| Friday 10th
2006 | Issue 568
CRIKEY MATE!! IT'S YER DUCK'S GUTS...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Under | Lieb It Out | Bomby
& Clyde | Party & Protest | Inside
SchNEWS | Its All Greek To Us | ...and
A DROP OF STREWTH IN
AN OCEAN OF BULLSHIT
Last weekend was the
International Day of Action Against Climate Change, coinciding
with the start of the latest UN Climate Talks in Nairobi from 6th-17th
November. The buzzword at this summit is adaptation
i.e. weve left it too late to stop climate change,
so how do we adjust our markets to survive and prosper from the
now inevitable changes? Also being discussed is what to do when
the Kyoto agreement lapses (and the world ends, according to Mayan
prophecy) in 2012.
The day drew marching
crowds worldwide, while one country facing a nasty climate-changed
future saw some of its biggest ever environmental rallies - Australia.
The 40,000 in Sydney,
40,000 in Melbourne, plus twenty six other population centres who
protested could be having their Katrina moment over
the next few months as the country goes into its worst droughts
for 1000 years after the hottest year on record - and the
reality of climate change becomes irrefutable, even to right-wing
Australia generates the
highest carbon emissions per head in the world, as well as the highest
water usage per head, yet these marches show a clear distance between
the population and a government which remains a firm ally of the
USs flat earth society climate change denial club.
During his recent speaking tour, Al Gore asked to meet prime minister
John Howard who refused saying he didnt take policy
advice from a film. The Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane also
declined, saying he wouldnt listen to the opinion of an
unsuccessful US presidency candidate who could not convince (his)
Time To Give A XXXX
The climate change prognosis
for Australia is harsh - less rainfall in the populated southern
areas, with a possible 40% drop in rainfall and 6 degree increase
in temperature by 2070. While this will drastically affect all the
eco-systems in the country with a myriad of knock-on affects, extinctions
and other chaotic ecocide, it will also make supporting a resource-greedy
population on the driest continent on earth even less sustainable
than it already wasnt.
For starters the production
of food will become much more difficult; large areas of farmland
will stop being viable, crops will get damaged by extreme weather
and savage bushfires, as well as outbreaks of pests and disease.
Already Australian farmers use 75% of the countrys water -
on arid soil bolstered with artificial fertilizers and this
usage makes Aussies the biggest consumers of piped water per head
in the world. As this years drought kicks in for a
fifth year in a row - wheat harvest estimates are down by 62% from
last year, while global grain stores are at a 25 year low. And on
top of this, Oz agriculture relies on freighting food large distances,
which makes it very oil dependent. SchNEWS correspondent in
Melbourne knows a man moving to New Zealand claiming to be Australias
first environmental refugee.
But Down Under, human-created
environmental problems are nothing new as massive deforestation,
urbanisation and radical changes in land use have already had major
affects over the past century. Take Perth, Australias most
precarious city water-wise: due to deforestation, south-west WA
has seen an incredible drop of 85-90% in winter rainfall, and inflow
into Perths reservoirs is down 66% since the 1970s. This in
a rapidly growing city of 1.5 million which has doubled its population
But its not all
just desertification; as sea temperatures rise by 1.54.5 degrees
this century, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland
the worlds largest coral reef system stretching for
1600 miles with 3,000 reefs and 900 islands - could lose 95% percent
of its living coral by 2050 due to climate change. And thats
the best-case scenario!
far-sighted government is committing itself to more coal power.
The New South Wales government trying to push through a massive
expansion of exports with the doubling of the worlds biggest
coal port at Newcastle NSW, and there are proposals for a large
open-cut coal mine at Anvil Hill in the Hunter Valley a plan
currently the being taken to court by environmentalist Peter Gray.
Last Saturday during the climate protests, 800 assembled on the
beach to spell the words Beyond Coal (for more see www.risingtide.org.au).
The majority of Australians
who enjoy a high-consumption lifestyle are facing a steep descent
in consumption, and similar to everywhere else, will be forced to
make changes while their government tries to pretend its not
all happening. For an Aussie take on dealing with energy descent,
surviving peak oil and looming food insecurity, Eat The Suburbs
have this guide www.eatthesuburbs.org/edap-primer
* For more see www.cana.net.au
Its been climate
action season in the UK lately. Last Mondays
Day of Action Against Short Haul Flights saw
actions under the Plane Stupid banner hit polluters
across the UK. Easy Jets London HQ was blockaded by activists
and a group of mischief makers from London Rising Tide occupied
the Civil Aviation Authoritys, unfurling a banner suggesting
that CAA really stood for Climate Armageddon Accelerators.
In Manchester, Cambridge, Reading and Bristol, local
activists targeted a number of travel agents forcing the closure
of offices for a total rethink. An assortment of D-locks
and chains ensured that the pollution pushers were closed for a
good few hours.
The week before there
was The No Widening M1 Alliance actions to hang
banners from bridges from Luton to Sheffield claiming the M1 was
a road to nowhere. Meanwhile, mother of two Penny Eastwood
was nicked for assaulting a police officer as activists daubed Bradford
airport with stickers giving the hard facts about the amount of
carbon emissions (thats at least 1.2 tonnes of carbon for
a New York weekend Xmas shopping spree, by the way).
November 4th, the International
Day of Action, saw as many as 25,000 protesters descend on Grosvenor
and Trafalgar Squares. Around 10,000 people started off opposite
the US embassy with a Seize the Day gig anti-Bush gags a-plenty
and a welcome visit by the peddle-powered Rinky Dink sound system.
A mellow kind of affair, followed by a nevertheless packed out Trafalgar
Square with speakers including George Monbiot, who called for a
direct action campaign every day until the politicians agree to
reduce carbon emissions by 90%. The march kicked off with three
separate Climate Change Bike Rides with probably close to 1,000
cyclists peddling their climate change banter past such pillars
of environmental responsibility as Exxon and Shells London
With all the media coverage
giving the opportunity to educate and inform, whats being
recommended to the public to prepare them for the drastic changes
required in their lifestyles? Well, er, you can always plant a tree
to offset carbon guilt! Fully endorsed with a certificate signed
by celeb Bill Oddie, Carbon Footprint will plant a tree for
every flight you make. A short hall flight is just one guilt-reducing
tenner (plus £1.75 postage and packing).
Of course, why even mention
that catching a train or bus will emit 90% less carbon than flying,
yet the governments own figures reveal nearly half of all
flights leaving the UK are for distances of less than 300 miles.
Meanwhile UK plc refuses to tax jet fuel, uninterested in the annual
£9billion that could be recovered by putting VAT on it. Aviation
is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and planting
millions of trees is just not enough - so check out www.planestupid.com
for up and coming actions.
IT OUT - YOURE AVIIN A LAUGH
As if the Middle East
wasnt already the sketchiest its been in years,
in the aftermath of the Lebanon (ok, for the sake of ease well
agree to call it a) war, Israel has chosen its most rabidly racist
politician to join the small group of people with access to Israels
red button. Yes, thats right, the Israeli cabinet has just
selected own its home-grown Nick Griffin to the new and highly dodgy
sounding post of Minister for Strategic Threats.
Avigdor Lieberman, head
of the far-right national party Israel Beiteinu (Israel
Our Home), now charged specifically with dealing with the Iranian
threat, is well-known for his history of physical violence
and intimidation. Within the context of Israels economic and
ideological deterioration, Lieberman is the perfect example of putting
the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
His appointment has come
at a very low point in the history of Israeli democracy, when the
Olmert government is desperate to survive after public criticism
of the moral and military failures of the Lebanon war. Despite calls
for the resignation of PM Olmert, Minister of Defense Peretz and
Chief of Staff Halutz, the Israeli public has once again retreated
into a nationalistic fervour.
In an already highly
militarized culture, with 25 percent of Israels population
living under the poverty line and the massacre of Lebanese spun
as a war for survival, it was no problem for a member
of the far-right, spouting fascist ideas, to be welcomed in to the
government with open (small?) arms.
He emigrated to Israel
from Moldova in 1978 and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
With a fascist pedigree easily able to match any Combat 18 bone-head,
he and his friends from the Betar youth movement used to sabotage
left-wing meetings on campus by storming in and beating the students
with bicycle chains. In 2001, the man was prosecuted for using excessive
violence and threats against three schoolboys, one of whom Liebers
attacked even as he fell to the floor crying and begging for him
are evident in his recent political rhetoric. In threats to Arab
MPs, he called for parliament to arrange a Nuremberg style court
to put all the Arab MPs on trial for war crimes and execute the
guilty. As disturbingly, he also remarked that if Egypt did not
cooperate with Israel, the Israeli Army should bomb the Aswan Dam,
flooding the vast area beside the Nile, probably killing hundreds
of thousands of Egyptians. Just this week, at his first cabinet
meeting, he suggested that Israel use the Russian tactics in Chechnya
(death toll 100,000+ and still counting) as its model for dealing
with Gaza. And in his election platform, Liebers proposed to raise
the minimum number of votes necessary to gain a seat in parliament
to 10 percent, knowing that this would effectively exclude any Arab
Although his views are
unrestrainedly extremist, on closer examination, maybe they are
actually not so different from Olmert, Peretz and the rest and other
recent Israeli leaders. Some would say that Lieberman merely says
openly things that every one else is thinking.
Some claim that his appointment
will wake up the Israeli moderates and reactivate those struggling
for peace and justice in the region. This could be true in another
country but unfortunately there is still no mass movement of protest
in Israel to reinvigorate.
In 2001, when he was
Minister of Transportation, he tabled a motion to invest 3 billion
quid in trains all over Israel. As environmentalists tried to figure
out what had brought a right-wing capitalist to make a decision
that so opposed his free market ideology, one commentator said that
it was simple: Liebers was preparing the ground not for mass transportation,
but mass deportation...
Now that hes that
much nearer the real levers of power and the large stockpile of
conventional and nuclear weapons, all Israels neighbours had
better look out.
* To join those who boycott
Israeli goods, see www.boycottisrael.co.uk
* For more about the
current Palestinian situation, see SchNEWS
resources are starting to be stretched up in Scotland as Faslane
365 enters its second month (see SchNEWS 565).
In isolation these kind of operations can be handled easily
says Jim Duffy, chairman of the Strathclyde Police Federation, but
when you get something taking the shape of the 365 demonstration,
then that starts to be something that causes problems. Nice
one! The year long blockade of the Faslane Nuclear base promises
plenty more action for months to come. The end of October saw five
elderly Quakers nicked, including 77-year-old Jeanne Jones who was
held in custody for almost 11 hours. Keeping up with the religious
theme, on another occasion the cells were alive with the hymns being
sung by one Reverend Ainslie Walton as they added a vicar to the
arrest list. November kicked off with a half hour long and 40 strong
blockade by wittily-named CANdLE (Cumbria AND Lancashire Etc) which
ended in 9 arrests.
Despite all their protestations,
the cops are doing wildy well, and keeping the average arrests-per
day count well above five. At this rate our Faslane365in365-ometer
will be redundant by christmas (and dont think we Schcrooges
wont let it go) * For more see www.faslane365.org
- NOVEMBER: 10th
Eleven years on from the murder of Nigerian writer
and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 others as part of Nigerias
crackdown on Ogoni People campaigning against destruction of the
Niger delta caused by Shell (see SchNEWS
49). There will be talks and films from 6.30pm with speakers
from Nigeria, and Ireland, where they are also fighting Shell
(See SchNEWS 549) at the Common Place
social centre, 23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds, LS2. For more see www.thecommonplace.org.uk
- 10th - Spoil the
Dalston Class Cleansing Party! Punish Institutional Anti-social
Behaviour! Go and annoy Ken Livingstone and the Hackney mayor
as they attempt to celebrate the yuppie-development based clearance
of Gillett Street Market, Dalston. 3pm.
- 11th - Remembrance
Day for Iraq and Afghanistan organised by Sussex Action For
at Churchill Square, Brighton, at 2pm. With stalls and speakers.
Similar events are being organised across the country by groups
affiliated with Stop The War Coalition www.stopwar.org.uk
- 15th - Mass Lone
Demo (see SchNEWS 560), Parliament
Square, London 6-7pm. www.markthomasinfo.com
- 19th - Benefit
Gig for Mumia Abu-Jamal - the former Black Panther and journalist
framed on a murder charge in 1982 and on death row since (See
SchNEWS 228, 34). Mumias appeal is currently on fast
track, and the Pennsylvania state is determined to carry
out execution soon. With film, discussion, live music. 7pm-12am.
Grosvenor Pub, Sidney St, Stockwell, SW9. £5/£3 -
money going to legal defence campaign. See www.mumia.org
On Friday November 3rd,
about a dozen people visited the Philippines Embassy in Kensington
Palace Gardens to highlight the case of the Sagada 11 - eleven
young Filipinos, aged between 15-25 and involved in projects such
as Food not Bombs and Earth First! who were arrested on February
14th this year en route to the Sagada mountains area to go hiking.
They were brutally arrested
without a warrant, taken to the station and tortured, only finding
out later that they were being charged with involvement in a communist
guerrilla attack on a military outpost a few days before. They were
not allowed to contact anyone and have been held in terrible conditions,
without basic necessities or enough food in overcrowded cells. The
two youngest have been released, but despite the guerrillas themselves
declaring no connection with the group and no evidence being presented,
the others are still being held in legal limbo without knowing when
they will actually come to trial.
The Filipino Embassy
is actually on Crown Estate, i.e. gated and protected, but people
managed to walk on in. Some went inside the embassy and spoke to
the Minister Consulate about the case, while 13 armed police removed
On Friday 17th November
there will be a day of protest phonecalls, letters, faxes and emails
to the prison and the Filipino embassy. Please ask them to free
the Sagada 11. Remember they are being accused of being
part of communist/terrorist actions so take care not to associate
them with anything overtly political. Embassy: 0207 9371600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jail: 0063 744222304. For more info see www.brightonabc.org.uk
ALL GREEK TO US
Its been kicking
off in Greece again as the New Democrocy centre-right
partys attempts to privatise education have led to six months
of striking and resisance by teachers and students alike.
Plans to cut funding
and free textbooks, introduce consultants and managers into academic
institutions and enter into the equivalent of public private partnerships
have not proved popular. Back in June, teaching staff went on strike
in protest and students occupied their unversities and schools in
solidarity. On June 8th there were large mass mobilisations, with
over 15,000 marching in Athens (met with riot cops and tear gas)
and many thousands more elsewhere.
Since the beginning of
the school year in September, there have been ongoing strikes by
the different teaching sectors and by the end of October 1,000 senior
high schools were being occupied by their students, in spite of
violent attacks against both teachers and students.
It seems the British
could learn a lesson or two from the Greeks about fighting the great
* See www.athens.indymedia.org/?lang=en
for more information.
Its our up-your-crapper
arrest of the week: A naked Californian man has managed to get nicked
for carrying a concealed weapon (phnarr). He was disturbed (in both
senses) when police found him lying on a tree stump, masturbating
beside a nature path. He was initially arrested on suspicion of
indecent exposure, but when asked whether he was carrying anything
police should know about, he coolly mentioned a bradle he had stashed
in his arse. Sure enough, he removed the 6-inch metal tool (wrapped
in tape) from his rectum and was promptly nicked on suspicion of
parole violations, indecent exposure and one felony count of possessing
a concealed weapon. Cheeky.
warns all readers... our jokes are as dry as a dead dingoes donger.
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