WAKE UP!! It's yer sort-of-weekly...
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action
Meet Cameron D'Ambrosio. He's 18 and lives in a small town outside Boston. He wants to be a rapper and calls himself "Cammy Dee" in his YouTube videos.
Oh, and he's been locked up without bail for weeks - facing terrorism charges and 20 years in prison - all for something he posted on Facebook.
On May 1st, Cam was skipping school and messing around online. He posted some lyrics that included a vague reference to the Boston Marathon Bombing and called the Whitehouse a "federal house of horror." Shortly after that he was arrested and charged with Communicating a Terrorist Threat, a felony that carries 20 years in prison. The post contained no specific threat of violence against any person or group of people, and in the context of the rest of the lyrics and Cams' rap persona, it was clearly nothing more than a metaphor. A search of Cam's house found NO evidence that he was planning any violence, but a judge still ordered him held without bail for the next 3 months, pending trial.
A search of Cam's house found no explosives, weapons, or ANY evidence that he was planning anything other than becoming the next Eminem. Take a minute to watch the video of one of Cam's songs, and decide for yourself whether you think he's a threat to public safety, or just a teenager speaking his mind.Cam is locked up right now and he needs your help. Civil liberties groups haven't jumped in to help. The judge has shown severe bias already. Cam's best shot at justice is to make sure that Authorities in this small town know that the rest of the country is watching, and that we won't let them set a precedent of arresting teenagers for angsty lyrics
It's not a surprise that the judge in the case felt pressure to come down hard on Cam, since the local media has been quick to sensationalize the story and demonize a harmless teenager. Before charges were even formally filed, local newspapers were already posting pictures from Cam's facebook and pointing to "disturbing" posts like "Fuck politics. Fuck Obama. Fuck the government!" and "satanic" imagery (like some image from a metal band's poster.) All of this is free speech that is 100% protected by the 1st Amendment.
For more info and campaign details visit: http://cms.fightforthefuture.org/teenager/
We really probably shouldn't indulge ourselves but something about the ongoing fictionalization of events in Brighton last Sunday by the far-right keeps us heading back to Facebook and Twitter for the latest fantastic developments.
Now you might think the reams of photos of boneheads being kicked all over the pavement/hiding behind the police/ getting bashed on the bonce by flying objects might present a fairly conclusive picture of what happened – but you'd be wrong.
Unfortunatley for EDL fashion victims Casualties United – they weren't quick enough with the camcorder when one of their girls ( a kickboxing champion no less!) battered seven antifa men unconscious. Now that'd be worth seeing! Unfortunatley overcome with modesty the Casuals seem to have disappeared this stirring episode from their Facebook.
In an unconscious admission of what really happened (i.e the fash got kicked all over town) Casuals are pinning all their bullshit on one incident down near the pier – apparently a happening so fearsome no 'commie' dares speak of it. The Casuals crack suicide squad (some of whom had already taken a bit of shoeing) managed to run a vaguely defined number of Antifa (think of a number – quadruple it and add five) and batter them all – glorious stuff!!
Sadly back in boring mundane reality what actually happened was that a small group of Casuals, was confronted by a larger mixed group of anti-fascists. To be fair the Casuals did start when outnumbered and managed to split a girl's head open with an umbrella. They were then put on their arses and two of them (including Steven Sands in what must have been one of the worst afternoon's of his life) got nicked.
One participant observer told SchNEWS “They actually weren't very good at fighting – it was all sort of rush in, try and get the first punch, then grab hold of someone and fall over”. Maybe SchNEWS is being unfair and staunch nationalists that the Casuals are they were practising some indigenous form of martial arts – the way of the stunned ferret or some such.
... For being Daniel McGowan
Not content with keeping ELF activist Daniel McGowan locked up for 7 years for arson, the cops in the States had to have one more stab at the animal rights campaigner – this time for writing a blog post on the Huffington Post website at the beginning of the month. He wrote about his time in the experimental new Communications Management Unit, that some folk lovingly call "Little Guantanamo".
He was re-released on Friday 5th after his lawyers mentioned that his rights were being infringed. He was, however, forced to sign a document which states “writing articles, appearing in any type of television or media outlets, news reports and/or documentaries without prior BOP approval is strictly prohibited." If he breaks this amicable agreement he will be sent back to the jail. Hail the land of the free.
For a step too far...
As reported to SchNEWS by the victim in question: “I was leaving Camden underworld after The Filaments gig [note for the un-hip: a not as yet over-popular beat-combo] and was entering the Underground station. There was a guy on the escalator in front of me lying down on his front in a superman-esque position, arm outstretched. I went to walk around him and, not wanting to tread on his hand, tried to step over it. I slipped slightly and landed on my arse on the step in front of him just before the bottom. As I tried to get up my jacket became caught in the mechanism of the escalator. At this point the met police ran over, and, rather than hit the stop button, PC1381 decided it was a good idea to 'kick me free' and only then stop the escalator. By this point superman had escaped into the night. Even when I explained what had happened I was told I was receiving a caution for misuse of escalators. Official outcome: "Words of advice" as the police said. The cops also told me it was easier to caution me, as I was trapped, rather than for them to catch the superman character.” Pure laziness or lack of kryptonite? We'll never know.
Well, you can imagine someone at the Express got a bollocking after filing this limp failure of an exposé. Despite going successfully undercover at a No Borders training weekend in Nottingham where anarchism meets immigration, two known threats to life as we know it, the reporters involved struggled to pin down anything that interesting.
On the activities of Calais Migrant Solidarity: “Since the notorious Sangatte refugee camp closed down in Calais, these volunteers make regular trips to France to give would-be migrants sleeping bags, phones, bikes, books, food, and help them to find squats.”
On legal support for asylum claims in the UK, one of the good for nuthin' anarchists is quoted as advising: “Don’t let them be bullied into answering questions they cannot.” Then, “He said the system was 'degrading and bullying' but urged volunteers to ensure migrants stay on the right side of the law.” Shocking, truly shocking.
For being pole-ish in Combe Haven
During the high jinks at the Bexhill protest site one protestor scaled a telegraph pole after a chainsaw operator was overheard saying that he couldn't continue cutting until protestors were moved away. Various heavies rushed across the road but by that time our pole-vaulting protestor was perched on top of his pole. After some discussion between the Police and Shergroup over whether the telegraph pole was on private property or the public highway, the police closed the road to non-contractor vehicles and started threatening him with arrest for obstruction of the public highway.
However, it proved hard to follow through with these threats, and talk of a cherry picker turned out to be just that: talk. People supporting Poley (as he became known by protesters) were eventually pushed away from his pole by a small army of security- in the process one Shergroup heavy blatantly assaulted one woman in the head. By about 4pm all the contractors packed up and left but they police stayed, determined to get their man.
With the night setting in Poley was forced to climb down as far as possible and then jump onto a ten foot steeply sloping bank before crashing down onto the road. At this point Sussex police bravely sprang into action (or went completely nuts depending on your perspective)- randomly pepper spraying anyone in range (including themselves) while numerous police tackled, screamed at, and shoved various supporters. A large number of police sirens were head converging from all directions after the panicked police called for backup, but by the time the second wave came charging in. One person, presumably Poley, though it's possibly the wrong guy, was dragged off to the handcuffs with a number of visible injuries, while everyone headed back to camp to regroup and carry on fighting the good fight.
It's all over the mainstream news, but “Plebgate” is the story that just keeps on giving. For months now the papers have been full of stories of (now ex) chief Conservative whip Andrew Mitchell getting himself busted for being a elite prole-hating piece of Tory scum- having been accused by the police of calling two officers “fucking plebs” after they refused to let him through the gate they were guarding (we think the scandal should have been called “Gategate” but that's a another matter).
But now a copper has been arrested accused in turn of having fabricated a witness statement to ensure that the police version of events is believed. That's right, you heard it here: The cops are accused of being corrupt lying scum.
So at some point the powers that be will have to come down on one side or the other- either officially branding Tories as arrogant snobs or the police as two faced liars.
This puts SchNEWS in mind of various other “scum on scum” battles we've witnessed in the past; the ones that leave us cheering on the sidelines and hoping that both sides lose. Tommy Robinson and Nick' Griffin's intra-fascist bitchfights stand to mind, as does the Greek “rioting cops vs riot cops” hoo-ha we reported on a while back.
But for us, not even “Alien vs Predator” can the infamous 2004 ding-dong that pitted Countryside Alliance inbreds against British riot police outside Parliament Square- for our money still the best moment of enemy-on-enemy action.
Number of protesters arrested after West Burton No Dash for Gas protest – 21
Number of new gas-fired power stations either in constuction, approved for constrcution or applied for – 22
For not giving ATOS....
South Wales Police made a surprise midnight visit to the home of a disability activist who suffers health problems and mental health issues last Friday. Why? They claimed she had committed criminal activity on Facebook by posting comments critical of Atos assessments, the DWP and the Jobcentre. They also queried her political affiliations and asked her whether she had been planning an anti-deportation protest the next day.
After forcing their way into the woman's home, the officers threatened her for being 'very disruptive' - when she was in distress and they hadn't provided a substantial reason for the visit - because she questioned why they were there and refused to show ID without a valid reason. The woman, who suffered from severe anxiety, hid in her bedroom and managed to call a legal observer contact who advised her to ask the police to leave, as she was legally entitled to do.
After a protracted conversation the cops eventually left, but only after changing tack and saying they'd forced their way into her home because they were concerned about her 'welfare'. Calling bullshit on them, the woman has now lodged several Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to find out why the police came knocking in the middle of the night.
On Friday 21st September a protester nicked during the March 26 demo was convicted in Southark Crown Court of on a charge of possession of explosives.
He was caught with stencils, two smoke bombs and a £2.50 “Enola Gay Mark 5 thunderflash” aka a flashbang firework (the Mark 5 is not to be confused with the original Enola Gay the plane that dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, killing around 100,000+ people - that's marketing for you).
Just the day before a jury had found him not guilty of going equipped to commit criminal damage, only to bust him on the explosive charge today by a 10-2 majority verdict. The complexity of the case and the confusing 1883 Explosives Act meant that it took the jury 1 ½ days to reach a verdict.
The unnusual nature of the 1883 Act meant that all the prosecution had to prove is that the defendant knowingly possessed the explosives in a situation that would give rise to suspicions that they would not be used for lawful purposes. This means, for the laymen and women out there, that the burden of proof is with the defendant, to show a “lawful” purpose, not, as is usually the case in English law, with the prosecution. The Act has was designed with political persecution in mind - it was originally brought in by Victorians to prosecute Fenians fighting for a free Ireland.
Sentencing is on 19th October.
For racial abusing himself...
An Oxford man was racially abused by two men whilst out driving with his six year old son. Unwilling to let it lie, he confronted the two racists and demanded that they clarify what they'd said. Being racist scumfucks, they obliged and called him a Paki again, adding “Get the bat out of the car”. He then called the police, just as two Thames Valley Plod cycled past. He explained he'd been racially abused and threatened by the two.
One copper, clearly keener than he is bright, spoke to our hero – “I can arrest you for using the P word” – grabbed his arm aggressively and pulled him away. He asked asked the police to search the men's car for the bat that they had had threatened to attack him with. Luckily, before the police could follow their stupid threat with an even stupider nicking, several members of his family arrived on the scene as the police let the two men drive off.
He plans to make an official complaint. SchNEWS recommends suing the fuckers.