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(en) Britain, SchNEWS 475, Friday 26th November 2004

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 26 Nov 2004 08:30:50 +0100 (CET)


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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER RING OF IRE... SchNEWS
CHILE CON CARNAGE ---- "The turnout is much bigger than we'd expected. This is
a polite response to Bush's barbarity" - Ernesto Medina, a march organizer.
An estimated 60,000 demonstrators marched against capitalism in Santiago de
Chile last Saturday as the country played host to the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum. George Bush was in town with his mates from 21 other
countries, to discuss trade, terrorism and other ways to screw the poor.
Although between them these countries control 47% of world trade, they're
eager to get their hands on the other 53%, and to help them along their way
they organised the weekend's forum to discuss the creation of a Pacific wide 'free trade' area by 2010.

The demo was one of Chile's largest since the ending of the country's
seventeen year military dictatorship in 1990. Three days before the
conference even started there were clashes between students and police, with
a McDonalds receiving the time honoured trashing. By Friday protesters were
hurling Molotov cocktails and stones at police who retaliated with tear gas
and water cannons. Despite 500 arrests by the Saturday, this made little
difference to the 60,000 marchers' determination to rally against the latest
round of corporate sponsored free trade talks. Lucky Santiago residents got
a public holiday on Friday as a result of the protests, but all police leave
was cancelled (shame)!

The violence, however, wasn't all poverty related. Bolshy Bush and his body
guard goons insisted that all the politicians and their guests at a
pre-conference banquet had to pass through metal detectors and be subjected
to body searches. Chilean officials then responded by downgrading the
'banquet' to a 'dinner' (!?), after Chilean President Ricardo Lagos said
that he wouldn't let US security services search his guests. In a tit for
tat response, Chilean police refused a US security guard entry to another
official function on Saturday night. Clearly modelling himself on his pal
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bush lost his rag and waded in, ending up in a
scuffle with the police as he pulled his guard into the room!

Debtor the devil u know

Over the past ten years, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have
been blathering on about poverty reduction, anti-corruption, debt relief and
increased health and education spending, even naming the weekend conference
'One Community, Our Future'. Without a hint of irony, Wal-Mart sponsored
Prime Ministers and Presidents declared their commitment to 'sustainable and
equitable growth'. "Chile is a prime example of the benefits of opening
markets," US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said, "the Chilean people
have charted a course toward economic growth, development and expanding
prosperity."

Perhaps Chile is seen as a success story because only 20% of its population
live in poverty, compared to the 44% average for Latin America. Or maybe
Zoellick's just been feasting too much in swanky restaurants, to have
noticed the homeless sleeping outside his hotel. "We have to do something to
humanise this economic model that is now spreading in the world," said
Francisco Araya, an office worker who brought his two children along to the
protest, "ten percent of the population own more than half the country's
wealth. This can't continue." Whilst 5% of Chileans live on the edge of
starvation, their country exports apples, grapes and wine to the US and
salmon to Europe, in a desperate bid to earn foreign currency so that the
country can repay its $38 billion debt to Western Banks. In comparison, last
year Chile spent less than $3 billion on education and one in ten Chileans
still do not have access to drinking water.

Rather than tackling poverty, APEC leaders instead proposed a host of trade
related anti-terrorism measures that are likely to justify clampdowns on
future anti-capitalist actions. For the past year, the Interpol office in
Santiago has been using a database of around 500 activists they believed
would be coming to the protests. A week before the riots began, police
arrested thirty people who attended a rally against the infringements on
civil liberties.

Latin Lucre

Although leaders in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela
have recently been elected on the basis of strong left wing agendas and
independence from the US, all have been reluctant to say 'no' to the IMF and
World Bank which have crippled the countries with levels of debt that are
unlikely to ever be paid off. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, recently
attacked Bush's vision of world trade domination, publicly calling him a
pendejo (asshole) but Venezuela oversees the worlds 7th largest oil reserves
and can afford to be a bit cocky. Ecuador, on the other hand, spends half of
its national budget on debt repayments and, according to former economist
John Perkins, the US literally has them over a barrel, "when we want more
oil, we go to Ecuador and say, look, you're not able to repay your debts,
therefore give our oil companies your oil filled Amazon rain forest." Or
else.

In his new book, Perkins describes himself as a former economic hit man: a
highly paid professional who cheated countries around the globe out of
trillions of dollars. Perkins says that his job was to "build up the
American empire. To bring and create situations where as many resources as
possible flow into the US, to our corporations, and our government, and in
fact we've been very successful. We've built the largest empire in the
history of the world."

Perkins was recruited in the late sixties by the National Security Agency
and quickly found himself working for the World Bank. The Bank was giving
huge loans to other countries, much bigger than they could possibly repay.
Perkins would then strike a deal that ensured US corporations picked up the
contracts for the infrastructure projects the loans were supposed to fund.
"Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or
highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest
families in those countries. Basically they become our servants, our slaves.
It's an empire. There's no two ways about it. It's been extremely
successful."

Street protests may have helped put an end to Bush's hopes to create a Free
Trade Area of the Americas by 2005, but the White House is picking countries
off, one-by-one. The US has armed the Colombian military in exchange for a
deal on free trade and has created a huge sweatshop in Central America where
women earn 25 pence an hour sewing Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirts that sell for
£50 a piece. With 60,000 people on the streets of one of Latin America's
richest countries, things are sure to hot up.

* For more on the protests www.santiago.indymedia.org

* Read an interview with John Perkins
www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/11/09/1526251&mode=thread&tid=25

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CASH CONVERTERS

* Money raised by first Band Aid single: £9.5 million.

* Sub-Saharan Africa's debt: $256bn

* Security budget for the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland (where Blair reckons
Africa will top the agenda): £150 million.

* Cost of Iraq war so far to UK taxpayer: £8 billion.

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K-IDS

In the Queen's Speech the government announced plans to introduce ID cards,
however a national ID scheme for children is much closer. The Children's
Bill, which is likely to become an Act, will establish a national database
of every single child in the country (SchNEWS 452). This all seeing database
will have details on the child's school achievements, GP and hospital
visits, police and social services records, home address and details about
their family. The database will be accessible to just about every government
agency you can think of and some private companies, but children and their
parents won't have access to it, and will have to apply to see details held
on their children under the Data Protection Act.

As Liberty say, this is a national ID database in all but name: "They are
creating a national database through the back door. You start with
information about all children, but, in 20 years time, you've got almost
half the population." The creation of a national database is a clear
invasion of privacy; the government's own Joint Committee on Human Rights
says that it is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on
Human Rights.

Not that Ministers are worried about this, their only concern is the
technical challenge of setting up the database. There has been a whole
catalogue of failures of computer databases, most notably the Child Support
Agency, which eighteen months after a £456m IT system was brought in only
61,000 parents had received any money out of 478,000 applications, with a
waiting time of 15-22 weeks (the target is six weeks). Or the Inland Revenue
who deleted tax records due to a computer "glitch". Then there's the
loophole in the planned NHS database, which allows any user to access any
patient's records and make changes. One senior physician involved in the
project said, "It's a system that's just asking to be abused." Other
cock-ups with databases include the Criminal Records Bureau, Passport
Service, Tax Credits the list goes on, in a pattern dubbed 'Repetitive
Failure Syndrome'. With a track record like that the possibility of cock-ups
for a database for children or a national ID card seems an absolute
certainty. www.arch-ed.org/chldrnbill.htm

* The obsession with computer tracking of children is reaching silly levels.
A new scheme called VeriCool is a "fingertip verification system" based on a
child's fingerprint. Apparently this can be used to take the class register
or to see if everyone has got back on the bus after a school trip. Now call
SchNEWS old fashioned but isn't a more simple way of taking the class
register is for the teacher to read out the children's names? VeriCool is
run by Anteon who are a US military company involved with, amongst other
things, global intelligence systems, missile defences and weapons system
modernization. Good to see our children are safe in such nice people's
hands. www.vericool.co.uk

* STOP ID cards and the database state public meeting next Tuesday (30) The
Brix, St Matthews Church, Brixton SW2 7 pm www.no2id.net

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SchNEWS in brief

* John Jordan co-editor of the anti-capitalist book 'We are everywhere' is
speaking at the Cowley Club, Brighton Thurs 2nd Dec, 6pm, also showing a
film about Argentina's factory occupation

* What's REALLY Happening in Iraq?! Film night Thurs 2nd Dec. See uncensored
footage of life in Iraq. Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton.
7:30pm.

* End the Occupation demo this Saturday (27th) Meet Altab Ali Park,
Whitechapel Road, near Brick Lane. 1.30pm

* 'Occupation and Resistance in Iraq: international teach-in' Sun 5th Dec
University of London Union, Malet Street, London. £5/£2
www.iraqoccupationfocus.org.uk

* Noise Demos against Brighton based arms manufacturers EDO next three
Thursdays, from 4pm Home Farm Business Park, Moulescoomb.
www.smashedo.bpec.org

* On Tuesday, for three hours, activists blockaded the entrance to
Stancliffe Stone who want to quarry the 9 Ladies site (SchNEWS 437). No
arrests were made, and more actions are planned depending on the outcome of
a meeting they managed to arrange with Stancliffe Stone.
www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/11/301742.html

* Demonstration against right wing, ex president of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar
who is speaking at Oxford Union. Meet 7.30pm on Fri Dec 3rd, meet in St
Michaels Street. Bring pots & pans.

* Demonstration against indefinite detention without charge or trial and
fast track extradition to the US, Sun 28th Nov, 12.30-2.30pm, V2 Tattenhoe
St, opposite Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes www.mkstopwar.org.uk

* Cranes were occupied on Monday at the channel tunnel rail link site in
Kings Cross in solidarity with workers protesting the "contrick". A call is
being made for a national ballot of all construction workers.
www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/11/301614.html

* This Saturday is the Anarchist Book Fair at ULU, Mallet St, London. But
its also Buy Nothing Day, so you'll have to leave empty handed!

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Positive SchNEWS

Indymedia was born five years ago out of the Seattle World Trade
Organisation protests. Back then it was a way of coordinating actions and
getting past the corporate media, since they either ignored the protests or
only reported on damage to property.

It has grown into one of the biggest alternative news networks in the world,
with over 100 centres all over the world. The really exciting thing about
Indymedia is that anyone can post news onto the pages.

Of course all this grassroots empowerment hasn't escaped the notice of the
authorities. A few weeks ago the servers for 21 sites were taken from the UK
by the FBI in a highly suspect international policing operation (SchNEWS
469). The legal basis for the seizure is still not clear. Fortunately the
servers have now been returned.

To celebrate their anniversary UK Indymedia is 'avin it large at Tufnell
Park community centre, St George's church, 49 Tufnell Park Rd, London. The
line up includes, Fun-Da-Mental, Rhythms of Resistance, The Rub, Penny
Rimbaud (Crass), The Unpeople, with special guests The FBI plus films and
more music!
www.indymedia.org.uk

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DISSENT briefs

* The Trapese Roadshow aims to inspire, inform and mobilise people about the
G8 and related issues in the build up to the G8 summit in Scotland next
year. Touring in December visiting Stirling, Perth, Newcastle, Leeds,
Liverpool, Manchester and more. 07904 452297 roadshow@riseup.net

* Dissent! Gathering in Newcastle next weekend (4th-5th Dec) Booking
essential g8gathering@yahoo.co.uk

* Dissent! meetings in Brighton every Tuesday, 6pm Cowley Club, London Road,
brightonantig8@yahoo.co.uk

* New Dissent! Booklet 'Reflections on Summit Mobilisations'. Send £2 to Box
8, 245 Gladstone St., Nottingham, NG7 6HX. www.dissent.org.uk

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Inside SchNEWS

Continuing their record of violating civil rights of protesters, New York
cops used the Republican National Convention in August as an opportunity to
target the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) during a peaceful protest
outside the Starbucks where they worked. The Union called for a march during
the Convention to protest against the Bush Administration's support for
anti-union actions at Starbucks. Daniel Gross, a co-founder of the Union and
Starbucks employee is set to stand trial in January for disorderly conduct
and resisting arrest and faces a maximum sentence of six months. The NYC
Union have sparked a national campaign to organise against the massive
coffee chain, aiming to bring workers together to rise out of poverty, put
an end to understaffing, and achieve a guaranteed number of work hours per
week.

Starbucks has a history of making false allegations about IWW rallies in New
York City and so in keeping with tradition; company managers gave info to
New York detectives before the protest began. "Once again, Starbucks has
proven it will do or say anything to attempt to break our union," Daniel
said. "Chairman Howard Schultz will likely use a conviction against me as a
fear-tactic to deter workers from joining the IWW to improve their life on
the job."

www.starbucksunion.org www.iww.org

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Weymouth Wonderland

Would you like to have a seaside break over the Christmas period? The camp
against the A50 Weymouth "Relief" Road would like help building more warm
accommodation. Despite Dorset Council agreeing to evict the camp, no court
proceedings have occurred, seeming to confirm local rumours that the
ownership of the land the camp is occupying is under dispute. This campaign
is very winnable, as there is no economic or strategic reason for the road,
and it is hugely destructive. It goes through ancient woodland, dissects the
Littlemore Housing Estate, and goes through an Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty. www.roadalert.org.uk

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GOOD BOOKING!!

Can you help get us get SchNEWS at Ten distributed? Check out the list of
those flogging it on the merchandise page of our website and let us know if
there are other places that might like to take copies. And why not order a
copy from your local library?

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..and finally...

Well, it's only six decades after troublemaker Lucy Parsons died and there's
been loads of squabbling over whether or not a small park in Chicago should
be named after her. Police were trying to prevent the park being named after
the labour organizer who coined the infamous phrase "Behold your future
executioners". Bearing Parson's quote in mind, the city police have been
huffing and puffing over this dangerous issue "They're going to name a piece
of property in the city of Chicago after an anarchist!" exclaimed one
traumatized cop. However, despite objections, the city has given the green
light to honour the activist and the park was christened 'Lucy Parsons'.
Lucy and her husband, Albert, were a strong force behind the improvement of
lives of women, minorities and workers. They were continually punished for
defending workers rights and when a bomb went off on May 1st 1886 at a union
rally in Haymarket Square, Albert was blamed, even though he was not there
on the day, and executed along with 3 others (this was the origin of May
Day, international workers day by the way!). Chicago police went to extremes
to silence Lucy Parsons every time she tried to speak out and now 62 years
after her death they are still trying to silence her.

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers not to rub their Bush up the wrong way with a
Chile, it'll sting...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...

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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 - email@address.com

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

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SchNEWS At Ten It costs £9 inc. p&p per book, further
details as below.

PEACE DE RESISTANCE It costs £7 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 £5!! Past books are
goin' cheap... SchNEWSround issues 51-100 - SOLD OUT; SchNEWS
annual issues 101-150 - a snip at £2; Survival Handbook issues 151-200
- a snip at £2; SchQUALL issues 201-250 - sold out;
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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@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!
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** Oh, and you can give donations and pay for our new book by credit card
now, aren't we nice! Check out the website.


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