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(en) SchNEWS 429, Friday 31st October, 2003

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 31 Oct 2003 08:21:38 +0100 (CET)


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WAKE UP! IT'S YER SPOOKS AND GHOULS... SchNEWS - SIAM OLD STORY
SchNEWS reckons that before he was anointed president, the
furthest George W had ever been from his ranch was Disneyland.
Recently several countries including Thailand and the Philippines
played host to his imperial convoy, and did their best to show him
some good clean neo-liberal fun.
The Thai Government swept 10,000 homeless people off the streets
before Bush's arrival while the Filipino state went about
destroying slums. As Bush declared his love for free speech, the
Thai Prime Minister threatened any protesters disrupting his visit
"long and painful consequences". The elite in these countries
create superficial Disneylands of happiness and prosperity and
bury the shanty town reality. It shows that while wars are waged
to secure resources for capitalism, real wars are waged as
dissenters are silenced and forced to be suffering, smiling
citizens.

Addressing the Philippine Congress on Saturday, Bush said, "Some
say the culture of the Middle East will not sustain the
institutions of democracy. The same doubts were once expressed
about the culture of Asia. These doubts were proven wrong nearly
six decades ago, when the Republic of the Philippines became the
first democratic nation in Asia." He then claimed that "Together
our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule."

The Filipinos don't share that view. A hundred years ago, the US
'liberated' the Filipinos from the Spanish only to take over for
themselves. Many Filipinos fought for independence from their
'liberators' and thousands were killed in the process. In 1946,
U.S. rule in the Philippines came to an end and was replaced by
remote control neo-colonialism. The U.S. has kept a massive
military presence at bases on a 99-year, rent-free lease. The
'independent' Philippines was also remotely controlled
economically by the US as the Filipino government was prohibited
from changing the value of its currency without the approval of
the US and US investors were given special investment rights.

Until 1972, the Philippines was yer average 'democracy' - there
were elections with two parties competing for power. To win you
had to have the support of the US. When protest groups began
challenging the political system, US-backed President Marcos
closed down Congress and the press while arresting political
opponents. So what did Washington do? It sent him more military
and economic aid. A US Senate staff report at the time summed it
all up: "military bases and a familiar government in the
Philippines are more important than the preservation of democratic
institutions which were imperfect at best." When Marcos 'lifted'
the state of emergency in 1981 he retained the draconian powers,
the US vice president George Bush senior visited Manila and heaped
praise on him: "We love your adherence to democratic principle and
to the democratic processes."

The current US puppet in the country is President Arroyo, who has
a few problems with the current constitution which states that
"foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be
allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty agreed in the
Senate." Of course US troops need not violate the constitution if
only Arroyo would submit the appropriate treaty to the Senate.
Sure that such a treaty would be voted down, Arroyo and the US
have chosen to simply ignore the constitution. With Bush drawing
parallels between Middle Eastern democracy and the Philippines,
perhaps Iraq is destined to follow the Philippine model, from
liberation to occupation to remote controlled neo-colonialism.

However, the Filipinos refused to bow to Dubya. In spite of the
build-up to Bush's arrival which saw harsh repression of
dissenters and protesters. Bush's speech before congress was
nearly an hour late because of concerns about large anti-Bush
crowds on his motorcade route. 5-10,000 anti-Bush protesters were
pushed back behind barricades due to Secret Service worries about
his safety, while thousands of stars 'n' stripes waving
well-wishers were bussed in by the authorities. Bush's motorcade
had to get past 3,000 protesters burning effigies and US flags,
and waving placards saying "Ban Bush".

ALL THAI'D DOWN

Bush then flew to Thailand to the Asia Pacific Economic
Co-operation (APEC) summit. Thailand is another country under the
shadow of the 'Pax Americana', following IMF dictats to the
letter. All appeared to be going to plan when the 1997 Asian
financial crisis happened and at least 2 million jobs were lost in
a year.

In the run-up to Bush's arrival, poverty was hidden and denied as
Bangkok's poor classes got a taste of his double standards. 10,000
homeless people were pushed off the streets before APEC and the
Bush visit, 900 Cambodians were rounded up and flown home by the
Air Force. A huge US security contingent swept into Bangkok, with
20,000 Thai police and troops controlling large parts of the city.
A huge banner of the grand palace, placed to hide slums by the
river, epitomises the attitude of capitalism today: the importance
of cosmetic appearance over grassroots reality, the luxury of the
few blotting out the lives of the many.

Unprecedented security and a tough immigration blacklist of
activists assured a protest free conference. About 1,000
anti-summit protesters still marched through Bangkok on Sunday.
The Thai Prime Minister saw things differently: "These people
(APEC delegates) will bring investment money to Thailand.
Unfortunately, some ghouls are going to hold street rallies, and
this is very bad for the country's image." Demonstrators
criticised the government for cleaning Bangkok of homeless people,
prostitutes and stray dogs and creating an artificial image of the
city.

One protester's sign read: "APEC - Welcome to Disneyland." And
Disneyland it was, as Mickey Mouse leaders discussed Bush's
'security' policy and the APEC policy of 'creating an environment
for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people
across borders in the region'. What these policies really do, is
end any possibility of a 'safe and efficient movement of people
across borders' while allowing goods and capital to flow freely. A
Thai journalist, pointed out that "the 'leaders of the free world'
have found in 'counter-terrorism' a way of keeping out the rabble
of the Third World from their pretty shores while letting in the
wealth expropriated through their exploitation." With the US
pouring money into "the War of Terror", corrupt Majority World
governments are able to use 'counter-terrorism' to suppress human
rights while creating a 'stable environment' for big business.

As Bush tours around the world, he pats pro-war puppets on the
head as he grants them crumbs of economic aid and money for
'counter-terrorism'. For these crumbs the Majority World leaders
wage a war on the poor, suppressing pesky dissenting voices that
are left powerless in slums next to the skyscrapers of foreign
capital. On the other hand, there are millions of ordinary people
who make the link between Bush's war on Iraq and their own
destitution and struggles.

When the emperor himself comes here on 19th November it's our turn
to laugh at his new clothes as everyone can see the naked truth
except his mate Tony.

More on ambush actions see
-www.resistbush.org

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Crap Arrest Of The Week

For returning rubbish!
At an anti-McDonald's protest in Newcastle people took McRubbish
back to Mucky Ds and were giving out free food outside the
so-called restaurant when they were asked to move by the police.
The protestors agreed to go if McDonald's took back their rubbish;
an angry employee then came out took the rubbish and started
chucking the protestors' spuds cutlery and plates into a rubbish
sack! So what did the police do? Arrest one of the protestors for
obstructing the highway! www.mcspotlight.org/

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Inside SchNEWS

In 1997, John Two-Names, a Cherokee was sentenced to a total of 90
years in prison with a $5 million dollar fine - the harshest
penalty on record in Alabama for a classified 'non-violent, first
time offender.' His crime? Being labeled a 'militant,
terrorist/extremist' who got in the way of power and politics.
Budget cuts have gutted many of the state's social services, the
Department of Corrections received an additional $16 million to
reduce the prison population. They will release upwards of 6,000
non-violent offenders in the next few months. John has documents
released through the Freedom of Information Act that clear his
name, with the Assistant Attorney General admitting that there was
evidence of tampering at trial, and his conviction was based upon
'flimsy proof.' He has a parole hearing set for November 13 and he
is asking supporters to send letters, calls, emails, and faxes of
support to the parole board. For copies of a sample letter
www.ainfos.ca/ainfos336/ainfos09398.html For more on how Two Names
ended up in prison www.justicedenied.org/andyriendeau.htm

* Stephen Funk, a US Marine, has been jailed for "refusing to
deploy with his unit because of his opposition to the war".
Charged with desertion and thrown in prison for six months; he is
becoming the focal point for a 'refusenik' campaign in the US
military. To write to Stephen, write to: Stephen: Corp Base Brig;
Attn: Stephen Funk Bldg 1041 PSC 20140 Camp Lejeune, NC
28542-0140, USA. Or sign the on-line petition www.join-snafu.org

* Spiros Tsitsas, a Thessaloniki hunger striker for 23 days was
taken to hospital on the 28th. His condition isn't thought to be
serious. The other 4 hunger strikers are okay but some are
suffering breathing problems, Castro is appoaching 40 days on
hunger strike - the others around 26 days. Follow the story on
www.indymedia.org.uk

* Four Irish protesters will appear for mention in the Four Courts
on Monday. They face two counts of criminal damage and a maximum
sentence of 10 years if convicted at trial. Their crime? The
disarmament of a U.S. plane at Shannon Airport en route to the war
in Iraq. If you are interested in participating in vigils or
protests www.geocities.com/pwdyson/pitstop.html

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Brighton Briefs

* Next Thursday (6) Fahim Ahmed from Campaign Against
Criminalising Communities will be talking about their new book 'A
Permanent State of Terror?' about the criminalising of dissent.
This is the first of regular weekly talks happening at the Cowley
Club bookshop, 12 London Rd., Brighton (opp. Somerfield
supermarket) 6-7.30 pm

* 'A Tale of Two Villages' meeting this Saturday (1st) Listen to
peoples experiences helping with the Palestinian olive harvest and
their time with a family whose house was scheduled for demolition
by Israel. Community Base, Church Road 4.30pm

* What Future for Palestine: Road Map or Apartheid? Public meeting
next Saturday (8) 1-5 pm, Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton
University

* Mad Pride punk bonanza weekend at Sanctuary Cafe, Brunswick St,
Hove Fri/Sat and Sunday 7pm. Entry £4/3 conc
www.bedsit.freeserve.co.uk/bbw

* "From Bolivia to Chiapas, the indigenous peoples of Central and
South America are in the front line of the global resistance to
capitalism. But why?" Talk at The Downview pub, opp West Worthing
station next Tuesday (4) 7.45pm

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West Papua Side Story

If you paid 15% of the MOD's budget you'd expect a little bit of
"I scratch your back, you scratch mine." The world's largest
mining company, Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ), a company whose primary
concern is bringing global Nirvana through capitalism, has been
scratching the back of the Indonesian military to the tune of 15%
of its budget. Coincidence - the area around RTZ's most important
mine in West Papua is highly militarized. Also coincidence that
there have been hundreds of substantiated and thousands more
unsubstantiated instances of murder, torture, false imprisonment,
kidnapping by the hired militia not to mention massive
environmental genocide. Thanks to the efforts of NGOs and
activists negative publicity is having an impact on Rio's presence
in Indonesia.

The Grasberg mine in Irian Jaya province is vital to RTZ, yielding
1 million ounces of gold and 255,500 tons of copper. Grasberg has
the largest gold deposit in the world yet RTZ has begun a partial
pullout. In October it announced the sale of its half share in the
Kaltim Prima coalmine and already sold its biggest primary gold
mine.

Grasberg has not been good for RTZ. So annoying when the natives
get restless! Who wouldn't get noisy after so many rapes, tortures
and landslides? The environmental damage of the area's previously
unspoilt wilderness also got the company bad press. 110,000 tons
of highly toxic waste is discharged daily into the local river.
The Lorentz National Park, a World Heritage site, has been
contaminated. Same happened to the 10km sea-bed. In May 2000
discharge was washed into Lake Wanagon, sending a wave of rocks,
sludge and water cascading on the village below, killing four
people. This seems to be a regular scenario. Those not killed in
landslides, bumped off or tortured by the military often suffer
copper poisoning. The natives, in fact all those not working for
RTZ, desperately want them to stop exploiting and poisoning the
area. One of the Papuan tribeswomen, Mama Yosepha, prosaically
told goldmine Freeport-McMoran CEO, Jim Bob Moffett(!), "You suck
my blood until it is all drained and I remain only bones without
flesh."

In May Yosepha, after being imprisoned and tortured and taking
legal action against Freeport, was due to address shareholders at
the company's London AGM. It must be a coincidence that she was
turned back at the last minute by Indonesian airport security
officials. Since then, some Papuan students have gone on hunger
strike. Last Friday there were simultaneous protests, outside RTZ'
s London office and in Jakarta outside PT Freeport Indonesia. The
demands of the protesters include the cutting of Freeport's
military subsidies and demilitarisation around the mine. As one
West-Papuan activist leader said "The Freeport operation should be
shut down" www.westpapua.net

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St Agnes Place Under Eviction

Urgent call for people to help fight evictions at St. Agnes
Place - one of the last squatted streets in the Lambeth borough of
London, which has been going for 28 years! Lambeth council called
off evictions of 14 dwellings last Friday when they saw the
resistance, but are due to return on Friday 31st Oct (today). More
people are needed down there straight away!!! This multi-ethnic
community must be saved.

www.stagnesplace.org
www.indymedia.org.uk

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SchNEWS in Brief

* Last Thursday five people from the Faslane Peace Camp blockaded
the gate at the naval base for 4 hours. They were taken into the
'MoD Plod' lockup, one escaped, setting off the intruder alarms.
Faslane is home to Britain's weapons of mass destruction - the
Trident submarines. The peace camp want more people to come and
stay and check out the swish new caravans on site. 01436 820901
faslanepeacecamp@hotmail.com

* 500 civilian weapons inspectors were arrested last Saturday
trying to break into Nato's HQ in Belgium. 55 protestors managed
to enter the compound despite 2,200 police!

* Glenys Thomas and Lilian Boden, both in their 70s, tied
themselves to railings to prevent contractors felling trees at a
St Catherine's Rectory, in Wales. More than 60 residents joined in
a 24-hour vigil to protect the site and Cardiff council joined in,
giving the trees 6-month's temporary protection

* Interested in joining a new London Earth First! group? - meeting
this Monday (3rd) Freedom Bookshop 84B Whitechapel High Street
(entrance down Angel Alley) London E1 7pm 07751 432 240
eflondon@ziplip.com

* On the 4th at the Freedom Bookshop join the discussion about the
differences between anarchism and marxism 7.30pm
www.anarchistfaq.org

* SchNEWS has printed up some groovy new stickers to help you
spread the word. If you'd like some send us an SAE to the usual
address AND We've also just got some new t-shirts done they're £10
long sleeve £8 short sleeve

* Come and listen to journalist John Pilger and Jorge Viana from
La Paz, Bolivia talk about Stopping the Project for a New American
Century at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square WC1 (Holborn tube) on
Monday (3rd) 6.30 pm £4 / £2 concs.

* Check out Pilger's new film 'Breaking the Silence - Truth and
Lies in the War on Terror' at an anti war double bill next
Saturday (8) at the Edinburgh filmhouse. Also showing "Old enough
to know better" about the school protests. Starts 12.30pm - to
book tickets 0131 228 2688

* There is a demonstration on the 31st in Madrid against the
government's repression of social movements and out of solidarity
with the ongoing court case around the arrests at the 1997
eviction of La Guindalera, a squatted social centre. 150 were
detained at the eviction with fifty still facing charges - all
based on police evidence - and some are facing large fines and/or
4-6 year prison sentences. The local government power in Madrid
have been cracking down on squats lately, with four squats being
evicted in September. YA BASTA! http://acp.sindomino.net/

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...and finally...

We've all heard of Buy Nothing Day, held on the last Friday of
November. On this day people are encouraged to not participate in
the capitalist system by not purchasing anything on that
particular day. Well, a bunch of anarchos from Montreal, have gone
one step further by holding a Steal Something Day which promises
to be much more fun. As they say on their website "Get some
friends together and go on a shoplifting spree at the local
supermarket or upscale mall. Get a credit card under a fake name
and don't pay. Keep what you can use and give away everything else
in the spirit of mutual aid that is the hallmark of Steal
Something Day". As property is theft we're just going for Borrow
Anything Day and then forget to give it back. For info rip-off
http://resist.ca/story/2003/1/5/173829/0813

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all bushwhackers that kind of trick is a real treat.
Honest!

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NEW(ISH) BOOK!! PEACE DE RESISTANCE IS NOW OUT. It costs £10 INC.
p&p
per book, further details as below...this one comes with a free
multimedia CD too!

SchNEWS Of The World - issues 301-350 for £6!! Past books are
goin' cheap... SchNEWSround issues 51-100 - SOLD OUT; SchNEWS
annual issues 101-150 - going for £2!! Survival Handbook issues
151-200 - also at £2; SchQUALL issues 201-250 - almost sold out -
£6; Yearbook 2001 issues 251-300 - bargain £3. Add £1.70 p&p for
each book, cheques to Justice? Honest!

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
photos, cartoons, subverts, a "yellow pages" list of contacts,
comedy
etc. You can also order the books from a bookshop or library.

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.

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SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone: 01273 685913 (NO FAX)
Email: schnews@brighton.co.uk Web: www.schnews.org.uk

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