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(en) Loombreaker #34

From "Loombreaker" <editorial@loombreaker.org.uk>
Date Sat, 15 Feb 2003 09:47:39 +0100 (CET)


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Loombreaker
No. 34 January/Febuary 2003
For diary see www.loombreaker.org.uk

1.Mancs Against this Phoney Oil War
2.Human Shields to Iraq
3.Serial Killer in Whalley Range
4.Be the Best
5.Women with Bolt Croppers
6.Your chance to Foil Menwith
7.Menwith Hill Arrests
8.UK Entertainment Tax
9.Drive them Out
10.Land Rovers trashed


*Mancs Against this Phoney Oil War !*

Actions against the war have been breaking out all over Manchester. 
The Army Recruitment Office, BP and Menwith Hill are a selection of 
the targets hit by local anti-war activists. More and more grafitti 
and artwork has sprung up in recent weeks, making the links between 
oil and war, `No War' is plastered on the side of the barracks in 
Whalley Range, and over army recruitment ads. Manchester folk 
travelled to Liverpool (pictured) and Bradford anti-war rallies on 
the global day of action on January 18th. Over fifty people at a 
recent forum, attended workshops on Direct Action, What next in 
Manchester, Subvertising, Palestine, and banner-making. Leafleting is
happening in local areas and in the city centre every Saturday, and 
there are regular vigils against war (every thurs 5-6pm Friends Meeting 
House, every wed 1-2pm St Peter's Chaplaincy on Oxford Rd, every Friday 7pm
Salford Cathedral).

Around fifty coaches will be going travelling from all over 
Manchester to the biggest ever anti-war demo in London on February 
15th (see below for coach info). Meanwhile on the home front, 
there'll be a vigil in solidarity at 4pm Piccadilly Gardens (Market 
St side) on the 15th, for those who really genuinely can't make it to
London. Bring your own placards/banners/candles.

On the same night, there's going to be a big MAKE LOVE NOT WAR party,
offering free food to everyone returning back from London. With live
music, funk, hip hop, drum n bass and visuals going all the way through to
breakfast, it's one not to miss. Phone 07817 313085 on the day for 
details of venue.

One of the best things about organising in manchester against the war 
this time round is that the coalition against the war, is just that: a 
genuine coalition, involving people from loads of different groups, and lots 
of unaffiliated individuals. Different opinions are voiced, and healthy
debates had, but it seems that we're managing a real unity in our actions,
with no one grouping dominating. Whether it's because the anti-war
movement is so huge and so hopeful, or whether it's because we've had a
lot of practice (aren't we permanently organising against war these
days?), it seems to be working. Meetings are every Tuesday at the moment
at 7pm at the offices of the Muslim Association 272 Dickenson Rd. 
Phone CND on 0161 273 8283 www.gmdcnd.org.uk for more information on anti-
war activities.

*Human Shields to Iraq*

Halimah Davies, of Manchester, is joining a convoy to Iraq where she 
will be part of a "human peace shield". Halimah is helping to mobilise
awareness and volunteers and is asking people to take a moment to view the
universal kinship web site. They welcome more volunteers for their
awareness campaign and need buses to carry volunteers to London and
transport to join the convoy to Iraq.

Halimah Davies (0798 482 4890, rabbbbit@hotmail.com
Serial Killer in Whalley Range

*Serial Killer in Whalley Range*

Petrol stopped flowing at BP's garage in Whalley Range when two 
scaffold tripods sprang up blocking the entrance and exit roads. 
Protestors alerted people to their neighbourhoods most prolific 
serial killer, BP. The oil company are trying to rebrand themselves 
as a cleaner, greener company, whilst their Tangguh gas project in 
West Papua threatens to destroy a huge area of forest and the life of
tribal peoples living in seven villages. BP's massive investment also
makes it profitable for Indonesia to continue their brutal occupation 
of
West Papua. Hundreds are detained, tortured and imprisoned without 
trial.
Tens of thousands have already been evicted from the land where 
they've
lived for thousands of years. West Papua is one of the wildest and 
most
precious places left on the planet - one of the great rain forests in 
the
world, home to tens of thousands of unique species.

To get involved contact the local campaign via the loombreaker 
(details on the back), or attend an Earth First! meeting (see Diary). 
More
about West Papua: www.westpapua.net World Trade Centre Occupied

People from Manchester and Leeds had a good day at the office of ERM, 
BP's
greenwashers and the company that put the `con' in `environmental
consultants'. Among those conned by ERM are people living along the
proposed route of the world's biggest oil pipeline, planned to run 
through
Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The few villages that ERM bothered to
consult at all weren't told about the grave threats posed by the 
pipeline
because words like militarisation, human rights abuses, conflict and
environmental catastrophe might "prejudice responses". Instead they
emphasised BP's excellent track record (omitting words like
militarisation, human rights abuses, conflict and environmental
catastrophe). Anxious not to prejudice ERM's responses, the 
protestors
decided against making an appointment, and simply walked into the 8th
floor office in Salford Quays' World Trade Centre and made themselves 
at
home. Some locked themselves to office furniture, others spent the
afternoon talking to employees about the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline 
project,
conducting an environmental impact assessment of the office 
occupation,
and on the phone to ERM's European Managing Director and BP's 
Regional
Affairs Director for the Pipeline project. Both sent faxes expressing
their concern about the allegations and agreeing to a meeting. 
Eventually,
having got most of the staff to promise to complain (or at least 
enquire)
about the pipeline to Head Office, and after collecting their phone
numbers in order to call up and remind them, the campaigners 
sauntered out
of the office and went home.

According to one of the occupiers: "One of the most shocking things 
about this destructive pipeline project is that, if it went ahead, it
would be paid for by us, the British taxpayer. Our government is 
preparing
to stump up £65 million of our money to pay for death and destruction 
in
Eastern Europe (via the Export Credit Guarantee Dept). They can't 
find
enough money to pay for public sector workers, but they seem to have
plenty of cash for oil and war."

The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline would run from Baku in Azerbaijan, through 
Tbilisi in Georgia to Ceyhan in Turkey. It is being run by a 
consortium of oil companies, headed up by the British company BP. The
final decision on whether to go ahead with the proposal was scheduled 
for
April 2003, but the growing international anti-pipeline campaign has
already delayed the planning process by six months.

GET INVOLVED! To find out more, contact The Baku Ceyhan Campaign, 
tel: 01865 550200, Email: ilisu@gn.apc.org; or PLATFORM, 0207 
4033738, Email: platform@gn.apc.org. More info: 
www.risingtide.org.uk.

Contact Manchester Earth First! on 0161-226 6814, 
mancef@nematode.freeserve.co.uk

For more info on the pipeline see "Some Common Concerns", published 
in September 2002 by PLATFORM, The Corner House, Friends of the earth
International, Campagna per la Riforma della banca Mondiale, CEE 
Bankwatch
Network and the Kurdish Human Rights Project.

*Be the Best!*

Manchester's Armed Forces Careers Office got a helping hand when Tony
Blair and George Bush attended `in person' to help recruit suckers,
accompanied by a banner reading `Their Blood Our Oil', a walking 
petrol
pump, a CNN newscaster and a shadowy figure in a gas mask and 
chemical
warfare suit. The spectacle proved too stressful for one highly 
trained
member of the armed forces who steamed out of the office raging that 
the
banner being held in front of his car was `touching my private 
property'.
He then very nearly injured the banner-holders by driving off in that
jerky fashion, either failing to control his car in his anger, or 
trying
to intimidate the demonstrators. And failing. The demonstrators 
showed up
again in Market St - Bush and Blair now clearly in love - amusing 
many,
narking a few, and attracting tourists wanting their photo taken with 
the
US President.

*Women with Bolt Croppers*

Menwith Hill US Spy Base received an unwelcome early Christmas gift 
when thousands of pounds of their radar equipment was destroyed. The
action was carried out by Women with Bolt Croppers when on the night 
of
14th December, they cut a hole in the fence with bolt croppers and 
climb
through.

"No alarms sounded, no-one challenged us, suprising since the base is 
on
`black alert' (one below red alert). Armed with just bolt croppers 
and a
hammer we set about causing damage to the US listening devices. Once 
our
work was done we sat down for a bite to eat before leaving through 
the
same hole! We were inside the base, undetected, sabotaging the war 
effort
for over an hour! It was easy!"

"We did this because we are angry that the British state is backing 
the US in its war plans, including allowing the US to use bases in 
the UK such as Fylingdales, Fairford & Menwith Hill. We are angry at 
the
hypocrisy of the US and UK governments who are willing to use their
weapons of mass destruction on the Iraqi people. We are angry that 
our
leaders are going to war in our name. We have signed petitions, we 
have
lobbied MP's, we have marched on numerous occasions. None of these 
tactics
are working.

Now is the time! We need to take direct action now, we need to take 
our protests from the streets to the insides of military bases. Our 
action shows it is possible to get into a military base, damage 
equipment, and still get away.

Imagine the power we would have if just 1% of the people on the last
anti-war demo decided to take their opposition to the war a step 
further.
It is time to turn opinion into action, time to stand up and be
counted.Sabotaging the war effort is not a crime, it is a moral
obligation."

See below for how you can take that step further.

*Your chance to Foil Menwith*

Foil the Base, on March 22nd, will be a day of peaceful creative 
direct action, music, speakers and a tour at at US military base 
Menwith Hill, Yorkshire

Menwith Hill plays a crucial role in war on Iraq, and is only an hour 
and
a half away from Manchester. As the largest electronic monitoring 
station
in the world it picks up communications from satellites covering the
Middle East _ it even won an award for its eavesdropping in the last 
Gulf
War. It is the `brains' of any attack on Iraq. Menwith is also key 
for the
Star Wars project of long-term military aggression.

To `foil the base' _ disrupt satellite signals at the base - there 
has to be as much foil in the air as possible. Bring foil kites, foil
balloons, foil puppets _ use your imagination! Let's make our demos
visible at the real heart of the military machine.

This time in March is the Spring Equinox _ the turning of the seasons 
when
night and day are of equal length. It's the time to celebrate life's
ability to regenerate _ to de-legitimise the military system and 
transform
our frustration into hope and active resistance for a better world.

For direct action training, for speakers on Star Wars and Menwith 
Hill, or to be a transport organiser for your area contact 
Neighbourhoods Opposing War (NOW) at mail@now-peace.org.uk. For more 
info
see www.now-peace.org.uk

*** For those in the south, there will also be a 22nd March action at
Fairford base, Gloucestershire - see www.gwi.org.uk ***

*Menwith Hill Arrests*

Two peace campaigners from Manchester (on 16th January) appeared in 
Harrogate maigstrates court charged with going equipped intending to 
cause
criminal damage at "RAF" (US Spy Base) Menwith HIll. The pair were
arrested by MoD police on 10th January in one of the bases antenna 
fields.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges and have opted for a jury 
trial at
York Crown Court. The magistrates refused to drop bail conditions 
imposed
by North Yorkshire Police which ban the two defendants from within 50
metres of the fence. The prosecutor told the pair "you can protest 
against
the base at the house of commons or in Harrogate".

The defendants will challenge this ruling at the high court on the 
grounds that it is an infringement on their civil liberties.

*UK Entertainment Tax*

A bill currently before parliament will have a serious impact on all
branches of the performing arts, both amateur and professional. All
premises in which performing arts activities take place will require 
a
licence from the local authority, which will probably cost lots of 
money

Churches, schools, village halls, pubs, restaurants, even private 
houses will have to be licensed if used for performance events, 
whether they take place frequently or only occasionally. Any 
performance in unlicensed premises will be a criminal offence, 
punishable by a large fine and costs, or a prison sentence.

See http://uk..indymedia.org or www.musiclovers.ukart.com for more 
information. There is an online petition against the new laws at 
www.PetitionOnline.com/2inabar
Deaf activists take their protests to the roof top

Deaf protesters stormed the roof of Manchester's GMEX complex last 
year in a three-day demonstration against hearing implants. It 
actually happened last autumn, but we felt it worth reporting to 
raise awareness. Draped with banners declaring Better Deaf Than Dead 
the
campaigners were targetting a conference of 800 medical experts from
around the world meeting to discuss cochlear (inner ear) implants at
Manchester International Convention Centre. Camping out in tents and
climbing onto the roof, the Deaf Liberation Front (DLF) protestors 
were
highlighting suspected cases of meningitis caused by the devices.
According to the campaigners, several people have died from 
meningitis
after receiving cochlear implants, including seven people in England.

More information from the DLF website www.deafpowernow.org

*G8 - france, 2003*

A call to create an alternative anti-capitalist village

The No Pasaran network are proposing the creation of an autonomous 
anti-capitalist village during this year's G8 Summit. The summit is 
in Evian, France, a mountainous region in the Haute-Savoie. The G8 
leaders and the leading figures of the international financial 
institutions (IMF, World Bank etc..) arrogantly assume the right to 
rule our lives according to the logic, needs and desires of 
Capitalism.

There will be mass protests against the G8. But No Pasaran say it is
important that the mobilisations go further than demonstrating in the
streets: we must also open up a space in which we can hold free and 
open
gatherings where we elaborate our ideas. We are aware of the 
increasingly
repressive nature of the police and military apparatus which imposes
increasing difficulties on how we assemble for each counter-summit.

The No Pasaran network contact : nopasaran@samizdat.net Link: 
http://www.red-libertaria.net

*Drive them Out!*

Roney, a Hulme resident, was recently arrested charged with £25 
criminal damage for writing "This way to fund the slaughter of 
Palestinians' across a sign belonging to Williams Landrover. Roney 
says "I did this because Landrover are selling Landrover Defenders to
Israel who use them against the peoples of Palestine. As a local I 
object
to this happening on my doorstep. I also object to multinationals 
such as
Landrover taking over areas in my community and peddling hardware 
that
murders communities abroad. They'll be putting a McDonalds in Hulme 
next!"

Roney pleaded not guilty in the magistrates court, but before it came 
to
trial, all charges were surprisingly dropped. Maybe they didn't want 
an
expose in court of Landrover's involvement in Israel!

*Land Rovers trashed*

Earlier this week the windscreens of about twenty Land Rover vehicles 
were
caved in, causing an estimated £25k worth of damage. The vehicles 
were
sited at the Williams Land Rover showroom on Princess Parkway, Hulme. 
The
action has something to do with the sale of Land Rover vehicles to 
the
Israeli army. For evidence of the link, you can look up the page on 
LR
Defenders as used by Israeli `special forces' on their own web site
www.isayeret.com/vehicles/rover/rover.htm

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