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(en) SchNEWS Issue 448 - Friday 2nd April - PLAIN TEXT

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Sun, 4 Apr 2004 21:19:33 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

"The triumph of the fast-food system was aided at almost every
step by government subsidies, lack of proper regulation,
misleading advertisements and a widespread ignorance of how fast,
cheap food is actually produced. This system is not sustainable.
In less than three decades it has already done extraordinary harm.
When the fast food industry is made to bear the costs it is now
imposing on the rest of society, it will collapse." - Eric
Schlosser, author of 'Fast Food Nation'.

This week a survey about our junk food nation revealed that the
expression 'let them eat cake' is being taken literally when it
comes to toddlers in Britain. It seems that all those future World
Cup champions are being brought up with a more-than healthy dose
of good-ol' chocolate, chips and white bread - and that the
majority of all children in Britain do not eat the recommended
amount of fruit and vegetables each day. So it's not surprising
that childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic with the Chief
Medical Officer, referring to the disease as a "health time bomb."

But while Neo Labour tries to dump the lard problem on the public
for not exercising enough and not eating up all yer (genetically
modified) greens, in reality it could have something to do with
the selling-off of school playing fields, school dinners in the
hands of profit motivated contractors, and the lashings of junk
food advertising aimed at kids which the Govt refuse to do
anything about.


Food advertising aimed at children is dominated by high-salt,
sugary and fatty foods. Despite a report by 106 organisations
calling for a ban, and research by the government's own Food
Standards Agency which found, would you believe, that "advertising
does affect children's food choices and behaviour, and not just
which brands but the types of food they choose", the Culture
Secretary Tessa Jowell said the government would not be regulating
junk food ads and instead will give us all "informed choices" and
talk about partnerships ('partnerships' where those selling their
crap get some good PR by giving away things like McDonalds
vouchers for kids that are well behaved.) Partnerships where the
Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, was 'delighted' that Cadburys
were helping raise funds for sports equipment in schools. How? By
persuading children to eat mountains of chocolate of course! Food
and farming group, Sustain, calculated that to receive a set of
volley ball net posts, school kids would need to stuff down 1.25
million calories at a cost of £2,000.

So who do we blame? Deirdre Hutton, chair of the National Consumer
Council reckons "We must move beyond the blame game and start
giving parents real practical help. The majority of snacks aimed
at children are packed with high levels of sugar, fat and salt.
More than 95% of food advertising on children's TV is for foods
that do little to encourage healthier diets. Supermarket
check-outs are stacked with sweets and other gack. It's little
wonder that parents often struggle against pester power." The
response from the food and advertising industries is of course
that advertising doesn't persuade anyone to buy anything! So why
on earth do they waste $50 billion globally a year (McDonalds
alone spends $2bn annually) - greater than the gross domestic
product of 70% all the world's countries - on advertising!? Tim
Mobsby from Kellogg's even told Parliament that children would
"stop eating breakfast" if advertisements for sugary cereals like
Coco Pops were taken off children's TV!


The food industry has become very good at keeping sugar out of the

spotlight and in our food instead, hiding their products in
everything from 'liquid candy' drinks to pizzas, while obscuring
its dangers. Scientists from the British Nutrition Foundation and
International Life Sciences Institute attacked attempts to create
British and international guidelines on sugar consumption. Both
bodies are paid for by corporations like Coca-cola whose drinks
contain over six teaspoons of sugar per can! As Professor Phillip
James, from the committee on dietary guidelines explained: "The
sugar industry has learned the tricks of the tobacco industry.
Confuse the public. Produce experts who disagree, try to dilute
the message, indicate that there are extremists like me involved
in public health."

These very same forces that peddle their unhealthy crap to
children are the same vast multinational food traders, processors
and retailers which scour the globe to obtain the cheapest raw
ingredients to turn into high-profit, long-shelf life processed
foods that dominate supermarket shelf-space. The same forces that
have helped close down all the small family run farms and local
shops. The same lot that has helped make all our shopping centres
look and feel the same, drowning us in rubbish and encouraging low
paid, low skilled workforces; the same force that has encouraged
the cruelty of factory farming... We could go on (we usually do).
The same corporations whose mentality is a whole lot more
destructive than merely just turning us into a nation of
lard-arses, and one whose power Neo Labour just hasn't got the
wholemeal stomach to take on.

* To read about getting away from imported supermarket food and
growing yer own see

* A new bill in America aims to protect fast food giants from
future lawsuits and instead make obesity solely the responsibility
of individuals. Dubbed the "Cheeseburger Bill", the tobacco
industry must be green with envy they didn't come up with
something like this. www.sevenoaksmag.com/features/04_cheeseburger

* The report 'How Green Is Your Supermarket?' shows that
supermarket shoppers are spending £470 a year - a sixth of their
food budget - on packaging while delivery lorries travel the
equivalent of two return trips to the moon every day.

* Get this months Ecologist magazine for in depth stuff on the
Slow Food movement. www.theecologist.org


Crap Arrest of the Week

For wearing a baseball cap sideways!
A schoolboy in Arizona, USA, was arrested and held for several
hours by police for refusing to turn his baseball cap to the
front. Morgan, who is black, was having lunch when school security
guards approached him about his hat. It is against school policy
to wear hats sideways because it can be a sign of disrespect for
authority, the police report said, but Morgan said that the rule
is enforced selectively. According to a police report, he pointed
to several white students whose hats were on sideways. Shortly
after Morgan's arrest, classmates staged a protest with one
student being suspended for 10 days. Morgan was later released
without charge.


SchNEWS at Ten Tour

10th April: Bath The Bell Hotel, 103 Walcot Street, 3pm / 11th:
Bristol Easton Community Centre, Kilburn St, 3pm - 6pm. / 12th:
Aldermaston Peace camp. / 14th: Gloucester 11A, off Westgate
Street / 15th: Oxford The EOCC Community Centre, Princes Street
off Cowley Road. 7pm. / 16th: Leamington Community Gallery, Avenue
Road. / 17th: Bolton. / 18th: Liverpool. / 19th: Lancaster
LaRC-The basement, 78a Penny St. / 20th: Glasgow. / 21st: Faslane
Peace Camp, probably. / 22nd: Bilston Woods road protest camp,
near Edinburgh. / 23rd: Edinburgh. / 24th: Newcastle The Cluny,
under Byker Bridge 2-4pm. / 25th Leeds. / 26th: Sheffield. / 27th:
Nine Ladies protest camp. / 28th: Manchester Arch Bar, Stretford
Road, Hulme 7.30pm. / 29th: Nottingham. / 30th: Norwich The Hog In

Armour, Charring X, 7-11pm. For more details 01273 685913


Chardon Hey!

This week was a massive victory for anti-GM campaigners in the UK.
Bayer Cropscience announced that they were withdrawing their
genetically modified Chardon LL maize, which was the only GM crop
that had been licensed for growing commercially in the UK. This
now means that no GM crops will be grown commercially in the UK
until at least 2008.

Bayer said that it was "economically non-viable" to grow GM maize
due to government restrictions on the planting regime. But Bayer
wouldn't concede that it was withdrawing the maize due to public
pressure, but it was only public pressure that had forced the
government to delay the growing of GM crops, otherwise GM would
have been introduced five years ago.

It has taken Bayer years for them to get this close to growing
just one crop commercially. The reality is that Chardon LL maize
is a bad, out-of-date product, it's out-of-date because of delays
caused by constant pressure and direct action. There has been a
concerted campaign of protests, crop trashings, blockades,
supermarket pickets and lobbying. It was clear that the public
didn't want GM food and many supermarkets and food producers won't
touch GM food.

Tony Blair and his biotech banker, the Science Minister Lord
Sainsbury must both be gutted as well. Tony Blair has criticized
anyone opposed to GM foods as anti-science, but the science has
consistently shown GM crops to be damaging to the environment, the
only way that the GM maize got the go ahead was through flawed

For everyone involved in the fight against GM this is a massive
victory and proof that direct action works. However the fight
against GM crops is still not won - GM crops are still imported
into the UK and most of these are fed to animals. Bayer says they
"remain highly committed to the further development of plant
biotechnologies in the UK." Why don't they realise they've lost
and give up?

* Genetic Engineering Network: www.geneticsaction.org.uk 0845 456


Positive SchNEWS

School dinners don't just have to be burgers and chips - and to
prove it one woman who works at St Peter's Primary school in
Nottingham has set about making sure school dinners are worth
queuing for.

Jeanette Orrey started providing school meals on site using as
many organic and locally produced ingredients as possible. And
although ingredient costs have doubled, the cost of a dinner has
stayed the same thanks to cutting out contract suppliers and
bureaucracy. Soaring demand for school meals at St Peter's has
also helped - 90% of the kids eat there now, compared to a
national average of 45%.

Dinner time has also taken on an educational role - kids designing
menus and learning about and the amount of pollution caused by
food travelling thousands of miles. Parents can now eat at the
school any day and on Wednesdays senior citizens are served by
some of the older children who then sit and eat with them. She
says "I'm just trying to provide decent, fresh food for the
children and making sure they learn what food's good for them.
It's what being a school cook should be about."

* The Soil Associations Cultivating Communities Project is having
a 'Linking Farms, Families and Food' Conference on 15th April at
Penwith Business Centre, Longrock, Penzance 0845 458 0194

* 'Good Food on the Public Plate' by Sustain and East Anglia Food
Link says that buying local food for use in our school, hospital
and prison canteens would boost local economies by at least £5
billion. Copies: 020 7837 1228 www.sustainweb.org


SchNEWS in brief

* Electronica All Dayer, 3.30pm - midnight. Easter Sunday, Club
85, Whinbush Road, Hitchin. Benefit for People's Global Action.

* On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled 11,000,000 gallons
of crude onto Alaska's shores. 15 years later the oil companies
haven't made their industry any safer. Check out this short movie
online www.notanothervaldez.com

* Survivors of the Union Carbide Bhopal disaster which killed
20,000 people have been awarded the 2004 Goldman Environmental
Prize. They are now leading the international fight for corporate
accountability from Dow Chemical, who acquired Union Carbide in
2001. www.goldmanprize.org

* Exhibition of stencil graffiti art from the streets of Iraq and
Palestine - The Foundry, Great Eastern Street, London, Tues 6th -
Sun 18th 07968 849792 warscrawls@yahoo.com

* Al-Hawza - the Iraqi newspaper critical of the US/UK occupation
of Iraq has been shut down because articles "form a serious threat
of violence against coalition forces" - this is despite no
articles calling for armed attacks. It had merely said that a bomb
attributed by the US to a suicide bomber was a rocket from a US
Apache helicopter, and had an article titled "Bremer follows the
steps of Saddam," - so much for freedom of expression

* Radical Video Night including the world premiere of Porkbolter
video, featuring footage of several recent Worthing protests next
Tuesday (6), 7.45pm, upstairs at The Downview pub, West Worthing.

* We are putting together a book and a film about the past decade
of SchNEWS events. If you've got photos, flyers, and video (any
format) contact the SchNEWS office.

* Fundraiser at the Volks, showing the Injustice film, Wed 7th, 9
pm followed by DJs.

* Bristol Anarchist Network are organising an open discussion on
"community activism, revolutionary or reformist?" with speakers
from St Pauls, and Haringay Solidarity Group a community group
from London with 14 years experience Thur (8), 7.30 - 9.30pm,
Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Rd, Easton, BS5 6AW


Protest Camp Updates

* Blackwood protest camp, just outside Cardiff, is still there
despite more than a week of evictions. A bunker slightly off the
site and on privately owned land remains occupied, and about 10
large trees on route are still there on the account of nesting
birds. Other trees have been trashed, along with the treehouses in
them. There will be a meeting at 3pm this Sat (3rd) at Kerry Camp
to carry on the fight. 07708420446 / 07811 948764

* Sherwood Forest Camp has a ONE month (not 2 as reported in last
weeks issue) reprieve due to the council looking into the
viability of the scheme. On April 25th there will be a Spring Fair
at the camp from 12pm. Performance artists, musicians, etc who
wish to partake contact 07792 789803. As always, people are needed
at both camps, as well as...

* Nine Ladies Camp. No imminent eviction yet. The company
responsible for the planned destruction, Marshalls (01484 438900)
have had a busy week. Last Thursday 25 people stormed and occupied
their Yorkshire offices, and the next day, their depot at
Mansfield Woodhouse was blockaded and occupied.

* Meanwhile, a new tree occupation has begun against the proposed
F5 road scheme, planned for the A1159 Priory Crescent north,
Southend on Sea, Essex. priory_parklife@yahoo.co.uk

* Bilston Glen Protest Site, 8 miles outside Edinburgh, has a free
café on Saturday 4th April. 07986 632429

All these camps need more people, tat, inspiration and energy. Now
that the weather's getting better there's no excuse.


Poll Boycott

On Monday 5th April people across Indonesia will be forced to vote
in the latest round of parliamentary elections. The rather dubious
list of politicians they will be able to choose from include
Wiranto, the former defence minister and retired general indicted
on charges of crimes against humanity in East Timor, "Sister
Tutut" the daughter of ex-military dictator Suharto and Prabowo
Subianto, Suharto's former son-in-law accused of kidnapping
student activists. Transparency International this month put the
Suharto family at the top of its list of all-time corrupt leaders
estimating the family had stashed away $35bn in 32 years of rule.

It comes then as no surprise to hear that mass boycotts of these
elections are planned in the country's most oppressed regions. For
the first time ever, people in Aceh, Mollucas and West Papua will
act together in resistance to the Indonesian state by refusing to
vote and blockading polling stations. But this is no small act.
Voting is obligatory in Indonesia and heavily enforced by violent
police. The last time West Papuans refused to vote was in 1977 and
in response Suharto unleashed a massacre, bombing highland
villages, forcing thousands to starve in the jungles and
slaughtering any that remained. People still talk of watching
their families being thrown alive into mass graves and how the
Baliem River "ran red with blood".

* There will be a demonstration at the Indonesian embassy in
London in solidarity with the boycotts aiming to reduce the
ferocity of a backlash. Meet midday at Green Park underground
station on Mon 5th April. Those further a field can phone the
embassy on 0207 4996661 or fax 4914993. Simultaneous
demonstrations are also planned in the Netherlands and the US.

* TAPOL, Indonesia human rights campaign:

* Human Rights Watch:


..and finally...

David Blunkett leads the Charge of the Tight Brigade once again.
On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in
London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice
more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly
convicted! The logic is that the innocent man shouldn't have been
in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under
regulation grey blankets. His spokesmen in the Home Office says
it's a completely "reasonable course of action" as the innocent
men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and
lodgings if they weren't in prison. The government calls it 'Saved
Living Expenses'.

Paddy Hill, of the Birmingham 6, spent 16 years behind bars for a
crime he didn't commit. Paddy has now been presented with a bill
for £50,000 for "living expenses" incurred while wrongly
convicted. "The establishment hates me and people like me as we
proved them wrong," he said. "They either want to ignore us or
hurt us."

Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four, wrongly convicted for
killing a paperboy, was charged £60,000 for the 17 years he spent
in jail. He said: "If I had known this I would have stayed on
hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill."


SchNEWS warns all readers that there's nothing better than a good
Ronnie'n'Reggie stew followed by a homemade Kevin Keegan chocolate



What's On? Check out out Party and Protest guide at
www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm It's updated every week, has
sections on regular events, local events, protest camps and

The SchNEWS at Ten Tour plans are being updated regularly as well.
Check them at www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm



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PEACE DE RESISTANCE 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 £6.50!! 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 -
£7; Yearbook 2001 issues 251-300 - bargain £3. Cheques to Justice?

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

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: 01273 685913 (NO FAX)
Email: schnews@brighton.co.uk Web: www.schnews.org.uk


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