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The weekly newsletter from Justice? - Brighton's direct action collective

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BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 597, 20th July, 2007Eire We Go Again Seven protesters against the motorway planned at the Hill Of Tara in Ireland were arrested on Weds 18th trying to stop diggers from illegally destroying the important archaeological site at the proposed Blundlestown interchange in the Tara/Skryne Valley. Also more on the resistance to Shell's proposed gas refinery and pipeline development in County Mayo, activists again managed to disrupt business at Agrexco Carmel in Middlesex and more....

SchNEWS 596, 13th July, 2007Smother Earth So that's it - after years of denial (crucial years when a difference could perhaps have been made) global elites are ready to admit that climate change is a reality. Also a report from a British roads campaign veteran at the Hill Of Tara protest in Ireland, protecting one of the most important archaeological sites in the world from a motorway, over here, Herefordshire council are planning to tarmac over their own recently discovered henge and more....

SchNEWS 595, 6th July, 2007Shells Angels Major construction is scheduled to begin on the controversial Shell onshore gas refinery in County Mayo, Ireland within the next month. Also at The Hill Of Tara a huge ancient monument near Baronstown was razed to the ground by machinery this week, tax on using vegetable or plant oil as motor fuel has been slashed and more....

SchNEWS 594, 29nd June, 2007
Dancing on the CeilingTwo anti-war activists who scaled the well-trodden roof of Brighton arms dealers EDO MBM for a rooftop occupation were acquitted on a charge of Aggravated Trespass this Wednesday at Brighton magistrates. Also US-Australian war games were halted this week by a big hump back whale, the UK's first Tent State at Sussex Unversity, the Schnews 'Blair Charge Sheet' and more.....

SchNEWS 593, 22nd June, 2007
Put the Kettle On Now the cheap red wine hangovers have faded it's time for some critical reflections on the G8 Summit party and protest - and some endless rambling war stories. Also The Hill of Tara in Co. Meath, Ireland, one of the most important archaeological complexes in the world, is under threat due to a motorway being built nearby, Numbers of Bees are declining rapidly, the solstice at Avebury and more...

SchNEWS 592, 15th June, 2007
GHETTO BLASTED Forty years on from Israel's seizure of the West Bank and Gaza during the '67 Six Day War and it still never seems to be good news in Palestine. Also why in some US states it's illegal to give food to homeless persons, G8 Actions, Michael Moore's new film and more...

SchNEWS 591, 8th June, 2007
Who's the Baghdaddy Iraq's 'government' has issued arrest warrants for the leaders of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions - on strike since 4th June. The oil unions are protesting against the new oil law and for improvements to wages, health and other working and living conditions. Also G8 update, Turkish special forces have invaded Northern Iraq/Iraqi Kurdistan and more.

SchNEWS 590, 1st June, 2007
PIG IGNORANCE 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, heard because a police tape recorder was left on. Also more on the build up for the G8, a UK resistance round-up, Pine Gap 4 and more...

SchNEWS 589, 25th May, 2007 - Prepare for the Wurst Despite the jackboot problems of the last month, preparations on the ground have continued across Germany for the G8 and the mass convergence has already begun, with people, clowns and bicycle caravans all pitching up in readiness for the main events. Also a little on what the politicians will be talking about at the G8, the latest on the B52 two and the met being mean to nice people on bikes....

SchNEWS 588, 18th May, 2007 - Brothers in Arms Last Tuesday saw an international get-together for hi-tech arms-dealers - The Shephard Group's Electronic Warfare 2007 at the Olympia Conference Centre. The conference punters arrived expecting to find out the latest on assassination by email but were met by a crowd of vocal protesters. Two managed to scale the roof and unfurl a banner saying 'Smart bombs - stupid wars'. Also Al Gore planning big concerts, Shell has AGM and Argentinean commuters get fed up with privatised railways....

SchNEWS 587, 11th May, 2007 - Never mind the Bolivars - At the same time that Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez was announcing the re-nationalisation of the last parts of the country's oil industry still in private hands, several other countries joined in with May Day calls to leave the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Also the build up to this years G8 has begun with state forces across europe using violence and intimidation to try and spoil the party, France has elected a Right Wing leader and the police in Philadelphia go on a fortune teller round up....

SchNEWS 586, 4th May, 2007 - SHAC TAKES THE FLAC In yet another hammerblow aimed at the animal rights movement, police made 32 arrests across the UK in the early hours of Tuesday morning in 'Operation Achilles'. The whole operation was designed with maximum publicity in mind - the press were tipped off in advance and dutifully reported on the latest crackdown on animal rights 'extremism'. Also more monumental events near the Hills of Tara this week, two reports from Africa and more...

 
camp for climate action, heathrow, August 14-21 2007
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Home | Friday 27th July 2007 | Issue 598

WAKE UP!! IT'S YER FLYING IN THE FACE OF IT...

SchNEWS

PDF Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!

Story Links: Airbusted Crap Arrest Of The Week It's the Pits | Cordon Brown | Koch 'n' Bullish Party & Protest Bamboo - zled | Penalty Unfair | and finally...

AIRBUSTED

INJUNCTION TAKEN OUT AGAINST HEATHROW CAMP FOR CLIMATE ACTION

If you were in any doubt that the Camp for Climate Action is gonna have a big impact this year then check out Heathrow airport's reaction to having been chosen as the venue!

This year the camp will be at the world's busiest airport which is a bigger source of CO2 emissions than most countries. Of course it's sheer lunacy in this time of ecological crisis but the aviation industry are pushing to almost double the airport's capacity by increasing flights and building a third runway. The battle to stop them will be one of the most important environmental battles in Western Europe.

BAA (owners of the privatised Heathrow airport) are running scared of the climate campaigners and have called on the services of protest-busting corporate lawyer Timothy Lawson Cruttenden (TLC - see SchNEWS 581) to get an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act. They want an exclusion zone not just around the airport and its infrastructure but between junctions 3-6 of the M4 and 13-16 of the M25. The exclusion zone being applied for also covers the Piccadilly line and the Heathrow Express. The injunction seeks, first and foremost, to prevent any protest of any kind at, or in the vicinity of, Heathrow Airport, and it is specifically aimed at stopping the Climate Camp from happening.

If an 'interim' injunction is granted (and its already been press-released by the Met) then police will be able to arrest those pitching tents, or carrying 'wooden poles, pallets, scaffold poles, bow saws, panel saws, fret saws, axes, screwdrivers or wheelbarrows' for any reason at all. In fact they seem to be taking this DIY culture thing pretty seriously. Also forbidden in a frivolous afterthought are 'balloons'. Basically an 'interim' injunction would enable those the police consider to be protesters to be confined to a 'designated protest zone'.

Four named individuals have been served with the by-now familiar black ringbinders of evidence that accompany TLC's attempts to restrict protest activity. Crucially, although only four people are named, they are deemed to represent certain groups - Plane Stupid, AirportWatch, Heathrow Association for the Control of Airport Noise (HACAN) and No Third Runway Action Group (NoTrag).

Excludo
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WINGNUTS

While Plane Stupid are a grass roots direct action group (and more power to their elbow) of the kind that TLC specialises in bullying on behalf of corporate clients and the police, the others are broad-based umbrella groups featuring such subversives as Greenpeace, the RSPB (membership inc. Bill Bryson and the Queen) and Council for the Preservation of Rural England. And while we at SchNEWS would be more than happy to see her madge hauled off in the back of a paddywagon - we suspect that the enforcement of this bit of PFI martial law is going to be a little more selective.

In total the organisations affected number some five million members. That's quite a chunk and let's hope that this time TLC has bitten off more than he can chew. Greenpeace have assembled a legal team to fight the injunction, including a QC from Cherie Blair's chambers. In an effort to bolster the injunction it is claimed that it is being taken out on behalf of all of Heathrow's contractors, employees and even passengers. So it looks as if Court Number 4 at the Royal Courts of Justice is going to be a little crowded on Wednesday 1st August.

Despite the attempted legal crackdown, campaigners are still going ahead with the camp come what may. Leo Murray, named in the writ as the organiser of Plane Stupid, told SchNEWS, "This provides an enormous campaign opportunity - to illustrate the bullying tactics of BAA, the diversity of opposition to expansion and as a publicity outlet for the Camp for Climate Action. It will become abundantly clear that they've made a terrible mistake. The camp is doubtless going to go ahead regardless of rain, injunctions, or any other external influences, and BAA engaging a conscienceless legal mercenary to persecute a handful of people who are only tangentially connected to the Climate Camp - and implicate literally millions more - is not going to alter this. In fact, I would guess it is very likely to mean more people come to the camp than would otherwise have done".

Alex Harvey press spokesperson for the Climate Camp said: "We're not only adamant but confident that the camp will go ahead. This year's camp has a massive profile - we're here, we're going to do this thing and it's going to be fantastic".

Waddington's 'Go' - the international carbon emissions game
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For more about some of the groups involved see:

Plane Stupid - www.planestupid.com

HACAN ClearSkies - www.hacan.org.uk

No Third Runway Action Group - www.notrag.org

Airport Watch - www.airportwatch.org.uk

The Camp for Climate Action
August 14 - 21 Eight days of low-impact living, debates, learning skills, and high-impact direct action tackling the root causes of climate change. Email info@climatecamp.org.uk web www.climatecamp.org.uk.

Not to forget two other camps in the coming months...

Smash EDO Summer Action Camp
August 27-30 - Direct Action against the War machine! Workshops on effective campaigning, actions and more fun'n'games against EDO MBM, the Brighton factory who make bomb parts used in Iraq, Palestine and everywhere else. Call 07875708873 or see www.smashedo.org.uk

Gatwick No Border Camp
September 19-24. This camp is to highlight the planned asylum seeker detention centre near Gatwick, and strengthen the fight against the system of immigration controls where people are locked up, forcibly deported or made to go underground, because they have crossed the border. A space to share info, skills, knowledge and experiences, and to plan actions. Email g-anbc2007@riseup.net and see http://noborders.org.uk

CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK

For desserting on a bike....
It was a case of getting seriously unjust desserts for one Plane Stupid activist last week. On Sunday 8th, cycling along a cycle path close to Heathrow in West London, she was randomly stopped and searched by police for no apparent reason. Although not carrying anything apart from a recipe for avocado ice cream and a cycle map, she was arrested under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and held, along with another campaigner, for over thirty hours before being bailed on charges of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Must have been the threat of green ice cream.

IT'S THE PITS

The Wiradjuri Aboriginal nation in central New South Wales are fighting the existence of a toxic gold mine on their sacred sites and land at Lake Cowal, one of many communities suffering the the destruction caused by multinational mining companies. Elders from the indigenous nation and their supporters occupied the Australian head office of the world's biggest gold mining company, Barrick Gold, in Perth on 11th July, in the latest incident in a long running battle.

Elders Neville "Chappy" Williams, Ron Gardner and 35 others were at the office to confront the company after the Wiradjuri people pinned an eviction notice to the front gate of Barrick's mine, as well as ask questions about the mining deed signed by Barrick and a group supposedly representing the traditional peoples, and other legal documents including the inventory of artefacts taken by Barrick when the mine was built.

The elders claim that the mine has been put up on land containing burials, thousands of artefacts, scarred trees and other evidence of long-term occupation of the land, but Barrick are refusing to disclose what has been collected during their works. The mine disturbs a massive amount of earth, leaving a 325 metre deep pit nearly a kilometre square in area.

Despite the worst drought ever in Australia this year, the mining company has taken 3,650 million litres of groundwater for the mining process, killing thousands of trees. Cyanide, a highly deadly chemical, is used to leach the gold before seeping back into the ground.

* For more see www.savelakecowal.org

CORDON BROWN

New Prime Minister, same old repression. This Wednesday (25th) Gordon Brown announced a raft of new civil liberty-curbing powers for the state - with plans to double detention without charge, the creation of a new 'unified border force' and additional electronic passport controls.

With little press reaction, UK plc appointed its first Minister of Security, former Navy Admiral Sir Alan West. At the same time came the announcement that the navy will be building two new supersized aircraft carriers capable of carrying 3,000 crew and 100 fighter planes to help the UK 'project' its power abroad - just what we always wanted; and a real bargain at £4bn!

Disappointed that last time they were only able to secure the evidence-less lock up of anyone they deem a 'suspected terrorist' for just four weeks, new plans are afoot to increase that limit to 56 days. Cops clearly reckon an extra few days of sleep deprivation and other 'soft' torture techniques will get the confessions just not quite ready to be coughed up by day 27.

The new unified border force will come with a new style uniform (Darkside black) complete with machine gun accessories. Entrances and exits from the UK will be electronically tracked by 2009, and all visas will be biometric from next year. Neo Labour will be making this latest attack on Muslim and other minority ethnic communities sweeter by persuading community groups to look the other way as they pick up £70m in funding to build 'interfaith links'. They'll be needing to sort out relations as 4,000 foreign prisoners will be getting the boot by Christmas and all foreign nationals staying in the UK for more than six months will required to have biometric identification by the end of 2008. And if that's not enough, Gordo promises another security review later in the 'summer' - plus ca change at No.10?

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KOCH'N'BULLISH

A nondescript large industrial unit in Lenton, Nottingham had its anonymity taken away by local Disarm DSEI / anti-arms trade protesters on Tuesday when they descended on Heckler and Koch's UK headquarters.

H&K are the world's second largest maker of pistols and machine-guns for soldiers and death squads across the world, including Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Thailand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Burma/Myanmar. Their weapons are in use in over 90 countries, including by British police, and the company has evaded EU arms controls to sell weapons to war-zones in Sudan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone. Over half a million people are killed worldwide by small-arms annually.

A productive bit of research led a couple of intrepid investigators to buzz the company and ask "Excuse me, is this the Nottingham Small Arms Factory?" Although they didn't get a response as such, their suspicions were confirmed when armed police turned up minutes later and detained them for 45 minutes under the Terrorism Act.

The subsequent demo made it clear that gun merchants are not welcome in the city (which, by the way, has the highest gun crime rate in the UK). The peaceful protest obviously hit a raw nerve as the forty or so people in attendance attracted an almost equal number of cops, including members of the (London-based political squad) Forward Intelligence Team.

Local rag, the Nottingham Evening Post, showed just how weak its commitment to reporting is when they pulled the story from page 2 after being told by a police press officer that it would be 'irresponsible' for the media to publish the arms company's address (...yes, so obviously it's: NSAF Ltd, Unit 3, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2PX). See http://disarmdsei.evey.org

* Three campaigners from Brighton were found guilty last week for their parts in a blockade of the EDO MBM arms factory a year ago (those parts largely being placed in barrels filled with concrete - see SchNEWS 552). They were sentenced to the not-so-heavy punishment of 12 months conditional discharge. While the judgement must've been something of a bonus for prosecutors and police who have already seen over 40 arrested protesters win their cases and go free, this sentence has at least still seen those accused go free - unpunished so long as they are not caught being naughty again for a year. And they're all lodging appeals in any event.

And they weren't the only losers in the case - EDO company director Peter Davies has resigned since his first appearance in the case back in March, making him the fifth director to quit since the campaign and awkward cross-examinations in court began. www.smashedo.org.uk

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PARTY & PROTEST

  • JULY 27 - Critical Mass - cycling protest held on the last Friday of every month, typically at 5.30pm. In ten cities across Britain - see www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm#crit-mass
  • 28 - Close Campsfield Demonstration. Give support to the detainees imprisoned inside. Bring musical instruments or saucepans to make a cheerful noise. 12-2pm. (also on the last Saturday of every month) www.closecampsfield.org.uk
  • AUGUST - 9-12 - Northern Green Gathering - on an organic farm at Ackworth near Pontefract in West Yorks. The site is well drained, and has not flooded during the recent bad weather. Adults £60, Children 5-16 £15, Vehicles £15. www.nggonline.org.uk
  • 10-13 - AR2007 International Animal Rights Gathering 2007, Appelscha, northern Netherlands. Next to a forest with camping. The day before (9th), there will be an Animal Rights march through Amsterdam, focusing on fur and vivisection targets. Sleeping places are arranged in Amsterdam, after the march everyone will move on to the gathering site... www.ar2007.info

    spacerspacerspacerBAMBOO-ZLED

    A survivor of the Nagasaki A-bomb had the indignity of being arrested for a non-violent protest outside the British nuclear base, Faslane, this week. Part of the year-long rolling campaign to obstruct the place and highlight the stupidity of the decision to renew Trident and generally continue to nuclear it all up (See SchNEWS 583, 563). Masahiko Moriguchi, who was seven years old when the genocidal mega-bomb fell, was arrested along with nine other peace campaigners on Wednesday afternoon when a Japanese delegation, supported by around 100 others, successfully shut down the bomb factory with a 'Bamboo Blockade'.

    Police moved in to break up the demo, arresting and then dearresting four elderly women and a young man who had been singing peace songs at the gate. Three Japanese men and one Finnish women were detained after holding up cops with a bamboo arm lock which took over an hour to cut through.

    Mr Moriguchi said: "The Faslane 365 campaign is encouraging the epoch-making first step towards the abolition of nuclear weapons by calling on Britain to renounce Trident."

    His son Shinya said: "The UK's decision on whether to renew the Trident system is not only a British matter, but will influence proliferation and insecurity around the world. I wish the UK to make a wise and rational decision and pioneer the road to nuclear abolition, which would make this world safer." See www.faslane365.org

     PENALTY UNFAIR

    Since the railways were privatised, ticket prices unsurprisingy went up, largely filling the pockets of investors instead of improving the service. Not content with clobbering the ticketless with a £10 fine, recently all networks upped the 'penalty' to a full twenny quid. South West Trains issued a memo to its 'revenue enforcement' officers saying that they must always presume someone traveling without a ticket is guilty and to sting them for a score regardless of the excuse. But what if you arrived at the station, your train's about to leave and there's a big queue for tickets?

    The penalty fares rules state that if there were "no facilities available to issue the appropriate ticket" you can't get done. One barrister, Richard Colbey, says this means that there must have been someone ready to sell you a ticket and if that person (or machine) is serving a queue then the facilities to buy aren't actually available. That's paragraph 7.4 of the penalty fares rules, by the way. To fine you the train company has to sue you through the county court and so far none have done so. Happy traveling!

    ...and finally...

    Quelle surprise as boffins prove that barely having a brain is no barrier to being a bureaucrat!
    A team of researchers at Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille have been shocked by scans of one Frenchman's brain which showed just a huge fluid-filled area where brain tissue should normally be. Despite this, the 44-year-old stunned them by using his ultra thin layer of grey matter to score 75 in an IQ test and hold down a marriage, two kids and a job in the civil service.

    "What I find amazing to this day," said brain specialist Dr Max Muenke, "is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life." - We had no idea Max had as bad an opinion about working for the government as we do...

    And perhaps that last time you tried to deal with 'the system' and thought you'd been lumbered with a small minded bureaucrat, maybe you were right (and it's not just that you filled out the form wrong / were caught blatantly trying on a new fiddle)

    Disclaimer

    SchNEWS warns all readers - don't expect a soft landing at Heathrow next month. Honest!

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