| 15th March
1996 | Issue
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S
Scan Version - Front Page | Back Page
The heat is on...
voices of dissent are silenced and groups targeted. Two years ago
alternative lifestyles were criminalised with the Criminal Justice
Act, this year the Asylum seekers get the rap, and soon the viciousness
will extend to the unemployed with the introduction of the JobSeekers
Allowance and Work-for-your-dole-Fare.
Who next, we wonder?
Out of this pressures
arises a resilience, an imagination and flair that constantly attracts
the attention of the public and media.
But... how do groups
direct that public support from the side-lines to the front-line?
Thousands rally against the Newbury Bypass but only a few hundred
stay for the direct action. Locals were short on the ground when
the forces of destruction descended upon Selar Farm in Wales to
pave way for an open-cast monster. The Green Party Conference cries,
claps and cheers the SchLIVE tour but groups still tell us to write
to our MP. Are we too wild? Too wacky? Too ignorant? Arrogant?
So this is a plea- judging
by our mail we expect most SchNEWS readers are pretty much on the
case - but what about your friends, your mum, dads, grand dads and
grannies...? You don't have to have dreads and a wench coat to care
about the world in which you want to live.
At Shoreham, it was only
people's direct experience that changed their views. So read these
words, then treat them as an incentive to get involved and see with
your own eyes what's happening to Britain in the '90's...it's up
Justice? and Conscious
Cinema are running an activist 'Media Training Day' on Sat 23rd
March from 10.30am-4pm. Practical work-shops will include media
training and an over-view the way we deal with the media. Call the
office if you're coming! Food available
Early Friday morning
saw 25 of us successfully stopping the bailiffs from entering and
evicting Justice's? Squatters Estate Agents. After successfully
opening the shop for a further few days the estate agent's doors
were finally shut on Tuesday morning - due to a syndrome known as
Activist Bum Out, and a common desire to Reclaim Our Lives! With
still no sign of the bailiffs on Tuesday (allegedly a 30 strong
force pulled in from around the county had been mobilised) we decided
to tidy tip, recycle the empties, barricade the building and leave
via the upstairs window. When the bailiffs, the police and the media
went in at 8:00pm that night they were forced to break their way
in. One reporter said that he was impressed by the way the building
had been cleaned up. The Squatters Estate Agency is now well boarded
up with a metal bar securing the doors and windows. Are they nervous?
But that's not the end.
Justice? have had a list of empty properties for over a year - we
intend to continue this service with squatting advice for an hour
a week - if you have a room that we can use for this purpose and
haven't been scared off by the Evening Anus bullshit - give us a
ring: 01273 685913
*An international e-mail
Squatlink has been set up to link up all the squatting groups -
to get on the list send an e-mail address to 'email@example.com.'
NEWBURY HOTS UP
There were more full-on
evictions at Newbury this week, as the Go-Tan and Kennet camps were
attacked. The scab climbers used to evict people from the trees
got quite a surprise at Go-tan when they were confronted by a team
of Sheffield activist climbers who were none too happy about the
bad name they were giving the profession. A 3 hour battle ensued,
with one bailiff being tied to a tree!
On Wednesday it was Kennet's
turn for another over the top eviction. Rudely awoken at 4.30 am
to the sight of police in inflatables and climbers wading the swamp
after a mysterious flood the night before! Walkways were cut as
they were in use, leaving two people hanging precariously 40 feet
above the ground on a single, frayed polyprop line that was nearly
cut. As SchNEWS went to press, by Thursday afternoon, Were had been
17 arrests, and there was one net and one treehouse left on this
Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Third Battle 01635 45544
Finally, there have been
a couple of cases of people with warrants for previous convictions
getting nicked at Newbury, and being held inside on remand. The
SchNEWS would never advise its readers to lie to the Police,
but if you are wanted for something and you think you might get
nicked at Newbury, perhaps it would be an idea to change your name
(it's free to do it by deed poll if you're on the dole! Hello Mr
* Please get involved
in more pro-active actions which are proving to be very effective.
Ring Ian at the Reclaim The Streets office on 0171 249 9114. He's
willing to facilitate different groups with equipment, briefings,
reckies - give 'em a bell and get on the case and in their Newbury
Court hearings have begun
over last December's Whatley Quarry action when 55 people were arrested.
So far everyone charged for aggravated trespass has been found guilty
and fined up to £370. It cost ARC/Hanson £300,000.
The Quarry is one of
the largest in Europe - 290 acres, a mile long and 100 metres deep.
But that's not enough for Arc/Hanson who want to double its size,
cutting into the Mendip Hills and threatening Bath's hot springs.
And all this for some
pebbles? Well roadstone actually, sold at £3 per tonne, often destined
for road schemes we all know and love.
So was the action worth
it? Construction News reckons "The high-profile raid by environmental
activists at Whatley Quarry will send shivers down the spine of
most in the construction industry. ... The lesson learnt from the
roads protests is that it is folly to dismiss the claims of the
environmentalists as ill-informed claptrap."
If you can help those
charged a bust fund is being set up, and will rather appropriately
(or inappropriately, depending on your angle!) be named "Sponsor
a Criminal"! Details to follow...
single gesture of defiance is worth more than a thousand
BIG HOLE II!
Despite the full-on eviction
of Selar Farm a couple of weeks ago, plans are underway to establish
another camp on the land of the proposed largest open cast mine
in the country (at 880 acres the hole will be visible from the moon!)
Workers are needed urgently. Bailiffs and security again moved in
on Wednesday and trashed more trees - so the initial camp might
be on private land for the time being. 01639 720 884
Oop North in Manchester
ex-security guards fed up with low pay and crap treatment by Kennedy's,
(the firm involved in the recent eviction of the Daisy Nook Camp)
have been getting revenge. Ex-guards have been visiting the new
compound site, smashing it up and one of 'em knocked out his old
boss! A new camp has been established helping to hinder work on
the M66 which is now two and a half months behind schedule! Ring
0161 248 9268 for info.
Last Saturday, people
from all walks of life were called to witness the trial of the motor
car. The charge it had to defend was of "destroying peop1e and nature,
and being a non-sustainable means of mass transport".
The event, at York Castle,
included representatives from both ends of the scale, from motor
traders and road builders, to environmentalists and community groups.
When asked how it pleaded, the car maintained it's right to silence,
implying guilt under Section 34 of the CJA. No one would stand in
its defence and after attack from the ALF, a Luddite and Henry Ford,
the car was found guilty.
York Castle incidentally
is the site of the hanging of 14 Luddites in 1812. The Luddites
sought to protect their skills and livelihoods from the thieving
clutches of pioneer industrialists. Luddite demonstrations were
carefully organised complex social events aimed at highlighting
unfairness and achieving justice. SchNEWS is not in favour of the
death penalty, but in this case we can make an exception. HANG THE
CAR BY ITS EXHAUST PIPE UNTIL IT’S VERY,VERY DEAD!
The TEN scheme introduces
more than 12,000 kilometres of new motorways as part of a European
March 30th could see
the biggest protest against the Trans European Networks (TEN) with
local actions around Europe. Groups have a chance to show their
resistance against the destruction of transport systems. Actions
include Critical Masses, NYDA, proposed route walks, exhibitions,
workshops, street theatre, parties and concerts. Get your info pack
from A SEED Europe Office, PO Box 92066, 1090 AB Amsterdam, The
On 21st February the
prison population of England and Wales reached an all-time high
of 53,000. Forcing the Prison Service to declare a 'state of emergency'
in 46 prisons. which will have to find space for up to 10% more
prisoners each year.
* Three prison officers
from Perth prison were found guilty of assaulting prisoner David
Francome in June last year by holding him down and repeatedly punching
and kicking him on the head, body and legs. Ian Jack, Darren Munro
and Drew Campbell were convicted largely because another screw,
Christopher Long, gave evidence against them. Sentencing them to
200 hours community service each, the judge made clear whose side
he was on, when he stated that he was not sending them to gaol because
of their previous good character and because 'the prisoner was a
trouble-maker and the injuries he received were not serious.'
SATPAL RAM is serving
a life sentence for murder after defending himself against a racist
attack. Since the rejection of his appeal in December 1995, he has
been subjected to continual harassment. First at Full Sutton, where
he was put on punishment for a string of petty and trumped-up reasons;
then at Long Lartin, where the authorities repeatedly demanded he
submit to strip-searches conducted in the most intrusive and humiliating
manner possible. When Satpal refused to squat during these searches
he was sent to the block.
He said "I have been
in solitary confinement for approximately 2 weeks now, in a cell
8 x 7ft with no access to toilet or washing facilities. Legal paperwork
or personal property and have been denied phone calls to family,
friends and solicitor because I refused to squat during a strip
Satpal needs support
now more than ever. Send letters and cards to Satpal Ram (E94164),
HMP Bristol, Cambridge Road, Horfield, Bristol,BS78PS. Free Satpal
Campaign, 101 Villa Rd., Handsworth 0121 507 1618
SchNEWS in Brief
Boycotts work! Bordeaux
wine industries said last week it had been severely hit by boycotts
over French nuclear testing - which would take several years to
recover. They whinged "The scrapping from wine lists, the cancelling
of orders and the postponement of sales promotions have had serious
consequences": Nothing compared to the consequences to the people
of the South Pacific...
*** Anyone see the arrest
of Jeff Sedgley at the Brighton Reclaim The Streets? Please ring
Justice? Carrying a bugle he was wearing a red kids helmet, with
a green visor, grey, green and yellow cardigan, blue dungarees and
a green rucksack!
*** SchLIVE! National
Tour starts on 1st May. Want to run the stall, read or gopher? Phone
*** Brighton Police have
a new top cop! Darren Balkham, 24 year old former estate agent (not
squatting!) has been awarded the Baton of Honour for being tops
on a probationary course. Balkham said that he "liked dealing with
the public and wanted to put it to better use:' Owww!!!
*** Broken Bars, a new
mag for prisoners, aims to encourage support and contact with prisoners
and offer an overview of the prison system. Copies 35p from Box
25, 82 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BB.
***Construction of 300
commuter houses on Brewery Fields, Eithinog, Bangor, is imminent.
It will be resisted by direct action and local support. Call 01248
*** The Spring edition
of Squall - the mag for sorted itinerants - is Out NOW! Send £2.20
+ SAE to PO Box 8959, London, N12 5HW
*** The 56A Info shop
has set up a bike library - fill in a form, give 'em a deposit of
£5, use the bike for a week, return the bike and get your fiver
big crap arrests
Road builders wreck our
countryside, billboards tell us to buy crap - but try making a difference
to how your town looks without official permission and you get hammered
big time. This week Simon Sutherland got sent down forfive years
for daubing graffiti in his home town of Sheffield. Just like squatters,
poor people and all us other undesirables it just isn't done to
let us take control over anything, including the look of our town.
As one of Simon's slogans put it. "In a society based on image,
greed, selfishness - we are the few who have broken the chains by
exposing our art by any means necessary". Nice one Simon.
Some 9 months since live
animal exports from Shoreham ceased, and the police operation against
those who protested against it continues. Immediately after returning
home from hospital following a major operation, an ex-Shoreham protestors
house was raided, searched and she was then arrested on a surprise,
surprise, conspiracy charge, relating to events of over a year ago.
Her solicitors appealed that her healing process would suffer with
the stress, the police reluctantly conducted a de-arrest, promising
to re-arrest her a fortnight later! Further representation by the
solicitor resulted in an agreement to surrender her to a local police
station in 4 weeks time. She was told she must 'expect to be in
the station for at least sixteen hours, probably longer'. Could
this harassment have anything to do with the fact that she is a
defence witness for an-other protester held on remand at Holloway
for over a year now for the same alleged crime?
Crap political stand
of the week has surely got to go to Elio Botta of Rome. The former
comedian and actor created the "Rebirth Movement" - a one-man pressure
group for people living on the streets. Botta hoped to gather enough
support from other homeless people to run for parliament in the
April 21 election. The launch was in Santa Maria in Trastevere Square,
near where he lives on the street, saying he wanted to draw attention
to social issues during the campaign. The party's emblem is a stick
with a bundle of belongings attached, which he called the archetypal
symbol of homelessness. The bearded Botta who gave his age as "around
37", brought none of the trappings usually found at party launches,
such a glossy literature and campaign aides - he appeared alone
equipped only with a tattered, spiral-bound notebook!
"Given that I'm the leader
of a political movement., my only appeal is for someone to lend
me a mobile telephone until after the election," he said. None of
the reporters present obliged. Sad really!!!
warns all readers not to attend any illegal gatherings or take part
in any criminal activities. Always stay within the law. In fact
please just sit in, watch TV and go on endless Xmas shopping sprees
filling your home and lives with endless consumer crap… you will
then feel content. Honest.
SchNEWS free! Just send 1st class stamps leg 20 for 20 issues) or
donations (payable to Justice?). Mark 'Original' if you plan to
copy: SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle PO Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex
BN2 2DX. Tel: (01273) 685913.
Next Justice meeting
Wednesday 20th March, 7:30pm, Brighton Unemployed Centre, off Carlton
Hill.at the squatting estate agency.
SchNEWS is free to all
prisoners - just send us your address