BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 684, 17th July 2009
Good Plan, 'Stan - As British soldiers are regularly returning dead from Afghanistan SchNEWS asks what is the broader deathtoll of this unwinnable war, and why are the US/UK military there anyway?... plus, fox hunters fail to get injunction placed on those monitoring their illegal activity, protesters in Britain demonstrate against Dow Chemicals, owner of Union Carbide and liable for the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster, sacked French car part workers who are occupying their workplaces have rigged explosives and are threatening to blow it up, and more

SchNEWS 683, 10th July 2009
Bobbies on the Bleat - SchNEWS has cast our cynical eye over the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) report about the policing of the G20 protests... plus, the biggest Chinese government massacre since Tiananmen Square, an update on the military coup in Honduras, Israeli warships board Free Gaza Movement boat on humanitarian mission, Rossport pirates attack Shell supply ship, and more...

SchNEWS 682, 3rd July 2009
Rumble in the Jungle - No Borders campaigners culminated their week long camp in Calais with a demonstration outside the city’s main port last Saturday... plus, an in depth look at this week's coup d'etat in Honduras, support still needed at anti-coal solidarity camp in Mainshill, Scotland, striking sweatshop workers are repressed in Bangladesh, a look at UK campaigns against forced deportation if refugees, and more...

SchNEWS 681, 26th June 2009
It's Just Not Cricket - The so-called civil war in Sri Lanka may be over with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, but the suffering continues for the Tamil people... plus, the No Borders Camp kicks off at Calais, last weekend's summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge was subject to heavy policing, including an unmanned surveillance copter drone, helicopter, 300 stop-n-searches and 32 arrests, protesters on alert as the gas pipe laying ship arrives to begin work for the summer, and more...

SchNEWS 680, 19th June 2009
Cops, Lies and Videotape - As SchMOVIES film-maker is raided by Sussex Police... plus, Serco security guards serve up violent assault for detention centre hunger strikers, immigration trap is set for university cleaners, Swedish anti-war actvists occupy land being bombed in training exercise, anti-free trade protests continue and threaten the Peruvian government, and more....

SchNEWS 679, 12th June 2009
Cop That! - As SchNEWS takes a wild swing in the direction of the latest SMASH EDO trial... plus, the London Met Police round up children for their DNA, indigenous blockade in Amazonian region turns into a police massacre, another peacful protestors murdered by Israeli forces in occupied Palestine, Brighton campaign against crap coffee chain gets a double shot in the arm, and more...

SchNEWS 678, 5th June 2009
Convoy Polloi - Twenty four years have passed since the defining moment of the Thatcher government’s assault on the traveller movement - the Battle of the Beanfield - SchNEWS revisits it all... plus, the G8 returns to Italy, to the site of the recent earthquake, fourteen road protesters say goodbye to court as their cases are dismissed, a Texas court dishes out draconian punishment to aid charity, a legal victory challenges police methods of storing protest pictures, and more...

SchNEWS 677, 29th May 2009
Mosquito Bite - The Mískito people on the coast of Nicaragua have broken away and declared themselves a new nation, in defiance of Daniel Ortega's government... plus, Bury Hill Wood, part of the Abinger Forest, Surrey is under threat from oil exploration by Europa Oil and Gas, plans are afoot to squat land in the Hammersmith area of London and turn it into an eco-village, things are getting harder for vivisection lab Huntingdon Life Sciences, as major shareholder Barclays bank pulls out investment, and more....

SchNEWS 676, 22nd May 2009
Final Frontiers - No Borders special as SchNEWS reports on the humanitarian crisis in Calais caused by British immigration policy... plus, will the belated withdrawal of British backing affect the Colombian military and their reign of violence, the Sri Lankan government claims victory over the Tamil Tigers but we question at what price, anti-Trident protesters have occupied a new site at the Rolls Royce Rayensway hi-tech manufacturing facility in Derby, and more...

Copyleft - Information for direct action - Published weekly in Brighton since 1994

Home | Monday 27th July 2009 | Issue 685

WAKE UP!! IT’S YER GREEN IN THE GILLS...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : The Hippy, Hippy Shakedown | Still Camping It Up | Still Kemping It Up | Breaking Wind | Testing Times | Calais Abouts | La Lutte Continue | Twisty Tierney | Republic Gone Bananas | Saving It For An Iran-y Day | And Finally

THE HIPPY, HIPPY SHAKEDOWN

BREAKING NEWS.... THE BIG GREEN GATHERING HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN BY POLICE! 

The Big Green Gathering, a fixture in the alternative calendar, was due to return after two years this week. 15–20,000 people were expected to turn up on Wednesday (29th) to the site near Cheddar, Somerset, for Europe’s largest green event - a five-day festival promoting sustainability and renewable energy, with everything from allotments to alternative media. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are already on site, and its cancellation comes just days before gates were due to open. Organisers, most of whom work for nothing, are gutted. One told SchNEWS “We are so disappointed not to be having this year’s gathering – it means so much to so many people”.

A last-minute injunction by Mendip District Council, supported by Avon and Somerset Police, put the ki-bosh on the entire event - citing the potential for ‘crime and disorder’ and safety concerns. This was despite the fact that the festival had actually been granted a licence on the 30th of June. According to Avon and Somerset police’s website “[We] went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this event took place.” This is of course utter bollocks.

The injunction was due to be heard in the High Court in London on Monday (27th). However, before that could happen the BGG organisers surrendered the festival licence on Sunday morning. As soon as this was done a police commander at the meeting was overheard saying into his radio “Operation Fortress is go”. Police have already set up roadblocks and promised to turn festival-goers back. Chief Inspector Paul Richards, festival liaison, later confirmed to one of the festival organisers that “This is political”, adding that the decision had been made over his head at county level. One of SchNEWS’ sources on site said that the police were frank about the fact that the closure had been planned for two weeks. “This was a blatant act of political sabotage – the Big Green Gathering is now completely bankrupt, they knew that we were going to be closed down and yet they carried on allowing us to spend money hand over fist on infrastructure”.

The BGG collapsed financially in 2007 under the weight of increased security costs. The new licensing act added an extra £120k to their costs, leaving them with a loss of £80k. Security accounted for a third of their overall overheads and the road marshalling bill rose from £5k to over £23k. In spite of these setbacks, they managed to scrape themselves back off the floor with shareholder cash and some potentially dubious corporate involvement. Every effort had been made by the gathering’s organisers to accommodate the increasingly niggling demands of police and licensing authorities. The procedure lasted over six months – just check out www.mendip.gov.uk/CommitteeMeeting.asp?id=SX9452-A782D404 for the minutes of meetings held between organisers and the authorities. Demands included a steel fence, watchtowers and perimeter patrols, having the horsedrawn field inside a ‘secure compound’ and wristbands for twelve undercover police. At a multi-agency meeting on Thursday, police took those wristbands in order to maintain the pretence that the festival stood a chance of going ahead. A catalogue of other obstacles were also continually placed in the organiser’s path.

All of the businesses associated with the BGG came under scrutiny, licensing authorities contacted South West ambulances, the Fire Brigade and the fencing contractors and asked them to get payment up front from the BGG. Needless to say this caused huge problems. 

Under the terms of the Licensing Act 2005, police can insist on certain security firms being used by organisers. This of course leads to a totally unhealthy hand-in-glove relationship, open to abuse. Stuart Security were forced on the BGG by police, and on Wednesday last week, they suddenly announced that they wanted 60% of their fee up front. Even though the BGG scraped the cash together, the company still wanted out. So the BGG hired another firm – against police wishes. The fact that Stuart Security rely on police approval for lucrative contracts at Glastonbury Festival, the Royal Bath & West Show, WOMAD, Reading Festival, and Glade Festival has, of course, no bearing on the matter. 

UNCERTAIN FETE

The last issue at stake was road closures. Mendip District Council had insisted on road closures as part of the licensing requirements. A festival organiser contacted the highways agency to process this fairly routine request. The decision was passed to junior management who reportedly came under intense pressure not to grant the closure. As the road closures were not secured, the council were able to claim that the BGG was in breach of licence. A nice little legal stitch-up that according to one QC meant the BGG stood fuck-all chance of fighting the injunction. Of course, now that “Operation Fortress” is in full swing, there are road-blocks throughout the area. The BGG is itself a limited company and could have fought the injunction - risking no more than bankruptcy - but in a nasty twist two individuals were also named, meaning that should proceedings have gone ahead against the festival then Mendip Council would have had a claim on their assets to settle court costs. Police also threatened to place the farmer on the injunction, risking his entire livelihood.

Anyone who has ever been to the Big Green will know that the atmosphere is more like a village fete than any of the mainstream events. There is virtually no aggro. It’s more about chai and gong-massages than Stella and fisticuffs. All power is 12V solar and the amplification is correspondingly quiet. Music stops at midnight. Compare that to the 24 hr Technomuntfucks that go on with state blessing across the country. Of course it would be cynical to suggest that the BGG represents an alternative that the authorities fear. It’s a gathering place for eco-activists, where the likes of Plane Stupid and No-Borders hang out and exchange ideas while trying to avoid being button-holed by 9-11 truthers. It’s clear now that the state views events like the Big Green in the same light as Climate Camp and the anti-G20 protests. The BGG saga is showing that there may no longer be any ‘safe’ legal spaces for us to gather. The third way of quasi-legal free-ish festivals is looking like a dead-end. 

IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

It’s clear that the Big Green has been singled out – and any gathering promoting those values or trying to organise in a grass-roots way will probably suffer the same fate once they get to a certain size. As corporate-branded Glasto has become a fixture on the mainstream calendar, like Ascot or Wimbledon, many have turned towards smaller more ‘grass-roots’ festivals. Niche festivals have bloomed across the British landscape. No matter what your bent, be it faerie wings or S&M, there’s probably a muddy weekend in a field for you. 

Of course this isn’t the first time that Britain’s had a thriving festival scene. See previous SchNEWS’ for how the free festival scene came under ruthless attack from the forces of Babylon (or just skin up for an old hippy and listen to them bang on about the glories of the White Goddess Fayre or Torpedo Town). 

Some have tried to go down the quasi-legal route, such as Strawberry Fair and even Glastonbury, until the aptly named Mean Fiddler intervened in 2002. Unfortunately the corporate dollar is never far behind. Witness how Glastonbury went from a fence-jumping free-for-all where the festival organisers built the infrastructure, but the fly-pitchers, buskers and random naked lunatics made it a real festie rather than a fenced in, heavily policed corporate theme park.

The Big Green was an exceptional festival, which managed to leap through the legal process while being crew-heavy and retaining a lot of the free-festival atmosphere (Not all of course - we still had to put up with plod wandering around site). It was a unique gathering place for fringe movements, from eco-activists to crop-circle nutters. 

We’re not just banging on about festivals being free because we miss the good ‘ol days – there’s a huge difference between being a punter who has a whole experience laid on for them (e.g. Glasto’s themed areas with helpful stewards pointing you in the direction of the consumer delights), and being part of a festival/free party where everyone’s responsible for the entertainment, and even infrastructure like welfare. A crowd that feels it owns an event behaves differently to one that feels it has paid to have an experience. The fact that undercover police now feel free to operate and arrest people, without any back-up, for cannabis use or nudity (See SchNEWS 684 and 603) at festivals has a lot do with the sheep-like behaviour of punters - a mentality that our masters are keen to see enforced.

In the SchNEWS office we’re hearing rumours that people aren’t going to be put off – alternative sites are being looked at and people are heading to the West Country anyway. In the words of one participant “Things are just getting interesting”. Time for the Big Black Barney?

* Festivals and free parties are going on all around the country:-

For festivals see www.festivaleye.com and www.efestivals.co.uk

For free parties see www.partyvibe.com

For both of these as well as protest camps and lots more see www.schnews.org.uk/pap 

Keywords: big green gathering, festivals, police, somerset
There are 13 user comments on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 23rd November 2009 at 17:03 by reclaim the streets
if now is not the time to take back the parks and streets, with none-negotiation attitude to police and councils, then there never will be a time. for fucks sake people, what are we waiting for, ghandi is dead, so is malcolm x and marting luther king (junior), so we have to fight ourselves out of this one....recliam the streets. the fields and the fucking parks. fuck the councils and pigs..............RELAIM THE STREETS, PARKS AND FIELDS!!
Added on 3rd August 2009 at 15:07 by anon
A very similar thing happened to the 'Recydrate The West' festival last year, so it wasnt just the BGG that was targeted.

Similar tactics and political wranglings have been used by the same council and police force to scupper previously licensed events on the SAME SITE.

Luckily, they were able to find a replacement venue at VERY short notice, but not without considerable cost and stress to all involved.

See: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Somerset-fete-style-cider-festival-falls-foul-policing-prices/article-242649-detail/article.html

(apologies for linking to the Evening Post, they are aweful)
Added on 30th July 2009 at 01:43 by Sue J
Sadly the BGG has always attracted this completely OTT attention from the police. I attended one of the earliest BGGs - it was quite small and low-key, yet there were police on horseback patrolling the quiet country lanes outside, and a police helicopter flying permanently overhead! Completely bizarre.
Added on 28th July 2009 at 15:39 by Keith
Added on 28th July 2009 at 00:57 by Keith
Big Green Gathering

This sadly sounds all too familiar.

Guildford used to host in midsummer the Ambient Green Picnic. A free festival. A celebration of alternative culture. There were fast food stalls that served real food, not McShit. There was a weird zone. Even SchNEWS had a stall. People came down from London, upon from the South Coast.

The last one held a few years ago was no longer free. The cost was to pay for the over-the-top security (the festival was swarming with about a hundred security guards) and a security fence surrounding the site. It killed dead the atmosphere.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/08/320783.html

Had there been any trouble to justify this? No.

There was then no festivals for a few years.

This year it returned. A pathetic shadow of what had once been. A small fenced of corner and that was it. A sick parody of the Ambient Green Picnic.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/432938.html

To blame was Guildford Borough Council. Equally to blame were the organisers. At the very least they should have leafleted everyone who attended as to what was going on, but apparently they lacked the guts to do so for fear of antagonizing the council.
Added on 27th July 2009 at 21:15 by Shamus Joy
I hope the big green shatters into hundreds of little green gatherings. preferably close to rail and bus routes and as far from Columbia as possible.
Added on 27th July 2009 at 20:10 by chris. norfolk
i can only imagine that the "right kind" of green issues weren't being promoted by the festival, our now corporate owned "authorities" love most things green as any promotion helps instil the idea that its only right that we be should taxed forever more for having the cheek to exist..! investigate "common purpose" at www.cpexposed.org
Added on 27th July 2009 at 14:25 by barnacleof truth
great article.. should be on CiF instead of Bibi de Zee's. The banality of evil is summed up in the health and safety mission creep of councils. They simply don't understand that we don't want their fucking 'protection'. They don't understand that a festival is a time to swap roles, let go of social mores and revel in being alive. Even in Japan- a mindblowingly regimented society they understand this- people regularly die at their matsuri- but they accept it as the cost of the safety valve it represents. How can we fight this?
Added on 27th July 2009 at 14:00 by Fee
It is cancelled. Off. Not going ahead.

To be honest, its not just the authorities, the BGG management themselves are to blame. As well as the 'certain corporate' involvement who were voted in on a lie.
Added on 27th July 2009 at 12:55 by young bill
So the 'big one' bites the dust. Cant say that i am surprised... from 'henge to 'morton and all the others along the way. There must be something about these events someone doesnt like!

Anyway - if you are looking for somewhere to go why not take a trip to the isle of wight? Theres free camping outside the vestas factory - britains only wind turbine maker - occupied by the workers as its due for closure. Make some music and show support. The beaches are nice too!
Added on 26th July 2009 at 16:30 by Jim
BIG GREEN IS CANCELLED Unless my eyes are failing me, the Big Green Gathering website is saying that the festival is cancelled because the council and police were due to be taking them to the high court tomorrow to get an injunction, and the festival committee have decided to cancel the festival instead.
Added on 26th July 2009 at 15:03 by Helen
Unbelievable,

just found out it has been pulled ......what ......who knows what is going on now?
Added on 25th July 2009 at 19:14 by tomyd
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STILL CAMPING IT UP

It’s summer (no, really) and time for a bit of in-tents action. With four Camps For Climate Action coming up, the UK Climate Camp scene is seeing the break up of the union with separate Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English events. The camps are the usual low impact living affairs with renewable energy, compost toilets and grey water systems. Meals are provided by camp kitchens and there are practical workshops, direct action and horizontal organisation. 

Running alongside all four will be police camps with all mod cons, shiny uniforms and usual harassment. 

First up is the Scottish Climate Camp, August 3rd-10th, in the Firth of Forth area which has lots of power stations, corporate HQs, gas and oil refineries, open cast coal mines, a nuclear power station and a cement factory. See www.climatecampscotland.org.uk

Wales’ climate camp will be in Pembrokeshire, August 13-16. See www.climatecampcymru.org

The Irish camp will be in Co. Offaly, August 15th-23rd. See www.climatecamp.ie

And last is the English camp which will be near London, August 27th – September 2nd. See www.climatecamp.org.uk

*And don't forget the other permanent camps in Scotland: Mainshill Camp in South Lanarkshire was set up oppose Scottish Coal who've been given the go-ahead to mine 1.7 million tonnes despite 700 out of 1000 locals putting in objections to the scheme. The camp is building defences and always appreciates more people and tat. Info: www.coalactionedinburgh.noflag.org.uk/?page_id=415 or call 07806 926040

Long running anti-nuke weapons establishment Faslane Peace Camp is in need of people. The peace camp, running since 1982, is down to just one member. All the other regular residents are defending land elsewhere in the country. There is a real need for people to move there or visit as often as they can.

The camp is a base for direct action against nuclear weapons and related issues it would be a great shame if the camp closed. To help keep this 27-year-old protesting institution going get yerself up north sharpish! Contact: 01436820901, faslaniapeacecamp@yahoo.co.uk and www.myspace.com/faslanepeacecamp

There is 1 user comment on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 28th July 2009 at 05:32 by Conor - Ireland
One thing about your story - ''With four Camps For Climate Action coming up, the UK Climate Camp scene is seeing the break up of the union with separate Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English' - Ireland is not in the union, we are indepedent.
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STILL KEMPING IT UP

This week has seen the opening of the third corporate-run supermarket on St James’ Street in Kemptown, Brighton. In response Campaign group Keep Brighton Unique organised a demonstration calling for a boycott of the new Tesco store last Wednesday (22nd).

Tesco recently cancelled plans to open a 100,000 sq ft store on London Road, Brighton, due to a locally organised action group’s campaign of opposition during the consultation. The group, Another London Road, have been acting continuously to preserve Brighton from multinational development. Anti-corporate campaigners were hopeful when the St James’ St Tesco was initially refused an alcohol licence on the grounds that it was in an booze control area within the city centre. However, magistrates bowed to the big business bullies on appeal and granted the licence.

Kemptown, renowned for its quirky, individual and unique atmosphere as well as its independent traders and privately run shops, now has the dubious honour of having a Morrison’s, Co-op, Tesco and Starbucks all along one stretch of high street. 

Despite a recent set back in their campaign against Starbucks, as the council accepted the questionable evidence of 51% of products being sold for take-out and allowed Starbucks to continue trading on a retail licence (SchNEWS 679), Keep Brighton Unique will be continuing to hold monthly protests outside various Starbucks in the city. To date, this rowdy bunch have collected over 3,000 anti-Starbucks signatures and staged weekly protests for more than a year. 

The next Keep Brighton Unique demo is midday 1st August outside the St James’ Street Starbucks, then on the first Saturday of every month.

The protesters were joined last Wednesday by another group campaigning against a Tesco in Titnore Woods (near Worthing), where groundwork has started without full planning permission on an area with ancient woodland and that is at severe risk of flooding. Protesters have been camped in the nearby woods since May 2006 (See SchNEWS 648). Help is still needed with the camp.

* Info on the London Road campaign group: http://anotherlondonroad.googlepages.com

* How to get involved in the anti-Titnore Tesco campaign: www.protectourwoodland.co.uk

Keywords: keep brighton unique, kemptown, starbucks, tescos, titnore, worthing
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          Special Extended Report on Vestas Occupation          

BREAKING WIND

After sticking their heads out of the Westminster windows for a quick climatic analysis, Britain’s politicians have earmarked wind power as our best option in the race to prevent climate catastrophe. Yet, in April, when the worlds largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas, announced plans to close its sites in the Isle of Wight and Southampton, the government remained silent - about both the loss of Britain’s most significant turbine manufacturing facilities and the loss of hundreds of jobs. Faced with a wall of silence, apathy and hypocrisy, the non-unionised Vestas workers on the Isle of Wight had little option but to take action and, last week, they occupied their factory in protest.

The occupation began on Monday night (20th) when 30 workers took over the management offices in the factory. The Vestas management immediately locked down the site and called in the police. Workers arriving for their last few days of work the next day were turned away from the gates, but when they realised why, many stayed on and established a picket outside the factory, which has since been manned by up to 150 people.

Vestas took a hard line in response to the protest. Riot police who turned up on the first day threatened those inside with arrest for aggravated trespass and huffed and puffed but failed to force their way into the offices. They also prevented people from joining the protest or providing food to the occupiers. Although the riot shields have since been put away, police have continued obstructing attempts to deliver food. On Tuesday two people were arrested for breach of the peace after protesters staged a mass walk-in, in an attempt to resupply the workers inside. 

Hoping to starve the protesters out, Vestas imposed a food ban after the failure of their initial cunning plan of offering the workers food as long as they came out to get it. Following the success of the walk-in however, they changed their stance and are currently offering to provide the workers with food, as long as they accept no more from supporters. 

The company has so far refused to negotiate - preferring threats instead. They’ve told the occupiers that they faced arrest and being fired without redundancy pay (a measly three weeks), if they didn’t leave the premises immediately. Two workers have left the occupation but the others remain strong despite having been given four ultimatums.

Vesta Occupation Supporters
The factory on the Isle of Wight had been making turbines for the US market, but production is moving to China and the US. Vestas, who recently saw a 70% rise in quarterly profits, have failed to adapt production for European wind farms, blaming a “lack of political initiatives” and chronic nimbyism, with a ‘not in my backyard’ attitude rife in Britain.

Energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, recently promised the creation of 400,000 new ‘green’ jobs as part of his plans to meet his hot air target of “over 30%” of Britain’s energy being produced by renewable sources, most notably wind power, by 2020. Passing wind on the Vestas situation, Miliband, without a trace of irony, blamed insufficient orders for the turbines and the difficulty in obtaining planning permission for wind farms.

A similar situation arose in Scotland earlier in the year when Vestas closed a plant in Machrihanish, Kyntyre, for similar reasons. However, the Scottish government negotiated a takeover by another company, (the hilariously named) Skykon, who, with the help of government subsidies, are planning to adapt the plant to purpose before expanding production as part of a push to meet the Scottish government’s renewable energy targets.

While the government has been happy to give the ‘green’ light to airport expansion plans and the construction of new nuclear and coal powered power stations on the premise that they will create desperately needed jobs, not to mention pouring rivers of cash into the failing banks and propping up the car industry, it seems that stepping in to save 525 jobs in a hard hit island economy is out of the question. Up to their necks in hypocrisy, Miliband’s feeble protestations have shown once again that the government’s action on climate change amounts to little more than pissing in the wind turbine.

* See www.savevestas.wordpress.com

* Send messages of support to: savevestas@googlemail.com

* The workers are calling for solidarity actions – specifically at Vestas UK head office in Warrington at 302 Bridgewater Place, Birchwood Park, WA3 6XG

There are 3 user comments on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 5th August 2009 at 13:13 by Friend of the Occupiers
We urgently need more help, If you've got a few days to spare or even longer please come down.
Added on 29th July 2009 at 17:20 by John Currie
Today (Wednesday) the workers at the Vesta plant on the Isle of Wight have been given a stay of execution - until the 4th of August. The county court judge ruled that Vestas had not complied with legal requirements for evicting the workers from the factory! They are due to try again on the 4th of August. Anybody want to help build a solidarity group here in Brighton ?
Added on 28th July 2009 at 19:32 by John Currie
Anyone organising transport from Brighton to the protest at the factory .... or other demos in support of the workers there? Two big dates coming up : Wed 29th Jul - court case to decide whether occupation is illegal ; and Fri 31st Jul - proposed date of closure of the factory ..... maybe other events next week ? Anyone in Brighton organising a support group ?
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TESTING TIMES

An animal rights protest was held by Gateway to Hell campaigners and Stop Sequani Animal Testing group (See SchNEWS 646) in Ledbury, Herefordshire last week (Wednesday 15th).

The demo, named No Holiday For The Animals Inside Sequani, was held to stop the cruel practices of Sequani Labs in their treatment of animals used to test pharmaceutical drugs, chemical compounds and medical devices.

30 protesters in summer clothes with buckets and spades were joined by 22 police officers and 7 police vehicles, while passing motorists showed their support by sounding their horns. Some cops then took offence and started hitting these drive-by supporters... with £30 fines - much to the confusion of the people concerned and the other officers.

One arrest was made of a campaigner for withholding their name, details which were later leaked on a pro-vivisection website after the police used painful restraint methods to extract the information.

More action is planned see www.sequani.wordpress.com or www.gatewaytohell.net

Keywords: animal rights, direct action, herefordshire, sequani, vivisection
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CALAIS ABOUTS

The clampdown on the migrants in Calais by French Authorities (see SchNEWS 684, 682) is underway with migrants being stopped and detained on the streets with intensified police raids on migrant camps and squats - complete with tear gas, beatings and detentions. Although there is no sign yet of flights chartered for deportations, the situation remains tense.

Activists from France, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium have been arriving all week to show solidarity with the migrants and act as legal observers. 

Raids on the jungles and squats have intensified: on Wednesday (22nd July) a Sudanese squat was raided four times, with tear gas and two people taken. The Pashtun jungle was also raided in the early hours of the morning, and while nobody was taken the police photographed and counted all the migrants they found there – mostly minors as many of the adults who are more at risk of being deported have been hiding elsewhere. Similarly there have also been raids on Eritrean and Somali squats. 

With police operations building, activists on the ground have put a call out for more people to get down there and show their support.

* See www.calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

There are 2 user comments on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 25th July 2009 at 15:11 by Marcus
Who are these misguided people who go to try and stop migrants being deported. Of course I have sympathy for people who try to leave the third world for a better life and I would do the same in their position. But it is not the job of the UK to accommodate the world's poor. The more that come in the more this country will start to resemble the hell holes that they come from.
Added on 25th July 2009 at 09:22 by the real truth
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LA LUTTE CONTINUE

Groups of French workers who had been threatening to blow up their factories (see SchNEWS 684), have this week been offered increased redundancy packages to put down the gas canisters and end their factory occupations.

While workers at Nortel have accepted a €7,300 redundancy package, workers at car part manufacturer New Fabris are considering their options following negotiations with the French Industry Minister and Peugeot and Renault – who had been New Fabris’ customers. After disarming their homemade bombs in order to enter into talks last Monday (20th), the workers – who had been holding out for a €30,000 payment - were offered an average statutory severance pay of €17,500 plus a “job-seeker aid” payment of €11,000. However, many of the factory-floor employees would receive considerably less, despite over 20 years service in some cases. Disappointed workers have yet to accept the offer and may yet return to their guns, having stated that “nothing is ruled out.

Elsewhere in France, workers are continuing with their rather more up-fer-it version of the ‘Summer of Rage’. On Wednesday four managers at Michelin’s plant in Montceau-les-Mines were held over night in another case of “boss-knapping”, while around 100 workers at Swedish-owned ball bearing plant SKF in Fontenay-le-Compte, blockaded the entrance to the site and burned machinery in response to redundancies.

This was followed on Friday (24th) by yet another “boss-knapping” when workers from British company Servisair prevented two managers from leaving the company’s offices. The managers were released the next day following the intervention of bailiffs.

Keywords: france, nortel networks, workers struggles
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TWISTY TIERNEY

Peter Tierney, Liverpool businessman by day, so called BNP “super activist” by night, is set to stand trial for assault at Liverpool Magistrates Court on August 5th. After previously being nicked twice, once for the possession of 100 wild bird eggs, Tierney was collared in April after splitting open the head of an Anti-Fascist protester with a camera tripod.

The Anti-Fascists had been following Tierney and his fellow BNP Neanderthals around Liverpool city centre, foiling their attempts to set up a stall and leaflet passers-by. After twice having to pack up and leave, Tiernery finally flipped out and started attacking protesters with the folded tripod. He was joined in his assault by Steven Greenhalgh, who used an upturned table as a riot shield.  

The BNP are attempting to organise a demonstration outside the Court in support of Tierney. Liverpool Anti-Facists are calling out for a counter-demonstration to show that Tierney and the BNP have no place in the community.

* See www.antifa.org.uk

Keywords: anti-fascists, bnp, liverpool, peter tierney
There is 1 user comment on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 27th July 2009 at 21:24 by Liverpool Anti-Fascists
Dear comrades,

Please support the anti-BNP demonstration outside Dale St Magistrates
Court in Liverpool on Wednesday August 5th at 9.30am.

Local BNP member Peter Tierney is appearing on assault charges after an
attack on an anti-fascist protestor in April. The local BNP branch have
called on their members to support him. We must show that we will not
tolerate racist and fascist violence in Liverpool or anywhere else.

Please copy and distribute the attached leaflets and poster and spread the
word. Let's have a big show of strength on August 5th!

Liverpool Anti-Fascists

liverpoolantifascists@riseup.net
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REPUBLIC GONE BANANAS

Against the background of continuing nationwide direct action, the deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, finally returned to Honduran soil on Friday (24th). Zelaya, however, only made it as far as a ‘Welcome to Honduras’ sign before turning tail and retreating to the safety of Nicaragua.

After the failure of US brokered talks between Zelaya and coup ‘president’ Roberto Micheletti, Zelaya had announced his plans for a triumphant return coinciding with the birthday of Latin American folk hero, ‘The Liberator’, Simon Bolívar. But, with thousands of Zelaya supporters dispersed in clashes with riot police several miles away from the crossing, and with the military and riot police waiting on the border with orders to arrest him, Zelaya’s liberation march was considerably shorter than that of Bolívar. He instead opted to do a couple of quick interviews before returning to exile rather than risking arrest.
 
While Zelaya has continued his symbolic hopping back and forth over the border throughout the weekend, those that are now living under a military dictatorship, the Honduran people, continue to risk their liberty and safety by challenging the regime on the streets with daily mass demonstrations, strikes, school and workplace occupations and road blocks.

There are now also a number of international solidarity campaigns underway, including the International Transport Workers Federation which has called on its 4.5 million members worldwide to refuse to handle Honduran goods for as long as the coup regime remains in place.

Zelaya has proved once again that he is no real-deal revolutionary. The social movement that has arisen as a result of his removal however, continues to grow in strength and it looks like they won’t back down quite so easily.

* For recent history from the original banana republic see SchNEWS 682,683,684.

* See www.upsidedownworld.org www.narconews.com  

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SAVING IT FOR AN IRAN-Y DAY

In the latest round of repression of protests against the rigged elections in June by the Iranian authorities, security forces beat and arrested dozens in Tehran on Tuesday.
 
This follows Friday’s clashes when the police attacked protesters attending an anti-Ahmadinejad rally with tear gas last Friday. Until last Friday there had been few signs of mass dissent after the brutal crackdown following the election, during which at least thirty protesters were killed. The recent protests represent the first major challenge to the Ahmadinejad regime after it declared gatherings illegal.

Even the Saturday meetings of the ‘Mourning Mothers’, which began four weeks ago in public parks between 7 and 8pm - the day and time at which Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman, was shot dead on June 20th - have been targeted by security forces. The meetings have seen several arrests, including women’s rights and student activist Zeynab Peyghambarzadeh, who is also a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which is demanding an end to discrimination against women in law.

Thousands have been detained during round-ups by the authorities after the elections, including political activists, journalists, academics and lawyers, many of whom are still being held. Lawyer and human rights activist, Shadi Sadr, was violently arrested in Tehran last Friday on her way to prayers. Shadi was walking with a group of women’s rights activists along a busy road when unidentified plain-clothed men beat her with batons before bundling her into a car.

There were international demonstrations last weekend (25th) in solidarity with the Iranian people, including events London, Brighton, Seattle, Toronto and others. 

* See www.iransolidarity.org.uk



Keywords: ahmadinejad, iran, tehran
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AND FINALLY

Pent up Pagan police are now campaigning for an officially recognised support group – a Pagan Police Association. Well it can’t be easy concentrating on your mantras when the Chief Super is breathing down your neck...

Pentagram-carrying Pagan police are already allowed up to eight days annual leave which they can take off and join all the hippies at the solstice and equinox, but presumably not to skin up a big spliff.

Pagan cop Andy Pardy, from Hertfordshire told Police Review: “Paganism is not the new age, tree-hugging fad that some people think it is” (Maybe you’re more into pig worship). “It is not the clandestine, horrible, evil thing that people think it is.” (No Andy, that’s MI5.)

SchNEWS wonders what is next... Satanist or Jedi Police Associations?

Keywords: pagans, police
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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, you bend over backwards to do things legally and look what happens. Honest!

 

SchMOVIES

REPORTS FROM THE VERGE - Smash EDO/ITT Anthology 2005-2009 - A new collection of twelve SchMOVIES covering the Smash EDO/ITT's campaign efforts to shut down the Brighton based bomb factory since the company sought its draconian injunction against protesters in 2005.

UNCERTIFIED - OUT NOW on DVD- SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2008 - Films on this DVD include... The saga of On The verge – the film they tried to ban, the Newhaven anti-incinerator campaign, Forgive us our trespasses - as squatters take over an abandoned Brighton church, Titnore Woods update, protests against BNP festival and more... To view some of these films click here

ON THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film - is out on DVD. The film police tried to ban - the account of the four year campaign to close down a weapons parts manufacturer in Brighton, EDO-MBM. 90 minutes, £6 including p&p (profits to Smash EDO)

TAKE THREE - SchMOVIES Collection DVD 2007 featuring thirteen short direct action films produced by SchMOVIES in 2007, covering Hill Of Tara Protests, Smash EDO, Naked Bike Ride, The No Borders Camp at Gatwick, Class War plus many others. £6 including p&p.

V For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve short films produced by SchMOVIES in 2006. only £6 including p&p.

SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005. Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.

SchNEWS Books

SchNEWS At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc p&p (within UK)

Peace de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p

SchNEWS of the World - issues 300 - 250, 300 pages,£4 inc p&p.

SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001 - SchNEWS and Squall back to back again - issues 251-300, 300 pages, £4 inc p&p.

SchQUALL - SchNEWS and Squall back to back - issues 201-250 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Survival Guide - issues 151-200 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Annual - issues 101-150 - Sold out - Sorry

(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).

These books are mostly collections of 50 issues of SchNEWS from each year, containing an extra 200-odd pages of extra articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. SchNEWS At Ten is a ten-year round-up, containing a lot of new articles.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.

A brief history of the Dragon Festival and Cigarrones travellers site, southern Spain.
The Cigarrones travellers’ site is one of several communities which have sprung up near Orgiva in Andalucía, Spain, in recent decades. Coming to the southern tip of Europe to escape the repression against travellers in Britain and elsewhere, they have carved out a life of avin’ it autonomous anarchy – despite increasing attention from tinpot local authorities who act like Franco is still in. Since 1997 the site has held the annual Dragon Festival - now arguably one of the most significant free festivals in Europe – but this is also under attack. Here is a brief history written by a resident of Cigarrones:
SchNEWS interviews Canadian journalist and military historian Gwynne Dyer about the dire warnings for a post-climate change world in his book 'The Climate Wars'
Report from US-Mexico border about the narco wars whose connections go right up to the president
One year after the military coup in Honduras which ousted the leader and installed a neo-liberal cabal, grassroots groups across the country are aligning to create a popular movement.
SchNEWS interviews Richard Stallman – hacker, founder of the Free Software movement and activist for digital-software-information freedom...
From Kemp Town to Kabul, as SchNEWS interviews Al Jazeera journalist Medyan Dairieh about his take on the war...
An eyewitness account from Phnom Penh, as Cambodia faces its largest forced displacements since the time of the Khmer Rouge.
The future of Titnore Woods is threatened as Tesco and Worthing Council gang up to build upon the ancient woodland...
Who are the far-right English Defence League, and what are their strategies?
With the murder of Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya, we look at the Russian-backed despotic regime in Chechnya.
At the last minute the Big Green Gathering festival in Somerset was pulled due to legal pressure - SchNEWS looks at the events and factors that led to this.
The president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, is removed and sent into exile after a military coup d'etat.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of the infamous police attack on travellers on their way to Stonehenge in an incident now known as the Battle Of The Beanfield.
SchNEWS looks how deep the financial problems are for the banks and the British Govt, and how they won't learn from their errors.
Given a more optimistic environment after Obama's announcement that he's going to close the Guantanamo prison camp, SchNEWS interviews ex-detainee, Omar Deghayes, to gauge his reaction.
Eyewitness accounts from British activists on the ground during the wanton attack on Gaza by Israel in January 2009.
Somali pirates roaming the Gulf Of Aden, hijacking - amongst other ships - a Saudi oil supertanker. How is it possible? What geo-political context is giving rise to these latter-day pirates?