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WAKE UP!! IT'S YER DUE TO BE REPLACED BY 2024
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Story Links: The IDs of March | Crap
Arrest Of The Week | Radioactivists | Inside
SchNEWS | H2Ownership
| SchNEWS in Brief | Dow Chemikill
| Right To Protest Demo | Round The
Camp Fire | ...and finally...
The IDs of March
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE SURVEILLANCE STATE BUILDS MOMENTUM
The NO2ID campaign is organising a national day of action on March
26th to raise awareness of Neo Labours database state. Cos
from March 26th, anyone applying for a new passport will have to
visit one of the 69 new interrrogation centres in order to have
their identity validated (see SchNEWS
Got no ID? Then youve got no rights. Rights will only belong
to valid citizens of the state. Our identities will
be defined and controlled through the bureaucratic ID card system
- and without a valid ID, for example, therell
be no free health care. The most vulnerable will become non-people
in the eyes of the law. Under the excuses of fighting terrorism
and defending our way of life the total surveillance
society is being ushered in.
The ID scheme is particularly dangerous because of the way its
to be tied in with a massive database. Unlike in Germany or France,
Tony & Co intend to store all our personal data from the card
on the National Identity Register (NIR). The NIR will be the largest
single store of personal data in the world. And by sharing its data,
it will link with all governmental databases and potentially those
of agreed organisations and corporations too. So data
mining is set to become a large earner for the government
- well theres all manner of firms willing to pay to find out
our personal histories, lifestyle habits, preferences etc.
a marketing wet dream!
Costs are estimated at £5.8 billion and massive overspends
on these types of big government projects are pretty much compulsory
- but of course it wont be UK Plc forking out. Such an expensive
programme would make too big a dent on profits, so its Joe
Public wholl now be shelling out 100 quid a passport
up from £20 a decade ago.
With other proposed ID / surveillance plans include fingerprinting
kids at school, people in pubs and by the roadside (all already
trialled). There are plans to track and record all car journeys
and a massive increase in routine criminal record (CRB) checks for
everybody. Big Brother is here and hes watching you!
* National demo details at www.no2id.net
* Brighton NO2ID demo 26th March at Churchill Square from 5pm.
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For being followed...
Sussex cops continue with their supreme indifference to law-breaking
After a recent Crawley and Horsham Hunt meet, a van load of hunt
monitors were followed home by landrovers full of hunt thugs. Spotting
a copper, they stopped and asked for helped. The cop got everyone
out of the van and nicked one for allegedly letting the air out
of a hunt vehicle earlier in the day. This is particularly ironic
as these hunt monitors have repeatedly suffered harassment (SchNEWS
569), including slashed vehicle tyres (SchNEWS
578), all with no police action taken.
As parliament rubber-stamped a new generation of UK Plc's WMDs,
protesters clashed with Police. Ministers told MPs that a bout of
nuke-building was just what was needed to ensure a peaceful future
on Planet Earth.. If youre dubious about that one, then maybe
our need to be on the top table will persuade you. That
means being on the UN security council, the supreme body which divides
up the planets spoils - i.e using megatonnage as a fig leaf
for a lost empire. No doubt Blair feels comfortable there amongst
other has-been imperialists (France), current bullies (US) and future
With such a big thing as the big bang on the table, celebs couldnt
resist getting in on the act. Bianca Jagger, Anita Roddick and Annie
Lennox all posed for cameras whilst, together with demonstrators,
they brandished a cheque for £76,000,000,000 (the potential
cost of replacing Trident). Cops subsequently nicked the cheque,
maybe thinking that this was some kind of money laundering operation
(which it is just the financial crimes were being committed
Four people were arrested after blocking the entrance to Faslane
and five more nicked for unfurling a banner reading Whatever
They Vote Trident is Still Wrong on the Scottish Parliament
building. Meanwhile, activists from Block the Builders locked on
to some concrete-filled bins labeled Bin Trident - holding
traffic up outside the corridors of power for more than half an
hour. Cops took a lot longer to dismantle a fake Trident missile
and some people were still locked on after six hours! Nine arrests
followed under SOCPA for participating in an unauthorised
demonstration in the designated zone and for obstruction of
As the debate ensued inside Westminster, two peace
protesters in the viewing gallery were jumped on by hired goons
for holding up a peace flag. One unlucky fella was nicked for applauding
this act of terrorism. As dusk fell a critical mass bike ride took
to the streets and Seize the Day gave an impromptu gig as MPs voted
yes to global insecurity. www.blockthebuilders.org.uk
for more info.
* Central London Arms Trade Crawl. London Campaign Against Arms
Trade (CAAT) is to highlight the fact that the arms trade is corrupt,
indiscriminate and part of the UK establishment by protesting outside
three central London arms dealers on Feb 19th. From 11am at BAE
Systems, 6 Carlton Gardens; 12pm: LRLIH, 80 Haymarket; 1pm: MBDA,
11 The Strand. Tel: 07939 159283. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Three animal rights activists got banged up last week for a total
of almost eight years. The three a husband and wife from
Yorkshire and a friend are the latest to be prosecuted under
the new SOCPA laws designed to criminalise any form of protest against
animal research (See SchNEWS 565),
this time for interfering with a contractual relationship.
Mark Taylor got four years. His wife, Suzanne, who had been involved
in the campaign for only three weeks, was given 2 ½ years.
Teresa Portwine was given 15 months. None of them was accused of
any violent conduct. They were involved in a series of noisy demos
at companies linked to Huntingdon Life Sciences and their Terror
Tactics included inviting themselves into offices wearing
skull masks, filming and shouting. apparently left staff so traumatised
that the judge had no option but to bang em up.
This comes together with a police crackdown on street collections
for animal rights campaigns, as across the country police use a
variety of legal fictions to rob grassroots animal rights activists
of their funds and campaign materials to silence them. This comes
on top of the police closing down AR street stalls in London and
increasingly tight restrictions on demos across the country. Those
who abuse animals have no valid argument to rely on so use intimidation
and force, but those who defend animal nations will respond as theyve
been doing for 40 years with ingenuity and impact.
* Addresses for prisoner support:
Mark Taylor (TT6636) HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead. London
Teresa Portwine (TM7153) HMP Cookham Wood, Rochester, Kent ME1
Suzanne Taylor (TM7154) HMP Cookham Wood, Rochester, Kent ME1
Theres been more disappointment for the greedy people working
in the water privatisation industry (see SchNEWS
536), with Severn Trent Water International being booted out
of Guyana earlier this month. Company bosses had, er, failed to
get water where its needed most, despite promises to the contrary
and being supported by millions of pounds of UK government cash.
This money is part of a £30 million hand out of the World
Bank to fund privatisation schemes in 37 countries under the Public-Private
Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF).
This latest expansion to the welfare state for business bungs corporations
more than a few quid to spend on various propaganda campaigns, better
known (in the jargon) as consensus building. In Zambia,
when residents of the capital city Lusaka rebelled against the corporatisation
of their drinking water, PPIAF refused to meet demands to discuss
alternatives, instead employing well-paid consultants to persuade
the awkward natives that privatisation was the way forward. Perhaps
Zambians had been talking from experience - most of the countrys
successful water projects are run by public bodies!
Alternative public-public partnerships have proved
successful in several countries. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, residents
have assumed part responsibility for their own water supply. In
Uganda, after several failed attempts at privatisation, the government
ditched the corporations and opted for a public body which focussed
on boosting supply and access. Over the past ten years the percentage
of Ugandans with access to water has increased from 48% to 70%.
Seven Trent however are still eager to make some money and you
can find out more about the campaign against their plans to push
their way into Nepal at www.wdm.org.uk/campaigns/water/action/severntrentinternational.php
See also: www.wdm.org.uk/resources/briefings/water/downthedrainbriefing11012007.pdf
SchNEWS in brief
- MARCH: 17 - International day of protest on the 4th anniversary
of the invasion of Iraq. In London demonstrate 12-3pm, North
Pavement of Trafalgar Square. Open mic, street theatre. Tel 020
7837 1688, email email@example.com
* In Edinburgh there will be a Stop The War Vigil, 12noon, Mound
Precinct, Supported by Edinburgh Stop The War Coalition and Edinburgh
CND. * Manchester - meet 12pm at Piccadilly Gardens, city centre.
- 17 - Live Animal Export Demo - Meet Sheerness, Kent (by
Woolworths) at 10.30am for leafletting and at 12noon to march
to docks. See www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=921
** 19 - Global Day Of Action against the War On Terror,
- 18-19 - Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment Blockade
& Vigil: Minibus from Bristol at 2pm on Sunday. Tour of
base followed by a meal, planning meeting & crash space in
Newbury (bring sleeping bag & mat etc). Blockade starts 7am
Monday. Return to Bristol in the afternoon. Only £5. Reserve
your seat now. Email Nicefella@tesco.net
or tel 0117 951 2157
- 20 - Dont Attack Iran Peace Strike at Parliament
Square, London, all day from 10am. Tel 07818 221473, web www.peacestrike.org
- 24 - Protest the England vs Israel Euro 2008 Match, from
1pm outside the Football Association HQ, 25 Soho Square, London
W1D 4FA. The Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign calls for a sporting
boycott of Apartheid Israel until Israel complies with international
humanitarian law. Protesters are also urged to contact the FA
to complain - email firstname.lastname@example.org
or tel 0207 7454999. For more info tel 020 7700 6192, email email@example.com
** For full Party & Protest listings, see www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm
As reported last year (SchNEWS 548),
survivors of the worlds largest peacetime killings
the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India which killed over
20,000 people and maimed 120,000 more are still battling
for justice whilst being poisoned a second time by the same murderous
Twenty-two years ago a huge gas cloud spewed out of the US multinationals
pride and joy, burning and choking everything in its path. Today,
local drinking water is a hive of deadly toxins oozing from the
former pesticides plant, company bosses cant be bothered to
clean up. People are exposed daily to a cocktail of carcinogenic
and mutagenic chemicals and are suffering predictable health effects:
cancers, brain damage and birth defects are all rife.
The business that created and dumped the mess is now called the
Dow Chemical Company and boasts a bigger annual turnover than the
GDP of Uganda or North Korea. It is outraged that anyone thinks
it should pay for the clean up of one of the worlds toxic
hotspots. It says that either the survivors compensation money
a wallet-busting 7p per day per victim should suffice, or
the Indian taxpayer should pay.
While Dow flouts the internationally accepted legal principle that
the polluter pays, a succession of apparent well-wishers
have stepped forward offering to do the clean up through the goodness
of their limited liability company hearts. Upon investigation, both
Cherokee (see SchNEWS 548) and Tata, proud
new owners of Corus (formerly British Steel), happen to be directly
connected to Dow.
Bhopals survivors say they would rather carry on drinking
poisoned water than let Dow escape its legal obligations, for if
Dow gets away with it, and voluntarism replaces the law, polluting
businesses everywhere get the green light to follow in Dows
toxic sludge prints.
Victims would be spared the worst if local authorities simply supplied
them with clean water. In 2003 the Indian Supreme Court agreed and
ordered the Madhya Pradesh state government to supply poison-free
water to the 26,000 affected immediately. Central government sent
millions to pay for the work but nothing happened. When contamination-affected
women and children protested the broken promises, they were met
with police boots, fists and sticks.
As you read this, six hunger strikers are in their third week without
food, part of a Right to Live sit-in aiming to force
the Madhya authorities to give clean water, proper health care and
livelihoods to Dows many victims in Bhopal. The six have already
lost kilos in weight and are facing starvation until local officials
deign to flick their pens and grant basic rights.
The Bhopal campaign is urging people to call and fax the Madhya
government to demand it provides clean water and health care to
the affected. India is 5½ hours ahead, so its easy
to bother callous officials at night. You can call the Chief Ministers
home on (0091 755) 2442241 or 2442231. Calls cost 25p per min, BT
rates. When you do, let the campaign know at SfB.RSVP@gmail.com
For more details see www.studentsforbhopal.org/RightToLive.htm
Round the Camp fire
Nine people were injured following a fire and riot at Campsfield
detention centre early on Wednesday morning with seven immigration
staff and two detainees being taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
The fires were started after forcible removal of an Algerian male
asylum seeker from his room by guards. Recent testimony given by
prisoners to detainee support group Bail for Immigration detainees
(BID), complains of the brutal treatment by staff - including one
incident of a cancer patient being handcuffed and dragged out of
his hospital bed while still emerging from general anaesthetic.
A Campsfield detainee reported that, They used force to drag
the person from the bed and after that everything kicked off.
Consequently, riot police, fire and ambulance teams and a number
of ominous sounding Tornado units from the Prison Service
were called to the scene. Once the fighting had stopped, the frustration
was still evident. One detainee commented, Theyve stopped
fighting now but theyre destroying every bit of equipment
they can find - computers are getting smashed, shops are getting
broken into, theyre stealing everything
Throughout Campsfields history, (See SchNEWS 237,
549) detainees locked up inside have individually
and collectively protested about their conditions and for their
release. Every form of resistance has been tried from letters to
ministers, press coverage, rooftop protests and hunger strikes.
Those who dare complain are victimised and transferred to prisons.
Both Amnesty and UNHCR have condemned this practice.
Campsfield is a prison run for private profit by GEO, a US corporation
in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. It opened in November 1993, despite
local opposition, and can hold 196 adult male detainees. Most are
political refugees fleeing danger, torture and even death from countries
such as Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Turkey, India and Zaire. They are
held without charge, without time limit, without proper reasons
given, and without proper access to legal representation. Amnesty
report that these are breaches of internationally recognised human
rights. The former Chief Inspector of HM Inspectorate of Prisons
(Judge Stephen Tumim) and The Medical Foundation for the Care of
Victims of Torture have all condemned conditions at Campsfield House.
In fact the centre has even been condemned by David Blunkett of
all people, who promised to close Campsfield in 2002. The Home office
since did a complete U-turn and now plan expansion from 196 to 290
The Campaign to Close Campsfield continues to fight to have the
voices of the detainees heard and to end immigration detention with
demonstrations outside Campsfield on the last Saturday of every
month. Bring banners and instruments or saucepans to make noise.
Protests start at 12 noon at the main gates, Langford Lane, Kidlington.
for more info.
The Airline industry's cavalier disregard for the planets
future has been on display loud and clear at British Mediterranean
Airways, whove found it cheaper to keep empty planes in the
air than on the ground. It seems that the few million quid it costs
BMed to fly empty planes from Heathrow to Cardiff six days a week
is cost effective when compared to the £10 million
it costs to get a new landing bay. BMed had to scrap their flights
to Uzbekistan after civil unrest and to hold on to their parking
spot, they have to continue to make 80% use of their allocation
- so bugger the waste of resources and the even-more-needless-than-usual
climate damage done - talk about not giving a flying f*#k...
SchNEWS warns all readers they're watching us, watching them, watching
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