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(en) SchNEWS Issue 441 - Friday 13th February - PLAIN TEXT

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 13 Feb 2004 11:28:30 +0100 (CET)


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News about and of interest to anarchists
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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER HARRY AND THE BOYS... SchNEWS
SPELLBOUND "This is the frontline. It's not just about trees. If people want
to continue anti-war protests, it doesn't take much to make the
connection between this and the war for oil. This is the
Anti-Roads Movement Part II. Cast your mind back to the early
nineties-the first Gulf War had just ended, there was a Climate
Change Summit. Now things have turned a full circle and a whole new
generation are on board." Holly, protester at Blackwood Protest Camp.
This week there are three separate protest camps all on urgent
eviction alert: ecological direct action camps at Blackwood near
Newport, Sherwood Forest in Nottingham, and Nine Ladies in
Derbyshire - all competing for limited amounts of people and
resources. Are we back to the protest camp halcyon days of the
nineties?

BLACKWOOD MAGIC

Five acres of St Davids Wood in Blackwood, south Wales, is
currently under threat of being trashed for the sake of an access
road to an industrial park - and would already be gone if it
wasn't for some hardy protesters and a ten-year local campaign
which involved two High Court battles. This camp needs urgent help
to protect the site - but before you go down to the woods, you'd
better leaf through the dusty pages of Hogwart's book on tree
protest wizardry...

We now know that magic can happen in the woods, but things got
truly surreal this week when Harry-Potter weaved a spell into the
story. This new development has come about because contractors
Costain and the Caerphilly Borough Council have used the obscure
'Harry-Potter ruling' to secure a High Court civil injunction on
the entire camp. In the Harry-Potter case, some of the kid wizard
books went missing from the publishing company Bloomsbury and were
then given to the press before publication. Because the company
didn't know the specific names of the persons who had taken the
books, they simply described them to the court. The court then
decided for the first time that persons described, rather than
actually named, could be defendants to an injunction. This means
an injunction can be served against anybody - no names are
needed - so therefore any person entering or remaining in a
specified area (the woodland at Blackwood, in this case) can be
immediately removed. Bindmans, the solicitors giving free legal
advice to the camp, told SchNEWS "it's the first time the 'Harry
Potter ruling' has been used against protesters."

The injunction is a useful legal tool for companies wanting to get
rid of pesky protesters. In the hearing for the Blackwood case,
the judge only heard evidence from the 'interested party' - the
developers - leaving the defendants (the protesters) with no
chance to defend themselves. It is possible to later appeal the
injunction in court - but it becomes a David and Goliath battle
between a cashed up company and a campaign which doesn't get legal
aid.

The woodland under threat - owned by Costain and under the spell
of Harry-Potter - is now 'protected' from protesters, but while
the trees are still under threat, the protest camp itself is on
adjoining land NOT owned by Costain, making it safe from eviction
for the moment.

Currently, the anti-roads campaigners are trying furiously to mix
a legal potion to fight the Harry-Potter ruling - throwing in such
ingredients as the Section 6 status of the camp and the presence
of dormice on Costain's woodland site. It's a shame that the
dormice can't get an injunction so they can live undisturbed. Work
stopped on the site when dormice - were found. Legally, dormice
are protected and they must be "re-located" (evicted) if the
chopping of the trees is to continue- but work has continued,
around their habitat. The presence of dormice has meant that a
wildlife group is taking Costain to court and maybe even criminal
proceedings will occur, but don't hold your breath as courts tend
to be more chummy with the likes of Costain than dormice lovers.

We asked one protester on site, Holly, if the protest camp was
mostly Twyford Down or Newbury veterans like herself? She told
SchNEWS that while there is unbelievable local support, there is
also a whole new generation of protesters present. This is the
generation who took the anti-war protests by storm last year, so
watch out cos hopefully there's plenty more where they came from.

People and climbing equipment are needed at the camp now. To
contact the camp phone 07952 774525 or 07708 420446 For a map and
details visit www.schnews.org.uk/pap/protestcamps.htm

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CAMP IT UP

Sherwood Forest Protest Camp is also in urgent need of help.
Bailiffs have been on site recently and eviction seems imminent.
"Security" forces had planned an illegal eviction but were
thwarted when extra people and the cops turned up.

Bellway, the property developers, want to turn these magnificent
woods into sawdust and build almost 300 poor-quality overpriced
houses there instead.

A 300-year old beech tree is at the heart of the forest and serves
as the HQ of the Protest Camp. Massive local support has been
apparent since the camp was established 6 months ago. Meanwhile,
60-odd security, an ambulance (!) and cutting machinery have been
hovering near the area, waiting to go in for the kill.

Support is vital over the next couple of days. 07050 656410
http://mysite.freeserve.com/sherwood_camp/
If you can't get down to the woods, you might want to phone
Bellway on 0116 2727000 to tell them what you think, POLITELY of
course!!

ROAD FLASH

* The Nine Ladies anti-quarry camp is still expecting to be
evicted any day now. More people and climbing equipment needed.
Contact 07005942212 for details.

* A camp has been set up to stop the construction of a privately
financed road at Bilston, 8 miles south of Edinburgh. Construction
work has started on the road, but at the moment the camp remains
untouched. The camp now has a kitchen/ cafe and infoshop and
welcomes visitors 07986 632429 www.bilstonglen-abs.org.uk

* A housing development of 2,500 homes is planned on a Greenfield
site in East Grinstead, West Sussex for 2006. If the plan gets the
go ahead, the council must build a by-pass around the town which
will destroy an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty and maybe even
encroach on Ashdown Forest. peterveresimmons@hotmail.com

* Next Tuesday sees the opening of a public inquiry into proposals
to construct a new four-lane road through the Stonehenge World
Heritage Site. Campaigners warn that the public inquiry may simply
"rubber stamp" the road. www.savestonehenge.co.uk

* The Scottish Executive plans to build a 6-lane elevated motorway
through the southern suburbs of Glasgow. The M74 Northern
Extension, as it would called, would be raised on 40 feet concrete
stilts for parts of its journey and at £375-500 million, it will
be the most expensive transport project in Scotland www.jam74.org

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Crap Arrest of the Week

For hanging a banner from a bridge
A man who was charged with 'Causing a Public Nuisance' after
hanging a banner saying STOP BUSH at Cambridge railway station in
the run-up to Bush's visit in November last year was re-arrested
recently.

He has been charged on a public order offence for using
threatening or abusive words or behaviour. Yet, according to
witnesses and video footage from Cambridge IndyMedia and even the
police officers who arrested him, the activist didn't use
offensive language. On top of all the this, the man was also
investigated for defacing a local war memorial, something that
actually took place at the same time that he was on the bridge. So
not only is the poor chap a non-threatening threatener, he also
seems to be a non-defacing defacer as well.

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Another Brick in the Wall

Ever daydream during one of those long, boring school lectures on
the periodic table and King What's-his-face the 10th that
something interesting would actually happen at yer school? Like
the school closing down, for instance, and then becoming a
battleground between squatters who want to turn it into a space
for alternative energies projects and a community centre for local
kids, and developers who want to turn it into yet another soulless
housing estate?? Well, that's exactly what's happened at an
abandoned primary school in South London.

The squatters took up residence in Harland First School in
Colliers Wood last autumn following the local Council's decision
to close the school in August and sell the land to property
developers Kings Oak Homes, part of the giant Barratt group. Kings
Oak Homes want to demolish the school and build thousands of ugly,
poorly-constructed, identical boxes. The squatters, on the other
hand, have been running the school as a social centre and free
space since Christmas, with more than a dozen local children
regularly using the facilities, including a fully-equipped
computer area. The group, which calls itself Alternate Energies,
say they want to protect the school for future generations and
have been forced to take action as the land is protected by a
covenant that forbids any use other than education. In court this
winter, however, the covenant was dismissed by a judge who ruled
that now that Kings Oak Homes has bought the property, the company
can do whatever they want with it.

On Monday, police and bailiffs moved in to remove the squatters
but were prevented when many, including local children, barricaded
themselves onto the roof, dancing in the face of the big heavies
who'd come to turf them off their space. To try and force them
out, a representative from Kings Oak Homes entered the building
and disabled the electrical circuits. The water was also turned
off. But Alternate Energies is holding strong. A representative
for the group named Dave told SchNEWS that the local area has no
youth clubs or facilities for the local kids at all. "We have
cleaned this site up and are only interested in ensuring it is
preserved as an educational and social space," says Dave. The
group is interested in getting more people down, people are who
are interested in permaculture, alternative energies, and hard
work. If you're interested in helping the group to save their
space, contact Dave on 07986 465552.

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Midland Expresspay

Britain's first toll motorway - the Birmingham Northern Relief
Road - was built in part to divert heavily polluting trucks out of
Birmingham. There's just one small snag. Midland Expressway, the
private company who built the road, have decided to charge lorries
£11 to use it.

Under a 53-year deal, the company can charge whatever price it
likes to motorists - without the regulatory restrictions that are
imposed on other toll roads around the world. Because of its
weight, a lorry damages the road infrastructure as much as 100
times more than a car. So obviously, Midland Expressway want to
attract cars, which give them revenue, but not lorries, which
cause damage.

The company are also preparing a multi-million pound advertising
campaign to urge motorists to use the road, despite the
government's official policy of encouraging people to switch to
public transport. Doh!

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Dublin Craic-Down

Ill-informed Irish journalists are stirring things up in Dublin
over plans to celebrate this year's May Day. The Irish Presidency
of the EU ends on the first of May, and 10 new states join the EU
capitalist gang-bang. The Irish government plan a "Welcome
Celebration", including a state-sponsored street party, for
diplomats from such bastions of freedom as Turkey. To combat all
this capitalist clap-trap, Grassroots, an Irish anarchist network,
have put out a worldwide call inviting people to come and
celebrate resistance to the EU expansion. A Dublin-based week of
action from April 30 to May 3 has been called for, the highlight
being Saturday May 1st. This piece of information was seized upon
by a journalist from the Independent on Sunday (think an Irish
Sunday Times). Armed with the fewest of facts, the corporate
journo has run a mile down the road of fantasy. Apart from
predicting 15,000 (wouldn't that be nice) demonstrators from all
over Europe, she also seems to think that the Wombles apparently
have "strong links with the PKK", a Kurdish communist group! This
self-styled journalist goes on to bemoan the fact that there are
only 1,000 trained riot cops in Ireland. She fears they will be
unable to deal with the likes of "Italian and Greek" anarchists
who will flood the city and fears the army may be called for!

Ireland is experiencing a growth in direct action at the moment,
especially since the use of Shannon airport as a refuelling base
for US warplanes during the last Gulf war. Recent years have seen
streets reclaimed and warplanes sabotaged. The Irish police have
even been getting lessons recently from the good ol' Met and
Europol on how to stomp out protest. They were spotted hovering on
the edges of last years DSEI arms fair in London taking notes and
learning the ropes. Preparing for Dublin perhaps?

Links are being made between Ireland and European-based activists.
People fed up with the over-policing at recent London Mayday
events may feel Dublin is a good opportunity to forge alliances
and affect some positive action. A day of socialising and events
for people interested in going to Dublin for the week/weekend is
happening at the Occupied Social Centre at 93 Fortess Rd., Kentish
Town on Saturday 28th February.

Support for the EU expansion in Eire is weak. The first referendum
on whether to accept the new states or not was rejected, partly
because of the dire human rights records of some of the new
members. Turkey, in particular, is one place you don't want to do
time in. Torture in prison is rife and suppression of dissent
endemic. Showing their true colours already, the old-school EU
have decreed that citizens of the new, mainly Eastern European
states will have to wait a mere 6 years before being allowed to
travel freely. Consumer products, naturally, get the go-ahead
straight away. www.geocities.com/eufortress or www.indymedia.ie

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Argentina

In the northern province of Santiago de Estero, Argentina, the
local government has banned all types of public meetings that
don't have prior consent. Anyone not complying is subject to
imprisonment between 1- 30 days or a fine of between 10-20 days
pay.

The new law comes in response to demonstrations (all of which have
been peaceful) and a memorial service to mark the first
anniversary of the brutal torturing and murder of two young girls
by an ex-policeman. Witnesses in the case have received death
threats from the governor of the province. It seems the local
authorities and police are closing ranks to suppress protests
against violence, corruption and impunity, a return to the bad old
days for Argentina.
http://argentina.indymedia.org/features/santiago/

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SchNEWS In Brief

* All those arrested by the Italian police at the brutal raid on
the Diaz school in Genoa following the anti-G8 protests in 2001
(SchNEWS 314) have had all their charges dropped. But there are
still cases against 73 police involved in the raid, including
senior officers, who are facing trial for slander, false arrest,
assault, battery, and abuse of authority.
http://italy.indymedia.org

* Radio 4A broadcasts across Brighton this weekend on 101.4FM and
on the net at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/radio4a/

* Ever ran out of breath sabbing a hunt or running away from a
friendly neighborhood officer? Do your hands get tired holding a
banner or a bunch of leaflets? Ever lost your stamina in those
marathon meetings? Then check out www.veganfitness.net

* Peace Not War Festival this weekend at the Hackney Ocean,
www.peace-not-war.org/Festival/, 020 7515 4702

* Planning meeting for the next Big Blether, Scotland's biggest
activist gathering, 23rd February, 7pm, Forest Cafe, Bristol
Place, Edinburgh.

* To celebrate the beginning of DISSENT! A Network of Resistance
Against the G8, Oxford Indymedia and Undercurrents are launching
monthly film nights starting with a showing of 'The Fourth World
War' 22nd February, 7.30pm Northgate Hall, St Michaels Street.
£2/£3.

* 'Struggle and Solidarity - Discussion on Anarchist Insurrection
and Prisoner Solidarity in Southern Europe', 5pm, Sunday 15th.
Occupied Social Centre, 93 Fortess Road, London NW1 and a
soundsystem on 21st Feb 8pm www.wombles.org.uk

* Six people charged with political crimes under the Terrorism Act
2000 for importing a magazine on sale in Turkey and Europe are in
court this Monday (16) Picket from 9.30am, Kingston Crown Court,
Penrhyn Road, Kingston. hoc@post.com 07966 739061

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Inside SchNEWS

* American James Borek has been sent down for four and a half
years for his part in the June 18th protests in 1999 (SchNEWS 217)
and would appreciate letters of support. James Borek, B4-14, HMP
Wandsworth, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London SW18 3HS.

* Benefit punk night for animal rights mag Arkangel and Simon
Chapman, who was stitched up and imprisoned following
demonstrations against the EU meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Chat's Palace, 49 Brooksbys Walk, Hackney East London on Saturday
21st Feb, 7.30-11:30pm.

* Simon Shaw, who was nicked in Edinburgh during a demonstration
against the war for carrying an upside down American flag with a
swastika and the words 'Fuck Bush' imprinted on it, was this week
found not guilty of inciting racial hatred.

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..and finally...

A US man is suing a cable television company for making his wife
fat and turning his two teenage children into "lazy channel
surfers." "I believe the reason that I smoke and drink every day
and that my wife is overweight is because we watched TV everyday
for the last four years," he said in a written complaint.

Timothy Dumouchel told his TV company to stop his cable service in
August 1999 - but four years later he was still getting it for
free. So just before Christmas, Timothy paid a visit to the
company's offices, where workers said he intimidated them with
"low level threats". Timothy is now demanding $5,000 or three
computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from the
cable company in compensation for the suffering he has endured at
the hands of cable television- we reckon he should ask for an
exercise bike instead.

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Disclaimer
SchNEWS warns all readers...we don't believe in magic, but we'll
spell it out for you next week Honest!

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INFORMATION FOR ACTION

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...

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

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