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(en) SchNEWS Issue 450 - Friday 23rd April

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 23 Apr 2004 08:43:47 +0200 (CEST)


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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER SIZE IT UP... SchNEWS
IT'S A BIG 'UN! "Once again the European Business Summit succeeded in
creating and developing strong and more harmonious links between political
decision makers and business leaders." European Business Summit website.
"Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism', since it it the
marriage of government and corporate power" Benito Mussolini, 1932. It's
party time in Dublin on May 1st - with the Irish government organising a
street festival and a "Day of Welcomes" for the 10 new European countries
who're joining the European Union. Problem is that for some reason thousands
of undesirables are promising to gatecrash the party and spoil the fun.

This will be a party with a difference with armed Gardai
patrolling the streets as part of an unprecedented security
operation. Nearly eight thousand cops will be ready to combat the
'violent protesters' which the Irish media has been busy
inventing. Surveillance will be mounted on ports, hotels, and
guesthouses to target the protestors with a special unit
monitoring websites - and if protestors start to get hot under the
collar, water cannons.


MR. LOBBY

So why are people getting so mad?

It's estimated that the European Parliament in Brussels - hosts
500 industry lobby groups employing 10,000 professional lobbyists.
Their job is to make the EU more industry-friendly - and they do
it very well. In Dublin next weekend a different sort of
"lobbyists" will be "lobbying" for equality, ecological policies
and accountability, y'know the sort of outrageous demands that
have already got them labeled as criminals, terrorists and violent
anarchists.

Safely behind the castle doors, the Irish Government will be using
their presidency to push forward the "Lisbon" agenda, which wants
"a more dynamic and competitive EU economy." The problem is, to
make us all more 'competitive', big business has come up with the
idea that the EU should abandon anything that gets in the way of
profit making, and instead have "self-regulation and non-binding
recommendations."

Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and
Information, reckons that "traditional regulation is increasingly
called into question by the demands of globalization." This is the
globalisation that governments and economists like to keep quiet
about. The globalisation where corporations just up sticks and
move to where workers are cheaper and there are less troublesome
regulations such as health and safety and trade union rights.
(Although these new countries joining the EU have had to open
their borders to the free flow of money, it's a different story
when it comes to the free flow of people).

Last month the Irish minister for Enterprise and Trade, Mary
Harney received rapturous applause at the third European Business
Summit taking place in Brussels when she pledged to "ensure that
the agenda of business is taken on board by the EU's Council on
Competitiveness", which she chairs. "Let us look at all
legislation...to see, 'do we need it, and if so how much of it' ?"
The conference's official theme was "Research and Innovation", but
that didn't stop industry leaders from using session after session
to call for downscaling environmental, consumer and social
protection in order to serve corporate competitiveness. Industry's
list of 'obstacles to competitiveness' range from chemical safety
rules to 'insufficient' military budgets. The hostility of
European consumers towards GM food was also highlighted as a major
obstacle to EU competitiveness!

The biggest player in the corporate lobby is the all-powerful
European Roundtable of Industrialists who mentioned the Kyoto
Protocol as an example of policy "initiated and adopted with
little thought of the consequences for industry". Hey presto! EU
climate change policies are the first to be singled out and
"re-assessed". The Employers federation UNICE, in a jubilant
reaction, said the decision was "an important first step that
should lead to a review of the EU climate change policy if
necessary". With Russia dragging its feet over ratifying the
Protocol and the US refusing to sign point blank, corporations
complain that the EU's 'international competitiveness' is at
stake - ignoring the consequences of climate change.

Typical of this years' Business Summit was the session on
"Environmental technologies: how to exert leverage on Europe's
leadership worldwide". Colin Humphries of the chemical industry
federation was one of many industry speakers to launch attacks on
the proposed new EU chemicals regulation (REACH). REACH, still to
be discussed and approved by the European Parliament, intends to
regulate about 100,000 chemicals. Forget that the release of
thousands of new chemicals each year has serious health impacts.
Forget that the costs of implementing REACH are negligible
compared to what society saves by reducing cancer levels. Forget
all that - what about shareholders bloody profits!

Another session 'Defence and security: how to work together for a
secure Europe' focused on the opportunities arising from the
"guaranteed supply chain of insecurity". Discussion soon got round
to how to boost EU military spending to US-levels. Scott Harris,
European director of Lockheed Martin the world's biggest weapons
producer (see SchNEWS 402/3) highlighted the difference between
the EU and the US spending on arms, complaining about "the lack of
resources". Don't worry Scott, there's a creeping militarisation
of the EU with the creation of the European Agency for Armaments
and Strategic Research. The draft EU Constitution also states
"Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their
military capabilities".

While the new countries joining the EU were told they had to
privatise essential services if they wanted to be welcomed
(SchNEWS 287), the Lisbon agenda also specifically targets "gas,
electricity, postal services and transport" as ripe for
privatisation (although they like to use the friendlier term
'liberalisation'.) The first step in privatisation is forcing
people to pay for public services to make them profitable and
attractive to investors. So who cares if privatisation results in
worse working conditions, greater inequality of services, lay-offs
and wage cuts - people need to make a profit!

In Britain we are fed nonsense about saving the pound and promised
a vote on a treaty which most of us find baffling. Behind the
scenes big business is pushing its own EU agenda. As the Dublin
Grassroots Network (who are co-ordinating the May Day protests)
put it "We are struggling with others across Europe for a
different type of Europe, one that puts people before profit and
does away with top-down decision making. Join these protests in
the struggle for an alternative Europe."

* For more on the dodgy dealings of Europe check out the excellent
www.corporateeurope.org
* For more on the Dublin Grassroots Network
http://struggle.ws/eufortress
* To keep up to date with Mayday fun in Dublin www.indymedia.ie

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Crap Arrest of the Week

For feeding the homeless...
In Tampa, Florida police arrested three people from Food Not Bombs
who were handing out free food to the homeless, they were arrested
as they didn't have a permit to hand out food. The police and city
say that it is for health reasons, but a homeless person whom had
been fed commented "I think I know what's healthy for my body, and
going hungry isn't healthy. The city isn't out to protect anyone's
health. They just want to pretend we are not here." Another said
"If there's a law about feeding the homeless and going to jail,
this is a backward world." www.foodnotbombs.net

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Nice Little Earner

Bit of a bash in London next week you might be interested in. HM
government, bless 'em, are hosting a meeting of top gangsters -
sorry business community members - from across the world, invited
here to divvy up the loot from a big job from last year. Iraq
Procurement 2004 - Meet the Buyers from 26th to 28th April will
see the US and British governments, who sorted the muscle for the
job, hand over the loot to the 'Mr Bigs' of the corporate world
who have been planning this job for years. The booty is contracts
for billions of dollars to run Iraqi industries, nicked - sorry,
privatised, got to get this new lingo right! - when the muscle
leant on the locals big time. These contracts allow corporations
to rob the place rotten then export 100% of the lolly - bad news
for Iraqis, but a nice little earner for the boys from the
corporate mafia!

Of course, you don't put together a job like this without greasing
a few palms to make sure it all goes smooth. The Met are in on the
deal of course, and will be doing their best to make sure no
have-a-go-heroes try to spoil the meet with whinges about human
rights, international law and all that malarkee. Let's hope the
overtime they've bunged the plod keeps things sweet. Iraq has the
world's second largest oil reserves and could become a prosperous,
democratic society if it wasn't being robbed blind by corporate
capitalism - thank God we've got the British army, Neo-Labour
government and the Bush gang in on the deal to make sure that
doesn't happen!

Fancy becoming a gangster yourself? I tell ya, nothing impresses
the big boys like a bit of initiative, so why not blag your way
into this meet and impress everyone with your ingenuity - they'll
all be there, Shell, Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco, Marconi and US
arms manufacturer Raytheon. It's happening at London Hilton Hotel,
22 Park Lane between 6-9pm next Tuesday. So get along to the big
nosh up, remembering, of course, that's it's considered polite to
bring your own pies and, you know, "share". See you there!

* Join the demonstration - speakers to include: Ewa Jasiewicz
(activist recently returned from 8 months in Iraq) and
representatives from the Union of the Unemployed of Iraq, the
Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq, the Campaign Against Arms
Trade, Jubilee Iraq, and the Green Party. 0845 458 2564
www.theirpayday.org

* Give George Bush Senior the Reception He Deserves! Tuesday May
18 4.30-6.30pm, Landmark Hotel, 222 Marylebone Road, London NW1
(nearest tube Marylebone Road). Bush Senior, the architect of the
first Gulf war, is coming to London to raise money for his son's
re-election campaign. He will be the main guest at a dinner party
hosted by Republicans Abroad - tickets for the event are $1000
each! www.stopwar.org.uk

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Positive SchNEWS

Undercurrents celebrate their 10th anniversary by launching their
Undercurrent News Network (UNN). This alternative news video
offers documentaries, animations and subverts from radical
producers around the world.
For example, the case of student protests that increased wages of
low paid workers, bringing one of the wealthiest corporations in
the world to its knees, will be reported. Laughs are guaranteed
when George and Tony's 'special' relationship is revealed.

For copies of the video 01792 455900 www.undercurrents.org/unn

* The video will be shown at the Cowley Club, London Road,
Brighton this Monday (26) at 6:30 pm. * And on 28th April in
Manchester, Arch Bar, 7.30 pm. * Also in Norwich on 30th April,
7pm, for more details norwichanarchists@hotmail.com

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MayDay Devolution

In Chicago in May 1886 police fired on workers protesting against
poor working conditions and struggling for an eight-hour day. Many
protestors were killed and anarchists were accused of the
catch-all of conspiracy and executed. That's why Mayday is now a
commemoration of these Haymarket Martyrs.

This year the corporate media have decided that Mayday has been
cancelled, so instead of the usual fun and games in the Capital,
events are happening all over the country (and Dublin of course).
Highlights include:

Lancashire Reclaim Mayday Roadshow (30 April - 2 May): A Mayday
March and a huge picnic are planned but also children's and
political films, displays, discussion and bands. 01772 734130
http://mysite.freeserve.com/LancashireSF/index.jhtml

30 April Shutdown Spearhead for Mayday! DSEi action, 8:30am
onwards, Apex Tower New Malden, London. Spearhead Exhibitions has
recently been bought by Reed Exhibitions. So, from 1pm onwards,
the celebrations will move to Reed Exhibitions, Oriel House, 26
The Quadrant, Richmond (opposite Richmond station). www.dsei.org
BM Box 3679, London WC1N 3XX 07817 652029.

Traditional Mayday Trade Union march in London (including a
Libertarian bloc) Meet Clerkenwell Green 12 noon then march to
Trafalgar Square. MayDay Picnic 3pm St.James Park. London Animal,
Protest against human and animal exploitation under the banner,
'Kill Capitalism, Not Animals!' Piccadilly Circus, by the statue
of Eros 12 noon.

Mayday in Bradford (29 April-3rd May) Celebrations starting with
the launch of the renovated Anarchist Library, punk bands,
cabaret, disco and a Mayday party and picnic on Infirmary Fields
from 1pm. Tel: 01274 734160 www.1in12.com

Annual May Day street party, 1pm, Buchanan St Underground
Glasgow's annual anti-capitalist street festival takes over the
streets, with sound systems, performers and YOU.
www.liveinthemoment.org

* For more May Day action check out the SchNEWS party and protest
pages www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide

* Read "Mayday and Anarchism, remembrance and resistance from
Haymarket to now". www.katesharpleylibrary.net

* A celebration of the ancient festival of Beltane will take place
at Thornborough Henge, North Yorkshire which is under imminent
threat from quarrying. www.friendsofthornborough.org. A weekend
camp is also being organised in the Thornborough area
http://events.wiccauk.com

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SchNEWS In Brief

* Tonight (23) the Seaside Tribe & Campaign Against Arms Trade
present Peace Revolutions @ The Brixton Telegraph, 228 Brixton
Hill, London 8pm - 4am 5/8. www.seasidetribe.org

* There's a Glasgow Autonomous Project Benefit gig on Saturday
(24), 3pm - 6pm, Stereo bar, 11 Kelvinhaugh St.
www.glasgow-autonomy.org

* Dissent! A Network of Resistance Against the G8, a holding a
national gathering in Manchester, this week-end 24th-25th April,
at the Manchester Environmental Resource Centre If you want to
attend IT IS ESSENTIAL that you let them know in advance,
g8gathering@yahoo.co.uk www.dissent.org.uk

* Two family members of a Colombian SINALTRAINAL union leader were
assassinated on Tuesday and three of their children wounded. The
unionists have been in dispute with the Coca-Cola bottle industry
for several months (see SchNEWS 447). www.killercoke.org/

* What has been the impact of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the
'war on terrorism' on Britain's Muslim community? A talk and
discussion with Kadeer Arif, chair of the Uni. of Sussex Islamic
Society next Tuesday (27) 7.30pm St Joseph's Church Hall, Milton
Road, Brighton. page53@ntlworld.com

* There's a meeting on Israeli Apartheid Wall also next Tuesday
(27) at Hargrave Hall, Hargrave Rd N19 (Archway tube) 8pm Speakers
include Jocelyn Hurndall whose son was killed by the Israeli
Defence Force. 02077006192 www.palestinecampaign.org

* Come and listen to the people who wrote 'Hotlines: Discussion on
a workers inquiry into call centres' talk about capitalism and
resistance at work, Technology, "new factories" and class
struggle. At the Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton next
Thursday (29) 6pm

* Next week the 'Fairford five' anti-war campaigners will appear
in Bristol Crown Court to argue for the right to use international
law in their defence in their trials. A five-day hearing will
establish whether UK foreign and defence policy can be examined
when the defendants come to trial in the summer. Support
appreciated, 9am @ Bristol Crown Court. www.b52two.org.uk

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SchNEWS at Ten Tour Latest

Don't forget the last few SchNEWS at Ten tour dates. Catch us at
Edinburgh (tonite) (24) Newcastle, (25) Leeds, (26) Sheffield,
(27) Nine Ladies Protest Camp, (28) Manchester, (29) Nottingham,
(30) Norwich and May Day in Ipswich. "The tour is drug fueled in
traditional rock and roll sense, mostly echinacia and vitamin C as
we've all got a cold."

www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm

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..and finally... Pay attention at the back!

What would you expect from a group of aspiring anarchists on the
first day of an anarchy course? Refuse to hand in their
assessments, of course.

This is what happened on the 'Deconstructing Systems in the
Pursuit of Anarchy' course at the Fort Lewis College, Durango,
Arizona, when students were told by Professor Mark Seiss that he'd
have to hand in a sample of student's work. The students agreed by
consensus to not hand in their work and Professor Seiss supported
them. Seiss wrote "I find this personally offensive to be
surveilled by a group appointed as the Thematic Studies Thought
Police". It remains unclear what decision will be made in regards
to students' refusals. College rulemakers seem reluctant to pursue
the issue further and will most likely accept the class decision.

The course was designed to do away with many of the misconceptions
about anarchy in general and what it means. Josh Rankin, one of
the students in the class, talked about some of those
misconceptions, "I was hitchhiking to school this semester and
someone picked me up and asked me what class I was going to I said
I was going to anarchy class. She got this panic stricken look on
her face and said "you mean devil-worshipping?" "I think as a
society we're taught that anarchy is a really destructive thing,
so it can be lumped into the same group as terrorism or something
like that." Josh's words accurately describe the way governments
and the media treat anarchist protestors. Check out coverage of
mayday in Dublin, where the bullshit is already flying thick and
fast.

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Disclaimer
SchNEWS warns all readers we always do our homework, get good
grades, but we're never teacher's pet... Honest!

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INFORMATION FOR ACTION - IF YOU LIKE IT PASS IT ON...

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
more...

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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HOW TO UN/SUBSCRIBE TO SCHNEWS-L

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

To subscribe, go to the website or email webmaster@schnews.org.uk
with subject SUBSCRIBE PLAIN TEXT.

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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 - SOLD OUT; Survival Handbook issues 151-200
- a snip at 2; SchQUALL issues 201-250 - almost sold out - 8.50;
Yearbook 2001 issues 251-300 - bargain 3. All prices inc. p&p.
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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