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(en) SchNEWS 285, Friday 1st December, 2000

From "Iain Wilson" <iain@paloma.co.uk>
Date Fri, 1 Dec 2000 09:36:39 -0500 (EST)


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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This is SchNEWS, the weekly direct action newsletter published by Justice?
in Brighton, England. You're subscribed to SCHNEWS-L, our automated mailing
list. To unsubscribe, or to get in touch, see the bottom of this message.

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Write "SchNEWS Online" on the back of the cheque. Thanks!

This week's SchNEWS: http://www.schnews.org.uk/

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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! It’s yer Tings can only get wetter!

SchNEWS

Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

ISSUE 285, FRIDAY 1st December, 2000

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SPLOSHED!

"I am searching for justice for those who have been left behind by the
consumerist people of the western world" - Dr. Owens Wiwa (Ken Saro-Wiwa’s
brother).

"We must counter, both in the UN and within the framework of the
North-South dialogue, any discussion of global problems which questions the
validity of the free market and of free enterprise in the countries of the
Third World." - A US Official

Last week’s climate change conference in the Hague has be described as the
most important conference ever - an opportunity to eventually do something
about the consumerist society’s continued efforts to destroy our planet.
That the world is on the brink of climate armageddon is obvious to most
people with half a brain, but the conference descended into farce with the
main argument being whether John Prescott was a new man or not. But hang
on, what everyone seems to have forgotten is that it was the United States
dragging their heels from the start that was responsible for the talks
collapsing. Industrialised countries are responsible for 55% of emissions,
but still don’t want to face up to their responsibility for making the
planet go down the plughole.

The US with a mere 4% of world population, produces an impressive 24% of
global CO2 emissions, but is still trying to wangle its way out of making
any meaningful changes. Well you’ve got to agree with them, what is there
for them to change, they’ve only got the greatest output of CO2, the lowest
petrol costs in the West, and the least efficient energy industry.

So here is the blaggers guide to getting out of cutting yer emissions:

   * Carbon ‘sinks’ (that’s forests to you and me) are supposed to suck up
     CO2. So planting more trees is a good idea, but after all that good
     work some countries think you wouldn’t need to decrease yer
     emmissions, hey you might even be able to increase them. The Kyoto
     Summit in 1997 called for cuts in CO2 emissions of 5%, not too
     impressive when you consider that what we really need just to make up
     for ‘economic growth’ is about 30%. And if yer feeling really radical
     how’s about a cut of 60-80% which will actually reverse the spiral of
     decline future generations will inherit? Still, one scientist claims
     that trees contribute to global warming because they have dark leaves
     that don’t reflect sunlight back into space! Guess which country he
     comes from...
   * Clean Development Mechanism: Japan, US, Canada, New Zealand, and
     Australia were all in favour of investment in reforestation, building
     nuclear, hydroelectric or ‘clean coal’ (!) power stations in
     developing countries. Not as much as an effort but a way of earning
     emissions brownie points. But look at what these countries are up to
     at home - The US and Canada are clear cutting their ancient forests
     every day.
   * Emissions trading: countries (or companies) that reduce their
     emissions to below their targets can sell ‘credits’ to countries that
     can’t manage it. This would mean that countries whose economies have
     collapsed (like Russia) could sell their quota of emissions to richer
     countries (like the US), who can then carry on polluting as normal.
     The EU was insisting that emissions trading shouldn’t make up more
     than 50% of any country’s targets, this was bad news to the US who
     like the idea of throwing money at a problem.

And check out the following scams put forward by the US: using wheat as a
carbon sink, extending the working day to 24 hours so people never leave
the office and so cut down on traffic emissions; digging holes to plant
seeds rather than ploughing up the land which release’s CO2; feeding sheep,
pigs and cows anti-flatulence pills to cut down on methane emissions, a big
source of greenhouse gases, and putting up window boxes on all those
skyscrapers. OK, we made two of them up but that America’s ideas are so
ridiculous it’s hard to tell which ones are porkies. Maybe the
anti-flatulance pills should be fed to US delegates, or someone should seal
up their mouths to stop emissions of hot air. Still, it was good of all
those ‘green’ companies that are trying to cash in on climate change to
produce their own carbon sinks in the form of all the leaflets they
produced saying how capitalism could save the world.

Splish

"I invite political leaders to come and see our beautiful islands and see
if they are worth saving" - Opetaia Foa’l, Pacific Islander.

Among the 11,000 delegates were Opetaia and 9 members of his band Te Vaka.
Two years ago they wrote a song about their islands disappearing, they
weren’t allowed to sing it in their homelands as people believed it would
bring bad luck. Now he says many of the islanders are eventually accepting
the truth as evidence mounts that their islands are slowly disappearing
into the sea.

Most of the meetings at the conference took place behind closed doors, as
delegates attempted to wade through the voluminous heap of gibberish they
were supposed to be ratifying. The balance of power was uneven though, with
the richer countries able to afford whole teams of delegates and support
staff. The US sent over a team of 150 delegates who larged it up in a fancy
hotel, while the 3 delegates from Mozambique (who could tell a tale or two
about climate change) stayed in a youth hostel with Chinese tourists.
Eventually, there wasn’t enough time to do a deal, cos they had to get out
of the centre and make way - for a meeting of oil industry experts!

For more info have a look at:

   * Green Pepper, Climate Change issue, Autumn 2000 from Postbus 94115,
     1090 GC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. +31 20 665 7743 or eyfa@eyfa.org
   * Kate Evans has produced a cartoon booklet on climate change. Send 2
     1st class stamps to her at 1 Townhead Cottages, Dunford Bridge,
     Sheffield S36 4TG
   * ‘Greenhouse Gangsters vs. Climate Justice’ by Transnational Resource
     and Action Center, PO Box 29344, San Francisco CA, 94129
     www.corpwatch.org www.climateconference.org

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CRAP ARRESTS OF THE WEEK
For tagging a green sign with green paint! Squint and you might miss it,
but one fresh-faced young painter was left feeling decidedly embarrassed
after writing slogans on a BP sign in green paint and being nicked!
Schwoops.

For banging on a window! Four people arrested, held for 24 hours and
charged with ‘public violence’ for the heinous crime of banging on the
windows of a public building that they were refused entry to. Inside was a
presentation by carbontrading.com and various companies such as Shell and
BP.

Crap No-Arrest! For disgusting crimes against the planet and humanity:
various corporations, puppet governments, lobbyists, World Business Council
for Sustainable Development, Global Climate Coalition, carbon traders,
marketing and advertising people and a few NGOs who seem to have severely
compromised their integrity.

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Unclear Future

Sniffin’ around at the Climate Conference were the nuclear lobby, who
reckon we should all embrace nuclear because it will help cut greenhouse
gas emissions. How nice of them to be so caring.

   * Rising tides will cause havoc for at least four UK power stations
     located on low coastal areas - let’s hope water levels don’t rise much
     during the 150 years it takes before even de-commissioned plants can
     be dismantled. BNFL are not past the ‘brainstorming’ stage about the
     problem.
   * Cases of leukaemia and breast cancer double in areas downwind of
     nuclear refineries and mudflats which contain ‘discharges’.
   * Nuclear waste is carried hundreds of miles from power stations all
     around England up to Sellafield - BY RAIL!! Well no worries there then!
   * Nuclear plants in Ukraine replacing Chernobyl fail European Safety
     standards. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
     are being lobbied not to fund more reactors - which will also put more
     financial strain on the already strapped maintenance budgets for
     existing Russian plants.
   * 3.4 million Ukrainians are suffering from cancer and other diseases
     after Chernobyl with numbers set to continue to rise for at least 15
     years.
   * If US company Pangea have their way Rudall River National Park in
     Western Australia - considered highly ‘geologically stable’ - is set
     to become ‘the nuclear toilet of the world’ storing up to 76,000
     tonnes of waste for future generations to enjoy.

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Web of Lies

Shell has a skeleton in the closet - and it’s not Nigerian - it’s English!
In 1968 at Shell’s Thornton Research Centre, Cheshire a bit of a disaster
happened while playing with nuclear fuels - and after a hasty clean-up much
of the radio-active waste is still there. It was hushed up. Shell say it
didn’t happen and issued a ‘Narrative’ about it in fact being an incident
involving low radiation ‘Cobalt-60’ material. They’re calling their story a
‘Narrative’ because the last thing they want is their story going up
against the truth in court and the publicity that would follow.

Researcher John Dyer has spent twelve years bringing this bogey into the
open - and his web-site on this issue has brought another can-o-worms out
about libel on the internet. Visit www.nuclearcrimes.com to read that the
1968 incident has even caused deformed births, and that Carlton Television
made a documentary about it in 1993 which at the last minute was ‘dropped’
thru’ fear of a legal battle with Shell. Now Shell are again using lawyers
- this time to close the website. Instead of directly threatening the
publishers of the material, Nuclearcrimes, they’re bullying the ‘internet
host’ - Easynet (also host to SchNEWS) into switching off the offending
site or suffer the consequences. This comes after a legal precedent was
recently established during the Godfrey libel case when an internet host
who knowingly left allegedly defamatory information on one of their sites
were then in turn made liable for the defamation. Caspar Bowden, director
of the Foundation for Internet Policy Research (www.fipr.org) told SchNEWS
"the judgement in (this) case, by effectively deeming that Internet hosts
are publishers, allows powerful interests to bully websites into
self-censorship merely by alleging defamation. Reform of legislation is
needed to prevent stifling of free speech." Under threat nuclearcrimes may
have to move hosts again - possibly outside the UK (see RIP Act in SchNEWS
269).

This could be the shape of things to come for free information on the
internet: If someone doesn’t like something that’s been said about them on
the net - and the publishers aren’t budging - they can go upwards to the
hosts and internet service providers transmitting the article until there’s
one part of the chain willing to do the right thing and press the ‘off’
button.

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Inside SchNEWS

On the 7th December Eddie Gilfoyle will begin his long awaited appeal
against the miscarriage of justice that got him sent down for life. Eddie
was arrested in June 92 for murder after the tragic death of his wife, and
has been in jail ever since. It seems that Merseyside Police are on their
own in thinking that Eddie killed his wife after the case was first
investigated by the Channel 4 programme "Trial and Error", who called it a
"Keystone comedy of errors" and then by Lancashire and Cheshire police, the
Home Office, and the Criminal Cases Review Board. All concluded that Paula
(Eddie’s wife) tragically committed suicide. The evidence against Eddie
rests on a rope that was "found" by a certain DC Gregson in a drawer in the
garage 3 weeks after the initial search by a specialist team failed to find
anything as significant as that. Even an expert appointed by the Crown at
the original trial has had second thoughts and is now a prominent defence
witness. The Eddie Gilfoyle Campaign has called for a demonstration on the
7th 9.30 am at the Court of Appeal, The Strand, London (nearest tube
Holburn) www.appleonline.net/justiceuk/jus

* 1st December is Prisoners For Peace day. For a list of people to send
nice things to, contact War Resisters’ International, 0207 278 4040 or
warresisters@gn.apc.org

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Outta Their Tree

The Tree Council were aiming to set a tree-planting record last weekend and
earn themselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Nothing wrong with
that. Except that the sponsor of Tree Week is the largest oil company in
the world Esso (Exxon-Mobil to everyone else). Esso certainly care about
the environment. It was just over 10 years ago when one of their ships ran
aground in Alaska causing the most damaging oil spill in history (see
SchNEWS 205) and they are still dragging their feet on paying out any
compensation. They are also one of main players of the Global Climate
Coalition, who deny climate change is happening and use their corporate
muscle to make sure nothing gets done about it that might harm profits. A
couple of years back an ex-Esso Chairman even went to an international
gathering in China and urged developing countries to sort out their
environmental problems by "increasing ...the use of fossil fuels"! SchNEWS
asks wouldn’t Esso be better off sponsoring National Sandbag Week?

* House builders Countryside Residential have earned themselves a slap on
the back from the Essex Wildlife Trust, which is a bit strange seeing as
the ‘developers’ have been busy destroying the countryside at Hockley by
building 66 luxury homes on a wildlife rich area that contained legally
protected great crested newts. Nothing to do with the corporate sponsorship
of £250 a year Countryside Residential hands over to the Trust every year.

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Positive SchNEWS

The government has set itself the target of generating 10% of our
electricity by alternative energy by 2010. As we are officially the
windiest country in the Europe, wind power would be the obvious choice. But
on-land wind power has met with loads of problems, because nobody wants
them in their backyard. Most of the proposals so far have been large
‘windfarm’ projects, which people find both ugly and noisy. Local co-ops
around the country are now experiencing less opposition to smaller scale,
locally owned wind projects. There are now local schemes popping up all
over, such as The Dulas project in Mid Wales, which will supply power to
the Centre for Alternative Technology and nearby villages and will be
totally owned by locals. Contact then on 01563 705000 www.gn.apc.org/dulas

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SchNEWS in brief

**Basildon Council in Essex are changing the colour of their dog litter
bins from red to grey after bright locals kept mistaking them for postboxes
and sticking letters in them. Doh!
** No Sweat is a new UK based campaign against sweatshops, who have already
worked with Manchester United supporters around the Nike shirt deal, and
are looking at direct action campaigning against companies like Nike and
Gap and working to unionise fast-food restaurants, shops and sweatshops in
the UK. There’s a day of action targetting Nike and Gap on Dec 9th. 23b
Northlands St, London SE5 07958 556 756 www.nosweat.org.uk
** UK Rivers Network is another new group who plan to "combine long-term
work on political, educational, and community projects with short-term,
rapid responses to particular riverine threats." www.ukrivers.net/
** Birmingham based Banner Theatre are going on the road with their new
production "Reclaim The Future". 25 young people from marginalised
communities in El Salvador, the former East Germany and the West Midlands
have shared their experiences to produce a multimedia production looking at
the issues of race and how they create their own identity against a
backdrop of McDonalds, Coco Cola and Britney Spears. To find out if they’re
performing in your area call 07971 770073
** Next Thursday (7th) Glenn Jenkins of Luton’s Exodus Collective will be
among the speakers at a ‘Sources of Radicalism’ meeting in Manchester
7:30pm, Green Room, Whitworth Street West 0161 225 0807
** On the Friday (8) Bristol’s Kebele Kulture Project are having a free
party at the Easton Community Centre. There’s acoustic music, techno,
poetry, videos, plus vegan food and drink
** While at Birkbeck College, University of London (nearest tube Russell
Square) there’s a public meeting Return of Star Wars - A threat to Peace?
020 7405 6661 email pugwash@qmw.ac.uk
** Staying in London there’s a Poetry for Palestine Benefit on Friday and
Saturday night to raise money for two community arts projects in Palestine.
9-12 midnight. £5 at the Planet, 11 Malvern Rd., London NW6
**On the Saturday (9) ‘Older And ‘Bolder’ People from Growing Old
Disgracefully and the Older Feminists Network discuss the aims of their
organisations at Epicentre, West Street, London 8pm 020 8555 5248 Admission
free, but bring something for the buffet
** And in Brighton there’s a South East Permaculture Convergence on the
Sunday (10) Call 01273 503613/ email brynthomas@ecodesign.fsnet.co.uk for
details
** The man arrested for criminal damage to a lampost after peeling off an
NF sticker has had his charges dropped.
** To keep up to date with all the action check out the party and protest
guide here on the SchNEWS website.

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...and finally...

It could only happen in America... Mayor Keith Holliday of Greensboro, North
Carolina has thought of a novel solution to prison overcrowding. His idea
is to cryogenically freeze inmates on death row until new evidence clears
them. If it doesn’t then they just stay frozen. "At present Death Row
inmates can appeal against execution year after year claiming wrongful
convictions. That delay causes overcrowding and costs us millions in legal
fees. So instead of wasting all that money why don’t we just put them on
ice?" SchNEWS wonders whether they’ll be defrosted for appeal hearings, or
if the authorities can claim on the insurance if there’s a power cut. After
the ‘execute by’ date, the instructions on the chamber could read: defrost
slowly and fry gently for ten minutes on an electric chair...

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disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all environmentalists who think the ice is melting with
politicians - it’s just a wet dream. Honest

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Cor-blimley-they’re-practically-giving-them-away book offer SchNEWS Round
issues 51 - 100 £5 inc SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 £5 inc. SchNEWS
Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £6 + £1.20 postage (US
Postage £4.00 for individual books, £13 for all four). In the UK you can
get the fist three for £15 inc. postage. And finally.... The Schquall book
at only £8.00 inc postage. In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book
contains articles, photos, cartoons, a "yellow pages" list of contacts,
comedy etc. All the above books are available from the Brighton Peace
Centre, saving postage yer tight gits.

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