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(en) SchNEWS Issue 449 - Friday 16th April

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 16 Apr 2004 10:03:56 +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

"How can the media report this when they don't even have a
correspondent in Falluja? Why are they failing so completely to
report the Iraqi side of the story? How much more obvious can it
be that they are only parroting the U.S. military lies concerning
the situation?" Dahr Jamail, Independent reporter
Remember the old Iraqi Information Minister nicknamed "Comical
Ali" who amongst other things proclaimed the defeat of U.S. forces
even as they moved into Baghdad? Well now it's the turn of Comical
Blair and Bush who denounce any Iraqi resistance to the invasion
and occupation of their country as "outside terrorists, an
extremist who has created his own militia, and remnants of a
brutal dictatorship." While on the other side, they talk of
"people of immense courage and humanity..." (SchNEWS thinks Blair
is talking about American and British soldiers!).

So while Secretary General Amr Moussa said at a meeting of the
Arab League, that a U.S. war on Iraq would "open the gates of
hell" in the West we are being drip fed corporate news which Dahr
Jamil, one of the only journalists who has been in Falluja since
the siege says is merely "parroting the U.S. military lies". In
Iraq they are told instead of watching the televised images "of
Americans and coalition soldiers killing innocent civilians", to
"change the channel" because these "are not legitimate news

In fact it was one of those 'illegimate' news sources that helped
precipitate this latest wave of resistance, with the closure of
the al-Hawza newspaper. Shut down for reporting eyewitness claims
that a supposed car bombing that killed numerous volunteers for
the New Iraqi defense forces was actually done by an American
helicopter. The newspaper also criticized the Coalition Authority
leader Bremner - something which is not allowed in the new 'free'

US officials are fighting more than just the people of Iraq, but a
huge propaganda war to cope with the truth of their actions. The
war in Iraq is indeed a war of media, where they use images like
weapons to manipulate public opinion. The fact that Bush is facing
elections in the US increases the importance of this manipulation.
On a televised speech, he asserted that the situation in Iraq was
"not a civil war, not a popular uprising, and that most of Iraq is
relatively stable." Old Comical Bush has obviously been watching
too much CNN, because as the American author Rahul Mahajan
explains "In general, there is no quicker way to get an Iraqi to
laugh, than to talk about how the United States is bringing
freedom or democracy to the country."

Statue of Liberty?

Take Firdos Square where the infamous pulling down of Saddam's
statue was stage managed. Independent journalist Dahr Jamail said
"A few days ago it was closed and blockaded by the American
military. I stood atop my apartment listening to a speaker blaring
instructions that anyone who approached the area would be shot on
sight. This is freedom." A week earlier Iraqi soldiers, trained
and controlled by coalition forces had opened fire on a
demonstration there. As the protesters returned to their homes in
the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, the US army followed with
tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops,
streets, even ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people
were killed and many more injured.

As Dahr Jamil angrily writes "It's no wonder the corporate media
rarely reports on the torturing of many of the over 10,000
detained Iraqis by the US military, the constant home raids, or
the infrastructure in nearly complete disrepair as we begin the
second year of the occupation. For most of the corporate media
tend to stick closer to their hotels, rather than where the
stories are occurring and being lived every day - out amongst the
Iraqi people.

"The majority of the corporate media tend to simply go where the
U.S. military tells them it is safe to go, while donning their
flak jackets, helmets, and the preferred 'us vs. they' mentality
with Iraqis...Instead, the US public is fed bogus polls telling
them half of Iraqis feel they are better off now with a year of
occupation under their belts. That is an amazing figure, since
nearly every one of the hundreds of Iraqis I interviewed
throughout Iraq was understandably enraged at the 70%
unemployment, less than 8 hours of electricity per day in Baghdad,
water so terrible there are cholera outbreaks in southern Iraq,
and a security situation that spirals further out of control on a
daily basis.

About the only time it's easy to find Iraqis who are
pro-occupation is if you let the Coalition Provisional Authority
(CPA) show them to you thus it's the journalists with the least
initiative that find the rarest selections of public opinion by
speaking to those pushing brooms or sitting at a desk at CPA HQ.

"Getting the facts in Iraq is not rocket science. I am simply
doing my job to report the Iraqi side of the story. An informed
citizenry forms the basis of a democracy. Not only are U.S.
citizens being deprived of access to information about the true
nature of the critical situation in Iraq, they are being outright
lied to by most of the corporate media outlets."

Bypass Media-Corp

* Read a moving account of Jo Wilding's time in Falluja: "George
Bush says to the troops on Easter Sunday that, "I know what we're
doing in Iraq is right." Shooting unarmed men in the back outside
their family home is right. Shooting grandmothers with white flags
is right? Shooting at women and children who are fleeing their
homes is right? Firing at ambulances is right?"

* Read Rahul Mahajan's report from Fallujah "To Americans,
"Fallujah" may still mean four mercenaries killed, with their
corpses then mutilated and abused; to Iraqis, "Fallujah" means the
savage collective punishment for that attack, in which over 600
Iraqis have been killed, with an estimated 200 women and over 100
children. www.empirenotes.org Rahul also recently wrote 'Full
Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond.'

* Read Dahr Jamail, Iraq weblog dispatches "Solutions? One thing
that remains glaringly apparent today is that Falluja has become
another rallying point for the resistance. While most media in the
U.S. (and many other Western countries) are failing to report the
Iraqi side of the story there, everyone here knows it's turned
into a full-on massacre, and people are extremely angry. This and
the entire debacle of how the Americans have handled the situation
with Muqtada Sadr, have together brought rivers of volunteers into
the already growing resistance to the occupation."

* This Saturday (17) Ewa Jasiewicz who has been living in Baghdad
and Basra will be speaking at Kinning Park Complex, Cornwall St,
Glasgow 1pm. For a full list of her Scottish speaking tour

* There is a major conference being held in London and sponsored
by Shell, from 26-28th April on the privatisation of Iraq with
many corporate representatives looking for a piece of the pie and
representatives from the Governing Council and Occupation
Authority (Citizens arrest anyone?) attending. Counter
demonstrations and actions are being planned by a variety of
different peace, justice and anti-militarisation groups, plus a
special focus on workers rights in occupied Iraq as well as a
counter-conference website. An organizing meeting was held on the
15th. For more information see: www.warprofiteers.com,
www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/library/briefing_oct2003.html, or contact
Voices in the Wilderness on 0845 458 2564 / voices@voicesuk.org.


Crap Terr-arrest

Workers at the DHKC (Revolutionary People's Liberation Front)
Brussels information Bureau were arrested last week by heavily
armed anti terrorist police, who had previously sealed off the
whole district and broken in the doors of the office.

The police commandos even dug up the garden hoping to find some
explosives but all they found were vegetables and flowers. This
ridiculous operation was really aimed at the office of Halkin Sesi
TV, a TV channel broadcast by internet and whose office is on the
top floor of the same building.

The channel committed the crime of broadcasting news about
fighting units of the DHKC reported by telephone from Italy.


Squat This Space

* There's a new squatted social centre in Oxford at 220 Cowley
Road, where they are organising meetings, workshops. Find out more
on Oxford Indymedia or contact them for information:
oxsocial@linuxmail.org, http://free.hostdepartment.com/o/oxsocial/

* The Roundhouse, made of wood with a turf roof, was built by Tony
Wrench in 1997 as part of an experimental community is under
threat of demolition. In a bid to stop the demolition, around 40
squatters occupied the Roundhouse in Pembrokeshire Coast National
Park over the Easter weekend. Protesters also occupied an Iron Age
hill fort, built straw and wooden roundhouses in a lay-by to speak
to the public, marched through local villages and then went to
speak to the national park authorities. The planners first refused
to speak to them, but after the determined protesters camped
overnight in the park authority's car park, they met and agreed to
hold a public meeting in 4-6 weeks. For more information contact
Chapter 7 / The Land is Ours: 01460 249204,

* The squat at Colliers Wood School in London was violently
evicted by police last Monday despite an agreement that the
occupants would go peacefully. Developers have moved in,
demolished the whole school and dug a trench around the site "to
stamp their authority on it". The squatters are determined to
carry on the fight by other means in Colliers Wood, which has been
devastated by greedy developers. Local residents associations and
council workers are supporting them. Call Dave - 07986465552

* The Tufnell Park squat lost their court case two weeks ago, and
are trying to appeal. They are negotiating to avoid eviction
before mayday, but the Police are determined to close the centre,
and say they will storm it at the end of April. There is a
campaign to stop the eviction including local residents and
squatters. Resistance to the eviction is being planned, and they
need your help, there's a meeting at the Grand Banks opposite
Tufnell Part tube station next Wednesday (21st) at 7:30 pm,
www.wombles.org.uk, or call 07986 075829.

* Residents of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire took over a former
Council building in West Yorkshire over Easter. They turned it
into an open community space, with films, a free shop, food and
events all weekend. The building was a former Tourist Information
Centre, which has been handed to a developer by Calderdale
Council. Developers want to turn the building into posh flats and
a chippy. The occupiers said they wanted to highlight the threat
of unsustainable development and rising house prices. The
developers went running to the police asking them to evict the
squatters, the police had to acknowledge that the locals were
legally "squatting" the building. More info:


Positive SchNEWS

Critical Mass London is 10 years old later this month and you're
all invited to their birthday party. Critical Mass is a monthly
get together of cyclists that happens in hundreds of cities around
the world. It started eleven and a half years ago in San Francisco
and is a celebration of the alternatives to cars, pollution,
accidents and the loss of public spaces and freedoms.

As one cyclist put it "At the end of every workday, thousands of
people pour into the streets, in what has become a central ritual
of life in the 21st century - the daily commute. For most people,
however, getting off work is not cause for celebration, or even
relief. The ride home promises frustrating gridlock, disgusting
air, and for cyclists, constant threats to safety and well-being.
But one day a month, the ritual is transformed. Hundreds of us get
together and ride through the streets on bicycles, providing
motorists, as well as ourselves, with a vision of how things could
be different."

Ultimately, Critical Mass is just a bunch of cyclists riding
around together. But the incredible thing is that, in attempting
this simple task, so many important and interesting questions come
up. Why is there so little open space in our cities, where people
can relax and interact, free from the incessant buying and selling
of ordinary life? Why are people compelled to organize their lives
around having a car? What would an alternative future look like?

So if you're in London April 30th get along to the Southbank at
Waterloo, in front of the National Film Theatre, under Waterloo
Bridge at 6pm www.criticalmasslondon.org.uk

* For a history of critical mass check out 'Critical Mass-
Bicycling's Defiant Celebration' by Chris Carlsson, available from
AK Press, PO Box 12766, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH8 9YE www.akuk.com

* 'We aren't blocking traffic, We Are Traffic!' a movie about
Critical Mass showing on the 29 April at Indymedia Cinema @ The
Other Cinema London, 11 Rupert Street, London W1 (Leicester Sq)


Coca-Cola Lose Their Bottle

In an important victory by the Colombian food and drink union,
Sinaltrainal, has ended a 12-day hunger strike (see SchNews 447)
with victory for the strikers and 91 co-workers, who had been
targeted for dismissal. Supported by fellow trade unionists,
church and other solidarity groups the workers were also
protesting against the use of illegal paramilitary groups to
target union organisers. Bottling plant Femsa, has also agreed
that the hunger strikers will receive two weeks of paid holiday
for some R&R (hunger strikers were required to worktheir usual
eight-hour shifts and faced disciplinary action for falling
productivity!) The company has also agreed to run a national
newspaper advertisement discouraging paramilitary reprisals
against the workers.

Over the past 14 years, nine Sinaltrainal members have been
murdered, five of its leaders have gone to jail on terrorism
charges, and 65 of its activists have received death threats. Coca
Cola's support for anti union activities is well documented from
the United States, to Guatemala and Brazil. Stop the attacks and
support an international boycott of Coca Cola, remember that Coke
also owns Barcardi Breezers, aquapure, Dr Pepper, Dannon, Sprite
and Schweppes...

More info: www.killercoke.org


Boxed Up

Thousands of NHS hospital patients were offered TV beside their
beds as part of a deal with a private company, it was billed as a
triumph for the government's drive towards "patient power". The
only problem was that the patients couldn't turn the sets off. The
TVs were not equipped with an off switch, and cast their
flickering light for a fixed 15 hours a day.

The sets were installed by Patientline, a private firm chaired by
Derek Lewis, former director general of the prison service. Their
captive audience includes 17,500 patients in 32 hospitals across
the country. The sets come on automatically at 6am or 7am and
close down at 10pm. Patients pay £3.20 a day for the full range of
programmes. But those not wanting to subscribe don't escape: they
get trailers for the service and messages from the hospital
authorities instead. So you either have to pay for constant trashy
TV or get non stop adverts for fifteen hours a day. SchNEWS
reckons it's a cunning way of getting people to leave hospital
quickly and cut waiting lists.

A company spokesman said the failure to provide an off button was
"an accident" that was rectified in more recent installations.
Robert McMaster, a patient at Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading,
said it was "irritating to be subject to this continuous and
unwelcome stimulation, particularly at night or when trying to
rest". A Patientline spokesman managed to tear herself away from
the TV for a minute to comment: "These complaints have taken us by
surprise. We've been operating the system since 1995 and I've not
known of this criticism before."


The SchNEWS at Ten Tour continues with the following dates in:

(16) Leamington Community Gallery, Avenue Road. (17) Bolton (18)
Liverpool (19) Lancaster LaRC-The basement, 78a Penny St. (20)
Glasgow. Pearce Institute, Govan, G51 3UU (21) Faslane Peace Camp,
probably. (22) Bilston Woods road protest camp, near Edinburgh.
(23) Edinburgh Forest Cafe, Bristol Place (24) Newcastle The
Cluny, under Byker Bridge 2-4pm. (25) Leeds The Packhorse Pub,
Woodhouse Lane (26) Sheffield. Cricketers Arms, Bramall Lane 8pm.
(27) Nine Ladies protest camp (28) Manchester Arch Bar, Stretford
Road, Hulme 7.30pm. (29) Nottingham. Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone
Street 8.30pm (30) Norwich The Hog In Armour, Charring X, 7-11pm.
(May Day) Ipswich.

For more details 01273 685913 www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm


..and finally...

New lows were reached when a judge told Shirley Law, Plymouth
grandmother and veteran peace activist, it was "time to put down
her bolt croppers and pick up her knitting needles, and to stay
the right side of the fence!"

Shirley, along with two others were recently found guilty of
breaking into Devonport Dockyard - the base for the MoD's illegal
Trident Nuclear Submarine Refit Programme and the Hunter Killer
submarines used on Iraq. Magistrates refused to hear the
protestors' arguments relating to international law.

SchNEWS reckons that our legal system should stop trying to pull
the wool over our eyes, and face up to the illegality of having
our own use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The wisdom of
older people should be respected and they should be manning the
barricades instead of being sent to old age knitting hell homes.

Trident Ploughshares have organised another Devonport Disarmament
Camp on the 27th May - 1st June. 0845 4588363


SchNEWS warns all readers you've had yer 'Comical Ali', Bush The
Clown - now it's yer Falluja of it SchNEWS punned down!



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



To unsubscribe, go to the website and follow the instructions
there, or send a message to webmaster@schnews.org.uk with subject

To subscribe, go to the website or email webmaster@schnews.org.uk


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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