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(en) SchNEWS 473, Friday 12th November 2004

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 12 Nov 2004 08:26:27 +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
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"The redeployment of British forces in Iraq to support a US
assault on Falluja marks another stage in a creeping return to the
colonial era, when popular revolts against occupation were
routinely suppressed by overwhelming force." - Mark Curtis, historian
"The assault on Fallujah has started. It is being sold as
liberation of the people of Fallujah; it is being sold as a
necessary step to implementing 'democracy' in Iraq. These are
lies." - Rahul Mahajan, author and journalist

History was repeating itself again this week with a massive
military assault against Falluja, where another episode of good
versus evil panned out on our TV screens. But for some reason the
people of Iraq are taking exception at the military invasion of
their country, and don't realize we are there to save them.

Journalist Rahul Mahajan was in the first attack on Fallujah in
April and told of that assault "U.S. forces bombed the power plant
at the beginning; for the next several weeks, Fallujah was a
blacked-out town, with light provided by generators only in
critical places like mosques and clinics. The town was placed
under siege; the ban on bringing in food, medicine, and other
basic items was broken only when Iraqis en masse challenged the
roadblocks. After initial instances in which people were prevented
from leaving, U.S. forces began allowing everyone to leave -
except for what they called "military age males," men usually
between 15 and 60. Keeping noncombatants from leaving a place
under bombardment is a violation of the laws of war. Of course, if
you assume that every military age male is an enemy, there can be
no better sign that you are in the wrong country, and that, in
fact, your war is on the people, not on their oppressors, not a
war of liberation."

Destroy and Save

At least 600 civilians were killed in the last attack on Fallujah,
and Professor Edward Herman reckons that "we can be fairly certain
that the town will be destroyed and that civilian casualties will
be very heavy. Fallujah must be destroyed in order to save it from
control by a resistance to the U.S.-invasion/occupation and U.S.
control, as was the case with Ben Tre in Vietnam, about whose
destruction the famous phrase "We had to destroy the town in order
to save it" was coined by a U.S. officer implementing the
destruction. Then, as now the U.S. right to invade and destroy in
order to shape the politics of a distant country was taken as a
given by the media and intellectuals."

"In both cases there was this ready willingness to use advanced
weaponry on relatively defenseless peoples, with heavy civilian
casualties entirely acceptable, and of course kept under the rug
as much as possible, with media assistance. There were no body
counts of civilians in Vietnam, and U.S. leaders like Colin Powell
and General Tommy Franks have been explicit that such counts, as
regards Iraqi civilians, are not an interesting subject and in
fact "We don't do body counts" said Franks."

This is because as Mark Curtis points out "Iraqis are regarded as
"unpeople" whose deaths matter little in the pursuit of western
power; the major block on committing atrocities is the fear of
being exposed and ministers will do all they can to cover them up.
The public is the major threat to their strategy, which explains
why they resort to public deception campaigns."

But we can try to stop the attacks. As Jo Wilding, another
eyewitness to the last attack whose ambulance was hit by American
snipers said "Millions of us demonstrated against the war and, as
a result, civilian casualties were reduced because of all the
attention. We need to be out on the streets again, in every
country, protesting against the invasion of Falluja and the
ongoing killing."

* Demos and vigils against the attacks have been taking place
across the country. Check out www.indymedia.org.uk for others
planned. (Worthing demo this Saturday 2pm Montague Place)

* Angry at the ongoing carnage in Iraq? Want to take part in or
organise some direct action or civil disobedience but lack the
confidence, skills or knowledge? Get along to a workshop this
Sunday 11am - 4pm, 7a Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (nearest tube
Whitechapel) 0845 458 2564

* 13 - 21 Nov., Justice for Iraq's detainees: A Speaking Tour by
Peggy Gish from the Christian Peacemaker Teams' Iraq Project. For
dates www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/detainees.html

* 18 Nov. Eyewitness Iraq: Stories of occupation and solidarity
7.30pm, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road. With Peggy Gish, Jo
Wilding and Philip Pritchard (who spent a few months in prison
after trying to disarm B52 bombers).

* Mark Curtis' new book, Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights
Abuses (Vintage) www.markcurtis.info

* Rahul Mahajan is author of 'Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power
in Iraq and Beyond' www.empirenotes.org


Two anti war protestors will be in court later this month
challenging the corporate pillage of Iraq. Ewa Jasiewicz and
Pennie Quinton were nicked for "aggravated trespass" after
protesting against the Iraq Procurement Conference held in London
in April.

Windrush Communications, who organised the Conference, which they
boasted would "discuss the wide range of economic opportunities
available... following the awarding of up to $18.4 billion in
contracts from the US Congress."

The two will argue that it was the conference that was in fact
illegal, under the Hague Regulations of 1907 and Geneva
Conventions 1949. The US-led provisional authority was breaking
international law by flogging off state assets, raising the
prospect that contracts signed now by foreign investors could be
scrapped by a future Iraqi government.

In a leaked memo last year UK Attorney General Lord Peter
Goldsmith advised Prime Minister Blair that in his view, "the
imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be
authorised under international law."

As Ewa put it "It's as simple as this. Iraq is not America's to
sell. It is up to the people of Iraq to decide, finally, theirs'
and their county's destiny - political, social and economic.
Everything right now is being done to prevent that from

Their trial will be held at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on
November 23-24 10.30am. A lively support picket will take place on
both days, starting at 9am. For more up to date information
contact Ewa Jasiewicz: freelance@mailworks.org 07749 421 576 or
their solicitor, Rhiannon Jones at Bindman and Partners, 020 7833
4433 r.jones@bindmans.com

More info:

* 24 Nov, 'Making a killing: the Corporate Invasion of Iraq' with
author Noami Klein. Friends House, Euston Road, London 6.30pm £5
waged/£3 unwaged


Crap Arrest of the Week

For having work tools in your car!

At a recent demo against the IMF in Sussex a man was arrested for
having a pruning saw in his car. Thing was the man in question
happened to be a tree surgeon so it's a bit like nicking a plumber
for having a wrench.



"The fact is the Government doesn't want people to hear what I'm
saying and to see the pictures of tortured and bombed innocent
children which I have on display here." - Brian Haw, peace

In the upcoming Queen's speech the government is to bring in an
organised crime bill to deal with things like drug dealing, money
laundering, people trafficking, firearms and one person holding
banners in Parliament Square.

The government is once again using the cover of "organised crime"
to crack down on people's right to protest. A clause in the
upcoming bill will mean protests near parliament will be time
limited and will need a specific permit. This is being brought in
to deal with Brian Haw, an anti war protester who has been camped
out in Parliament Square for over three years - existing laws have
failed to remove him and an injunction from Westminster City
Council failed. Peter Hain MP said that they need legislation to
deal with "long-term demonstrations".

Speaker of the Commons Michael Martin said "I myself have
exercised these rights to protest and would defend to the last the
rights of others to so do, including in Parliament Square." Sounds
like he supports Brian - funnily enough he doesn't. He said
legislation was needed to protect parliament's "unique position"
and make sure MPs are "free from harassment". The harassment Brian
has caused is displaying pictures of Iraqi children killed by the
US/UK occupying forces and the use of a megaphone, Brian says "My
only crime is to have a megaphone - it's absurd, barking mad." But
not as barking mad as Tory MP Sir George Young who reckons Brian
is a security threat - apparently terrorists could hide behind the
peace protester's banners and "pick us off as we arrive at or
leave the House". Er, right.

Other measures to "crackdown on crime" that the government have
been talking about are extending police powers of arrest, search
warrants to extend to any property a suspect has access to and
allowing entry on more than one occasion with no time limits, drug
testing of anybody arrested, allowing the use of covert taking of
fingerprints and DNA for "speculative searches". There may also be
new clauses to deal with "animal rights extremism" which will
tighten up the harassment laws even more.

All this is being introduced to deal with "organised crime" at a
time when crime figures are going down. It looks like the
organised crime bill has more to do with curbing effective protest
than tackling crime. More about Brian Haw's protest:

* Another injunction under the Harassment Act has been gained
against peaceful campaigners which will do nothing to stop
harassment. Oxford University has gained an injunction against
SPEAK who are campaigning against a new vivisection lab being
built (or not built as no work has happened for 16 weeks after the
last building firm pulled out).

Merely publishing and distributing well-informed material, in
which animal experiments are described and referenced, could from
now on be illegal. Such a move would deny the public access to
information to which they are entitled.

Oxford University has consistently said it is acting in best
scientific interests, but declined to take part in a debate
organized by SPEAK with pro and anti vivisectionists talking. The
campaign against the Oxford lab continues: SPEAK -
www.speakcampaigns.org.uk 0845 3307985.



A 23 year old French environmental activist was killed this week
by a train transporting nuclear waste from France to Germany.
Sebastien Briat had his leg severed by the train whilst he was
chained to the track, and died before reaching hospital. Earlier
in the day, the train had been delayed for two hours while police
cut free two other protesters who had chained themselves to
another section of the track.

Opposition to the cargo has been growing and actions have sprouted
across France and Germany, from the establishment of resistance
camps in south Germany, to farmers driving their tractors on the

* See www.indymedia.org for more info.



Sharks at the government have come up with another typically
imaginative way of fast forwarding us all toward environmental
collapse: they want to marine quarry the seabed of the Median
Deep, halfway between the Sussex coast and northern France. Then
they want to dump the dredged seabed onto areas of the south east
of England and build hundreds of thousands of houses on greenbelt

The plans have caused outrage among fishermen on both sides of the
Channel and among environmentalists, who say the government risk
breaking EU laws designed to protect fragile seabed habitats.

The good news is that residents of Sussex are not taking this
lying down. The latest in a series of actions against the dredging
saw pixies use bike locks to close the Newhaven Swing Bridge on
the A259 in East Sussex, blocking the exit of the Hanson dredging
ship the ARCO Dart at high tide on Sunday. The bridge was due to
open at 9pm but was closed for an hour and a half while the ships
crew struggled to remove the locks and eventually had to call in
the fire service. www.eco-action.org/sos/


Mad Car Disease

Anti-roads campaigners had thought they had seen off the Hastings
Bypass, but now part of the route has been resurrected as the
Bexhill Link Road. This scheme has some of the worst environmental
aspects of the original scheme - it will cut through ancient
woodland and the tranquil Combe Haven Valley, it will also drive
out wetland bird species - redshank, snipe and lapwing - and other
prized wildlife. Also included in the "development" would be 1,100
houses and an out-of-town business park.

* There's a route walk 21st Nov, meet 10.15am outside Brighton
station, or 11.45am outside St Leonard's Station (Warrior Square)
07966 952018


Banned Band Naked

Seize The Day thought that their chance to break into the
mainstream had come when they won the most public votes in the
2003 BBC Radio 3 awards.

Their humorous political songs gained twice as many votes as any
other band. However, as the BBC awards ceremony approached, Seize
the Day were mysteriously disqualified and the award was given to
a little known band from Slovenia.

Lead singer Theo Simon believes that the BBC wouldn't risk giving
a showcase to musicians who sang about stopping war while the
Government was dropping bombs on Baghdad. Theo Simon said, 'There'
s a belief in the music industry that protest music isn't popular
and never will be again, but the reality is that there's a wider
audience for it. The number of votes that we've received shows

Seize the Day protested during the awards ceremony. Holding up
signs declaring 'BBC COVER UP' the trio stood naked in front of
the BBC cameras, politicians, and top musicians.

The band will play in Swansea on November 19 as part of the
BEYONDTV 5th Video Activist Documentary Festival Nov 19-20
Tachwedd 2004, Patti Pavilion, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, Pafiliwn
Patti, Ffordd Ystumllwydiarth, Abertaw


Union U-Turn

Workers at Kings Cross Channel Tunnel Rail Link site have forced
contractors Laing O'Rourke to negotiate with the GMB union over a
new contract dubbed the 'contrick' by the workers (see SchNEWS

The Joint Sites Committee (JSC) has been organising unofficial
resistance to the 'contract', which proposes cutting the basic
rate of pay in half, after workers were told to sign them by the
construction union UCATT. Yesterday, The JSC organized a sit-in
protest against the deal agreed between Laing O'Rourke and UCATT.
The ex-general secretary of UCATT, George Brumwell has also agreed
to talk to Laing O'Rourke to renegotiate the deal; he's
'reconsidered his position', after signing the original 'contract'
and trying to convince workers it was a good deal.

Workers' representatives are calling for a national ballot of all
Laing O'Rourke workers to reject the deal. If there is going to be
a new contract - they are demanding no cut in take home pay, no
discretionary bonus scheme, full holiday and sick pay, a pension
scheme, and redundancy pay.

Workers at other Laing O'Rourkes sites are also resisting the
contrick and have also been visited by the JSC.

* More info: Steve Hedley - 07985-438301


Positive SchNEWS

The Green Dragon Woodland Project Co-op collects and sells
secondhand books to raise money for regenerating British woodland
habitat. After only 2 years of life the project has recycled tons
of unwanted books and with the funds turned them back into living
trees. Check out their new expansive and very interesting website
at: www.greendragonwoods.org.uk


SchNEWS in brief

** Brighton's premier pirate Radio 4A will be broadcasting this
weekend 101.4 FM www.radio4a.org.uk

** Resisting ID Cards meeting next Tuesday (16) at Friends Meeting
House, Mount St., 7.30pm organized by Manchester Anarchist Group

** Maelstrom is a new info squat in Leeds at the old Post Office,
Hyde Park Corner, Woodhouse Street. For events

** There's a couple of talks at Brighton's Cowley Club (12 London
Road) next week: On Monday (15) Corporate Watch will be talking
about the film 'The Corporation' - and how we can fight back
against the multinationals. Starts 7pm. On Thursday (18) community
publishers Queenspark Books will be talking about their work 6pm.

** The next Scottish Dissent meeting will take place in Perth, on
the 20th November, from 2pm till 5pm at the Twa Tams on Scott St.
disabled access, no dogs, email: dogend123@hotmail.com


..and finally...

People might remember the stickers from a few years back
proclaiming "Avoid Hunger - Loot Tescos"; well 200 Italian
anarchists did that last week in the Panorama hypermarket outside
Rome. After cheekily asking the manager for a 70% discount, which
was unsurprisingly refused, the masked up proletarian shoppers
swarmed the store shouting "Free shopping for all" while filling
up trolleys full of goodies, overcoming the security and then
distributing it to crowd outside! No one was nicked on the day
probably because lots of cops had to deal with a 10,000 strong
demo about the rising cost of living since the Euro was
introduced, cuts in state benefits, and the cost of the war in

* Don't forget No Shopping Day on 27th November www.adbusters.org



SchNEWS warns all readers that whilst Batman is a fictional
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