Home | 23rd February 1996 | Issue 62Revolting Chickens

WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER UNCOMPROMISING...

SchNEWS

GOTCHA!

As Peace activists have smashing time with genocidal aircraft

On 29th January this year, three women entered a hangar on the site of the British Aerospace (BAe) factory in Warton, Lancashire, armed with household hammers and wrote off a £13 million Hawk jet fighter. They were acting to protest against the planned export of BAe Hawks to Indonesia, a repressive dictatorship that has invaded and occupied East Timor where a third of the population have been killed since 1975.

The Hawk, endowed with the Indonesian flag and serial number, sat invitingly on the tarmac with a ladder leant against it and the cock-pit open. They disarmed the cockpit weapons systems, radar controls, the nose cone and wing parts from which bombs are hung. They continued to paint the plane with slogans and peace symbols. The three danced gleefully around the hangar for two and a half hours then rang the Press Association to tip off the world of what they had done.

"The panels were surprisingly weak and it wasn't difficult to actually make a hole when you thought you 'd just be denting it", commented Andrea Needham in a letter sent from prison.

A fourth woman attempted to issue a summons for the arrest of Ian Lang MP, the President of the Board of Trade. She was later approached at a public meeting in Norwich by plain clothes police, arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage, after a hammer was found in her briefcase.

Bnrish Aerospace are due to deliver the 24 Hawks to Indonesia later this year. The situation in East Timor, you could say, was just another 'occupation' except for the weird parallels with Kuwait, which is virtually the same size. America and it's allies decided that 100,000 Iraqi's needed to die for Kuwait to be 'liberated', but strangely in the case of East Timor America, Britain and Australia - along with major banks like Lloyds and Midland - are all too happy to finance Indonesia’s genocidal occupation of East Timor. Workers in BAe plants in Preston, Farnborough, Stevenage and other British towns work daily to manufacture the means to murder and maim Timorese women and children. Advocates of the British armaments industry defend the trade by saying that it creates thousands of hi-tech jobs. In fact, these jobs are only viable through immense government subsidy paid for by you and me, the taxpayers. British families spend on average £50 a week on food and drink, and over £40 on arms. When was the last time you went down to the High Street to buy that anti-personnel carrier?

Stop this plane injustice:
*A new campaign of open direct action against BAe called 'Hawks into Doves' was launched on the 6th February at BAe Brough (near Hull). Twenty holes in the perimeter fence of the plant were cut, symbolising the twenty years of genocide. Police looked on and did nothing to stop the fence cutters. On Thursday 29th February there will be another action at Brough. For further details contact Jen on 0l8l 888 4795.

* Yet more info - Hawks Rapid Response Network on 01865 714036 or Stop the Hawk Deal, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS (0161 834 0295).

* A Stop the Hawks video documentary is available from 55 Queen Margaret Grove, London, N1 4PZ (0171 923 9511).

* On Sat. 23rd March, from l0am-5pm, the Ploughshares Support Network are organising "If I Had a Hammer"- an Introduction to the Ploughshares Movement in Oxford. (01865 714 036 for more details)

* The four women remain imprisoned on remand for four weeks at Risley Prison in Warrington. The trial is due to commence on March 7th at Lytham Magistrates Court

*Write to Lotta Kronlid (VD0087), Andrea Needham (VD0088), Jo Wilson (VD0089), and Angie Zelter (VD0184) at Risley Prison, 617 Warrington Rd, Risley, Warrington WA3 6BP. Big, colourful cards and lots'o'lurve for our imprisoned comrades!

LAMB CHOPS

Next Thursday (29th Feb.), the Lloyds and Midland Boycott (LAMB) campaign is conducting a day of direct action against the Midland Bank because of it's role in financing the arms trade, with particular focus on their part in the Arms to Iraq affair and the Scott Enquiry.

"Leap Into Action", will entail occupations of branches and offices in over twenty towns and cities across the country, from Brighton to Dundee.

Midland Bank are, according to David Hellier of the Financial Times, "the most enthusiastic of all the banks in its pursuit of defence export financing". It isn't just activity in the arms trade that LAMB seeks to counter. Lloyds and Midland have the largest stock of Third World debt of all British Banks. These huge debts, (in 1994 Lloyds held £2,736 million and Midland £1,702 million) largely built up in the 1970's, were caused by irresponsible lending to countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru, many of which were governed by military dictatorships at this time. Today, it is the ordinary people of these nations who are impoverished so that the extortionate rates of interest can be repaid. According to the World Development Movement, for every £1 given to UK aid charities, the banks extract £11 from the Third World in the form of debt repayments. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world die directly due to the knock-on effects of the debt crisis.

This doesn't bother the banks of course - they make most of their money out of starvation and genocide in the poor countries of the world. They're also very keen on making money out of projects which cause substantial environmental damage, thinking nothing of financing dams, mines and other 'developmental' projects that result in deforestation and destruction. Lloyds' policy document on 'green finance' stretches to one page of A4. Perhaps they were trying to save paper!

* LAMB 0161 274 4665 c/o Grassroots, Manchester University Student's Union, Oxford Road. Manchester M13 9PR.

*The Annual General Meeting of the Lloyds TSB Group is happening on 11th April. LAMB have got shares that can get activists into it. For several years now the meetings have been heavily disrupted by audacious actions. Call the office if you want a share.

*LAMB have produced a fab resource pack, filled with information and ideas on how to make the 'Listening Bank' sit up and take notice, and improve the pedigree of the 'Thoroughbred Bank'. They are available for a suggested donation of £2. There is also a LAMB web site on the internet http://www.unet.com/manchester/lamb/home.html. This has links to lots of other useful green sites, including SchNEWS.

‘sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'

M66 EVICTED

The Daisy Nook camp at Oldham was evicted on Wednesday. Sixty activists were present, three arrests were made and a caravan belonging to a pregnant woman was trashed. The campaigners are suing the council for £25,000 damages - a local under sheriff is willing to vouch that the council acted illegally. Undeterred, more camps are being set up and people are desperately needed for the campaign. which has been overshadowed by the Newbury action Further details: 0161 627 4862/ 0161 628 4727 / 01457 834 355.

INDIAN FARMERS ATTACK KFC

102 Indian farmers were arrested and charged with looting after the KFC outlet in Bangalore was ransacked. They were protesting against the multinational's invasion of India, concern over depletion of the country’s livestock and the nutritional quality of the food sold. Activists have been blocking roads in protest at the arrests.

On the first day of opening last year, workers surrounded the outlet and the store was later temporarily forced to close by the authorities for selling products with monosodium glutamate above the permitted level, associated with hyperactivity.

When the fast food chain opened a store in Delhi, there were immediate protests by a coalition of farmers, vegetarians and environmentalists. Undeterred, KFC (owned by PepsiCo) has said it will open six more outlets in Delhi by the end of 1996.

* Vandana Shiva, Indian Director of The Research Foundation for Science & Ecology has been silenced by the BBC. After an invitation by Radio 4 to discuss the multinationals' impact on Indian culture and agriculture, BBC lawyers later told her she couldn't participate in the debate for fear of libel charges.

*McDonalds are opening stores in Delhi and Bombay this month. They will sell mutton burgers. Tasty!

TRAVELLERS

Gypsyman Tussle was forcibly housed by Carmathon District Council fourteen years ago. His daughter Margaret is dying of liver cancer. For the last year, he has been asking the Council for space on a local site so she may claim her cultural right to die in peace, in a trailer. The council have so far refused to consider his wishes. He has suffered constant racial abuse and attacks on his home by locals. The council seem to think that by ignoring Tussle's continued requests the problem will disappear. We think that refusing to allow someone to die in the manner they wish is a violation of their cultural rights.

Complain to the Chief Executive, Carmathan District Council. Council Office, Stillman St., Carmathan, Dyfed.

Friends and Families of Travellers 01458 832 371

SQUATTING IN TAHITI

Tahitians who have been squatting the beach front were evicted by police last month. The local government claimed ownership of the land in 1990 and rented it to the hotel chain Forte Meridian. The site is of primary ecological significance to the indigenous people and houses a vital pre-European archaeological site. They plan to start development on the area in the immediate future on a 350 room hotel, complete with Japanese restaurant and twelve luxury bungalows. The development will demolish traditional fishing ground and affect the livelihood and culture of locals. No environmental or socio-ecologicai survey has been undertaken on the area. Promoters have consistently refused to discuss the consequences of the project.

*Homeless men were dragged from a Tokyo shantytown last week in a harsh crackdown on squatting. The cardboard city is being cleared to build a moving walkway underneath a bypass.

*Closer to home, the Selar Farm opencast mine protesters in South Wales have been given another eviction notice for next Monday. Last weeks predicted eviction didn't take place due to disorganisation of the security firm. Support them if you can. Call Norma on 01639 720 884 for directions, or Cardiff Action Update on 01222 383 363.

INFILTRATION?

The friendly face of Inspector Barry Norman was spotted at last week's Dover Live Exports protest, dressed as a demonstrator. Norman is a fronts man of the Forward Intelligence Team, recently formed to gather information on 'potential troublemakers' and identify key activists (See SchNEWS 54 for photo). When challenged and asked his number he simply froze and looked blank. Nothing new there, then!

NEWBURY NEEDS YOU!

Various camps in Newbury are under imminent threat of eviction - and need people NOW!

* On Wednesday, ten buses due to take security guards to the site, all mysteriously broke down, simultaneously. Shame.

Isn't it time you got down to Newbury?
Third Battle of Newbury: 01635 45544
Travel from London - ring Reclaim The Streets: 0171 281 4621 / 0171 249 9114
From Brighton: 01273 685 913 /01273 604 765

party and protest

Saturday 25 February March against the Immigration and Asylum Bill. Ring 0171 729 1264 Buses from Brighton 9am St Peters Church

Thursday 29 February - Release Satpal Ram benefit. 7:30pm at the Red Rose Club, Seven Sisters Road, Islington, London. Features Banner Theatre's debut of Criminal Justice. (£5/£3)

Saturday 2nd March - Legal Defence Monitor Group at the New Kensington 11:30am for briefing for independent witnesses before Critical Mass.

We need more of Ya!

MOTHER FESTIVAL

The Advance Party have had all conspiracy charges dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service over last year’s planned anti CJA 'Mother' festival as there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Defendants are expecting property to be returned by courier, at the CPS's expense. A spokesperson said, "Brilliant. Gotcha bastards!' But, Hampshire Police have summonsed another free party spirit for aiding and abetting the use of a truck on a road, stealing the aforesaid (hired) truck, and using the truck for her own purposes! She is due to appear at Andover Magistrates Court in the second week of March. Obviously Hampshire Police aren't after her at all!!

* Black Moon sound system, the first crew to be charged under the rave sections of the CJA, are in Corby magistrates at 10am on Tuesday 27th February. They are being charged for preparing to play at the Mother festy - the one that wasn't! Turn up and give them some support! 01298 27475 for more info.

and Finally

As homelessness continues to grow. different ideas about how to fight it are emerging. On the one hand SHELTER (the national campaign for homeless people) are urging people to 'make a donation, attend an event, write to your MP. or even wear our badge' during their forthcoming Homeless Week. That’ll make the government see sense, eh?... On the other hand, Justice? along with thousands of people throughout the country, are being a little more practical and saying to people sleeping on the streets - squat those empties ! Next Thursday Justice? will be opening a Squatters' Estate Agents in Brighton where you can get lists of empty properties around town and a low-down on the law. If you wanna help set it up give the office a ring before Wednesday and we'll tell you where it is…

They thought we'd take it lying down - but over 150 'outside agitators' crammed into ours Justice? public meeting last week to discuss the police attack on the Valentine's Day Reclaim The Streets in Brighton - and what to do about it. No one at the meeting seemed too surprised by the police violence on the day or the local rag's bizarre distortions afterwards - but what came through from the meeting was that the police should not be allowed to get away with such blatant violence without being challenged. Anyone attacked or wrongfully arrested at the party was urged to sue 'em - we have lots of video footage which might help your case and a friendly solicitor who will help you do the business. Contact Justice? if you want to sue, put in a complaint or were a witness to any police nastiness. Defend the defendants! - people nicked at RTS are up in court on March 6th, 9:45pm, Brighton Magistrates Court so come along and give them your support!

LIMITED EDITION SchNEWS POSTCARDS NOW AVAILABLE!!!
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Disclaimer

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Next Squatters Estate Agents Meeting February 29th, Unemployed Centre, off Carlton Hill behind Amex 3pm

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