2007 | Issue 573
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER UNPLUGGED...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: On
The Social | Crap Arrest Of The Week | We
Are All Over The Place | Under The Lens
| Boo Radleys | Gitmo Bay-Watch
| Bling Sting | It's A Fair Kopi
| Party & Protest | ...and finally...
A PAUSE FOR THOUGHT AS SchNEWS MAKES THE FIRST MOVE...
Welcome back for 2007 as SchNEWS
enters its thirteen year of producing this ‘ere news sheet you hold
in your hand. The new year has brought a significant change for
us – leading to a longer Xmas break than usual. We’ve
quit the Metway, the Leveller’s building, and moved into
the Brighton’s autonomous social centre, the Cowley Club.
Thanks must go to the Levellers, who back in 1994 gave Justice?
(Brighton’s anti-Criminal Justice Act collective) an office
to base their myriad of activities - from direct action to community
squats to a certain weekly newsletter. The band probably thought
the raggle-taggle Justice? crew wouldn’t need the office
for very long – and indeed Justice? ran its natural course
after several years - but they ended up giving the office to us
for free for eight years, providing a solid base for SchNEWS to
go on to produce nearly 600 issues in our twelve years there.
took us away from the Metway was the opportunity to be at Brighton’s
social centre, and closer to the hub of libertarian activity here.
The Cowley Club was opened as a co-op in 2003, and
likewise has its roots in the local direct action milieu, and the
string of squatted street-front cafes often under the ‘Anarchist
Teapot’ banner. The Cowley Club is a cafe/bookshop by day,
a pub and gig venue at night, and is the centre of a whirl of countless
groups, meetings, screenings, open days, jumble sales and gatherings.
Just as SchNEWS is run entirely by an unpaid (and unemployable)
crew, all roles at the Cowley Club, from cooking, cleaning, bar
and admin are undertaken by volunteers. Both projects show what
people can do when they cooperate, and put the building of a better
community - and a sustainable world - as a higher priority than
doing the sort of jobs which only reward you with new cars and
ONE FOOT IN THE RAVE?
Alternative media and the co-op movement
in Britain are just pieces in a larger jigsaw of creating a sustainable
and egalitarian future – in
the here and now – and not waiting for a utopian revolution
which isn’t gonna happen. Both show that these types of project
can, and in fact must be, embedded in the community on a long term,
cross-generational and multi-racial basis – proving that
anarchism is for life, not just for yer two post-degree year’s
dole-drums. This movement is inhabited – and inhibited at
times - by some hard cases here for the long haul.
The Cowley Club
is one of a network of autonomous social centres across Britain – and
beyond – some of which arose in
a wave since 2005, building up to the G8 Summit in Scotland, while
others arose from previous movements, such as Bradford’s
1 in 12 Club, which was started in 1981, or Kebele in Bristol which
started in the mid-nineties. These ‘legit’ social centres
rise out of the squatter movement as veterans seek to break the
eviction cycle. Either way – whether a centre is part of
the new wave, or part of previous movements, or totally separate
from these circles, these centres are all about creating community
spaces away from commercialisation and prejudice – a place
where you can nurse a cup of rooibosch tea all afternoon, and where
activities cultural and political can happen. For a list of autonomous
social centres in Britain see over the page.
CAUGHT IN THE NET
Likewise SchNEWS is part of a network of alternative
media, which has the same goals of creating an autonomous media
free from commercial
forces. Obviously these days the network of regional Indymedia
websites is at the heart of it all, but on top of this there’s
a plethora of regional or campaign specific websites, publications,
independent video crews and more.
The work of video crews like
Glasgow’s Camcorder Guerillas
(or SchMOVIES) feeds into free online distribution points like
ClearerChannel, while at the grass roots level we find that there
is still a healthy amount of highly localised free newsletters
around the country such as Gagged in South Wales, or Gay Bishop
in Reading, or Brighton’s virtually fact free Rough Music
- proving that the web can’t reach the places a piece of
paper still can. Again, this is no new phenomena – it serves
a need which has always been there - and what we have now carries
on from the FIN’s (Free Information Network) zines produced
on a regional basis which were a popular format in the years between
the anarch-punk zines of the eighties, and now the web.
us to the next point... SchNEWS has survived by growing with the
political networks it is part of – and the technologies
(it was around before mainstream use of the web). It has (tried
to) stay relevant by keeping involved in these movements, and has
always been open to feedback and participation by anybody. The
move to the Cowley Club over the new year, leading to the longest
break SchNEWS has ever taken has plunged us into a bout of navel-gazing.
Whereas our video collective – SchMOVIES - is new, evolving
and going from strength to strength (there is a new DVD out this
month), the newsletter and the website are formats which settled
into place years ago. The fact that it’s survived is partly
because it’s been a popular format, and partly because it’s
been a sustainable format on a weekly basis for the size of the
crew. But the media world has caught up with SchNEWS – subjects
we banged on about for years like globalisation, privatisation,
climate change, corporate crime, and the environment are now common
place not only in the Guardian and the Indy but the Daily Mail,
BBC, and Woman’s Weekly. Is SchNEWS now flogging a dead hobby
What’s missing from the mainstream is news of grass-roots
resistance. People all over the world actually struggling to make
a change rather than waiting for politicians to do it for ‘em
- and especially here in the UK, where there is a chance for you,
personally, to get involved and do something about it. If you’ve
been a regular reader of SchNEWS, or if you’ve only just
picked one up, how about sending us your feedback? (Don’t
worry, we haven’t quite got key demographic focus groups
in mind). E-mail us and release the bees in your bonnet, or go
one step further and get involved, particularly if you’re
in Brighton. And wherever you are, please continue to send your
stories into us, and if SchNEWS isn’t the right thing for
your town, start your own newsletter, or see what’s in your
area. And if the food in your social centre isn’t quite to
your taste, well don’t just moan, get involved with the kitchen
In fact this extends to everything:– if what you see
around you is beyond the pale don’t just sit in a pub moaning
about it, get off your arse and do something about it. If not you,
If not now, when? Do-it-yourself. That’s the one constant
thing we have been banging on about for 12 years and, whatever
else, will continue to do so.
SchNEWS Training Day – 13th February
Come by the Cowley Club from 1pm onwards and get involved
Sunday 4th March 2-6pm at the Cowley Club, 12 London Rd. Bar
open. All members and their guests welcome.
Arrest Of The Week
Taking The Biscuit...
The crunch came during a mid-December’s night party in Cornwall
for one bunch of SchNEWS reading punks when the drummer in a local
hardcore band was arrested for throwing chocolate digestive biscuits
at the outside of the bar he’d just gigged in. His mate was
then arrested, beaten, CS sprayed, cuffed and locked in isolation
for asking why he was being arrested, whilst another was nicked
for trying to film it and calling the police “F*ckers” when
he couldn’t. Police overreaction perhaps? Crumbs.
Are All Over The Place
list of Social Centres around the country
Bradford: 1in12 Club, 21-23 Albion St, Bradford, BD1 2LY. Set
up in 1981 as a centre for the low waged and unemployed and still
going on strong. Tel 01274 734160 Web www.1in12.go-legend.net email
Coventry Peace House, 311 Stoney Stanton Rd,
CV6 5DS, Tel 02476 663031 Web www.covpeacehouse.org.uk Email email@example.com A
housing co-operative and a peace and environmental centre connected
local activist networks. Works directly with local asylum seekers,
and has a bike recycling project.
Brighton: Cowley Club, 12 London
Road, Brighton BN1 4JA Tel 01273
696104 Web www.cowleyclub.org.uk A social centre on the busy London
Road in Brighton. It houses a cafe and bookshop during the day,
a private members bar during the evenings, and is a base for a
variety of other projects.
Bristol: Kebele Kulture Projekt,14 Robertson
Rd, Eastville, Bristol, BS5 6JY Tel 0117 939 9469 Web: www.kebele.org Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Anarchist
collective run drop-in and meeting centre, vegan cafe, bike workshops,
anarchist library, housing co-op, exhibitions,
campaign catering, political activities and more.
Centre, 78a Penny St, Lancaster LA1 1XN. Web:www.eco-action.org/lancaster - a collectively run resource centre and meeting space in Lancaster.
Open every Wednesday 4-7pm.
Leeds: Common Place, 23-25 Wharf Street,
Leeds, LS2 7EQ, Tel 0845 345 7334, Web www.thecommonplace.org.uk - an independent, volunteer
run social centre in the centre of Leeds.
Liverpool – the
Cellar downstairs from bookshop News From Nowhere, 96 Bold Street,
L1 4HY is about to open in the next few
months. The venue is already holding events, but it needs a bit
more money to open properly with a kitchen and other facilities.
Once open it will be a hub for community action groups with cafe,
internet, gigs etc. See www.liverpool.indymedia.org.uk
Square, 21-22 Russell Square, London, WC1. Squatted social centre,
aiming to be a radical, public space for all. For
info and events listing see: www.londonsocialcentre.org.uk
Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES. Tel 020
7377 9088 Web:www.londonarc.org Email:email@example.com Collectively-run building providing space and resources for people
and groups working on self-organised, non-hierarchical projects
for radical social change.
London (East): The RampART Creative Centre
and Social Space, 15-17 Rampart Street , E1 2LA, is a large occupied
building in East London,
hosting cultural and political events, community cinema, exhibitions,
alternative media production, benefit gigs, discussions, meetings
and workshops and more. www.rampart.co.nr (offline for maintainence
at moment) ** Currently RampART are having bother with the local
authority and fire brigade wanting to do a health and safety inspection – which
could lead to it being shut down. RampART is calling for help and
has a wishlist - Illuminated fire exit signs * Fire extinguishers
* Fire blanket * Health and Safety Law poster * Hand basin and
more – contact at the above address.
London (South): 56a Info-shop,
56a Crampton Street, Walworth SE17 (near Elephant & Castle).
Resource for local people and campaign groups selling books and
zines, and with extensive archive radical
Manchester: The Basement, 24 Lever
Street (off Piccadilly Gardens), Manchester M1 Tel 0161 237 1832
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Manchester’s
new radical bookshop with a wide selection of anarchist and radical
books and journals. with vegan cafe, radical library, free internet
and exhibition space.
Nottingham: Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone St.,
Nottingham, NG7 6HX. Tel:0845 458 9595 Web:www.veggies.org.uk/sumac Email:email@example.com Resource centre for local groups campaigning for human and animal
rights, the environment, peace, etc.
FOR MORE INFO: Find details
on these and many others from www.schnews.org.uk/links and click
on Social & Community Centres, see also www.londonarc.org/social_centre_network.html
Jan 27th – a space for discussion, practical workshops, sharing
ideas, skills & experience followed by MAYHEM Cabaret & Cocktails.
At the 1in12 Club, Albion Street, off Fulton Street, Bradford, BD1 tel:
01274 734160 web www.1in12.com
available contact 01274 745002 or firstname.lastname@example.org
V for Video Activist
|The SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2006 is out this month. The
pick of the SchMOVIES produced in 2006, covering events across
the UK such as the Smash EDO campaign, protest camps at Titnore
Woods and Shepton Mallet, the Camp For Climate Action, anti-war
demos at Parliament Square, resistance to the M74 motorway
in Glasgow, and more.. Available now for £6 p&p from
SchNEWS. (Apologies if you’ve ordered and not received – there’s
been interminable delays over Xmas) Note new address - c/o
Community Base, 113 Queens Rd Brighton BN1 3XG
A Quick Guide to Alternative Media
Indymedia – an international network of
independent news sites which contain articles, pictures, films
and more, with material self-published by readers. In Britain it
has collectives running regional IMC sites in Birmingham, Bristol,
Cambridge, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham,
Oxford, Scotland, Sheffield, South Coast, York. These sites all
share the main national and international IMC features, but all
also listings and news specific to the region. See www.indymedia.org.uk
Current Free Newsheets
Gagged – South Wales Anarchist Newsletter
PO Box 70, Newport NP20 5XX. Issue 15 is out now - download a pdf
Gay Bishop – Reading email@example.com or
write to Gay Bishop, c/o RISC, 35-39 London Street, Reading, RG1
Porkbolter – Worthing - www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
Rough Music – Roughin' it up on the streets
of Brighton www.roughmusic.org.uk
Rupture – (Free party scene - email firstname.lastname@example.org for
pdf subsciption) Bristol
Forthcoming... Voices of Resistance from
Occupied London - a new “anarchist bulletin of
news, theory and action from the British capital after the empire”.
The first issue will be out early/mid-March – on time for
the global day of action for Iraq on March 19. Looking for contributors
now – deadline March 1st - email email@example.com
ClearerChannel - is an online resource with lots
of local and international independently made videos to download
for free see www.clearerchannel.org
Indymedia Video - For a list of groups active
in the UK see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/video.html
CultureShop - online retailer of hard to find political films UK and international.
|SchNEWS is calling out for interest/involvement
in an Alternative Media Conference in Brighton in early May
this year, which will be held over a weekend at the Cowley
Club. This will cover video, web and print media and will be
partly workshops for those newly involved, and also open discussions
about all aspects of the media activist malarkey. Some accommodation
will be sorted, and help is needed to set this up. Email us
if you are interested in helping or coming. Watch out for updates...
Action stations in Oxfordshire at the moment as the forces of
good attempt to stop Didcot power station, now operated by RWE
Npower, from wrecking a local beauty spot. Thrupp Lake at Radley
is under imminent threat of being drained and infilled with fly-ash
(i.e. stuff that won’t burn, containing toxic metals like
lead, copper and zinc) from Didcot, threatening the whole area’s
ecosystem. There used to be even more lakes in the area but back
in the “environment? what’s that?” eighties,
the local council planning department happily dished out handfulls
of permissions allowing the dumping of Didcot’s waste for
years in return for, well we’re not quite sure... Four lakes
were subsequently filled and in 2005 Npower announced plans to
use to ash up the remaining two.
A raft of objections from locals
only managed to get the plan amended to leave the smaller lake
alone...for now. Unsatisfied with that,
the campaign continues and some more enterprising folk have been
occupying a large house by the site since late December, becoming
a base of protests and home to numbers of people. The forces of
darkness have moved swiftly however, and less than three weeks
later, they are facing an imminent eviction order. (Help is needed
now - the address is Sandals, Thrupp Lane, Radley, OX14 3NG).
lakes are surrounded by mature woodland and are a rich wildlife
habitat supporting otters, water voles, Kingfishers, badgers, Carp
and great crested newts to name a few – for more see www.radleyvillage.org.uk/ourvillage/natural_history/thrupp_lakes.htm
from the threats to animal and plant ecosystem, even from one of
the remaining lakes being destroyed, the area is part of
the Thames Flood plane and the loss of an another excess run-off
sink could very well affect flooding levels nearby, which have
already experienced higher water levels since the earlier lakes
were infilled. This could be especially pertinent as we welcome
home the effects of global warming... resultant from intense burning
of fossil fuels such as at. Didcot – yes, it’s a vicious
circle... For full background, current info and to join the campaign
Easily the most publicly-visible outcome of the War on
the Geneva Convention-busting and illegal ‘concentration
camp’ in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay (fine purveyor of repression
since 2002) remains open for business. Despite widespread outrage
from the beginning, the yankies have proved unwilling to give it
up and now even the British establishment has started muttering
And so, January 11th saw the fifth anniversary of the
torture camp being marked with a day of international protest.
some of the ongoing campaigns, the day saw a range of worldwide
actions. Former British Gitmo detainee Asif Iqbal, and the family
of ex-Brighton current detainee Omar Deghayes visited the gates
of the camp itself. Meanwhile hundreds of people in orange boiler
suits went to the US Embassy in London while crowds gathered
in Birmingham to protest outside the factory that makes shackles
prison (See SchNEWS 511). There was also a big march from the
US Consulate to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
political influence on the wane domestically the and Tony Bliar
on his way out, the instability of the political
situation means the time is ripe for a final push of public pressure
to succeed in finally getting this particular scar on our conscience
closed for good. (But don’t even get us started on rendition,
other CIA torture camps etc...)
* For more coverage and pics see
* For info about worldwide war on terror detainees see www.cageprisoners.com
view the SchMOVIE about Omar at www.schnews.org.uk/schmovies/index-war-on-terror-iraq.html and visit www.save-omar.org.uk
* Feb 3rd is the Control Your Arms charity fundraiser
featuring breakdancers, beatboxers and graffiti. Every penny goes to Amnesty
Guantanamo’ campaign, so expect plenty of orange boiler suits...7pm-2am.Corbet
Place, The Old Truman Brewery, London E1 6QL. £7 (£5 before 9pm).
Anti-road campaigners in Southend, Essex, stormed into their Council’s
recent self-congratulatory shindig and declared the cancellation
of the road-widening scheme that will tarmac over an Anglo-Saxon
burial site at Camp Bling (See SchNEWS 514). Despite this plan,
Southend Borough Council had managed to win the British Archaeological
awards last year for the discovery of the very same Saxon King’s
burial ground that they are about to build a road over!
bureaucrats (with no apparent sense of irony) accepted the award,
they were lambasted by a faking-it ‘Mayor’,
local campaigner John Smith who took to the stage and apologised
on behalf of the Council for their intention to destroy the burial
site, promised to return the award, and then dramatically announced
the immediate cancellation of the scheme! Masquerading as an alternative
Mayor, he admitted he had ‘finally listened to and taken
note of the majority of people in Southend who have been shown
repeatedly to oppose it.’ Chaotic scenes ensued.
review of the cost of the scheme makes it the most expensive
stretch of road ever, at 25 million quid for under a mile of carriageway.
A nice not-so-little earner for someone.
Meanwhile, the happy
campers at Camp Bling protest site continue to keep a watchful
eye over the place. 16 months in the making,
the camp now boasts the deepest ever tunnel in the history
of the anti-roads movement. Numbers at the camp have grown as a
on the funding for the road is soon to be given. See www.savepriorypark.org or phone 07739 189165.
IT'S A FAIR KOPI
This year the G8 Summit will be held in the attractively
named Heiligendamm in northern Germany. The corporate
lovefest is planned for the 6th
- 8th of June and, as usual, delegates and police are eagerly awaiting
(in Tony Blair’s words) the “anarchists’ travelling
circus that goes from summit to summit with the sole purpose of
causing as much mayhem as possible!”.
Activists are already
getting hassle from Der Man. Berlin’s
long-running KOPI autonomous centre has faced two raids by 50 cops
in just 10 days. The second raid took place on the 12th January,
with police taking a particular interest in the many anti-G8 posters
and leaflets. After about an hour, a sizeable crowd had gathered
outside the centre and, with the use of projectile reasoning*,
encouraged the cops to withdraw. Berlin’s activist community
can expect a lot more of this type of harassment as the date draws
more see http://koepi.squat.net)
Situated near Rostock, Heiligendamm
itself is a tiny, isolated seaside resort, picked because it’s
easier to protect the elite attendees and repress any protests
without disruptin’ too
many locals and the packed business-friendly agenda. Germany has
a huge eco-
movement and the potential for a Big Day Out there is massive.
Watch this space.
* The SUMAC centre, Nottingham’s autonomous
social centre, is hosting a day of discussion and mobilisation
for the G8 on the
28th of this month, from 10.30am-5pm. Participation is free and
cheap food is provided by the ever-charming VEGGIES. Limited accommodation
is available upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
** SchNEWS Vocab: projectile reasoning is the
use of flying stones and other masonry when arguing with cops.
- JAN 26 - Axis of Assholes / Toestring and The Bad Fucks – Fundraiser
for Smash EDO campaign from 7.30 pm till late at the Cowley Club,
London Road, Brighton. £3 suggested donation; Members and
guests only. If you can’t make it, join the next EDO
Phone Blockade on 1st Feb. Call 01273 810500, 810501, 810502 etc or
fax 810 600 and tell the arms dealers what you think of them
the EDO Managing Director on ext 810567... See www.smashedo.org
- Plane Stupid! Benefit - at Brixton Jamm, this Friday 26th,
Alabama 3 will play plus show of footage from recent actions.
Tickets and info at www.planestupid.com
- 26-28 Harrods Anti-Fur
Protests start on Friday from 12noon, Saturday from 11am, and
Sunday at noon. Even if you can’t make the protests this
time, more useful info along with event details at www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=870 or email email@example.com Tel: 07899 775493
- FEB 4 – the
sixth annual Seedy Sunday 2007 for Brighton/Hove. With talks,
stalls, films, organic farmers market, seed selling and swapping.
organic cafe, creche and bar. 10am – 4.30pm, £1,
kids free at The Old Market, Upper Market St, Hove. Call 01273
, web www.seedysunday.org email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Red Room presents ‘Injustice’ A controversial
award-winning documentary by Ken Fero and Tariq Mehmood, investigating
the rising number of black people who have died in police custody
(with a filmmakers Q&A session afterwards). Book, but tickets
free (donation of £3 is kindly asked for, but not obligatory).
7.30pm at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA.
www.richmix.org.uk and www.theredroom.org.uk
- 10 - No Borders
to shut Colnbrook and Harmondsworth Detention Centres. Coaches
leave London 10am. See www.noborderslondon.blogspot.com or email
FOR FULL Party & Protest LISTINGS
- UPDATED WEEKLY - see www.schnews.org.uk/pap
While we here at SchNEWS broadly support a lot of the work subvertising
Canadians Adbusters do, and usually give their ‘Buy Nothing
Day’ a plug (although the leap from one day a year to five
or six a week is is cavernous one), their new campaign sets new
standards in half-hearted tokenism.
As their own tough talking open letter put it “Dear Jammers & Creatives,
Still feeling frazzled from the December whirlwind of holiday shopping,
gift giving, and parties? Already burned out by extra hours at
the office in the New Year? Tired of spending more time in traffic
than you do with your family and friends? It’s not too late
to slow down and renew your intentions for a saner, more mindful
way of life in 2007. If you’re ready to experiment with a
different, more fulfilling rhythm, join us in celebrating the second
annual International Slow Down Week, January 14-20.” That’s
right - don’t walk out of that corporate rat-race, ditch
the car, confront reality – just... slow down. A bit. For
a few days. Then get back to it! What’s next: Feel Vaguely
Guilty for Five Minutes Day? International Hope Someone Else Sorts
Things Out And It Doesn’t Affect Me Too Much Month?
OK we applaud the idea of people slowing down on mindlessness
and consumption, but it has to be permanent and matched by a speeding
up of positive action..Taking the afternoon off work and occasionally
enjoying some witty subverts some anti-marketing ‘creative’ type
has photoshopped up is just not quite gonna be enough. Still we
did get into the spirit of it all and it’s only taken six
weeks for us to write this edition of yer weekly SchNEWS!
SchNEWS warns all readers - make sure you always
get it in writing. Honest!
free short films produced by SchNEWS, or order a copy of the new
SchMOVIES 2005 DVD only £6 incl. p&p. Click
Here for more info
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