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(en) SchNEWS 436, Friday 9th January, 2004

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 9 Jan 2004 10:37:57 +0100 (CET)


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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER WRIT LARGE... SchNEWS
> UP THE INJUNCTION!
"Bayer respects totally the rights of groups or individuals to
promote the discussion of current issues of general interest, such
as GM organisms, but wishes to ensure that any protesting activity
stays within the law and does not involve the harassment or
intimidation of its employees." - Bayer Spokesman
Bayer, the biggest company involved in the development of
genetically modified crops in the UK has won an injunction against
a number of groups and individuals who have been campaigning
against them. They have been granted an injunction by the High
Court which seriously limits the right to protest and is a direct
attack on freedom of speech.

Bayer have an interim injunction (until 11th February) under the
terms of the Protection from Harassment Act (which was originally
trumpeted as a way to protect women from stalkers, but was first
used against animal rights protesters, see SchNEWS 126). The
injunction places severe restrictions on certain group's and
individual's right to protest and their freedom of expression.
These injunctions have been used against animal rights campaigners
to restrict the right to protest which has caused some problems
for the protesters although the use of imaginative tactics have
kept the campaigns alive. However this is the first time the Act
has been used against anti-GM campaigners. Anti-GM campaigners are
merely trying to enforce what the public want, which according to
the government's own research, is no GM crops grown in Britain
(SchNEWS 425). It is Bayer that is harassing the public by forcing
GM crops on an unwilling public.

So do we feel sorry for Bayer who supposedly have been harassed by
"green terrorists"? Well no. They weren't exactly honest when they
got the injunction. When you apply for an injunction you must go
to the courts with "clean hands", but Bayer's hands are dirty -
they failed to mention that there are a number of outstanding
court cases against them... not exactly honest.

Bayer for Blood

So with the exception of GM crops, what other harassment has Bayer
dished out to the general public? First here's a history lesson...

Bayer has its origins in Nazi Germany, as part of the IG Farben
cartel who built a rubber and oil plant complex at the site of the
Auschwitz concentration camp, the inmates worked as slave labor
for Farben. When they were too weak to work they were killed in
gas chambers, with Farben making Zyklon B gas. In 1948 twelve
Farben executives were given sentences for mass murder, the
longest was a mere seven years for Dr. Fritz ter Meer. On 1st
August 1963 IG Farben was split into the three separate
corporations which had once together formed its core: Bayer,
Hoechst and BASF. This was Bayer's 100th anniversary and the
opening speech was given by mass murderer Dr. Fritz ter Meer, who
was elevated to the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board
of Bayer.

Since then Bayer has produced a whole string of dodgy chemicals
and drugs. In the 1980s, 6,000 people became infected with HIV
through the use of blood coagulants for haemophiliacs, Bayer and
other companies failed to take the simple precaution of conducting
tests and heating the blood - but these steps weren't taken
because they would have cut into profits. After the products were
withdrawn from America and Europe Bayer continued to sell the
unsafe product in Asia for a further year, despite knowing it was
unsafe, to preserve the profits from "several large fixed-price
contracts". This was defended by Bayer who said they "behaved
responsibly, ethically and humanely" in selling the old product
overseas! They have now offered $600m compensation to victims in
the USA.

More recently, Bayer was one of a group of pharmaceutical
companies who took the South African government to court for
allowing the production of cheap g-e-n-e-r-i-c-versions of HIV drugs
(see SchNEWS 290).

In Peru, Bayer is being taken to court for the deaths of 24 school
children who drank milk mixed with Folidol, the Bayer brand name
for methyl-parathion, which is an extremely hazardous pesticide.
It is responsible for a disproportionately large share of
pesticide poisonings in Latin America. Bayer widely promoted its
methyl parathion formulation without alerting users as to the
product's grave risks to human health and the environment. The
pesticide was marketed specifically for use in Andean crops, but
only carried information in Spanish and not the native Quechua and
had no warning symbols, only pictures of healthy carrots and
potatoes.

In 2001 Bayer were forced to withdraw one of their leading
pharmaceutical products, the anticholesterol drug Baycol or
Lipobay, which was linked to over 50 deaths and muscle wasting
syndrome; they have so far paid out £395m to settle 1,811
lawsuits, with a further 11,459 still outstanding!!

Bayer produce a number of household products, like Alka-Seltzer,
Germoloids ("For hemorrhoids, think Germoloids" is their slogan),
Baby Bio and Phostrogen fertilsers, and Autan. Autan, the number
one insect repellent in Europe has been banned by the Danish
Government, because it contains diethyl-toluamide, which is
suspected of being carcinogenic... More court cases on the way?

Why should a company as dodgy as Bayer be offered protection by
the courts? Surely sensitive issues such as GM crops need a proper
open debate, rather than legal intimidation. This ruling could
have wider implications, the next time you don't agree with a
corporation that's selling you dangerous junk, and try to complain
or protest - you could get done for harassment.

For more skeletons in Bayer's closet and background information on
Bayer check out www.cbgnetwork.org and www.bayerhazard.com

For more information about the campaign against Bayer's GM crops
see www.stopbayergm.org

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Crap Arrest Of The Week

For drinking a bottle of beer!

Lynn Sawyer, a midwife from Worcester was this week given a
conditional discharge with no costs after barricading herself in a
room at Brighton's Hilton Metropole Hotel. Lynn was protesting at
vivisection specialists Huntingdon Death Sciences being invited to
the British Crop Protection Council conference. She also accused
the pesticide industry of causing birth defects and damage to the
environment. During the 'siege' she drank a beer, which was the
property of Huntingdon, and was arrested for burglary, held for
three days and was so badly treated by prison escort company
Premier Security that the Home Office gave them penalty points.
She was eventually taken to court costing thousands of pounds just
for quenching her thirst. www.shac.net

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Training Day

Live in the Brighton area? Want to get involved in SchNEWS? Then
come along to our Training Day on
Wednesday 21st January 12 noon till 5pm. Places limited so get in
touch beforehand.

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"You're only s'posed to blow the bloody doors off"

A previously unheard of Italian "anarcho-insurrectionist"
organisation is under investigation by anti-terrorist experts from
six countries, after a number of letter bombs were sent in the
past few weeks to prominent EU officials including Romano Prodi
(President of the European Commission) and the Governor of the
European Central Bank. The letters were mailed from Bologna by a
group calling itself the Informal Anarchic Federation (FAI). They
also caused two small explosions near Prodi's home earlier in
December. No one was hurt, although one of them went off in
Prodi's hands, but the only damage done was some carpet getting
burnt.

Meanwhile the mainstream media scream that we are witnessing a
resurgence in "anarchist terrorism" and that it's only a matter of
luck that no-one has been injured. The Independent argued that the
money used for the war on Iraq would have been better spent on
surveillance of potential terrorists. Security measures have been
stepped up within EU state institutions and on Monday, Italy
announced the creation of a European task force to combat
"anarchist insurrection". Millions of pounds will be spent on
blanket repression of social movements and activists. The head of
the European Parliament, Pat Cox made the startling observation
that the incidents were a "criminal conspiracy against democracy".
Which by a strange coincidence, were exactly the words used by a
SchNEWS correspondent describing Silvio Berlusconi's regime in
Italy.

The majority of anarchists and communists in Italy and worldwide
are opposed to such acts. The Italian Anarchist Federation (FAI),
co-incidentally sharing the same initials as this strange new
group and having suffered state repression under similar
circumstances, denounced the indiscriminate violence of such
devices. Suspiciously, other Anarchist groups in Italy say they
have never heard of this group, said to have 350 members. Prodi is
not such an obvious target for violent groups as Berlusconi and
his cronies, who are the real oppressors in Italy.

Many are of the opinion that the recent events are the latest
incident in the Italian state's "Strategy of Tension". In 1997 in
Milan, a series of letterbombs were used as a justification to
raid squats, social centres, and make sweeping arrests.
Anti-globalisation activists may also recall the letter bomb scare
in the days leading up to the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. Prodi,
target of the anarchists, is also Berlusconi's main political
rival in Italian politics.

In the 1970's, when electoral support for communists was at an all
time high, Fascists engaged in a deadly bombing campaign. By
blaming the bombings on the communists, the Fascists hoped to
incite a breakdown of public order to justify the imposition of
military rule. In Bologna in 1980, a bomb was detonated at a rail
station killing 85 people and injuring over 200. Bologna was a
communist stronghold at the time. The Italian Secret Service was
later implicated in the bombing and high ranking officials in the
organization were made to stand trial ten years later. Their
convictions were overturned.

It is clear that in Berlusconi's Italy, there will be no proper
investigation, no objective reporting in the mainstream media and
as usual, no justice, no peace...

To follow the story on indymedia:
www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=62831

Read more about the strategy of tension:
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/freeearth/fe3_italy.html

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"Just doing my job"

An Israeli sniper who shot International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
volunteer Tom Hurndall in the head leaving him brain dead has
finally been arrested after months of campaigning by his family.
The army now admit that initial accusations of Tom being armoured
and in camouflage and that the soldier was returning Palestinian
fire, were lies. Mr Hurndall was shot eight months ago in a
refugee camp in the Gaza Strip as he tried to help children out of
the path of an Israeli tank. Opening fire on activists is becoming
increasingly regular. Last week, the army shot and wounded two
Israeli peace activists protesting at the construction of the
Apartheid "security fence" through the West Bank at the village of
Mas'ha which lost 97% of its land and olive trees when the wall
was built.

Not that these tactics are anything new for the Palestinians -
about one-fifth of all Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers are
children. On New Years day the Israeli army fired rubber bullets
at people's heads during another demonstration against the wall,
with ten people taken to hospital and deportation orders issued
against four activists, including a Swedish MP.

As the Gush Shalom website says, the young soldier will probably
justify his shooting by saying: "I only obeyed orders" - one of
the most despicable sentences, remembered by any Jew from dark
days.

Israel says the wall is being built because of security measures.
So is it necessary to uproot 115,000 Palestinian olive trees and
separate thousands of Palestinians from their land? Is it
necessary to confiscate 37 wells that provide 4 million cubic
meters of water? And isn't it telling that the Wall will annex the
most fertile and rich land, leaving the Palestinians with only 40%
of their agricultural land.

But not everyone is obeying orders. Five Conscientious Objectors
(CO's) who have refused to serve in the Israeli Defence Force were
sentenced this week to a year in prison on top of the year they
have been held for refusing to serve in the army. The sentence is,
in effect, an unlimited one as Israel intends to jail them till
they agree to serve. Usually CO's are given very light sentences,
but because the five went public encouraging others to do the
same, at a time when the army is facing a wave of objections, the
judges told them they were a threat to the survival of Israel -
and came down hard. Nearly a thousand school leavers and
reservists have signed refusal letters, and members of elite
forces such as fighter pilots and commandos say they will no
longer attack Palestinian targets because the large numbers of
civilian casualties amount to war crimes.

Support the objectors www.refuz.org.il www.gush-shalom.org

* 20th January Benefit for the International Solidarity Movement
with Comedian Ivor Dembina about his recent journey to Israel and
the West Bank and his work there with the ISM. Music by Manchester
Klezmer. upstairs at the Southern, Nell Lane, Chorlton £6/5 0770
803 5335.

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Positive SchNEWS

Media Hacklab is an open political space for people to create
their own alternative media, swap skills and computer software and
generally work together to get our message across. If you'd like
to get involved there's an open planning meeting this Saturday
(10th) 2pm followed by a working weekend (16th-18th) to put the
lab together at Freedom Bookshop, 84b Whitechapel High St, London,
E1.

More info: www.hacklabs.org/wiki/wiki.pl?Freedom_Hacklab

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SchNEWS In Brief

** The Phantom Conservation Volunteers and the Friends of Toad's
Hole are organising their first clean-up event of Toads Hall
Valley this Sunday (11th). They want to show that it is a much
loved space that must be in the new South Downs National Park and
not developed as an industrial estate. Bring own tools if
possible. For transport meet St Peters Church, Brighton 10am. More
details 01273 620 815

** There's a street medic training course this weekend (9th-11th)
with lots of hands-on practice and role-plays plus basic first
aid, chemical weapons decontamination, emotional support etc. To
book a place e-mail fleabite@riseup.net More info:
www.tramping.org.uk/streetmedictraining

** Pirates Radio 4A are back on the airwaves this weekend on 101.4
FM in Brighton and worldwide on http://web.ukonline.co.uk/radio4a/

** Take part in a "human shield" to stop a travelers site being
evicted this Monday (12th) at Bulkington, close to the M69 between
Coventry and Leicester. 21 families, with 50 children, have
barricaded their land and dug ditches to stop the contractors and
bailiffs, call 07876664943

** Open meeting to plan actions against the DSEI arms fair in 2005
in London. The meeting takes place on 18th January 2004, at LARC,
Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London 2pm. 07817 652029
www.dsei.org

** There's also an open meeting same day same place to plan events
for this years May Day 2-5pm. www.ourmayday.org.uk

** The G8 are coming to Britain in the Summer of 2005 and Dissent!
are holding a national gathering 7th-8th February in Brighton to
make plans to oppose them. If you want to come and need
accommodation it's essential you email g8gathering@yahoo.co.uk

** The Anarchist Yellow Pages, an international directory of
libertarian groups, publications and self-managed spaces is being
updated. If you want to be included get in touch at
http://flag.blackened.net/agony/ayp/index.php

** The Reclaim The Bases Weekend of anti-militarist & non-violent
action at military bases throughout the UK is happening 17th-18th
January. To find out more see www.reclaimthebases.org.uk

** With the exception of the Basque country and the Republic of
Ireland, water fluoridation has been rejected throughout Europe,
yet the Water Act which became law in November gives Health
Authorities the power to order water companies to add fluoride to
public water supplies. Rather than stand up for their customers'
rights and health, water companies have instead gained civil and
criminal indemnity against litigation. There's a postcard campaign
and a demo planned for 21st January in Central London. To find out
more 01226 360909 www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk

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..and finally...

GCHQ, part of the government spook service, has come up with a
novel way of identifying people - by their body odour. Yep, apart
from fingerprints, voice recognition and retina scans, the powers
that be might soon be sniffing your armpits - or any other sweaty
places to suss out who you are! Apparently everybody has got a
different smell which has a chemical formula, and, with identity
cards coming in, SchNEWS wonders if there is gonna be a scratch
n'sniff bit on them with your own lovely aroma on it. Mind you,
dogs have being doing this forever, but who's going to want the
job of sniffing somebody's arse?

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

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