over 40 Palestinians
have been killed by the army - most of them civilians, at least
eight of them children - with the most perfunctory coverage in the
western press. Aggressive expansion of settlements together with
the building of settler-only roads continues. Israel maintains a
stranglehold over the Palestinian economy, meaning that the PA is
totally dependent on external sources of funding.
of this oppressive regime is the building of the apartheid wall
- some 730km of concrete and steel which will annex huge swathes
of Palestinian land and turn towns and villages into gated mini-prisons.
If completed it will allow Israel to control all significant movement
within the West Bank, allowing further degradation of daily life
in the Occupied Territories. A bitter fight to resist this symbol
of repression has been growing over the past few months, as SchNEWSs
correspondent in the village of BilIin, near Ramallah, reports...
* May 20th Demonstrate for Palestine, March
and Rally, assemble 12 noon, Embankment, London
* May 24th Introduction to ISM - Wednesday 24th
May 7.30pm @ The Bread And Roses Pub, Clapham
* May 27-28th - ISM Training Weekend - @ The Square,
21 Russell Sq, London, WC1.
* May 30th International Work in Palestine,
discussion, 6.30pm, Cowley
Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton
is a small village close to Ramallah six kilometres inside the Green
Line (the 1967 ceasefire line). For over eighteen months the villagers
of BilIn have been resisting attempts by the Israeli Occupation
Forces (IOF) to build a section
of the apartheid wall on village lands.
At a demonstration
on Friday 12th May, 300 Palestinians, international and Israelis
converged at the gate of the wall, the villagers non-violent protest
was met by a hail of plastic-coated steel bullets fired at close
range. Two international activists were hospitalised with head injuries
(one needing treatment for a brain hemorrhage) and dozens of Palestinians
were also shot and injured.
other villages, the Israeli government argues that the route of
the wall in Bilin was determined purely for security reasons.
However, a visit to BilIn shows that the work is aimed at
the annexation of the villages ancient olive groves in order
to allow expansion of the illegal Israeli-Jewish settlements
of Mattiyahu East and ModIn Illit. The annexation will directly
benefit the Israeli real estate developers Green Park
of BilIn have gained large-scale support from Palestinian,
Israeli and activists from the International Solidarity Movement
(ISM) in their struggle against the construction. Since February
2005 villagers have staged hundreds of demonstrations at the route
of the wall. The village has become a symbol of Palestinian non-violent
resistance and the demos have become a regular feature in the Israeli
Israel has built an incomplete barrier separating the villagers
of BilIn from their olive groves. In 2005 the villagers built
an outpost on their own land, imitating the Israeli
settler tactic of claiming Palestinian land through building illegal
outposts, close to the settlement of ModIn Illit. The outpost
is constantly manned by Palestinian and international activists
and has become a point where villagers can meet and discuss resistance
to the construction.
hold a demonstration at the gate to their lands every Friday. On
one such demo in April, villagers protests centred around
the boycott of apartheid Israel. Protesters burned Israeli products
in front of border police in riot gear, before breaking down the
gate in the wall and trying to access their land. The demonstrators
were met with with batons, tear gas and rubber bullets.
Mohammed Khatib, a member of the BilIn Popular Committee Against
the Wall, said... in the face of our non-violent resistance,
Israeli soldiers have attacked our peaceful protests with teargas,
clubs, rubber-coated steel bullets and other
ammunition. They have injured over 400 villagers, they invade the
village at night, entering homes, pulling families out and arresting
have repeatedly arrested youths from the village in attempts to
intimidate those taking part in resistance, often demanding large
sums of money in bail. In April two children were arrested while
herding goats.The two boys picked up one of the pieces of scrap
metal that litter the fields next to the construction site. One
of the settlers noticed and called the police, accusing them of
theft. The police arrested the pair and later made additional charges
of entering Israel illegally and throwing stones at a recent demonstration.
The boys release was secured by the ISM for 5000 NIS (Israeli
IOF repression, the resistance raises the spirits of the people
of BilIn in the face of the brutal Israeli occupation. Tom
Hayes, a volunteer in BilIn with the ISM, an organisation
aimed at supporting Palestinian non-violent resistance, said that,
the atmosphere in BilIn is one of hope - the villagers
respond to Israels apartheid policies with increased resistance
and are confident that they will win their fight.
widespread resistance in the nearby villages of Budrus and Biddu,
where other sections of the wall have been built, has lead to Israeli
Supreme Court decisions limiting the amount of land which the IOF
can annex behind the wall. The villagers of BilIn are hoping
to draw international pressure and media attention to influence
the courts decision.
of BilIn have issued three petitions against the wall to the
Supreme Court. The most recent, filed on May 14th, states that the
route of the wall is specifically designed to benefit real estate
companies and should be removed. Supreme Court Judge Salim Jubran
ordered the state to respond to the villagers request for
a temporary injunction within seven days.
has worked in BilIn for over a year and is committed to supporting
the villagers struggle. Contact www.palsolidarity.org
to join us in Palestine.
DE-ARREST OF THE WEEK
For having a group hug...
On May 12th Sussex Police boot boys intent on a bit of Friday night
aggro decided to evict a squat on Brightons Upper Lewes Road.
More than 30 friends of the squatters came and intervened as the
police evicted the house. Initially the cops claimed to be acting
under the trespassing laws and later to be investigating
a burglary. Brighton is such an anarchist utopia that burglars
are allowed to leave the premises with as much stuff as they can
carry ysee. Onlookers who did know the law were threatened
with arrest for being clever.
When people began to take photos of the bully-boy
tactics, the police threatened to nick their camera, under section
19 of the Do-What-Youre-Told-Act 2005.
After one happy-snap too many they chased one witness
down the street for his camera. As they caught up with him, his
friend gave him a big soppy hug and refused to let go - so was nicked
for Obstructing a Police Officer. When she got to the copshop it
was red faces all round for the boys in blue, as the Desk Sgt had
to explain to his colleagues that as taking photos wasnt a
crime, she wasnt obstructing them in the course of their duty.
Apologies all round and and then they paid her taxi home!
Meanwhile the squatters were kicked out and the house boarded up.
So, more homeless in Brighton and another empty house to split into
76 small but exclusive luxury flats.
Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) got an emergency injunction
rushed through the High Court on Tuesday May 9th to stop activists
publishing names and addresses of shareholders. A letter from an
unknown animal rights group had already been sent to at least 160
investors to warn them they had two weeks to sell their shares or
be named on a website. Activists want to sever the drug giants
links with doomed animal torturers Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).
GSK actually cut ties with HLS eight years ago,
after a documentary exposed some of the shocking cruelty in their
animal labs - but linked up again as soon as the dust had settled
a year later. Glaxo boss, Jean Pierre Garnier has been telling reporters
that theyre a benevolent company really... Testing drugs on
a few fluffy rabbits is OK because the goal it to save people from
disease. But pharma companies spend just 0.2% of their money developing
drugs for poverty related diseases like tuberculosis, which affect
almost one fifth of the worlds population. Instead Glaxo prefers
to pump their cash into Western vanities like slimming products,
in an attempt to follow a trail of cash rather than the most common
The injunction makes it illegal to publicly identify
investors and has been specifically designed to capture anonymous
groups, even making reference to persons unknown. GSKs
lawyer plans to cut and paste names into the injunction as they
turn up. They will publicise the injunction, so people cannot claim
they were not named in it and didnt know about it. Whether
that will stand up in court is anyones guess, but the lawyers
will know already that every huntin, shootin judge in
town will be looking to nail some animal rights activists. Anyone
found breaching the injunction can be held in contempt of court
and faces a fine or prison
Spot the terrorist in Chile! Would that be
the less than fluffy former dictator General Pinochet or some indigenous
activists? The latter of course! Three indigenous Mapuche people
and an activist sympathiser have been jailed for 10 years for burning
down forest owned by forestry companies. Ever since
the conquistadores first looted South America more than 500 years
ago, the Mapuches have had their land gradually stolen from them
and been forced into poverty as a result. Living in slums in Temuco
they are surrounded by a forest that is part of their ancestral
heritage, but is now owned by Mininco, one of the largest forestry
companies in Chile.
The jailed Mapuche are on the 68th day of a hunger
strike to in an attempt to draw attention to their cause. The Chilean
judiciary couldnt even be bothered to provide translators
for the Mapudungun speaking accused, who were all nicked under anti-terrorist
legislation. Activists are calling for their release and more clarity
about the political role and use of anti-terrorism laws in Chile.
Here at SchNEWS towers wed been thinking that Chile was way
down on Osama Bin Ladens target list, but no doubt politicians
have found anti-terrorism laws very useful for controlling dissent.
Such laws are in fact becoming more and more popular the world over
as tools to suppress social movements and political agitation. As
one 80 year old Mapuche healer put it This is a result of
reclaiming the land of our ancestors, but its money that rules
Mandela-wannabe Bono-head of popular beat-combo U2 has teamed
up with a yankee uber-captalist to launch Product (RED).
a leaf from the Book of Tony, theyve rebranded the old socialist
colour red into... new capitalist red. It is desi(RED), admi(RED)
and you should be inspi(RED), they schmelch on their swanky web
intro (www.joinred.com). Er, no, actually we are inc(RED)ulous,
ange(RED) and think the scheme should be ignor(RED).
a slick save-the-world-through-buying-more marketing campaign, designed
to convince us that a spending spree will take care all the worlds
ills. Promoted in conjunction with such philanthropists as GAP,
Amercian Express and Converse, a tiny slice of the extra profits
raised by the consumer frenzy will go to help alleviate AIDS, tuberculosis
and malaria. Dont worry about the role those companies play
in causing and continuing these situations just buy some
just one example, we are not so sure that The new red MOTOSLVRtm
is in fact the essence of desire, or that Motorola are
that dedicated to doing the right thing as theyve
helped destabilise Africa by plundering coltan for mobile phone
production, sustained sweat-shop style labour forces and helped
funnel the worlds wealth ever upwards into the same few greedy
wallets of the global elite. Maybe were just bo(RED) of all
the self-cent(RED) pop-star bullshit and think its time Bono
I didnt join the army to carry out
American foreign policy, declared Ben Griffin, UK refusenik,
having resigned from the SAS and refused to go back to Iraq.
join the army, see the
world, (well, Iraq and Afghanistan). Meet interesting people, refuse
to kill them, spend LIFE in a prison! Bomber Blair is eager to see
the new Armed Forces Bill through Parliament, which recommends sentences
up to life imprisonment for those refusing to serve in a war, whether
its legal or not. Not to worry that the legislation breaches
the Nuremburg principles which enshrine in international law the
responsibility of everyone to refuse to obey illegal and immoral
orders from any government. The Bill also proposes that those
who get a free education while in the Forces must remain a soldier
until theyre 40! This bill will have its third, final reading
on the 22nd May. Its sailed through the first two readings
without a whisper of opposition, and its time to campaign
and force MPs to reconsider this draconian proposition.
* See more at www.refusingtokill.net
and check out Military Families Against the Wars website
- Campaign Against
Climate Change will be having a Mad Emitters Tea Party
to send up and satirise the fossil fools of the Whitehouse on
May 20th. Have a picnic and make some noise. 2pm-6pm at U.S. Embassy,
Grosvener Square, London, phone 02078339311, see www.campaigncc.org
- There will be a Trident
Ploughshares Devonport Disarmament Camp from 18-21 May. Peace
pirates theme so bring eye patches and any spare galleons. Call
0845 458 8363 or see www.tridentploughshares.org/article984
- There will be a Baby
Milk Action protest against Nestles, at their tower
block HQ at St. Georges House, Park Lane, Croydon, at 12
noon on May 20th. This action is also against Body Shop
recently bought out by LOreal who are 26% owned by
Nestles. For more see www.babymilkaction.org.
** On the same day there will be a Demo at Body Shop, Nottingham,
about their new animal testing owners, LOreal. Meet at usual
Nottingham Animal Rights stall opposite M&S. contact 0845
- BPs Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline will be launched May 27, and there will be a demo
against it on May 26th, 5pm, BP Building, St James Square, London
SW1Y, Phone 07766175641 www.baku.org.uk
Since 9-11, flying has become a bit of a chore.
Endless security rigmarole and x-rays can dampen the spirits of
even the most frisky jet-setting businessman. So its cheering
to see that the famously fun-loving Serbian police want to keep
things lively... by planting explosives into random baggage at Belgrade
airport and standing back to watch the fireworks! Well, it keeps
them off the streets.
The foolproof fun inevitably came to an end after
an exercise on April 15th went badly wrong. Cops had planted explosives
into luggage destined for Heathrow, Paris, Milan, and Athens, and
let sniffer dogs loose to find them. They did find three, but when
the dogs turned up a blank on bomb number 4, the cops realized they
hadnt marked the bags
so they didnt know where
the explosives were or where they were going. Doh! Rather than own
up, they kept schtum, let the plane carrying the bomb take off,
and hoped nobody would notice. And they only got found out after
a local paper dug the dirt. One furious cop said, It makes
us look like a bunch of idiots! Enough said
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