| Friday 16th February 2007 | Issue 576
WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER S.W.A.L.K...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Haven It Large | Media
Haw Of The Week | And Getting Away With It
| Party & Protest | That
Sinking Feeling | Mace Of Spades | Get
Knotted | Don't Say It With Flowers | Loose
Threads | ...and finally...
HAVEN IT LARGE
PROTEST PRESSURE BUILDS ON 120 MILE GAS PIPELINE THROUGH WALES
Protesters against the National Grid Welsh gas pipeline (see ScHNEWS
569) seized the initiative on Valentines day by taking
the struggle to the pipelines terminal at Milford Haven. Upn
at em by 5am, pipeline activists were at the gates at dawn,
and eight people soon occupied a rickety jetty in the harbour -
bringing work to a grinding halt - and five more locked on with
heavy metal arm tubes at the site entrance, blocking access to the
site for several hours.
Heavy handed cops soon arrived on the scene, but it took them many
hours to cut every one free and eventually make their thirteen arrests.
In the meantime, although they had no qualms in directing cars to
mount the verge and pass dangerously close to the lock-blockers,
trucks had no chance and a queue of over thirty lorries soon stretched
back down the road.
Supporters of those arm-deep in the action were rounded up and
held (illegally) on a bus for an hour and a half, before being marched
up to the top of the road and encouraged to hold a demonstration
in a pen, under section 14 of our old friend the Public Order Act.
They refused to co-operate but enjoyed being able to tell one copper
who arrived late on the scene and asked who the organiser of the
demo was, er, that police officer over there..!.
The 120-mile project cuts a motorway sized swathe through from
Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire to Tirley in Gloucestershire - often
through ground deemed unsuitable for building houses on, with some
living nearby refused even having domestic mains gas - let alone
a giant main pipeline close by which even industry experts predict
will suffer at least one crack in its lifetime.
Inspired by the initial squatting of the pipeline in November,
camps sprung up at Milford Haven, Trebanos and Cilfrew, with locals
and activists regularly disrupting work. January saw a number of
actions, including at a new location at Alltwen, Pontardawe - where
people chained themselves to machinery in order to stop the work
carrying on the other side of the valley from the Trebanos camp.
On February 7th, the DTI announced approval for the start of phase
II of the environmentally damaging project, across the Brecon Beacons
heritage site - which the national park authority called a huge
blow. But activists aint gonna let their protest
go down the tubes, and are upping their efforts, with one spokesman
declaring: Milford Haven is supposedly a potential target
for terrorists. Yet this pipeline will commit us to another thirty
years of fuelling a cause of terrorism: Western corporations taking
countries gas to expand consumption and their profits. This
is not just a Welsh problem it is an international one! We all know
about the effects of carbon dioxide on climate change - with the
UKs main contributor being Gas! Peace, love and f*ck fossil fuels.
To get involved: Trebanos site phone 07733 190958.
MEDIA HAW OF THE WEEK
Hats off to Brian Haw who won channel 4s Most Inspiring
Political Figure award, with over 50% of the vote (see SchNEWS
575). As Brian stated in his acceptance speech: I would
like to say a warm thank you to everyone who voted for me. This
is a vote against this governments killing, maiming, torture,
stealing. Its a vote for the children of Iraq and Afghanistan, for
all our children - our future. For truth, justice, peace and democracy
for all. A certain T. Bliar polled a whopping 6% of the vote.
Brian's anti-war occupation at Parliament Square goes on. See www.parliament-square.org.uk
AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT
So theres 3,000 new criminal offences on the books since
Neo Labour came to power. The governments crime strategy has
been to hit the poor with anti-social behaviour orders (see SchNEWS
492), target migrants and refugees (see SchNEWS
571), ramp up the anti-protest laws under the cloak of war on
terror (See SchNEWS every week), and of course liberally dish
out plenty of good old fashioned iron bars there are actually
now more people in prison than voted new Labour (give or take!).
And what about the richer, more powerful people breaking laws and
harming others in their pursuit of big money (i.e. Criminals)? Despite
promises to the contrary, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate
Homicide Bill currently trundling through parliament leaves this
group strangely untroubled.
The bill is designed to make it easier for company bosses to be
held to account for workplace accidents, but as usual, when it comes
to the crunch, company bosses have little to worry about. Since
the Health and Safety at Work Act came into force in 1974, 10,000
people have died at work - but only 11 directors have been convicted
of manslaughter (only 5 of those were jailed).
Last year eleven people were killed at work every week. According
to the Health and Safety Executive almost 75% of these "accidents"
were caused by managers cutting corners to maximise profits. Last
week an inquest into the death of steel fixer Kieron Deeney passed
a verdict of unlawful killing, after he fell 40 feet
to his death through a hatch covered by a piece of plywood. And
nothing is quite as cheap as casual labour, with accidents much
more likely to be suffered by agency workers like Simon Jones (see
SchNEWS 182 and www.simonjones.org.uk
for more info).
Despite the usual vote-winning, tough sounding talk down the years
about prosecuting company bosses more often, Tony & Co have
been less than enthusiastic about actually upsetting their pay masters:
the Corporate Manslaughter Bill has been delayed nine times already.
The Confederation of British Industry and Institute of Directors
have been pushing hard to derail the bill, worried that improving
staff safety at work could prove a costly venture.
BARING YOUR CLAUSE
And its not just about deaths at work. Clauses 3 and 5 in
the bill legislate for exemptions for deaths in public services
such as prisons, child protection and probation, military operations,
mental health institutions and detention centres all the
kinds of places with volatile situations and the potential for dangerous
abuses of power. These public areas should be the first on the list
to have thorough mechanisms to protect the vulnerable people they
Some shred of encouragement can be taken from the House of Lords
vote on 5 Feb however; 2:1 in favour of allowing prosecutions to
be made when people die in police custody or prison cells - although
the government is expected to fight this decision, so the fight
is far from over.
Other public services are affected by this legislation. Back in
2005, the Corporate Manslaughter case against Balfour Beatty and
Network Rail over the Hatfield rail disaster collapsed. Four people
were killed and 102 injured, but the court couldnt find a
controlling mind in the company (tried looking in the
boardroom?) and, therefore, couldnt decide who was really
responsible for all the proven mistakes! In July 2006, Balfour were
fined £10m and Network Rail £3.5m. Balfours fine
was cut to £7.5m on appeal, as their fine was disproportionate
- Bonus discount! And, if that wasnt enough, the two companies
claimed £21m back in legal costs for the bungled manslaughter
So the reality remains that capitalism allows ficticious corporate
entities to be treated as moral beings, with the responsibility
for human lives and safety, even though they can not ultimately
be held accountable beyond a slap on the balance sheet for 'mistakes'
made in their relentless cost cutting, profit-increasing ventures.
No wonder it pays off to cut corners and gamble with workers and
the publics lives to make a killing. Visit www.fack.org.uk
PARTY & PROTEST
- FEBRUARY: 17 - Unite Against Fascism - Stop the BNP National
Conference, 9.30am-5pm. TUC Conference Centre, Great Russell
St, London WC1B 3LS Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road. www.uaf.org.uk
- 17 Call for social justice outside the Zimbabwe Embassy,
249 The Strand, London (nearest tube: Charing Cross). WOZA (Women
of Zimbabwe Arise) & Zimbabwe Vigil invite you to endorse
the Zimbabwean Peoples Charter, 2-6pm, call 07811 452030.
- 17 - Starbucks picket at Clapham North Tube, 11.45am
- 19 - Mass sleep-out in Parliament Square to highlight
the desperate plight of refused asylum seekers made destitute
by government policy. Even if you just come down for a shift or
bring a flask of tea. email@example.com
- 20 - Composting Capitalism - why recycling
the corporations can halt climate chaos. A World to Win Open Forum
on strategies for tackling the eco-crisis. 6.30-8.30pm at The
Hub, 5 Torrens Street, Angel, London, EC1V 1NQ (rear of Angel
tube). Free. www.aworldtowin.net
- 21 - Mass Lone Demo - Parliament Square 6-7pm - protesting
against SOCPA - the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
(see SchNEWS 483) For more see www.markthomasinfo.com
- 21 - Noise Demonstration: Naming the Dead in Somalia at EDO
MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton, 4-6pm. While the USA bomb Somali
villages and the press look away, we will confront workers with
the names of people killed in the war on terror.
- 21 - Demo against Newhaven Incinerator organised by DOVE
on the day of the Planning Application decision. Meet 9.45am outside
East Sussex County Council offices, County Hall, St Annes
Crescent, Lewes. More info: www.dove2000.org
- 22 Camp Bling - protest against the Priory Crescent
road widening scheme, at the next full meeting of Southend Borough
Council. 6.30-7.30pm, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend,
Essex. Tel 07739 189165 email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 24 - No Trident / Troops Out of Iraq - National Demo.
Assemble 12 noon Speakers Corner, Hyde Park. Rally in Trafalgar
Square organised by CND and the Stop the War Coalition. For more
There is also a callout for an automomous bloc on the day - look
for a large red and black banner with the word RESIST
on it near Speakers Corner.
That Sinking Feeling
The financial bilges of the good ship SchNEWS are struggling to
keep out the icy water of unpaid bills. After the office move and
computer freak-outs our outgoings are currently £100 a week
more than regular donations cover. We're still afloat thanks to
the odd generous individual, but we still need help to keep pumping
it out with more small monthly donations - which you can do as a
standing order or online (see www.schnews.org.uk/extras/help.htm)
* V For Video Activist - The SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2006 is out
now and available for £6 incl p&p (comes with free 2005
DVD) - and we still have copies of the SchNEWS At Ten book and other
annuals all going for bargain prices see www.schnews.org.uk/pages_merchandise/merchandise.html
MACE OF SPADES
A violent assault on a car full of hunt monitors earlier this month
has left one with a broken arm. Around a dozen hunt supporters joined
in with the frenzied attack, attempting at one point to roll the
Landrover. After a failed attempt to steal the keys, the attackers
smashed all the windows and attacked the driver with a spade.
The driver made an escape and had x-rays in the nearest hospital.
Police are now investigating the incident, not the first of its
kind at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt. In 2000, a protestor
was run over and almost killed at a meet by a hunt supporter, leading
to a high-profile campaign against them (SchNEWS
Could it be that hunters have such pent up violent tendencies that
if their hunt is stopped they will have to vent their anger on people?
This incident suggests as much, and thats bad news for the
rest of us as hunting has, in theory, been outlawed.
Meanwhile the Warwickshire Hunt continues to hunt foxes week in,
week out, with no police interest - inspiring a fancy dress demo
outside Warwickshire Police HQ on Feb 9th. Hunt supporters continue
to say they will defy the ban, while the local Chief Constable merely
says hunting per se is not a policing priority. This
has left Coventry Animal Alliance to conclude that laws are there
to be broken - especially when theyre not being enforced!
Robbers, drug dealers and gangsters turned up to show thanks to
such slack law enforcement.
* Feb 9th marked the 16th anniversary of Mike Hill's death, an
18 year old lad killed by a huntsman during a hare hunt in Cheshire.
* Get the latest news at www.huntsabs.org.uk
* Rumour has it there's a fancy dress party outside Parliment Feb
The lead up to Valentines day was National Marriage
Week apparently, and whether youre into it or not, its
surely what that sugar-pink consumption-fest - engineered soley
to sell cards, flowers and chocolates - is all about. Youve
met the one, youre dizzy with love and on that
special day of romance youre swept away and decide to tie
the knot. How sweet! When to set the date for the wedding? Oh, and
will you ask the Home Secretary for his permission or shall I?!
This is the reality for anyone in Britain wanting to marry a non-European
- you must get John Reids express permission. Even though
the High Courts have ruled against this discriminatory practice,
the government continues to deny people the right to marry the person
they choose, and split marriages and families by forcibly removing
non-EU partners from the UK.
For more see the Brides Without Borders campaign at www.brideswithoutborders.org.uk
Dont say it with flowers
SchNEWS sends heartfelt if belated Valentines wishes to our
old friends Carmel-Agrexco (see SchNEWS 529,
558, 571), the
Hayes-based company who supply every major supermarket with flowers
exported from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Their
Middlesex depot was visited last weekend, 10-11th Feb, by 120 activists
from Boycott Israeli Goods. Sales of Israeli flowers for Valentines
amount to 10% of all Israels annual exports to the UK. Bloomin
Aiming to disrupt the Valentines week profit-at-all-costs
love-in, the group made a human barricade to stop lorries going
in or out. Business was disrupted, despite the best efforts of heavies
from First Class Protection who were sent in to try to break up
On Sunday, 13 activists returned to lock themselves to the gates,
again costing the company money and bringing attention to their
practices. Arrests were made for Obstruction of the Highway
instead of aggravated tresspass cos this is one company
desperate not to have the legality of its actions examined in court.
Tom Hayes, spokesman for Boycott Israeli Goods, told SchNEWS, Our
aim is to point out that flowers grown with stolen water on stolen
land using a displaced Palestinian population as cheap labour dont
make loving gifts. Dont give your sweetheart a barbed-wire
bouquet this Valentines.
* See www.boycottisrael.co.uk
Just in case exploited slave labour in sweatshops, climate-busting
transportation miles and the resource wastage of flimsy made-to-replace-every-three-months
fashion items wasnt enough to leave you heading straight for
the charity shop, a new report explains how even the production
of the main raw material for the clothing industry cotton
screws both people and planet. Updating the story of the
ultimate symbol of imperial slavery, The Deadly Chemicals
in Cotton by the Environmental Justice Foundation (in collaboration
with the Pesticide Action Network UK) highlights the routine use
of harmful chemicals, including nerve agents and neurotoxins, on
today's cotton crops.
The developing world has 30% of global pesticide use and 99% of
pesticide induced deaths.
Cotton is the most valuable non-food agricultural product, so naturally
using corporate-logic its also the worlds dirtiest
crop, with US$2 billions worth of chemicals sprayed over it
every year, half of which is toxic enough to be classified as hazardous
by the World Health Organisation. Many of these chemicals are banned
or restricted in the West, but its a different story in the
globalised third world - where 99% of cotton production happens.
Some of the worst toxins are Aldicarb, a powerful nerve agent (one
drop absorbed through the skin is enough to kill an adult), Endosulfan
attributed to thousands of fatalities amongst farmers in
West Africa and India (leading to its ban in 2001, quickly overturned
by the pesticide industry), and friendly sounding poisons like Monocrotophos
and Deltamethrin. Vomiting, paralysis, incontinence, coma, seizures
and death are just some of the many side effects suffered by farmers
and children in the developing world who are routinely exposed to
pesticides so shops from Primark to Prada can stack em high
and sell em cheap (or really expensive). If you have to buy,
make sure its organic cotton and heres hoping for the hemp
revolution sometime soon...
* The Environmental Justice Foundation's Cotton Campaign is at
London Fashion Weeks Ethical Fashion arena Estethica, Stand
ES20, 1216th Feb, with copies of the report and screenings
of EJFs award winning documentary White Gold
The true cost of cotton.
Are you a female stud or a male slag, spreading your love around
a little too freely, and behind backs? How about the convenience
of paying a one-off fee to expunge the guilt of your dodgy liaisons?
Launched on Valentines day, a new website is offering the
public a chance to offset their infidelity by funding one of CheatNeutrals
certified monogamy-boosting offset projects, funding
people to stay loyal and faithful. Naturally, they urge customers
to first measure and reduce their unfaithfulness as much as possible,
but by offering people the ability to offset the remaining unavoidable
cheating, they claim to be saving relationships, making people
feel better about themselves, and providing practical, achievable
ways to reduce global levels of heartbreak.
If youre wondering what the cuckold this crazy-sounding scheme
is all about, the sites designers point to the logic of Carbon
Offsetting schemes in explanation: Its a joke
about paying for the right to carry on cheating. Carbon offsetting
is also a joke about paying for the right to carry on emitting
carbon. What we need to be doing is reducing our emissions. Offsetting
stops us thinking about how to do that. The site may not help
a vast new army of slutty anti-offsetters into action as much as
amuse them, but so far over 65,000 people have done their bit (having
had their bit) and offset in a bid to save the worlds love-o-sphere.
SchNEWS warns all readers - flattery might get you everywhere but
donations will get you even further.Honest!
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