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(en) SchNEWS Issue 439 - Friday 30th January - PLAIN TEXT

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 30 Jan 2004 10:23:39 +0100 (CET)

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

"It was the threat, often put into action, of constant protest at
the entire University, and the negative impact we were having on
their donors worldwide. We hit them where they were most vulnerable -
their finances - and left them with no choice." - SPEAC Campaign
This week, Cambridge University abandoned plans for a primate
vivisection lab in Cambridge, with the University saying that it
could not "take financial risks of this magnitude". The costs of
the building had risen from £24m to £32m, and the costs of
security, not to mention disruption, from protests by animal
rights campaigners must also have played a part in the decision.
(Not that Cambridge University would admit that, however.)

But the centre, which was supposedly set to study diseases of the
brain, should never have been given the go-ahead in the first
place. The plans were originally rejected twice by the local
Council; the plan then went to public enquiry. At the public
enquiry, there were objections from Cambridge Council because it
was being built on green belt land and from the police 'cos there
were concerns about the costs of policing and disruption from the
inevitable protests. Animal rights campaigners also objected,
arguing that there was no need for the centre and that the
experiments to be carried out were not only cruel, but bad
science. The inspector agreed and stated that the centre should
not go ahead. But so what - Deputy-PM John Prescott overruled the
inspector and gave the go ahead on the advice of Lord Sainsbury,
the Science Minister and Neo Labour's biggest financial backer
(SchNEWS 432), because it was in "the national interest".

Gorilla Warfare

While the scientific establishment tries to paint anyone opposing
vivisection as anti-science, there are many scientists who also
oppose medical research using animals. Dr. Ray Greek, Medical
Director of Europeans for Medical Advancement, gave evidence
against the centre. He said that scientists are so scared to speak
out against their employers that one researcher resorted to having
his face blacked out and voice disguised for a television debate
about the use of animals in research. This is because research is
often carried out to attract funds rather than for
actually-valuable research.

The fundamental problem about animal research is that humans are
different to other animals, not just the fact that we walk on two
legs and wage barbaric wars, but at the molecular level, as
Professor Claude Reiss, who gave evidence at the inquiry said. "No
species can function as a reliable biological model for another
species," said Reiss. "Even the chimpanzee, our closest relative
in evolutionary terms, is no model for research on the human
brain." The University was even unable to provide examples of
findings from monkeys that translated into progress in medical
care for people - because there are no hard examples to be found.
The use of animals to develop drugs for humans is deeply
flawed-even the scientific director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a
large drug and product testing lab (also in Cambridge), says the
accuracy of using animals to predict effects in humans is 5-25%!
Hardly exact science.

There are a whole host of other methods to study disease. These
include: cell, tissue, and organ culture where human tissues are
grown and experimented on; sophisticated computer modelling to
study metabolism, screen drugs, and for use in education; and
clinical research where diseases are studied in patients to
identify the characteristics, symptoms, and possible causes.

Later this year, the Neurosciences Research Institute at Aston
University will open. They won't be damaging monkey brains to
study Alzheimer's, but will instead study human brains, both
living and post-mortem. It will include research groups working on
behavioural and cognitive sciences, and vision and eye diseases.
The results from their studies will be directly relevant to

Monkey Business

Still, Cambridge University won't accept alternatives, and still
insist on the need for the lab. Professor Tony Minson,
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the University said, "The animal rights
groups will of course claim this as a victory, but in our view
they have won no arguments whatsoever. We still believe this work
to be of significant national importance." Er, Prof. Whatever
happened to objective scientific opinion? At the public enquiry,
the inspector concluded: "I could not conclude that need in the
national interest is demonstrated insofar as this pertains to the
scientific/medical research and procedures undertaken by the
University." In other words, an independent person who looked at
all the evidence said there wasn't any need for the centre!
SchNEWS reckons that's Animal Abusers 0 Animal Rights 4.

To read about the campaign that stopped the centre and why
experiments on monkeys are cruel and just make for bad science see

There's another vivisection lab in Cambridge, the notorious
Huntingdon Life Sciences, where they don't just develop drugs, but
test household products, on animals - "Oven dirty madam? Pour this
down your dog's throat, that'll clean him out." For more about
this ongoing campaign, contact Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty 0845
458 0630 www.shac.net

Lord Cheque-Out

Since 1994, David Sainsbury has bankrolled the Neo-Labour Party to
the tune of over £11m. In 1997, six months after bunging Labour
£1m to clear their overdraft, Sainsbury was made a Lord. By 1998,
and a few million quid later, he was made a science minister. As
science minister, Lord Sainsbury has been busy promoting GM crops,
biotechnology and vivisection. Sainsbury not only has a massive
share in the supermarket chain, but also wholly owns Diatech, a
biotech company, and owns the world-wide patent rights over the
"translator enhancer" gene currently used in the genetic
modification process.

Sainsbury also partly funds the Sainsbury Laboratory, which, since
he became Science Minister, has seen funding increase by 400% from
the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
(BBSRC). Sainsbury appoints everyone to the board of the BBSRC and
it has now spent more than £18m on research into GM-related crops.

SchNEWS would like to point out, however, that all of this of
course has no influence whatsoever on the Government's decision to
grant the go-ahead for the primate lab or to be in favour of GM


Crap Arrest of the Week

For playing half a song...
Last week, cash-strapped Lambeth Council spent £30,000 on
prosecuting Shane Collins, licensee of last May's Cannabis Free
Festival. The crime? Allowing a sound system to play for EIGHTY
FIVE SECONDS after the licensee permit had ended! The case was
dismissed with the Judge asking why the prosecution was brought to
court in the first place and commending Shane for the way the
festival was organized!

Squall, BASS and RDK are having a benefit night on February 7th
for this year's Cannabis march and festival @ The Hobgoblin, Effra
Road, Brixton, 9pm-2.30am.


SchNEWS Tour Warm-Up Date

There will be a talk about SchNEWS and about setting up a local
newsletter, some short films, and a speaker about the G8 coming to
Britain and about genetics. 8pm, 10th Feb, Freedom Café,
Southampton. If you are interested in hosting the SchNEWS tour,
email: tour@schnews.org.uk


Travel Sickness

People being kicked off land which they own and then having their
dwellings burned out?! We must be talking about Palestine, here...
Er, no - Essex.

On Monday, a travellers' site at Meadowlands near Chelmsford was
evicted, with four arrests, forcing 30 people off land they own
and had been on since 2001. To do the dirty work, Chelmsford
Council brought in self-proclaimed 'gypsy and squatter eviction
specialists' Constant And Co, who had to get past earth banks,
barricades and ditches, plus the travellers and supporters in
order to clear the site. Constant were determined not to lose two
in a row after travellers in Bulkington near Coventry successfully
defended their self-owned site several weeks before, giving the
150 residents a much-needed reprieve.

When the bailiffs took the site in Meadowlands on Monday, it was
agreed after negotiations that the ten caravans still there were
to be taken by Constant to another site at Epsom. This never
happened, however. Instead, by the end of the following day,
several caravans had been burned out on the nearby roadside where
Constant had left them after briefly towing them away from the
original site. A witness with a camera who visited on Tuesday to
see the smoldering ruins of peoples' homes was intimidated by
Constant staff, who claimed that the caravans were torched - by
the travellers themselves! - at 3am on Monday night. A supporter
who stayed in one of the caravans on Monday night contradicted
this ridiculous claim. Now travellers are trying to get a straight
answer from the Chelmsford Council as to why Constant never
delivered the caravans to the Epsom site. It makes us at SchNEWS
wonder... we know Constant And Co are the 'gypsy and squatter
eviction specialists', now we'd like to know who the covert arson
specialists are!

To compensate the travellers for the inconvenience of being made
homeless, Chelmsford Council set up a "homeless office" in nearby
Great Waltham at the parish hall, but omitted to tell the
travellers the facility was available, and anyway there was a
roadblock stopping them getting there. A few travellers were then
sent to the Silverwood motel in Essex, but after only two nights,
and during mid winter snowfall, they were being forced to provide
ID, proof of income, and proof of links to Meadowlands, for the
privilege of continuing their stay. There is also a chance that
the council will exercise their legal right to repossess the land
to pay for the eviction, which cost £100,000. The site is
conveniently worth £90,000.

Now, we know that it's the middle of winter and all that, but
Meadowlands could have been saved if there'd been more support at
the eviction. This was not a one-off event - counties up and down
the country have long-held campaigns to rid their area of
travellers, whether they be Romany, or so-called 'new age'. For
instance two self-owned sites near Epping - Hamlet Hill and Paynes
Lane - are under threat of eviction and urgently need help.
Trouble also looms for the traveller-owned Dale Farm near
Basildon - home to over 1,000! - which is a virtual village with
established gardens and dwellings (albeit without planning
permission). The local Tory MP is soon to meet Tory Tony himself
to seek extra powers to enforce an eviction. Travellers in Totnes
wrote to us recently about being forced onto an 'authorised'
council site next to a busy road.

Travellers are struggling for the right to live on land - even
when they own it - yet countless developments and roads get rubber
stamped all the time on public land. Contact the following groups
to find out how you can help travellers resisting eviction in your

* National Travellers Action Group 01767689736
* Romani Congress 2004 www.lafn.org/~romanokongreso
* For recent history of travellers in Britain see
* For more info on Meadowlands 01206 523528 or
* Please don't pester Constant And Co, who are doing a great job
of ethnically cleansing Britain! 66 Harpur Street, Bedford, 01234
340091 www.constantand.co.uk constant@kbnet.co.uk


SchNEWS In Brief

** To discuss the fact that anti-terrorism laws are routinely used
to arbitarily search muslims and at large peaceful demos there
will be a meeting at Church Hall, Warwick Road West, Luton,
(Saturday 31st, 7pm). What would you do if you were stopped and
searched or arrested under anti-terrorism laws? What are your
Rights? What are police powers? More info: 07903 053362

** Delegates at the 'Risks & Opportunities in Caspian and Central
Asian Oil & Gas' got a bit of a surprise on Tuesday when people
from London Rising Tide bike-locked themselves to furniture during
the meeting and let everyone know about the environmental and
climatic effects of running pipelines through the Caspian oil
fields www.risingtide.org.uk

** Last week Paul Rylott, top GM scientist at Bayer Cropscience,
delivered a stirring speech on how to manage consumer response to
biotechnology at a conference in London. As he took his place in
the queue for his buffet dinner, a polite call of "Mr Rylott?"
brought him face to face with a chocolate fudge cake (skipped and
stale and covered with rotting whipped cream) and the shout
"That's for GM!" Before the biotech baking brigade left, leaflets
were given out to the surprised crowd and all those protesting
even managed to leave before the cops arrived.

Benefit gig for Brighton Peace and Environment Centre. Saturday
31st, 6:30pm, Komedia, Gardner Street, £8.50/£5.



Hundreds of trees are being felled for a £30 million, 2 mile
stretch of bypass in Blackwood, near Newport, South Wales. The
contractors Costain (who people might remember from Newbury) are
building a compound as we type and people have started taking
direct action. More people are urgently needed on site. To find
out more text message 07708420446

As of Thursday (29th) the Nine Ladies protest camp is still there,

with sixty people on site ready to resist the eviction (the order
was served last Friday). People are still needed on site, as well
as food, cement, ropes, and a gourmet chef! Contact 07005942212
for details.


Inside SchNEWS

Sue Brackenbury would welcome letters and CDs as she awaits trial
in HMP Eastwood Park, Falfield, Wotton-under-edge, Glos, GL12 8DB.
She is one of three people accused of attempting to disarm a
Trident Sub at Devonport Docks last year. Their trial is set for
the 25th of Feb in Plymouth.

Two activists were acquitted at Helensburgh District Court last
Thursday on breach of the peace charges relating to blockades of
Faslane trident nuclear submarine base in Scotland. Usually there
are automatic guilty verdicts for Faslane-related offences, but
this time the judge said there was a lack of evidence that any one
was alarmed by their actions! More on both these stories 08454
588365 www.tridentploughshares.com



The Dis-Asda campaign on the Old Kent Road in South London, which
has a colourful history of resistance to the authorities and
Wal-Mart, is resisting final eviction. Over the last month, the
building on Ossory Road (scheduled to be demolished and a brand
spanking new Asda built in its place) has been boarded up,
evicted, damaged by bailiffs and re-squatted. Plans by
Wal-Mart/Asda for final eviction and demolition were foiled by
campaigners on the 19th when bailiffs arrived to find barricades
and a group of protestors who refused them entry. As of today
(29th), however, out-numbered protestors have lost possession of
the building, but continue to occupy the site with caravans.

The Old Kent Road already has a Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, McDonalds, and
a Toys R Us, but what the 100,000 people who live nearby don't
have are decent community facilities. Traffic, pollution and
respiratory disease are at an all time high in the area, which
also ironically has the lowest car ownership in London.

Wal-Mart's military-style economic empire has been achieved by
undermining workers wages and rights. Employees are forbidden from
joining unions and wages are pushed to a barely legal minimum. The
low prices in their supermarkets are achieved by outsourcing work
to low-wage, no-rights factories in poor countries.

Meanwhile, the Dis-Asda campaign awaits its inevitable demise, to
make room for yet another superstore, low prices gained through
exploitation, and those damn annoying yellow smiley faces.
www.walmartwatch.com www.ossoryroad.org.uk


..and finally...

What do you think the City of Brighton and Hove is really crying
out for? Less homelessness? Rent reductions all-round? Less trendy
shops and more services? Well, no, actually, coz according to the
Council and consultants from Strategic Management Partners, all we
REALLY need is a new "brand image".

The Council told SchNEWS that it was high time to take a "fresh
look at the image of Brighton and Hove" and so will be hiring
consultants "to draw together the best aspects" of the City into a
new brand image. Of course they couldn't tell us how much all of
this branding business will cost, but we reckon that what it all
boils down to in the end is the city blowing its own trumpet while
blowing our cash!!!!! Will it be similar to the sort of branding
dreamt up by the idiots at EB4U - who spent a quarter of a million
on putting a positive spin on some of Brighton's poorest estates
when the money would have been much better spent on the estates
themselves? Or the thousands of pounds spent on the unsuccessful
bid to become the next European City of Culture?

Still not wishing to be overly cynical, we at SchNEWS Towers have
come up with a few ideas for branding that Strategic Management
Partners might find useful. How about - A latte and a needle? The
West Pier falling into the sea? Traffic jams? Pictures of homeless
workers living in cardboard boxes because they can't afford to
rent or buy houses here?

As one Brighton resident on the SCIP listserve has said, "This is
a complete waste of time and money. But then again, the council
finds delivering services and housing poor people too much like
hard work... Now if we can just get rid of the few stalls left in
the open market that actually sell food and stuff that people
want." If you'd like to contact Strategic Management Partners with
your own brand spanking ideas: 01273-675924 www.consult-smp.com



SchNEWS warns all readers...Gorilla warfare is no monkey business.



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



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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
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In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
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Phone: 01273 685913 (NO FAX)
Email: schnews@brighton.co.uk Web: www.schnews.org.uk


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