BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 754, 14th January 2011
Fight Them on the Beeches - Last week we covered the protests against the sell-off of the Forest of Dean. But the implications of the Public Bodies Bill for the Forestry Commission  go a lot further than that.  Essentially the Tory’s are planning (in time-honoured fashion) to flog off the family silver and privatise forests up and down the country. The sale is intended to raise £2bn - less than half of one years tax avoidance by Vodafone.  

SchNEWS 753, 7th January 2011
CSI Palestine - The tragic death of an unarmed woman in Palestine has lead to a global cry for action against the increasing use of ‘non-violent’ weapons in the continued repression of the Palestinian people. Jawaher Abu Rahma died after inhaling the supposed ‘non-lethal’ fumes of a CS gas canister, a substance which has been banned in the UK since 1964 due its capacity to kill hours after inhalation.

SchNEWS 752, 17th December 2010
The Well Unfair State - Tuition fees got you riled up? Wait ‘til you get a handle on what our Tory chums have got planned next - flagged up since the first announcement of spending cuts, the recent consultation paper entitled Universal Credit - is a massive demolition (sorry, overhaul) of the existing benefits system. With all benefits and tax credits being rolled into one system, the screws are gonna get tightened.  

SchNEWS 751, 10th December 2010
For Whom the Fee Tolls - The wave of student protests that sprang forth so vehemently on 11/11/10 faced its day of reckoning this Thursday (9th) as MPs huddled in Parliament to decide on the future of education. Chaos was on the menu as the tuition fees bill passed with a majority of 21 votes. The crowds started congregating at 12 noon by the University of London Union in Malet Street. The march stalled to hear speeches and bold declarations such as “We will not be detained, constrained and kettled again!” just before heading towards Parliament Square.  

SchNEWS 750, 2nd December 2010
Fee Foes' Fine Fun - Day X2, the second national day of action against education reforms, saw a whirlwind of protest around the country. From teach-ins to storming the town hall, walk-outs to battling police; students, school children and anti-cuts activists ensured the momentum of the student rebellion continues to build.

SchNEWS 749, 25th November 2010
New Kids on the Black Block - The second wave of student protest this week saw thousands walkout of their classrooms and on to the streets all over the country. Whilst events in London were amply covered – albeit traditionally skewed - by the mainstream media, SchNEWS was braving it on the frontline at the Brighton demo where around 3,000 students marched through the city centre.

SchNEWS 748, 18th November 2010
Complete Hissy Fit - Still smarting from the failure to contain the student rioters in central London, the Met are peevishly taking out their anger against an old enemy. On Monday evening the hosts of the FIT WATCH website were asked to close it down on the grounds of it “being used to undertake criminal activities”. In a letter from the MET, the company Justhost.com were warned that the website was being used in an attempt “to pervert the course of justice”. The DI demanded that the site be taken down for ‘twelve months’. Deciding caution was the better part of valour, Justhost decided to take it down.

SchNEWS 747, 11th November 2010
Losing Their Faculties - Finally, perhaps, the wave is cresting... The fightback against the vicious Tory cuts programme has so far been restricted to placard waving demos and petitions. Not any more – the placards are still there but now they’re being used to build bonfires in front of a windowless Tory HQ. And they say young people don’t take an interest in politics.

SchNEWS 746, 4th November 2010
The Vodafone-y War - In the past week as many as 21 Vodafone stores have been hit with direct action. The phone giant have become a widespread target for the national anti-cuts campaign following their multi-billion government-sanctioned tax-dodging shenanigans. 

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

Friday 21st January 2011 | Issue 755

WAKE UP! IT'S ALWAYS INCITEFUL...

SchNEWS

PDF Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!

Print Friendly Version

Story Links : Inter-NETCU | Gateway Gate: Straight From the Pig's Mouth | You Never Can Tel Aviv | Bad Medicine... No Remedy For UK Herbalists | Fox Right Off | The Network X-Files | Greece: The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei - Flamin' Eck | SmashEDO: C'Mon Feel the Noise | Fee For Yer Life | A Bunch of Cuts | And Finally

INTER-NETCU

AS GOVERNMENT AGENCY CAUGHT INFILTRATING ACTIVIST MEDIA OUTLET

No - stuff that - SHUT the place: Let’s not all stand around like lemmings - lets shut the place!Bring ladders and wire cutters. If there are enough of us we can shut it!” - a pretty average comment on Indymedia you might think - if a little gung-ho. In fact it was posted there by the police - and SchNEWS has the proof.

For the benefit of anyone who’s been hiding in a hole wearing a tinfoil hat for the last fortnight (i.e most of our readership), it turns out that the U.K direct action/anarchist/environmental movement was infiltrated for number of years by undercover police. At least four cops have already been outed and its safe to assume there may be more. But while the mainstream media has focussed on the sleazy antics and dodgy love lives of these professional liars, SchNEWS can reveal that police attempts to disrupt our movement goes much further than a few unshaven plants in grubby t-shirts, and includes attacks on activist media and communications. For years now, police have been using activist website Indymedia in attempts to sow mistrust, demoralise movements and to incite violence and illegality.

IP FREELY

Police postings came to light following an internal investigation on persistent disinformation being published to Indymedia UK. Technically Indymedia is supposed to safeguard it’s posters by not logging IP addresses. In actual fact there are IP filters. Although IP addresses are only stored temporarily, those of persistent abusers are kept in order to prevent the site from being overwhelmed. Moderators of Indymedia UK identified the Gateway-303 server as being the source of numerous such posts. A filter was set up to capture the behaviour of the individual(s) who were hiding behind the server.

One IP address so identified was 62.25.109.196 , which correlates with the server gateway303.energis.gsi.gov.uk. There are similar servers, gateway-301 & gateway-302 with IP addresses 62.25.109.194 and 62.25.109.195 respectively. Other servers identified are gateway-101, gateway-202, gateway-201, etc

GSI stands for Government Secure Intranet. It is a network established by the UK Government to allow secure transfer of files across its computers. The Police National Network is separate from it, but can connect to it. Currently GSI is operated by Energis, a UK based internet company now owned by Cable & Wireless.

It is clear from the consistency of the usage of gateway-303 server that the IPs are probably assigned to particular premises or else specific units within the UK Government. One of the purposes of the GSI network is to provide a secure proxy network behind which users can maintain their anonymity. Hence the lack of solid information as to exactly who is behind the postings. However, SchNEWS is gonna take a stab in the dark (if only) as to who they are; in fact some actually signed NETCU. Of course it could be the old double bluff, but given the level of intelligence behind some of the postings even this level of sophistication seems unlikely.

INDY-SCRIBABLE

Indymedia is a key tool in activist organisation and communication. Given the overtly political nature of the site and the types of news stories published it is hardly a surprise that it attracts weirdos with strange axes to grind. Its open publishing format has left it wide open to trolling, spam and, of course, state / police abuse.

This abuse has mostly taken the form of posting comments under a variety of pseudonyms.

These postings have targeted individual activists, put out information about activists that is not in the public domain, attacked campaigns, and urged the disruption of peaceful protests. Many comment on (then) ongoing court cases. Some are just personal abuse directed at well-known activists, while others contain information only known to the police. Two postings - made on 21st Jan and 9th Jun 2010 - provide personal details, including mobile numbers, of potential targets for the animal rights movement, one a fur-shop in Leeds, the other the owner of an animal circus. What the motivations were for posting these details can only be surmised. But off the record we reckon it’s blatant attempt at entrapment.

As part of the activist scene, SchNEWS isn’t quite as shocked as elements of the mainstream media have been about the cops’ sleazy abuse of personal friendships to disrupt the organisation of alternative social movements. It’s long been the case that to be an activist you’ve got to get used the idea of surveillance (both covert and overt), violence from the state and the deliberate silencing of voices. The antics of Kennedy, Watson, Jacobs and Boyling are just part of a tactical bag of tricks including kettling, the use of F.I.T teams and spotter cards, anti-stalking injunctions, spreading rumours in the mainstream press and a constant stream of new laws criminalising dissent (See SchNEWS 1-754). To that list we can now add infiltration of the core platform for anti-authoritarian radical media activism in the UK.

From a brief analysis of the activities of the undercovers it seems that their mission was as much to disrupt as much as it was to gather information. Attacks on our movements by disruption are a handy weapon in the state’s arsenal with no need for actual evidence or convictions.

PLAINLY INCITE

The targets of the fake Indymedia postings span the activist spectrum, from anti-fascists to anti-militarists, but have been most concerned with environmental campaigns and, in particular the Animal Rights movement. On April 27th, 2010, a comment appeared on the Indymedia UK newswire entitled Don’t use SPEAK as a model. The comment, on an article entitled New animal lab at Leicester; New nationwide campaign to start urged readers to respond to the campaign by “Model[ling] the campaign on a successful AR campaign such as Hillgrove cats or Darnley Oaks etc” (sic). Those familiar with those campaigns will be aware that they campaigns are alleged to have included violent actions against individuals. Other postings referenced a what appears to be an entirely fictitious new AR campaign in Leicester – Stop Leicester Animal Cruelty. SLAC (ha bloody ha)

It should be remembered corporations seeking injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act (link) have relied heavily on comments made on Indymedia as evidence. This act has been used against campaigns such as Smash EDO to criminalise all forms of dissent targeting specific companies, even entirely peaceful and completely legal protest.

As a whole the comments build a bewildering picture of a campaign of disparagement, incitement and support, together with wry asides and outright attempts at demoralisation. A few really stand out as obvious incitement to illegality while some are so bizarre that we can’t work out if they are part of a sinister master plan to bring down the whole activist scene - or just the ramblings of bored coppers with faces full of doughnuts and nothing better to do.

There are 12 user comments on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 27th January 2011 at 01:03 by confused and frustrated
i've been a victim of incorrectly handled supposedly security conscious paranoia. It is undeniable now that the threat is real, so more important than ever that we handle our suspicions like grown ups and don't piss about, or spread rumours without substance. We have to learn to stay tight properly without doing the bastards work for them.
Added on 26th January 2011 at 22:20 by rouge admins
Wow, that is a big story, isn't it? Not surprising, really, any sensible person had been assuming that this is the case. But actually proving that cops have posted confidential information and have been acting as agent provocateurs on Indymedia UK? That is one hell of a story! Especially coinciding with the current revelations about the doings and screwings of undercover cops, embedded amongst dangerous activist outfits such as CIRCA.

Anyway, sadly it is just that: a story. Taking a closer look at the story, one thing is missing: there isn't any factual evidence.

Find out why and how at:
https://northern-indymedia.org/articles/1313
Added on 26th January 2011 at 10:07 by keith
A wave of verbal nasties posted on Indymedia aimed at me personally and the Animal Protection Party and others was drawn to my attention early 2010. I had previously noticed a correlation between attacks on me and the APP in another AR forum and these on Indy and have a inkling who one of the authors is. On two occasions I observed postings be edited and then reloaded by an Indy moderator moments after they first appeared so changing the content. Other postings have been omitted totally or later deleted leaving only the troll contributions on show. I contacted a Nottingham based activist linked with Veggies who I was aware was linked to Indymedia to query all this. 'P' was keen in response to my early contact with him and I explained what had been going on and suggested that there was a problem with one or more moderators on the AR pages and asked how best to investigate. P then stopped responding to me. I persevered. Silence! I know he's still alive but don't wanna talk about it. I was informed a little later by someone else said to be in the know about Indymedia stuff who assured me that "moderators" had since "sorted things out". I see the lost souls are still hanging around there posting crazy talk to themselves so that isn't really the case. I know not and care not if they continue to filter the truth as was the case before they sorted things out as I don't go there much but see the site remains a graveyard for drivel. The modern day resistance movement really needs a media that isn't controlled by the clowns. Police or not they have the same desire to maintain the status quo and should be dealt with accordingly.
Added on 25th January 2011 at 17:32 by Nick M
Added on 24th January 2011 at 19:28 by Anonymous
Links or it didn't happen.
Added on 24th January 2011 at 08:59 by mt11
But can't a police officer be also an anarchist activist?
Added on 23rd January 2011 at 15:43 by Jo Makepeace
All should become clearer in next week's issue. Many of the comments were hidden almost immediately by Indymedia moderators as they named individuals. The almost simultaneous publication of comments detailing ongoing police raids could for example have been by someone working in Brighton Tourist Office, active in both anti-fascism and animal rights who decided to publish that information on their work computer in an idle moment but it seems a little far-fetched.
Added on 23rd January 2011 at 14:06 by CW
2 Quotes from the article that hint at this.

"but given the level of intelligence behind some of the postings ..."

and

"postings have targeted individual activists, put out information about activists that is not in the public domain"

I agree it might be a bit subtle, but that's what it's saying.
Added on 23rd January 2011 at 13:08 by Cautious
Well, no example is posted of the 'information known only to the police' - so I can only judge on the evidence posted can't I? That would indeed be incriminating, but there was no evidence presented for that claim unless I missed it.

I expected the suspicion of my post. Fair enough, but what if I really were an activist who worked in the civil service pointing out the problems I had? If such a thing existed, how would they post on here without inciting suspicion? :p
Added on 23rd January 2011 at 12:53 by CW
Hmmn Cautious looks like a 'plausible deny-ability' attack to me, all covert operations should be plausibly deniable according to the training manual.
Didn't you read the article?, they posted information only known to the bizzies.
Added on 23rd January 2011 at 12:25 by Cautious
A note of caution: I had trouble on certain anarcho/activist forums when I was an office temp. Reason? I was an office temp in the civil service (with a lot of spare time) and my postings came from government GSI addresses.

Now hopefully you've thought about that explanation and ruled it out, but it would be good to know how you've ruled it out if so. It seems perfectly possible to me that a committed activist might be working for the government in some perfectly innocent role.

And honestly, I can't see much of a pattern to those postings. Certainly nothing really incriminating. If they are incitement, then I have incited. If they are demoralising, then I have demoralised (ie critiqued certain actions).

It may be true that information has been put online by this person or persons, but I can't see any serious logic to it, and it seems to me it could just as easily have been a stupid activist. They do exist.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that what I see here doesn't seem conclusive to me.
Added on 21st January 2011 at 22:51 by sysadmin
https://lists.aktivix.org/pipermail/aktivix-discuss/2005-March/000785.html
The Met was scanning activist web sites from many years ago.
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

GATEWAY GATE: STRAIGHT FROM THE PIG'S MOUTH

SchNEWS hopes to be in a position to publish the full backlog of comments (SchLeaks) soon. Meanwhile here’s a small sample...

INCITEMENT:

Obviously fed up with the lack of militant law-breaking in the U.K the Gateway users try and whip up a storm of their own.

On the Milli-band protests - organised by Greenpeace against the Kingsnorth Power Station in July 4th 2009:

4th July - Shut Kingsnorth: With the police not opposing the Milliband what better time to shut Kingsnorth? Lets use this opportunity to shut it down once and for all! posted by Milli-Band on 26.06.2009 07:29

No - stuff that - SHUT the place: Let’s not all stand around like lemmings - lets shut the place!Bring ladders and wire cutters. If there are enough of us we can shut it! posted by Millitant Band on 26.06.2009 08:48

ANIMAL RIGHTS TARGETS:

NETCU came out of AR monitoring group ARNI (Animal Rights National Index). Here the gateway boys try and get AR back on the streets and even have a positive take on arson! These three comments were posted on demo reports:

Yeah - back to Sequani Let’s get out this time - only 2 turned up at Highgate! We need loads at Sequani or they will think we have given up! posted by Anon on 29.10.2010

Try HLS or Oxford: think they are still open! Why waste effort ‘inspecting’ places that you know have closed - unless it is to make yourself sound important - it’s not working. posted by What’s the point of these? on 26.02.2010 08:07

Yeah - Harrods and Josephes too..: Both of those still selling fur - both will be demo ed over Xmas. It’s not over yet! posted by CAFT on 21.12.2009 14:05

On the burning down of Novartis CEO’s Hunting Lodge and theft of his mother’s ashes:

Horrible own goal: Yes there will be a witch hunt - lest we forget the SNGP are mostly all still in jail and that incident lead to Opertion Achillies and the 50 year jail terms. Had they stopped at the arson they would have made a good point but the repeated exhumation just makes the whole AR movent look like unreasonable fanatics. Stupid Stupid Stupid. posted by Green man 2009-08-05 11.00

EARLY WARNING:

On two occasions users of Gateway 303 posted warnings/early reports of police raids on addresses. Why is a bit of mystery - maybe to see who contacts who in the afermath.

Antifa solidarity: Reports have been recieved of raids across the country. Details are unclear at present. posted by Antifa on 29.07.2009 10:54

AR raids - duck and cover: Early reports of raids on two addresses - AR related. Early morning raids on AR activists - some arrests - possible house searches. More details of nicks to follow - we must show solidarity. posted by @tivist on 10.11.2009 08:20

DEMORALISATION:

It has been speculated that one of the roles of the undercovers was to break groups up through demoralisation and cynicism. Ceratinly the 303 crew seem to be singing from the same sheet.

In relation to a protest at Didcot Power Station.

13 arrested - production not halted: 13 arrested - production not halted, the rest up a stack waiting to come down and get nicked -what did this achive? posted by Hang on on 27.10.2009 08:28

In relation to graffiti at EDO MBM, a Brighton weapons factory:

That should stop production.....:Yep - no doubt paint on the walls stops production dead. Oh hang on...... posted by Paint on 05.02.2010 12:52

In relation to a protest outside an animal lab:

The numbers are down from last year: There is nothing wrong with 70 - I think the initial alarm on the day and on here is that numbers were so reduced from last year and what the Police had been expecting. posted by It’s Fine on 02.11.2009 11:24

Talking about fox-hunts on Boxing Day:

So many More now: Than there were before the ban makes you think eh? posted by Pink on 23.12.2009 15:43

SOWING DIVISION:

Another tactic is to cause divisions through the spreading of rumours against individuals even suggesting that they might be police informants.

Referring to long-term AR activist Lynn Sawyer:

Another raid on Lyns house: And she hasn’t been nicked? posted by Again? on 10.11.2009 11:45

Referring to AR activist Luke Steele:

Just goes to show: Why is Luke Steele taken seriously I will never know. Steele attracts the law like a magnet and from what a “screw” said in the local pub he like to run and tell when he got slapped around. ...... Nothing new, he will always be a spoilt little mummy’s boy. Be aware of Steele, he can’t be trusted. posted by Sab on 24.12.2009 10:28

One comment aimed to discourage activism against the EDL - Undercover cop Mark Kennedy suggested that activists avoid confrontation with the EDL in a meeting at the EF! Gathering in 2010

They were formed to fight: Guys, the EDL are predominatly a group of football hooligans who were bored in the summer. This seems to be giving them exactly what they want - sombody to have a fight with! Why not ignore them? posted by Observer on 08.12.2009 13:29

BIZARRE:

These and many of the others seem like nothing more than bored trolling:

Thanks for the heads up... :we will look into it. posted by NETCU 22.02.2010 08:17

Let’s ask David Ike...: I’m sure that Dave can save us! posted by Purple Track Suit on 23.12.2009 08:54

And this is a just a small selection of the over 100 comments intercepted on Indymedia.

There are 3 user comments on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 25th January 2011 at 16:13 by Lynn Sawyer
Thanks for exposing this. Another tactic is to pretend to be a named activist. I have read severalo comments and at least one post using my name which I have not written. In most cases the content was aimed to discredit and split.
Added on 24th January 2011 at 13:53 by IMCista
The IP address and other details (including the identity of your web browser) can be seen and recorded by the following UK-based IMCs: Oxford, Liverpool, "UK", Sheffield, South Coast , Scotland and Cambridge.

Your IP and browser details are NOT available when you use IMC London, IMC Northern England, IMC Bristol and IMC Nottingham.
Added on 22nd January 2011 at 14:37 by secretsquirrel
I thought that the cops were supposed to use non-police network connections when doing their trolling. See for example p. 20 20of the e-crime unit managers guide - http://www.met.police.uk/pceu/documents/managers_guide_v1.9.pdf

As I understand it the ip filter facility is present in Mir, the software used by some, but not all of the UK collectives.
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

YOU NEVER CAN TEL AVIV

Around 15,000 indigent Israelis poured onto the streets of Tel Aviv last Saturday (15th) to demonstrate against the government’s attacks on civil and human rights, and its increasingly racist agenda.

Chanting “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies” and “We will fight the regime of darkness,” the marchers lambasted the government of Binyamin Netanyahu and his collaborators in the Labour party.

Unrest has been growing in Israel over the increasingly racist atmosphere fuelled by extremist Rabbis calling for a ban on Jews selling property to Arabs, and the recent law passed by the Knesset requiring all Israeli Arabs to swear an oath of allegiance to Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’.

The match to the tinderbox moment came earlier this month when the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, passed a bill to set up a parliamentary commission to investigate the funding of civil and human rights groups. The move was condemned by opponents as “McCarthyite” and described by one dissenting minister as having a “whiff of fascism”.

The protesters marched from Meir Park, in front of the headquarters of far-right coalition members the Likud, to the Tel Aviv Museum, where they staged a rally. Afterwards scuffles with the police broke out and riot police cleared the area. There were three arrests.

The rally was orgsmash edoanised by activists from over 50 Jewish and Arab human rights and left-wing organisations who marched under the banner of the “Democratic Camp’. One of the organisers, former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg told the press, “Israel is not a democracy any more. Technically it is, but the foundations of democracy – liberty, equality – are under threat. The rabbinical fatwas and political harassment are red lights. If we don’t stand up now, tomorrow it will be too late.” He added, “[The movement] is not yet big, but it’s a beginning. This is the launching pad for the future political generation of Israel”.

Amongst the marchers were activists proclaiming solidarity with Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, who was recently handed a three month prison sentence for his part in a 2008 Critical Mass bike ride protesting Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Jonathan is a renowned activist in the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), a grassroots movement that campaigns against the Israeli occupation and a founding member of Anarchists Against the Wall, who join the weekly Palestinian demos against the separation wall.

On 31st of January 2008, Jonathan was among 30 Israeli activists on a protest bike ride through Tel Aviv. After he was spotted by plain-clothes police, he was singled out and arrested. He was then accused of incitement and being the leader of the event. After his arrest, the protest was allowed to continue unmolested.

He was tried at a Magistrates court in December and convicted on charges of illegal assembly. On sentencing, Jonathan said, “I will go to prison wholeheartedly and with my head held high. It will be the justice system itself, I believe, that will need to lower its eyes in the face of the suffering inflicted on Gaza’s inhabitants”.

You can send letters of support to Jonathan to Hermon Prison, NSWING, PO BOX 4011, MAGHAR 14930, Israel.

Keywords: israel, tel aviv
There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

BAD MEDICINE... NO REMEDY FOR UK HERBALISTS

UK users of hundreds of herbal remedies are set to be criminalised from May 1st this year as the government implements rules drawn up to comply with the 2004 EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD - see SchNEWS 697). It will make all unlicensed herbal remedies and/or supplements illegal for sale over the counter.

Assessing the rationale for doing this is more difficult than trying to puzzle out how on earth a homoeopathic remedy could actually work. On the one hand our overlords are concerned about safety and rip-off merchants. We have a completely unregulated market in people flogging any old plant-based potion (or indeed exotic animal extract – see your local Chinese herbalist) with vague promises of untested healing properties – and to a customer probably blinded by symptoms and desperate to believe in its powers, if only to benefit from a self-administered placebo effect. Yes, you can see how the unscrupulous might benefit from this - and that certain products could be harmful in longer-term ways, unrelated to the ‘treatment’ area.

On the other hand, big pharma has long been pressurizing for just this kind of legislation – well, all these people trusting in nature’s own cheap unbranded remedies, synthesised without the need for a billion dollar research lab and industrial plant, but merely passed down from generation to generation over centuries and even millennia – thus passing it’s own giant randomised trial. Better to ban it all and trust in big pharma to keep us all safe, for a handsome profit of course. (Er, thalidomide anyone? Prozac? - or Chamomile tea and a spliff – you decide!)

NOT A CODEX MOMENT

There is an inter-country UN / WHO body that negotiates agreed standards for plant and mineral extracts for human ingestion. It’s called Codex Alimentarius, which should surely get conspiracy hunters salivating. It’s unaccountable meta-government, as delegations from counties supposedly thrash out voluntary agreements over food product safety and then the individual nations voluntarily abide by them. With the World Trade Organisation then recognising its findings, the Codex position quickly establishes itself as the dominant one.

As long ago as 1996 a German delegation (uninfluenced by any the large German pharamaceutical countries, no doubt) proposed no herb, vitamin or mineral should be sold for preventive or therapeutic reasons, and that supplements should be reclassified as drugs. The proposal was agreed. But protests at the time, and since, halted implementation - until recently. But the great thing about powerful interests – they can afford to sweat it out and play the long game, chipping away until resistance is spent.

WORT A CALAMITY

But either way, the EU’s Food Supplements Directive (which closely mirrors the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines) are like using an axe where a scalpel is needed. In order to become licensed, a product must now go through an expensive process similar to those for industrial scale man-made drugs, costing up to £120,000. Just about feasible for some widely taken Holland & Barret type products like Echanecia, but impossible for thousands of small scale producers of a wide range of more esoteric traditional herbs and flowers sought by the more-committed herbalist.

And, worse, the Coalition government seems strangely unwilling to even allow UK herbalists the compromise built into its laws by the EU. This allows statutorily regulated herbal practitioners to continue prescribing unlicensed products. This solution is interesting cos it still allows people to be exposed to all the health risks so feared – but at least creates some kind of bureaucratic record of who to blame / attempt to punish after the event. A (wanted?) side-effect is that this approach forces everyone involved to ‘join the system’, needing to register as legit and jump through various taxing, legal, financial and social hoops - and, thus, ultimately be much more under control by the ruling elites.

Whilst elements of the EU’s model leave a sour taste in the mouth, and bring an artificial level of complexity into an essentially simple transaction (“Have you got any of  that I as a sane, free thinking member of the human race has decided to ingest/apply in the belief it will benefit me?”, “Yes”, “OK great thanks, cos I’d really like some. Let me give you something to compensate you for your trouble in providing it to me...”) it does at least offer some reassurance to those worried about malicious quackery and leaves potion-punters the chance to source their particular poison from a reputable source – although at slightly higher prices to pay for all the regulation, naturally.

But that’s all hypothetical here as the Coalition (and Labour before them) have bizarrely delayed plans to introduce a statutory herbal practitioner register. This means just a few weeks until a vast range of natural everyday plants and other ingredients for herbal remedies and products become illegal to cultivate in an unpoliceable, unworkable prohibition.

A coalition of herbalists has er, flowered, all committed to fighting the legal jackboots trampling all over their livelihoods, but the clock is ticking and come what May? Anyone purchasing or selling herbal remedies could be a criminal and punters will be left meeting black-market dealers in dodgy pub car parks trying to score a wrap of Valerian and a ten bag of Pokeweed...

Learn more at: http://www.naturalnews.com/030873_EU_directive_medicinal_herbs.html#ixzz1AG1RpBEk 

Keywords: alternative medicine
There is 1 user comment on this story... [ Show More or Add Comment ]
Added on 25th January 2011 at 21:23 by Well Actually
Come on guys, I expected better of you than this! Do you seriously think the people who make the herbal products you buy in health food shops etc are small cottage industries? They're large corporations - many owned by pharmaceutical companies (ever wondered who funds "Natural News".

This isn't about banning herbal products because they can't be patented etc. It's about stopping people selling dangerous stuff that's untested. It's only a couple of months since a kid exposed some alternative therapist who was selling a so-called cancer treatment that basically turned out to be nothing more than bleach - not very good for you especially if you drank it in the quantaties they suggested.

Normally SchNEWS is all about trying protecting the people against the Government and overweaning dominance of multinationals. It's so sad that in this case you've swallowed the bullshit of the corporate "alt med" industry hook, line and sinker.
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

FOX RIGHT OFF

What do you call 60 animal rights activists, a huntsman with a broken pelvis and some very happy foxes?... a successful day's hunt sabbing!

On Saturday (15th) Brighton hunt sabs met up with other groups from as far afield as Leeds and Nottingham and descended on the Suffolk countryside. On one of the biggest ‘hits’ seen over the past few seasons, sabs prevented dig outs, made off with the pack and prevented the hounds from getting onto the scent of foxes using citronella sprays throughout the course of the day.

The call-out was made by the North London group due to the hunt becoming increasingly violent over the season, and reports of up to four kills regularly being made on a single day.

Old timers and new comers couldn’t help but feel a real sense of unified resurgence in anti-hunt activity when they glanced over there shoulders to see a muddy field full of black and camo clad sabs sweating out their hangover on a Saturday morning.

Highlights of the day were the cheesy (dairy free of course) group photo, the token owl and a very disgruntled hunt master being pelted with donkey turd. Priceless.

*Upcoming sab events at the Cowley Club: Sun 23rd Jan - Roast Dinner £4, Sat 5th Feb – Kilnaboy, Liberty, Primeval Soup £4.smash edo

There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

THE NETWORK X-FILES

Network X, one of the first attempts to hold a national gathering for the anti-cuts movement took place last weekend (15th-16th) in Manchester with mixed results. With representatives from student bodies, anarchists, community groups and environmental campaigners, over 300 participants met to from action planning and support networks to tackle the government’s latest below the belt cuts.

Kicking off on Saturday morning, the agenda was soon cast out the window as a separation quickly arose between two groups within the collective. For most of the morning arguments raged between one side wanting to form an organisation that had a particular mission statement and joint purpose, and the other wanting to strengthen national support networks and share skills whilst still acting in their established regional groups.

By the afternoon people split off into smaller working groups on topics such as direct action, media and legal training. While workshops were well received, there was some unrest over the focus of the event. As one attendee said, “There seemed to be an assumption that people were there to learn, which wasn’t true. Most people were there to network.”

On the second day the political debate was reopened and people ended up in small groups discussing questions such as ‘what is capitalism’ and ‘what is feudalism?’ Possibly not the most important thing to talk about after people have just travelled the length of the country precisely because they are anti-capitalist or anti-hierarchical governance.

Despite the problems that are usually associated with any large gathering of its kind, especially one that is in its infancy, positive steps were taken. Three regional groups of the Green and Black Cross were set up: South Coast, North West and London, and lots of training meetings were planned. An FE bulletin for students about the education cuts is in the pipeline, and a national aggregator website for the anti-cuts movement is being set up.

Overall, the fact that there were so many impassioned people in one place had a positive effect of people’s feelings of empowerment and strong networks were forged inspite of the political argy bargy.

One attendee commented; “On an organic level, it was maybe too organised, people were too focused on structured meetings. But I met some amazing people and its great that new Green and Black Cross groups have been set up. Most of the good things from the weekend came about over fags and tea.”

*See www.networkxuk.wordpress.com

Keywords: austerity, cuts
There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

GREECE: THE CONSPIRACY OF FIRE NUCLEI - FLAMIN' ECK

The Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF) trial has started in Greece.

The bombastically named anarchist group, SPF, are on trial for a series of attacks using incendiary devices in the form of gas canister bombs and other improvised explosive devices. The SPF are being held accountable for over 200 bombs against symbols of wealth, power and state since 2008. A mail bomb campaign aimed at political institutions such as Embassies and Europol (the European Law Enforcement Organisation) had unnerved much of Europe in 2010. Last month the group claimed responsibility for an Athens courthouse bombing.

There are 13 defendants on trial, accused of being members of the group. Nine of the thirteen defendants have appeared in court, the rest will be tried in absentia. If the court condemns them of intending to commit murder they face life imprisonment. The defendants are being tried by a three member tribunal rather than a jury under a new terrorism law that supposedly minimises the possibility of intimidation. An online posting warned court officials that “for every year in prison given to our brothers, we will plant a kilogram of explosives in your front yards, cars and offices”.

On the first day of business, Monday (17th), time inside the court room was dedicated mainly to procedural details. It was made known that nobody would be allowed to enter without ID and subsequently the ID card would be kept for the duration of the trial. Never mind the above edict is illegal since the police only have the right to keep your ID card if you are a witness. The defendants refused to speak and exited from the courtroom upon hearing this decision. An hour later they re-entered the arena with demands of no personal data to be recorded from identity cards, nothing to be held on record and demands that the plain clothes policemen leave the courtroom.

The defendants declared that if their demands were not met they would refuse to cooperate and would not participate in the trial. As the presiding judge failed to meet their demands they left the courtroom to the sound of shouts “The passion for freedom is stronger than the prison”.The trial will continue at 9am on Monday 24th January.

Solidarity action with the conspiracy of cells of fire group took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in the late hours of Sunday(16th) where the largest shopping centre was submitted to an attack with fireworks creating panic, no injuries were sustained. In Bristol in the early hours of Monday(17th) two telecommunications vehicles of British Telecom were set on fire in support also.

Elsewhere this week the trial of the Thessaloniki 4 began on Friday (14th). The four defendants have been in limbo since the EU summit held in Greece in 2003. Police repression at the summit led to over a hundred arrests. Most had their charges dropped in light of overwhelming evidence. Since 2003 the defendants have had their charges dropped, only to be reinstated, there has been a first trial and then a second trial was adjourned until this month.

*To follow proceedings check: www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk

Keywords: anarchists, greece
There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

SMASHEDO: C'MON FEEL THE NOISE

There was more over the top treatment at Smash EDO’s weekly noise demo last Wednesday (19th) as Brighton coppers continue to do their utmost to imprison the determined bunch for whatever minuscule ‘offences’ they can find.

Ten activists were there to remind workers leaving the arms factory that it was the two-year anniversary of Israel’s bombing of Gaza which killed hundreds (See SchNEWS 661) and make noise with saucepans, drumsticks and pots and pans.

Towards the end of the demo, one activist was arrested under section 5 (behaviour likely to cause alarm) and numerous others have been slapped in irons over the last couple of months for similarly meagre charges, one person for writing in chalk on the EDO fence, and another for allegedly causing damage to the fence by banging it with a rock. Others have been taken in for breach of the peace and conspiracy charges.

Midweek noise demos continue - for more see www.smashedo.org

There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

FEE FOR YER LIFE

The occupation of Birmingham university occupation ended in a ruckus on Monday (17th) after a no holds barred eviction.

The peaceful sit in that began with 20 students and ended 8 hours later with violent confrontations between students and police has led to yet more questions regarding police tactics. As one student put it “all hell broke loose”.

The students were protesting budget cuts and redundancies that will be in effect by 2014 resulting in 200 job losses. They staged a sit in at the social learning space in the physics department. At 18:45, six security guards and two cops charged the doors. The students linked arms and attempted to form a human barrier.

Reports from witnesses state one female student was head butted, another got an unmerited punch in the chest whilst a third got jabbed in the face. One student standing nearby saw a male student being put into a headlock that threatened to strangle him as they both tried to walk into the occupied area. The policeman who delivered the head-butt claimed the girl had presented an obstacle as he was attempting to access the room and the collision was unfortunate.

By 7pm the remaining protesters had walked or been escorted out. No arrests were made. Three students are considering taking legal action and are at the moment seeking legal advice.

There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

A BUNCH OF CUTS

It has been ding, ding round two this week as the next wave of anti-cuts protests kicked off with nationwide action against plans to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

As Westminster voted against Labour’s token motion to rethink the decision to cut EMA, around 500 people assembled at Piccadilly Circus before marching on Westminster. As they arrived at Parliament an impromptu rave of rage broke out.

In Brighton around 100 people turned up for the Save EMA demo, staging a small rally on Old Steine before being led by cops into uninhabited side-streets.

The day before (18th), walkouts and demonstrations were held at about 30 schools and colleges around the country, including Liverpool, Newcastle and Cornwell. The peaceful protests took a variety of forms, in Dudley several hundred college students held a fancy dress rally while in Leeds there was a silent protest and at a college in Norwich, students lit a candle for every student who receives EMA.

In the build up to the national protest called for the 29th, the proposed benefit cuts will be next in the firing line in a National Day of Protest on the 24th. There will be an array of protests across the country, many focusing on Atos Origin, the company responsible for the punitive medical testing of disability and sickness benefits.

*There are protests planned in London, Livingston, Leeds, Newcastle, Lyndey, Burnley, Hastings, Crawley, Brighton and a national Troll a Tory internet campaign. For a complete list see http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/

There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

AND FINALLY

UNDERCOVER COP SHOCKER EXCLUSIVE: The secretive anti-social world of policing has been rocked to its foundations this week by revelations that undercover eco-activists have been posing as police officers, working in the shadowy ‘tactical units’ supposedly fighting the menace that they themselves threaten.

Clean-cut William Jackboot seemed like a regular plod, popular with the lads - a rising star, swiftly moved up the ladder until, in 2009, he was promoted to a position co-ordinating the elite forces of a new inter-constabulary force to combat activists, the Countering Undesirable Nasties Terrorising Squad.

As the team bodged operations, or arrived somewhere to find activists were one already step ahead, it was assumed all to be a result of normal police incompetence, but now that Jackboot has been outed and identified as really being a ramshackle hippie anarchist named Ramblin Bill Specialbrew who, six years ago, changed his name, got a haircut, and signed up. He proceeded to work his way up, alongside and friendly with unsuspecting colleagues - presumably all the while passing personal information and operational details back to his anti-authoritarian handlers.

Former friends on the force have been stunned by the realisation that ‘Slick’ Willy was not all he seemed. They recount happy evenings of hard drinking at Spearmint Rhino. ‘Why, he even helped me rough up a few black bloc” said one, “He had the Top Gear box-set n and didn’t seem to give a shit about the state of environment,” tells another.

Since his outing, which followed leaving copies of SchNEWS and a bong accidentally in his open locker one day, Specialbrew / Jackboot has gone into hiding in Armenia, saying he fears for his life.

I’m only the one they know about,” he said, “there are loads of secret tree-huggers in all branches of the force. On one occasion we went on an climate camp raid and there was only one real copper there - except for those undercover organising the activists we were after...

Anyway I was just doing what my eco-superiors suggested I do, after they’d plied me with mushroom tea one night. But after a while you get confused. I found myself having sympathies with the cops plight. It was like stockholm syndrome - before I knew it I was busting kids and shaking down villains - and I started to love the life. But the pressure of this double life was grinding me down and I was getting no emotional support from my handlers. I’d been walking, talking, shouting, pushing, beating like a copper for so long, I lost track of who I really was.”

Trust and moral within the force has plummeted as other eco-plants start to be weeded out and cops are wondering how far this thing goes. Brian Paddick? Sir Ian Blair?

There are no comments on this story [ Add a Comment ]
THE POSTING OF COMMENTS ON THIS STORY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY A MODERATOR
 

Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers - Trust No One. Least of all us (we're off to Corfu, or somewhere like that) 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?