| Friday 1st June 2007
| Issue 590
WAKE UP!! FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE TAPE, IT'S YER...
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for Strawberry Fair, which includes Festival Eye spoof plus (actual)
summer Party & Protest listings (PDF 1.3meg) click
Story Links: Pig Ignorance | Rostock & Two Smoking Barrels | Crap Arrest Of The Week | A Rougher Guide To Guatemala
| SchNEWS in Brief UK RESISTANCE ROUND-UP | Camp For Climate Action | Mind the Gap | Positive Schnews | ...and finally... |
CHARGES DROPPED AS OXFORD COPS ACCIDENTLY TAPE THEMSELVES
Fourteen campaigners against the Oxford Animal lab, charged with various public order offences, walked free on May 30th after revelations of a police stitch-up. During the trial, a transcript of a dictaphone tape recorded by the cop's Tactical Advisor on the day was presented as evidence by the defence. The hour-long tape conclusively shows that Thames Valley Police are conspiring with Oxford University to smash the campaign (OK, hardly a surprise but to hear it from the horse's mouth...!)
The charges related to a legal demo against the Oxford University arcane Encaenia ceremony last year. Those arrested, including campaign spokesman Mel Broughton, were barred from the city centre for an entire year. Five were arrested on the day and a further eleven in raids on their homes. The four week trial has highlighted a deliberate and sinister policy by Thames Valley Police (TVP), code-named 'Operation Rumble' to intimidate and harass legal campaigners who support the main anti-Oxford Primate Lab group SPEAK. It has also exposed the close relationship between TVP and Oxford University.
The tape was recorded after ham-fisted PC Travi accidentally left his dictaphone running after their arrests. He refers to protesters as 'c*nts', comments that "Oxford University is a sleeping giant" and says that "protesters do not realise just how powerful the university is". Officers are clearly in awe of the academic institution saying that "it's got Masons" and "influence with MPs and barristers". The officers also mention that the University has friends in the DTI, Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Home Office.
The officers talk about manufacturing a public order situation by "inciting someone with a double buggy (pram)" to claim that the pavement was blocked by protesters - confirming that they had intended to make arrests regardless. One says "we knew we were going to take bodies today" and reports "...just got feedback from the uni - they were very impressed". PC Travi is also clearly heard saying to the Bronze commander on the day (Inspector Sharp) "The University's got Masons, it's got you."
Later on their return to base, the Silver Commander Shead says of those arrested "We're going to prosecute the sh*t out of them." (Just like Inspector Morse, eh?!)
The transcripts also clearly reveal that Thames Valley police have played an active part in trying to create the conditions in which a draconian High Court injunction (see SchNEWS 581) could be implemented against SPEAK. They talk about "waging a dirty war" against Mel Broughton, the main spokesman of the SPEAK campaign, and the "need to persecute him".
With these revelations the judge at Bicester magistrates acquitted all the defendants, except two who were given absolute discharges. She refused to accept that the officers comments had been just 'banter'- the proffered excuse. One senior police officer under cross examination even attempted to excuse the behaviour by putting it down to one officer having come from Liverpool and another's because he was an "ex-squaddie".
Outside court, Mel Broughton said: "I am extremely angry and disturbed about what has been revealed...I think anyone in the country who believes you have a right to protest and a right to free speech should be very, very concerned."
For more on the SPEAK campaign www.speakcampaigns.org
Rostock & Two Smokin' Barrels
FINAL COUNTDOWN TO THE G8 PROTESTS IN GERMANY
The G8 Summit starts in Germany next week, as the protests - and police repression - build up a head of steam (see also last week's SchNEWS 589). This Monday 5,000 were on the streets of Hamburg to protest against the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), another shindig during the run-up that brings together EU and Asian bureaucrats and business leaders.
Being the week before the G8, the police gave a big welcome to the international protesters who were in Germany, with a large display of force. The march, led by a large black bloc, was surrounded by a ring of riot cops sending in snatch squads, firing water cannons and pepper spray on the crowd. The demo was eventually abandoned. Meanwhile groups were held in 'kettles' (to 'let off steam' presumably - how droll), while some were nicked making their way back to the Rota Flora social centre. Afterwards, hundreds built barricades at the Rota Flora and were met by equal numbers of police who used water cannons as protesters responded with thrown objects. At least 86 were arrested.
* On 2 June there will be a large International Demonstration in Rostock, but on the same day in Schwerin, numbers are needed at an anti-fascist counter demonstration against the members of the National democratic Party of Germany (NPD), who are planning a mass-demo of anti-G8 neo-nazis, presenting themselves as the 'the only real anti-capitalists'.
* For useful info upon arriving in Germany, events in the lead up and during the G8, see: www.g8-2007.de and http://dissentnetzwerk.org/node/2928
* 5-7 June - international G8 Alternative Summit in Rostock,
for more see www.g8-alternative-summit.org/en
* During the summit, the RampART Centre in London's
East End will be hosting a series of G8 info nights with films,
presentations and discussions for planning solidarity actions etc.
plus nightly reports and screenings of footage. See www.rampart.co.nr
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For decorating gum...
One artistic Londoner has been livening up the streets of capital recently by handpainting pieces of discarded chewing gum. 80% of the multi-billion dollar sales in the UK end up on the pavement of course. And if you're one of the 28 million Brits hoodwinked into thinking there's any health or social benefits from chewing a worthless by-product of the petro-chemical business doused in sugar and aspartame... wise up!
Despite having just finished a piece at the request of his local Fortis Green Safer Neighbourhood police team, the budding Michelangelo was just settling down to recreate St Paul's Cathedral on another unsightly bit of grey sludge when he attracted the attention of two City of London cops. After initially declining their invitation to move on, he was summarily nicked, dragged of to the cells for seven hours and was injured trying to refuse a DNA sample.
It remains to be been whether he will be able to chew up Police in the courts if they try to do him for criminal damage (what was he damaging? A piece of previous criminal damage. Clever you see!) or whether all the media publicity will eventually lead to him getting doubleminted...
The Rougher Guide To Guatemala
One roaming SchNEWS reporter in Latin America writes...
"The incredibly touristy Guatemalan town of San Pedro La Laguna is a world of parallels. At the top of the hill away from the lakeside sits the Escuela Oficial Humberto Corzo Guzmán, a local free school that has been educating the indigenous Mayan children of the area for hundreds of years. Since October last year, a group of parents and teachers have been occupying the school in order to prevent the local government (la Municipalidad) tearing it down to build a 3-storey supermarket… something the farmers of the area really need!
Local bureaucrats, the kind old souls, have been very generous and built the children a new 'urban' school in a completely different town in the middle of the countryside. Consequently most of the children cannot attend the school because their parents cannot afford the transport costs. To add injury to insult, in December last year, 150 men armed with mallets, rocks and machetes turned up to and attempted to 'remove' the squatters with violence - while destroying the infrastructure of the building. Now there are no windows, the roof is badly damaged and much of the equipment inside the school has been trashed, but the parents and teachers held their ground.
Meanwhile just down the hill, less than three minutes walk away, lies 'tourist town'. It is full of Westerners hanging around with their Lonely Planets, blissfully unaware of what is happening in the local population as they smoke their incredibly cheap weed and wait for the next Hollywood movie to play in one of the many Western-owned bars.
La Municipalidad, represented by a nice old chap called Antonio Chavajay Yojcom has done what all modern-thinking governments do and is in the process of suing the parents and teachers occupying the school. Yojcom is also claiming that the local people and the government have been harangued by violence from the squatters who have taken up arms and are using explosives, whilst keeping their own children as hostages. All that can be said about this is that having visited the school on numerous occasions and being invited to participate in the Mothers' Day celebrations, I didn't know hostages could look so happy or move so freely about town..."
For more information or to give messages of support and find out where you can send equipment such as paper and pens, or donate a bit of cash to pay the teachers, write (in Spanish preferably) to email@example.com
SchNEWS In Brief - UK RESISTANCE ROUND-UP
** Nine people from five countries found themselves nicked on Tuesday (29th) at Faslane Naval Nuclear Base. They'd been taking part in the 'Footprints for Peace Interfaith Peace Walk' after walking to the Scottish base from Dublin via Coulport nuclear weapons depot. Cops moved in after they blocked the entrance to the base, an action that is part of the ongoing year long Faslane365 blockades (see SchNEWS 589). Web www.faslane365.org
** Actions in defiance of the Serious Organised Crime and
Police Act (See SchNEWS
583) continue. From 23rd - 28th June there will be a "War
is Still the Issue" Peace Camp in Parliament Square.
Go along for as long as you can manage to demand that UK plc pulls
its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, bins Trident and stops warmongering
in the direction of Iran. See www.warisstilltheissue.org
** On Tuesday morning (29th) diggers moved in to flatten the Collierstown graveyard site at Tara. Tara (Teamhair) in County Meath, Ireland, was the ancient inauguration site of the early Irish Kings and enjoys more than a little archaeological significance. Under threat from a new motorway (see SchNEWS 585), protesters need more people on site to resist the development. www.savetara.com for more info.
** A couple of Mondays ago (21st), three students from the University
of Sussex locked on to the gates of EDO MBM at
6am for the second time this year. Bosses had to remove a panel
from the fence to ensure the bomb makers could get into work. EDO
make bomb release mechanisms that are helping the slaughter in the
Middle East (See SchNEWS 586).
On 7th June they'll be a benefit gig at the Cowley Club in Brighton
to help raise funds for the upcoming action camp taking place from
27th - 30th August. See www.smashedo.org.uk
** Camp Titnore in Worthing, West Sussex, celebrated its first anniversary last weekend. And as well as celebrating the achievement of the last year, it is looking ahead by calling for more people to join the occupation and for solidarity action against the businesses threatening to destroy the countryside location.* People are needed to go and stay at the camp, even just for a weekend. The call has gone out for non-violent direct action against firms involved in the scheme, such as Tesco, Heron Group, Bryant Homes/Taylor Woodrow and Persimmon Homes. More information call 07913 534083 or see www.protectourwoodland.co.uk or www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
** Trebanos National Grid have given the Brecon
protest camp a landowners notice to leave the site in south
Wales immediately. They now need to take the camp to court to be
able to serve them with an eviction notice which will then allow
the camp to be removed by the police eviction teams. More people
are needed at the camp to get it ready for when the time comes as
this is now the beginning of the last big push to the eviction.
For more tel 07903152822 or see http://fightthepipe.co.uk
** Like going to festies but always feel a bit guilty about chugging
off across the country in a half empty car? Or want to go to the
Climate Camp but have no transport? Never fear, Freewheelers are
here. Admittedly we will all have to go by solar powered bicycle
before too long, but for now you can offer / get a free liftshare
to protests, conferences, festies and more, including international
Camp for Climate Action
14th-21st August, is to be held at a site near Heathrow this year, highlighting the govt's major airport expansion plans, including a planned third runway at Heathrow. The aviation industry is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Coming after the success of last year's camp at the Drax Power Station, this year will feature a day of mass direct action to disrupt the airport, as well as other autonomous actions and events, plus a week of workshops and organising around taking action about climate change. The camp is welcome to all, and will be powered by renewable energy, and feature other practical steps towards a sustainable future. "We are the last generation that can do anything about climate change." For more see www.climatecamp.org.uk
Mind the Gap
This week the Pine Gap 4 begun their two week Supreme Court trial in Alice Springs, charged with breaking into the Pine Gap secret US/NSA/CIA spy base in central Australia for a Citizen's Inspection in December 2005.
Pine Gap, run by less than friendly US military corporation Raytheon, is an important node of the satellite system used by the US for operations such as the bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan. The four Christian anti-war campaigners face seven year sentences, after the Attorney General Philip Ruddock consented to the first-ever use of the cold-war Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952. In a pre-trial hearing, the Crown prosecutor applied for the bail conditions of the defendants to be changed, putting the four under house arrest and barring them from going within 1½ miles of Pine Gap - to stop them being involved in protests during the trial, including a demo at the base itself.
This comes after five were arrested during a blockade of the remote desert base in October 2006, at a protest marking an earlier stage of the trial. For more see www.pinegap6.org
The Common Ground Community Garden in Reading was formed when a few anarchists squatted a former Women's Information Centre six month's ago, after it had its funds cut and the council-owned building in the Katesgrove area of Reading was left derelict for five years.
The 'Common Ground crew moved in and cleared up, landscaped the area and repaired the building, adding children's play area, decking and more, mostly from reclaimed materials. They welcomed the public last Saturday to an Open Day - despite a council injunction banning the event.
When the Open Day was announced with publicity in the local community, the council imposed the injunction, to which the squatters immediately distributed a further 500 letters telling people it was still going ahead regardless! On the day, two Polish security guards came down to serve the injunction but, sick of being ignored, they retreated and sat in their car. The day was a success and the centre continues to be open to the public, despite an ongoing injunction. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
In the coming months, if you are silly enough to watch the box, you will almost certainly accidentally channel hop onto the ever more haggard face of Davina Macall shouting over another screeching bunch of desperate TV won't-bes in Big Brother.
Reckon that's crass? Endemol, the show's producers have plumbed the depths even further, scraping the morality barrel 'til it squeaks with 'The Big Donor Show'. Three terminally ill patients women are pitted against each other to compete for one healthy kidney. Presumably the viewers will get to text in to decide the lucky winner- That's entertainment folks....
SchNEWS suggests adding to the reality genre with 'I'm a human being, get me out here!' where randomly picked punters are thrown into Guantanamo and the audience get to choose who gets tortured. (Ant: "Ooh, well, tomorra's Bush*ucker trial is called confession session", Dec: "ah doont like th' soond a' that!!")
Or what about Terror Academy where simple country folk are trained to maim and kill by wisecracking Americans, with the eventual winner given their own pro-Western dictatorship, and the losers going on to form their own group and having much more success. Oh no, the CIA have already done that one...
SchNEWS warns all readers loose lips sink ships and all that. Honest!
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