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(en) SchNEWS 390, Friday 31st Jan, 2003

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 31 Jan 2003 07:51:41 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

wake up! It's yer nothin' but a houndog
Friday 31st January 2003, Issue 390

This past Monday, Holocaust Memorial Day was observed across the world, with
many British papers running large articles solemnly commemorating one of the
worst tragedies in human history. And just to prove how massively they'd
missed the point, many of these same papers also used their Holocaust
Memorial Day issues to run articles that are becoming nauseatingly
familiar-articles whipping up fear and hatred against asylum seekers, in
some cases running on the same page as Holocaust Memorial articles without a
hint of irony. As Nick Griffin, leader of the notoriously right-wing British
National Party (BNP) commented earlier this month, the British press is
helping to spread the BNP's anti-immigrant message. 'One could today be
forgiven for thinking that the editors of five of Britain's national daily
papers - the Daily Star, The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily
Telegraph - had suddenly become BNP converts,' said Griffin.
The Daily Mail is one of the worst offenders. On Monday, a group of people
from all over Britain converged on the London office of the Daily Mail to
try and put a stop to its racist hate-mongering. In the press release
calling for the demo, the various groups organising the action stated their
case, "Nearly every day there is an article in the Daily Mail attacking
asylum seekers - often on the front page with an inflammatory headline such
as "Stop the Asylum Invasion". Always portraying migrants and refugees as
scroungers trying to take advantage and as a threat to the 'British way of
life'. As one refugee said after seeing a Daily Mail headline entitled 'A
Door We Can't Close' - "It makes me feel like vermin.""
The racist articles run in the Daily Mail and other British papers
contribute to scenes like the one that took place this past Sunday in
Saltdean, one of Brighton's closest neighbours. Recently, one of Saltdean's
hotels, The Grand Ocean Hotel, was named as a possible site for the
emergency accommodation of asylum-seekers.  Acting out of fear and
misinformation, 250 local residents turned up to protest the use of the
Grand Ocean for housing newly arrived immigrants. Many carried placards with
slogans such as, "House prices will fall" and "Homes for our elderly not for
phoney asylum-seekers." One anti-immigrant protestor was even dressed up as
Osama bin Laden, to drive home the absurd myth that asylum-seekers and
terrorists are one and the same. One local resident, one of a small number
who actually came out in support of asylum seekers, reported, "The BNP were
there, there was verbal violence even towards our daughter and her friend,
people said they'd like to shoot the asylum seekers all of whom would
obviously be terrorists." On Monday, the Brighton daily rag, the Argus (who
incidentally ran sympathetic coverage of the anti-immigrant protest right
next to their Holocaust Memorial article) printed a particularly spot-on
letter from a local resident. "Whether or not refugees are housed in
Saltdean, the fear and anger the proposal has produced is worrying," the
resident writes. "Do these people from Saltdean hate and fear me? Would they
spit at me or wouldn't they notice me because I am white and speak with an
English accent? Many of my family were slaughtered by the Nazis for being
Russian Jews. The Nazis whipped up the sort of hysteria about Jews now being
whipped up about refugees. Remember that when you lambaste people who flee
here looking for sanctuary."
**Keep an eye on SchNEWS for further updates on the Saltdean situation.
**For more news on asylum seekers and refugees across Britain, check out The
Campaign Against Racism and Fascism: http://www.carf.demon.co.uk/ , Barbed
Wire Britain: http://www.barbedwirebritain.org.uk/ and The National
Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/

There were 100,000 people and a mind boggling 1,714 events. They were
crammed into a Catholic University, football stadiums, a gymnasium, five
marquees and some dockside warehouses. Described by some as the "People's
UN," this was the World Social Forum (WSF) which happened in Porto Alegre,
Brazil last week.
Since the very first WSF three years ago, the event has become, according to
Noam Chomsky, "unparallelled in world history."
So what is the WSF? Conceived as a direct alternative to the corporate knees
up globalisation ball known as the World Economic Forum, the WSF is a week
of workshops, discussions, and brainstorming for social change without
profiteering and neoliberalism-and it runs at exactly the same time every
year as the World Economic Forum.
In addition to WSF workshops, several "parallel conferences" sprang up
around the city, including an anarchist convention and a youth camp in a
nearby park where about 10,000 people pitched camp, including
representatives of Indymedia from around the world.
The choice of Porto Alegre is symbolic too. For 15 years the city's
governing Worker's Party - which now rules Brazil through the leftwing
President Lula - has been deciding the budget through a process of popular
participation, redistributing wealth, reducing poverty and eliminating
corruption as a result.
One SchNEWS hack sorting through the myraid of events and opinions said that
three issues seemed to stand out: Palestine, opposition to the war on Iraq,
and the Latin American issue of the proposed Free Trade Area of the
Americas, which Bolivian Indian leader Evo Morales described as a charter
for "transnational pirates."
This year, Brazalian President Lula went to both the World Social Forum in
Porto Alegre AND the World Economic Forum in Davos. Many weren't happy with
that - the leader of Lula's Worker's Party, José Genoino, received a pie in
the face as a protest.
As the Confectioners without Borders who delivered the pie-ing said in their
communique, "The wave that carries Lula's Worker´s Party to electoral
success is not, in any form, the same wave that supports the movement
against capitalist globalization. Our movement is without leaders or
representatives. No one can speak in our name. If someone in Davos
'represents' the movement, it is ourselves, the thousands that occupy the
roads of Geneva in protest against the reunion of bankers, businessman, and
governments that the Worker´s Party legitimates. The hope for change that we
carry cannot one more time be co-opted and frustrated by politicians and
political parties that wish to promote themselves at our expense. This time
we are going to do things differently."

For writing about Cuba on the internet.
When his friends attended an unsanctioned conference in Cuba and attracted
the attention of the Treasury Department, Tom Warner, the 77-year-old
secretary of the Seattle / Cuba Friends Committee was unsurprised. What did
surprise him was when a letter arrived accusing him of 'organising' the
event and threatening to fine him $20,000. This was all the more surprising
due to the fact that he wasn't even AT the conference! Tom's major mistake
was to put details of the conference on his website. Making his mark on
history, Tom's nefarious actions have made him the first man to be arrested
by the Bush Administration for using the internet to promote something
against government policy.

SchNEWS in brief
The Brighton Station site plans are on hold! This week the Government Office
for the South-East ordered that no work could start until requests for a
Public Inquiry were considered.  It's time to keep up the pressure and save
the Station site from rampant development! www.buddbrighton.org. ** Things
go from bad to worse for vivisectors Huntingdon Life Sciences. Two of their
key directors recently resigned and were replaced by a paper-merchant who
promptly resigned a couple of weeks later. HLS has also lost the services of
Cambridge Pet Crematorium who were disposing of dead animals for them.
www.shac.net ** Yesterday protesters invaded the Papua New Guinea High
Commission in London. Papua New Guinea are ordering the OPM (Free Papua
Movement) to return to West Papua and have threatened to forcibly return all
West Papuans living in the Vanimo refugee camp. Those deported to West Papua
face torture and death at the hands of the murderous Indonesian military.
www.fPcN-global.org ** Since 1998, there have been 4,000,000 people killed
in the Congo, largely over resources for the West. However the BBC have
ignored this genocide. Picket the BBC, Bush House (Africa Service), The
Strand, London, 5 Feb. -7.30pm. Organised by Stop All Imperialist Wars
Against Africa And Africans, 020-82651731/020-89680113. ** A 'Save Live
Music!' group has been established to oppose the Government's proposed
Licensing Bill (see SchNEWS 388). Join the discussion list by sending a
blank email to savelivemusic-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. ** Imbolc Pagan
Cabaret this Sat (1st), 7pm at the Ray Tindle Centre, North Laines, £4. **
Green Architecture Day 2003, learn about self-building, renewable and
waste-material buildings. 1 Feb 9.30am-5.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Ship
Street, South Laines, Brighton. ** The Cowley Club, a co-operative social
centre run by volunteers in Brighton, has finally opened! The bar is open in
the evenings from 7-11pm as a private members' club. During the day, the
club will be open to the public as a cafe and bookshop starting from Feb
11th. It's located at 12 London Road, opposite Somerfield. Wednesday night
video showings will start Feb 5th at 8pm. All members and their guests are
welcome. ** On Tuesday 28th, Dartmoor National Park Authority lost an appeal
in the highcourt which could have removed the temporary planning permission
won for Steward Community Woodland. The judge said that the "...DNPA could
not see the wood for the trees." This give the sustainable living project at
least 4 1/2 years.www.stewardwood.org 01647 440233

The government has just announced they have £10 million in grants for
households and communities to develop their own renewable energy projects.
Free info service availabe from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT),
for individuals and groups who would like advice about participating in the
renewable revolution. 01654-705950 www.cat.org.uk

On the 15th of Feb, London will see  Britain's biggest ever anti-war demo.
There are 3 starting points: 12 noon @ Embankment or 12.30pm @ Gower Street.
Or for cyclists, a 'Wheels against the War' critical mass, 12 noon under
Waterloo Bridge. The march ends at Hyde Park. There will also be a mass
sit-down at Picadilly Circus,  meet 5pm Green Park. Transport to London is
being organised from across the country - www.stopwar.org.uk. Tickets  on
coaches from Brighton can be bought from Community Base, Queens Road £7/£4.

On Wednesday, the Defence Select Commitee agreed to the use of Menwith Hill
and RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire for U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence
systems otherwise known as the 'Son of Star Wars' (see SchNEWS 307).
Fylingdales will house an early warning system and Menwith Hill will process
the data. A public discussion paper on upgrading the facilities at these two
sites was released in December, but even then it was clear that the decision
to use the bases had already been made.  Minister of War Geoff Hoon has come
under severe attack from peace campaigners and even from his own
backbenchers for the speed at which he has handed the bases over to America.
His decision was of course in no way swayed by the promise of lucrative new
contracts for UK arms dealers. In order to ease concerns, Hoon stressed
there would be no change to the appearance of Fylingdales or its power
output and that the upgrade would be paid for by the US - phew, so we can
all sleep easily after all!
There are ongoing peace camps at Menwith Hill and Fylingdales. For more
information contact Yorkshire CND on 01274 730795 or cndyorks@gn.apc.org
www.cndyorks.gn.apc.org For more info on the 'Son of Star Wars' see SchNEWS

War Briefs
It was another busy weekend last weekend for anti-war demonstrations around
the world. On Saturday there were protests in Genoa, Istanbul, Greece and
closer to home Norwich was brought to a standstill, as well as protests in
Edinburgh and Colchester. ** On Saturday over 200 protesters marched on RAF
St Athans, in Wales and demanded to search for weapons of mass destruction
www.icwi.org  ** Over 1,500 people took part in a demonstration last Sunday
at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and 50 people managed to get into the
base www.gwi.org.uk ** On Monday the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, along
with other boats, entered Marchwood Military port in Southampton and blocked
the departure of UK military supply vessels heading for Iraq.
www.greenpeace.org.uk ** On Tuesday Trident Ploughshares activists locked
themselves to the gates of Rolls Royce in Derby  and prevented workers
getting to work. The factory produces nuclear fuel components for trident
submarines. 0845 4588366 www.tridentploughshares.org ** On Wednesday a peace
activist was arrested at Shannon airport, Ireland after she was found
causing damage to an American military plane parked there. Although she
didn't manage to disarm the plane, she did manage to cause 500,000 Euros
worth of damage. There is now a permanent peace camp outside Shannon
Airport. Contact 061-365871 www.shannonpeacecamp.org ** Cambridge peace
march, Sat 1st,12 noon, Market Square ** Demonstration at USAF Lakenheath,
Suffolk, used by US jets to bomb Iraq in the past and currently housing
nuclear weapons, 12 noon Monday 3rd, Gate 1, USAF Lakenheath - Just off the
A1065. Non-violence workshop the day before. 01508 550 446,
www.lakenheathaction.org ** Sussex Action for Peace meeting, 4th Feb,
7.30pm, Brighthelm Centre Tel: 01273 706820 www.safp.org.uk ** Worthing
against War demo next Saturday 8th  1pm in Montague Place.
worthingagainstwar@yahoo.co.uk ** Hands off Iraq, a morning of speakers,
discussion, videos, banner making and children's activities. Sat 8 Feb,
Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton 9.30am-1pm. **  The D10 affinity
group, who helped organise the weekend of action at Northwood earlier this
month, are producing a free news sheet on nonviolent action against the war
for distribution at the big march in London on the 15th February. If you
want to help distribute them on the day contact d10northwood@gmx.net.

As Bush blunders on with his "War on Terrorism", the US courts are busying
themselves handing out draconian sentences to scores of Human Rights
activists who dare to oppose the training of terrorists on their own soil.
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co-operation (see SchNEWS
382), formerly the School of the Americas, has spent the last 57 years
spewing out 60,000 paramilitary graduates with honours in coercion and
repression, ready for export to Latin America. SOA graduates include some of
the region's most notorious dictators, like Norriega, Galtieri and Suarez.
This isn't just for fun. The school is an integral part of US foreign
policy-- influencing Latin American politics and economics in order to
protect US interests by aiding and influencing South American militaries.
Last November 10,000 activists gathered peacefully at the school in Fort
Benning to demand its closure. 43 were nicked for the hideous crime of
'repeated line-crossing' and have been sentenced this week with up to 6
months in federal jail, with a $2000 fine to boot! Many of these dangerous
criminals were nuns.
One activist managed to get the last word. Addressing Judge Mallon Faircloth
after getting 3 months, Eloy Garcia said, "Thank you Judge. These harsh
sentences will only make our movement, our opposition to this unjust war
which is shared by millions across the globe, even stronger." www.
Last weekend a group of 150 Colombian paramilitaries assassinated 4 Kuna
indigenous leaders in an attack on a  remote mountain community in Paya.
Doing the dirty work for the US-backed (often trained) Colombian military,
the paramilitaries systematically terrorise rural populations and 'silence'
any opposition. www.zNet.org; www.lasolidarity.org;

Kathleen Jannaway has died peacefully in her sleep. She was co-founder of
Movement for Compassionate Living, author of the inspiring book, 'Abundant
Living in the Coming Age of the Tree', an early vegan pioneer, and former
secretary of the Vegan Society (UK). The Movement for Compassionate Living
promotes simple living and self-reliance as a remedy against the
exploitation of humans, animals and the Earth. More about Kathleen's message
can be seen at www.mclveganway.org.uk/
There will be a tree planting ceremony next Saturday (8) for 'Mad Pride'
Pete Shaunghnessy at Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project,
Brighton at 11.30 am. Everyone who knew Pete is welcome - email
info@forestgarden.fsnet.co.uk for directions or call the SchNEWS office.

...and finally...
More Crapita! CAPITA, the "outsourcing specialists" (running public services
as a private business), who've been dubbed crapita after cocking up
everything they touch from housing benefit to passports, have now taken over
the running of TV licensing in Bristol. They sent out tens of thousands of
leaflets to homes inviting punters to call a hotline. Only problem is that
they printed the phone number of a tyre wholesaler, who then received over
500 TV licensing enquiries a day. The tyre company may now sue Crapita for
loss of earnings.
(Stolen from Bristol's local  newsheet, The Bristolian -

SchNEWS warns all Mail readers to beware of premature immigration. Honest.

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