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(en) SchNEWS #425 - WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER LOAD OF CROP... - Friday 3rd October 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 8 Oct 2003 12:20:09 +0200 (CEST)


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Stories: GM CONTAMI-NATION | Growing Dissent | Trash Crops | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Bourne-Liars
Son of a Beech | Force Of Will | Positive SchNEWS | SchNEWS in brief | Inside SchNEWS | ...and finally...
GM CONTAMI-NATION: “If Tony Blair gives the green light for GM, then a nation of
gardeners will put on their gardening gloves, take GM crops out of
the ground and make sure that the people have the last word on
protecting our future.” – The Green Gloves Pledge. Last week the
results of the “GM Nation?” public debate were revealed and they
showed that the British public overwhelmingly rejected the growing of
genetically modified crops in Britain: 86% were unhappy with the idea
of eating the stuff and 84% thought they would damage the environment.

The biotech companies are no doubt gutted that their expensive
PR and marketing hadn’t mislead us all into swallowing their
‘GM is great’ crap. So what did these biotech bullshitters
have to say for themselves? The biggest biotech company in the
UK is Bayer CropScience and Paul Rylott, head of the
company’s BioScience Unit, is also - what a surprise - chair
of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council. Now if you haven’t
got a problem with that, you’ll be cool about his appointment
earlier this year to the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology
Council (AEBC), the government’s advisory body on GM
crops in the environment. He complained that “public meetings
do not equal public opinion” which is pretty odd considering
him and his chums had filled special consultation focus groups
with people who had previously thought that GM might be a good
thing. But unfortunately for them even these groups rejected GM
crops! The report concluded: “The more people engage in GM
issues, the harder their attitudes and more intense their
concerns.” The report also highlighted the fact no-one trusts
the biotech companies with 93% of respondents believing GM
technology was driven by profit rather than public interest.

Last week a national day of action against Bayer, saw their
phones/faxes/emails blockaded and sites in Cambridge and
Widnes targeted. In Widnes the protesters managed to shut down
work for a bit. So worried were Bayer that an announcement went
over the tannoy to employees to close and lock all doors and
windows. Even the security guards locked themselves in their
office, which makes one wonder what they’re actually paid
for... Two protesters managed to speak with the manager who told
them “rest assured, you have sent a ripple through Bayer
CropScience.”

This ripple turned into a wave when a couple of days later Bayer
announced that they were pulling out of GM crop trials in Britain -
the reason given being that “They are always ripped up.”
More proof that direct action works. But this isn’t time to get
complacent and think that GM crops are dead and buried. For a
start Bayer have only announced that they are pulling out of trials
until conditions are “more favourable”. As the biggest GM
crop company in Britain they’re also pushing ahead with the
commercialisation of GM crops. So the anti-GM campaign is set
to roll on, with much ‘field work’ and many more actions
planned.


Growing Dissent

A recently leaked report assessing the GM farm scale crop trials
revealed more surprising good news for anti-GM campaigners - it
showed that two out of the three varieties under trial caused
significantly more damage to the environment than conventional
crops. The full report is due out on the 16th October and it seems
likely to be a bumper harvest of anti-GM facts. This follows two
other reports commissioned by the government, which were
critical of GM – showing there was no economic necessity for
them and highlighting the potentially dangerous environmental
effects. Combined with the public rejection of GM this is causing
pro-GM Tony Blair, if not to reverse his policy, then at least to
consider slowing down.

However Tony maybe able to avoid making himself even more
unpopular if new EU and international trade laws make the
banning of GM crops by any country illegal. In Europe there’s
currently a moratorium on new GM crops being grown, but this is
due to end, and the European Commission recently ruled that no
country or region can rule itself GM free. This has all come
following intense pressure from the US, who are taking the EU to
the World Trade Organisation courts saying the moratorium and
even labelling food as GM is a barrier to trade. Europe’s
caution has already cost the American biotech companies an
estimated $30 billion. So if the US gets its way you might never
know if you’re eating GM foods.

The so-called free market may well force GM crops into the fields
and down our throats. To stop this we’ll have to take to the
fields for a bit of decontamination gardening and targeting the
companies producing the unwanted GM products. Time to have a
field day, folks!

* Take up the Green Gloves Pledge to decontaminate GM crops:
www.greengloves.org or write to Green Gloves, 16B Cherwell
Street, Oxford, OX4 1BG.

* For more on the campaign against Bayer see
www.stopbayergm.org or phone 07092 036576

* Publicity day against Bayer - October 11th.

* Electronic Blockade of Bayer - October 13th - contact Bayer to
tell them what you think of GM food, phone: 01223 870312, fax:
01223 872142 or email: ukinfo@bayercropscience.com

* Big Noise Demo. 13th November from 10am outside Bayer’s
Newbury office, Strawberry Hill, Newbury. Bring whistles, horns,
drums, etc. For transport details contact the Stop Bayer
campaign. Tickets for transport from Brighton (£5) from The
Cowley Club, London Road. Transport from Leeds email:
leedsef@leedsef.org.uk

* Tractors and Trolleys against GM in London, October 13th.
Demo against GM crops – drive a tractor or push a trolley
through the streets of London. Info: 0808 800 1111
www.tractorandtrolley.com

* ‘Don’t Worry It Is Safe to Eat - the True Story of GM
food, BSE and Foot and Mouth’ talk by the author Andrew
Rowell Sat 1st Nov, 11am, at the Cafe’ Diplo, French Institute
17, Queensberry Place, SW7 London. Booking in advance helps
the organizers £2 non-members/£1 members 0709 234 8726
monde-diplo-friends@mondediplo.com

* Corporate Watch have detailed briefings on the three companies
involved in GM crops: Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta -
www.corporatewatch.org.uk/genetics/genetics.htm

* To read the results of the GM Nation debate see
www.gmpublicdebate.org.uk

Trash Crop

Brazil has recently allowed the commercial growing of GM crops.
However this is limited to one year and will be limited only to the
southern province of Rio Grande do Sul. The farmers will have to
sign a document making them responsible for any damage to
health or the environment.

Meanwhile three weeks ago while the WTO were meeting in
Cancun, Mexico, farmers in India trashed a Monsanto research
station in Bangalore. Monsanto India said “One greenhouse
was destroyed. We lost valuable plants and are seriously
concerned.” SchNEWS reckons Monsanto Brazil are gonna
have to make a similar statement sometime in the near future.

Crap Arrest Of The Week

For going to a festie...
The chairmen of a pro-Kurdish party in Turkey and a popular rock
singer were nicked for attending a controversial Kurdish festival
held earlier this month in Germany. Controversial ‘cos the
festie was apparently organised by the Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK), a Kurdish separatist rebel group. The prosecution is
investigating whether singers and politicians who attended the
festie were “aiding an illegal organisation”, an offence
which can carry a seven-year jail sentence. SchNEWS reckons
the prosecution’s barking up the wrong tree – they should
be chasing after the UK capitalist rebel groups like Mean Fiddler,
a legal organisation guilty of organising soulless, money-spinning
‘festivals’.
BOURNE-LIARS

It’s been a busy week for corporations and lobby groups
who’ve been sponsoring fringe events, holding receptions and
setting up exhibition stalls at the Neo Labour Party Conference
hoping to get special favours from the government.

Friends of the Earth, fed up with all this corporate brown-nosing,
have for the second year running dished out the Exposed Awards,
highlighting the most environmentally and socially damaging of
those on parade in Bournemouth.

Worthy winners the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) won
the award for being “extremely backward in its approach to
regulation, regularly lobbying against measures to protect the
environment (e.g. the Climate Change Levy) or to give people
more rights.”

Shortly behind in second place was weapons manufacturer BAE
Systems, a “master of ‘greenwash’, having run a
massive advertising campaign describing itself as a ‘global
systems company’ which provides ‘protection from the
storm’”, but which in reality is “the world’s second
largest arms producer and manufactures many of the missiles
(containing depleted uranium) that rain down upon the victims of
war... BAE has benefited from the war in Iraq but has also been
the subject of widely reported allegations of corruption over arms
deals with Saudi Arabia.”

In third place was supermarket giant Tesco. Tesco held a fringe
debate at the Conference “Promising the Earth? Food, Farming
and Rural Communities.” Tesco has amongst other things
been busy shafting farmers and helping to close local shops
(Tesco now account for 12% of all sales in the UK) “while
making worthless promises in glossy brochures.”

Other highlights include Nestle sponsoring a fringe meeting by the
Foreign Policy Centre. Nestle’s ‘foreign policy’ is one
that pushes its powdered baby milk products over breast milk in
poor countries where everyday 4,000 babies die from unsafe bottle
feeding.

Barclays Bank spoke at a Social Market Foundation fringe
meeting on whether ‘Labour can bridge the inequality
gap.’ Not when two of their greedy bastard directors take
home over £1.6 million a year.

Not to be outdone the Mobile Operators’ Association
sponsored a Social Market Foundation fringe meeting on how
planning decisions can be speeded up. This lobby group is made
up of the big five mobile phone companies who are obviously keen
to get mobile phone masts plastered all over the country quick
sharp and are fed up with local residents trying to stop them.

* Copies of “Exposed: Big Business in Bournemouth” from
Friends of the Earth 0808 800 1111 www.foe.co.uk

* More on Labour Party conference sponsorship in the latest
Private Eye

SON OF A BEECH

Bellway, the property developers revving up their chainsaws so
they can Friar Tuck up the ancient Sherwood Forest in order to
build 270 poor quality homes, have been given the go-ahead by the
Sheriff of Nottingham to evict the merry protesters living in the
beech tree at the centre of the controversy (SchNEWS 415). The
60ft, 300 year old tree is situated on a piece of green that has
been used by local residents as a recreation area for over 40
years. With massive local support protestors are preparing an
application for village green status, their only remaining option to
protect the site. More merry men and women are urgently needed
to stay on the site and stop the developers robbin’ woods from
locals. 0789 016 5727 http://mysite.freeserve.com/sherwood_camp

* Day trip every Monday to help at the camp. Meet 8am Sumac
Centre, 245 Gladstone St., Nottingham

Force Of Will

Disgusted by their country’s murderous occupation of the
Palestinian territories, 27 Israeli air force fighter pilots have
signed a letter refusing to participate in operations against civilian
targets. This brings the number of refusers in Israel’s armed
and air forces to 1148.

Desperate to stem a rising refusenik tide, the Israeli authorities
have summoned nine of the pilots to disciplinary meetings. If the
pilots don’t retract their statement, they will be dismissed
from serving in the air force. In reaction to a debate on the matter
held by the air force’s Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee, the pilots said that “The very same committee
that supports an unethical policy that leads to the killings of
innocent citizens on both sides, is today attempting to preach
morals to us.”

Email the pilots letters of support: info@tayasim.org.il More info:
www.refusersolidarity.net, www.gush-shalom.org

* Meanwhile, Yesh Gvul, an Israeli refuser organisation, has gone
to the Supreme Court, asking the authorities to launch a criminal
investigation into the deaths of 14 innocent civilians who died
when an Israeli plane dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential
district in Gaza, with the aim of killing senior Hamas leader Salah
Shehadeh.

* GI Special is a weekly resistance round up about opposition to
the military by soldiers serving mostly in Iraq but also elsewhere
in the world. www.notinourname.net/troops
Positive SchNEWS

Z communications consists of a monthly magazine called Z Mag,
published since 1988 and crammed full “of critical thinking on
political, cultural, social, and economic life in the US”, and
(SchNEWS favourite) Z Net, a deliciously detailed website
updated daily with articles from every continent, covering
everything from terror and war to alternatives to capitalism.

Now they’re proposing a daily subscription-only on-line paper
with up to 20 essays a day to choose from. However, they need to
know if people would be willing to financially support it. To check
out the site and the online poll go to www.zmag.org

SchNEWS in Brief

* Get along to the Rio Cinema in Hackney this Saturday (4) to
see the Pete Shaughnessy film “With endless love”. Film
starts 11pm at 107 Kingsland High Street, Hackney E8, its £7
and also showing is a film about schizophrenia, “Some
voices.” Side Cinema in Newcastle are also showing
Pete’s film on 28th October www.SideCinema.com ‘Mad
Pride’ Pete tragically killed himself late last year. For more on
the man www.peteshaughnessy.org.uk For copies of the video:
www.madpride.org.uk
* Hastings anti-war activists are hosting a conference: Waging
War - Making Peace, Saturday Oct 18th at the White Rock
Theatre on the seafront (free/donation). Also a fundraising
funk/ska/soul gig at the Carlisle Pub, Hastings, this Sunday (5)
(£3/4). 01424 429795
* We Interrupt This Empire - a hard hitting anti-war video from
the USA is being shown at the Downview, opposite West
Worthing station, next Tuesday (7) 7.45pm.
* Palestinian HipHop band DAM will be touring the UK over
the next couple of weeks with gigs at the Scala, London (9)
Malcolm X Centre, Bristol (10) The Drum, Birmingham (12)
Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool (14), Brighton Gloucester (15)
Fibbers Club, York (16) and Mechanics Theatre, Burnley (18).
For more details on the tour 07919 134144, damtour@eml.cc

Inside SchNEWS

On the night of the 15th of September five raids occurred in
Barcelona; six anarchists were arrested; one has since been
released. Charges include sending a book-bomb, urban terrorism,
planning two assassinations, illegal possession of firearms, arson
attacks and belonging to a terrorist group. They allegedly
“took part in a campaign of urban attacks in Barcelona in
March.”’ The infamously violent and corrupt Guardia Civil
claims to have found a revolver, a gun, different chemical
materials, timer devices and two manuals for the production of
explosives.

The investigation, which is still officially open, concerns
connections with two Italian anarchists already in prison in Spain
and with groups active in other European countries –
apparently illegal?! They’re also being charged with the
unexploded letter bomb which was sent to the Greek embassy in
Madrid to protest the arrests in Thessaloniki. The five now find
themselves isolated without the possibility of communication
either with their lawyers or with their families. They are being
treated under Spain’s “licence to torture” anti-terrorist
laws, which recently saw the editor of the Basque magazine
‘Egunkaria’ tortured while in custody.

This is part of an ongoing campaign against anarchist groups in
Spain which started almost a year ago with the arrest of 4 people
in Valencia, followed by four more 10 months later. Repression
also hit Barcelona with 4 arrests in February of this year and one
in the same operation in Almeria. The mass media and government
fuel public hysteria with trumped up stories of connections to
ETA or Al Qaeda, misinformation and smear campaigns. Police
figures have been quoted without questioning and the detained
have also had their photos, names and addresses released,
against the privacy codes which protect those awaiting trial.
For more information, names, addresses, and contact details
check out: www.alasbarricadas.org/barcelona/ingles.html There
are also bank account details for an urgent appeal for money to
pay bail and legal costs.

* Kastro Dakduk, a Syrian living in Greece, was one of several
people beaten up and arrested under false charges at protests
against the EU conference in Thessaloiki, Greece in June (see
SchNEWS 413). Currently on remand in Greece and faces a long
prison sentence. The Greek authorities plan to deport him back to
Syria. If deported, Kastro’s life would be in danger as he fled
Syria to escape persecution for his political beliefs. Fighting for
his life, Kastro has now gone on hunger strike. For updated
information please email: thessalonikiprisoners@yahoo.co.uk

Please write letters of support to: Kratoumeno Kastro Dakduk,
Dikastikes Flylakes Diavation, T.K. 540 12, Thessaloniki
GREECE [Be sure to include a return address on the back of the
envelope]

...and finally...

Ever thought that prison’s a drag? That’s what Brazilian
prisoner, Moacir Pacagnan, reckoned when he attempted to
escape from the bland concrete of a Sao Paulo prison wearing a
wig, fake breasts, high heels and drowned in mascara. The pretty
prisoner would’ve waltzed to freedom had it not been for the
fact that he couldn’t manage the breasts and the heels.
According to a prison spokesman he looked like “a beautiful
woman” but “walked like a duck.” So the dolled-up
jailbird got dragged back to his cage.

Disclaimer
SchNEWS warns all readers not to send Bayer round the bend
with prank calls asking them to modify their position. Honest!


SchNEWS Annuals

NOW OUT!!! 'PEACE DE RESISTANCE' - SchNEWS Annual
2003 - £8 + £1.70 p&p

* SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 Sold out - Sorry
* SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 £3.70 inc. postage.
* SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot
more £3.70 inc. postage
* The SchQUALL book at only £6 + £1.70 p&p.
* SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages
of adventures from the direct action frontline. £3 + £1.70 p&p.
You can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the
ISBN 09529748 4 3.
* SchNEWS Of The World issues 301 - 350. 300 more pages of
adventures from the direct action frontline. £7 + £1.50 p&p.
You can order the book from a bookshop or your library, quote the
ISBN 09529748 6X

In the UK you can get SchNEWS Annual, Survival Handbook,
Yearbook 2001 and SchNEWS of the World for just £15 inc
p&p.

(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).

If you can help distribute the new book by taking a few boxes from
Brighton or East London round the country, call the office and ask
for John, Thanks.

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains
articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a “yellow pages” list
of contacts, comedy etc.

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.

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone/Fax: +44 (0)1273 685913
email: schnews@brighton.co.uk

@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!


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