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(en) SchNEWS Issue 466 - Friday 3rd September 2004

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 3 Sep 2004 08:58:45 +0200 (CEST)

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

I.D.EAL CITIZEN - In May 1995 SchNEWS reported our fears about ID cards (SchNEWS
24). This May we voiced our fears again (SchNEWS 454), and
reported on the proposed Children's Bill which will create a
database of every child in the country (SchNEWS 452).
Last Month, Richard Thomas, a big fan of SchNEWS and The
Government's 'Information Commissioner' did an interview in the
Times, in which he said almost exactly the same stuff as we've
been saying for years. He outlined his fears that Britain could be
"sleepwalking into a surveillance society"and specifically
mentioned the Children's Bill as he outlined how Britain could
become "like East Germany or Franco's Spain".

Home Secretary David Blunkett is carrying on with his plans
regardless. A bill authorising the creation of a National ID Card
Register will appear in the Queen's Speech in November and is
supported by both Neo-Labour and the Tories. This register of
peoples' personal details linked to biometric information has had
Blunkett getting all hot under the collar for a long time,
claiming it will solve everything from illegal working and benefit
fraud to crime and terrorism.

The whole point of illegal working is that it's all cash in hand,
no-questions asked. How an ID card would stop this SchNEWS can't
quite figure out. In the case of illegal immigration, if someone
is entering the country illegally they're most likely to 'vanish'
and end up exploited by unscrupulous employers earning very little
and doing many jobs that no-one else wants to do. An ID card
system will just mean that anyone who doesn't look "British" will
be harassed more than ever, with immigration services and police
demanding to see people's ID cards.

Blunkett and Co. reckon ID cards will make it easier to access
public services, as a single piece of identity will help prove you
are entitled to public services. But hang on, what about yer
National Insurance number? ID fraud is a tiny fraction of total
benefit fraud, a big proportion of which occurs through people
forgetting to mention a couple of hours cash in hand work they do
each week to top up their crap benefits. "Health tourism" would be
stopped with the ID card (yes, tourists apparently come over here
to use our world class health system - while British people go
over to Europe for theirs!) Ignoring Blunkett's policy line, John
Hutton, Minister for Health admitted that "it is the case of
course that you can have entitlement to NHS care, but not an ID
card and it is perfectly possible that you could have an ID card,
but not be entitled to NHS care." Er, we think the government just
shot itself in the foot there. And of course as you rush to
accident and emergency, nurses will have plenty of time to check
everyone's ID card by taking their fingerprint before providing

But the most hyped argument the government likes to use is
cracking down on organised crime and terrorism. Well for a start
fake ID cards will provide a lucrative business for organised
crime, and secondly the Met Police have admitted that the
introduction of an identity card would not of itself lead to a
reduction in crime or an increase in detection rates. The people
involved in the 9/11 attacks had either legitimate identification
papers or very compelling forgeries. Spain has a compulsory ID
card which totally failed to stop the Madrid bombings. A Privacy
International study found that "of the 25 countries that have been
most adversely affected by terrorism since 1986, 80% have national
identity cards, one third of which incorporate biometrics".


Police, Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise, Security Services and
the Department for Work and Pensions will all have access to your
file. There's likely to be data sharing with other countries such
as the USA. And private companies like banks and insurance
companies will have the right to look at your ID cards and make a
check on you. People administrating the system will also of course
have access to your records. But the one person who won't be able
to access your own personal details is...YOU! Yes, that's right a
whole load of government and private agencies can know everything
about you, but you'll have bugger all right to look at your own
details and no way of knowing if they're correct.

Considering the record of companies administrating government
computer systems it's time to get worried. Each month 100 people
are falsely accused of having criminal records by Capita who run
the criminal records bureau. Can we really trust them with running
a scheme for 47 million people?

Another company seeking involvement is NEC who have Automated
Fingerprint Identification software, considered to be the best on
the market, claiming to be 99.3% accurate. So 420,000 people in
the UK can expect to be mistakenly identified. Another company is
Identix who have a $27m, 5 year deal with the US Department of
Homeland Security. Recently Identix paid $3 million to settle a
Class Action lawsuit for overstating revenues to artificially
inflate the company's stock price.

As government doesn't want to appear draconian, the ID card will
be voluntary. So voluntary that you'll need one to work, drive a
car, travel abroad, use the banking or health system, vote, buy a
house, or receive benefits. The draft bill which proposes the ID
card contains provisions for the card to be made compulsory at a
later date.

Through compulsory identification, the state is set to acquire
unprecedented surveillance powers over all of us. In the current
climate of eroding civil liberties and lack of democratic
accountability, it can only be expected that these powers will be
used to extend government invasion into our daily lives, buttress
social inequalities and stifle political dissent.

SchNEWS reckons we should get our camcorders and cameras out and
follow pro-ID polititians and policemen around, documenting their
lives. If they get annoyed about this invasion of their privacy,
remember the Blunkett mantra: "Nothing to hide - nothing to fear."

* For more info check out: www.defy-id.org.uk; www.no2id.net or

* There's a conference to stop ID cards happening in Manchester on
11th September. 07980 291478 www.defy-id.org.uk/gathering.htm

* Haringey Solidarity Group have a public meeting on ID cards,
23rd Spetember, 7.30pm Tottenham Leisure Centre, Philip Lane, N15.

* In 1987 a successful campaign stopped the introduction of ID
cards in Australia, see


Crap Arrest Of The Week

For having the crap of the week!
Student Jesse Huffman is facing charges of criminal mischief after
blocking a toilet he used during a random search by border guards
while traveling to Montana. Huffman said the clogged piping was
completely unintentional, the result of an urgent, but natural
bodily function: "I've never been arrested before or anything like
that, and I get arrested for taking a dump."


SchNEWS At Ten

On Saturday October 16th SchNEWS will be celebrating 10 years of
publishing with a book launch, conference and party.

The party will be at the Coronet, Elephant and Castle in
conjunction with Brighton based sound system Innerfield who are
also ten years old.

The line up includes VJamm Allstars featuring Matt Black from
Coldcut, Babyhead (Bristol ska, hip hop), Evil Nine and of course,
Flannel with films throughout the night from Indymedia etc. Starts
10pm till 6 am and advanced tickets costing only eight pounds will
be available in the next few days from SchNEWS; Community Base,
Queens Road, Brighton; Access All Areas, 117 Kentish Town Road,
London and online - for details see our website.


Bank Robbed!

Last Wednesday morning at 5.30 am around forty police and 30
bailiffs smashed down the door of the Ex Grand Banks Occupied
Social Centre in Tufnell Park near Camden, London and evicted its
inhabitants. The Centre had previously resisted eviction in May
thanks to 120 people including many kids from the local school.
The police Forward Intelligence Team filmed the event,
photographed everybody, photographed note-book-s and as much paper
based material as they could find.

One of those running the social centre explained its importance
"During a period of increasing privatization, gentrification and
desire for an easy profit, where community resources are being
closed down and sold off by the council, and the closure of youth
clubs coupled with the new Anti-social behaviour curfews mean kids
have nothing to do and nowhere to go, there is an urgent need to
reclaim our spaces from greedy property developers and run them
ourselves to meet our real needs."

In a place like Camden where the spiralling price of property
means that no ordinary group of people can afford to rent or buy
this space, and where many buildings lay empty, squatting seems
the obvious practical and political answer - we decided to take
back buildings ourselves, rather than fight a losing battle
lobbying a council that appears to care less and less about the
impact its policies have on people's lives."

The property - an ex-wine bar - had lain empty for over two years
before it was occupied and the centre had proven to be one of the
most successful community projects for some time, providing a
vibrant mix of workshops and skills share from screen printing to
radio training, free lunches for students, children's' days,
English lessons, and a fair trade café supporting Zapatista
communities in Mexico.

But don't worry though, they intend to squat another building
soon. In the meantime to find out if there are social centres in
your area go to www.londonarc.org/social_centre_network.html

* The Saturday discussions in the lead up to the Beyond the
European Social Forum Conference will continue at various venues.
The next one is this Saturday (4) on the theme of flexible labour,
casualisation and dole resistance. It's at the Archway Theatre,
behind the Methodist Church, opp. Archway station.
www.wombles.org.uk or www.altspaces.net

* There's a new squatted social centre in Birmingham at the old
Bournbrook nursery, No 1 Bournebrook Road, B29 7BC scbrum@mail.com


Positive SchNEWS

"Alternative housing is the vision of sustainable, grassroots
communities free from landlords, interference and powerlessness;
and dynamic enough to be involved in promoting wider social
change." Banging your head against the housing brick wall? Then
why not pop along to the Alternative Housing Conference at Clays
Lane Housing Co-operative in East London on the 11 September.
Speakers will be talking about co-op networking, community,
ownership, sustainable building and squatting. 11am till 6pm. The
Clays Lane Summer Fayre will also be happening at the same time.


ID Maths Box

Cost of ID card system according to the Home Office:

£1.3 to £3.1 billion (does not include the expense of biometric
readers and other equipment to be installed in other Departments).

This is to save:

£50 million in benefit ID fraud
£200 million in health tourism

Hardly good value for money.


SchNEWS In Brief

* Andy Worthington will be talking about his new book 'Stonehenge:
Celebration and Subversion' next Thursday (9) 6pm at the Cowley
Club, 12 London Rd., Brighton. The book looks at the history of
Solstice gatherings from late 19th century onwards including the
Battle of the Beanfield, road protest movement and the growth of
paganism. For details of his excellent book

* There's an indymedia short films and discussion night next
Tuesday (7) 'Fawlty Powers - The World Bank and IMF at Sixty' 8pm
in the upstairs bar @ Brixton Ritzy, Coldharbour Lane. Cost -

* Also next Tuesday Worthing eco-action will be discussing 'Know
Your Rights' upstairs at the Downview Pub (opposite West Worthing
railway station) 7.45pm.

* Benefit Night for Sudan next Thursday (9) 9pm - 2am at Po Na Na,
75-79 East Street, Brighton with everything from balearic to
breakbeat. Tickets £10

* 'We Interrupt This Empire' and 'Uncovered: The War On Iraq' will
both be showing at Red Dragon Hall, Drefach Velindre, West Wales
next Thursday (9) www.newcastle-emlyn.com

* Brian Haw, the anti war protestor who has been camped outside
Parliament for over three years, is in court Tuesday 14 September
10am at Bow St Magistrates Court and would welcome any support

* World Carfree Day is happening this year on 22 September
www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd For ideas on creative direct resistance
against car culture:

* Rising Tide have organised another Climate Change Network
Gathering on 1-2 October at the Sumac Centre in Nottingham.
Workshops include: Oil War and Climate Change, direct action
training, blocking airport expansion and eco-Housing Booking
essential 01865 241097 info@risingtide.org.uk

* The Leeds offices of Ready-Mix Concrete had its locks glued and
the message 'No Marine Quarrying' scrawled across the front of the
building this week. The action was part of a national fortnight
against the company for their part in the sub-aquatic quarrying of
gravel beds which are home to a rich diversity of marine beasts

* For a taste of the way protesters of any kind are likely to be
treated over here in the years to come (G8 in Scotland next year,
for instance) take a look at the reports on the anti-Bush protests
in New York on http://nyc.indymedia.org

* Hundreds of farmers occupied BP facilities in Bolivia, last
month paralyzing oil production and demanding better distribution
of land. They are pissed off at the proposed development of a
$5bn, 5,000-mile pipeline program to pump Bolivian gas to
California to feed the energy hungry US.

* For Latin American issues from an anarchist perspective, check
out the Venezuela group, El Libertario which is starting to
produce a bimonthly newsletter. Email ellibertario@nodo50.org or
see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/08/296983.html

* Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike since August 15th have
stopped their strike after the Israeli Government agreed to
negotiate and grant more rights to prisoners.
www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/09/297168.html or

* The BASS Community 'Fayre' is happening on The Level This
Saturday (4) from 12-6pm. Attractions include SchNEWS movies,
kid's space and workshops, DJ workshops, Eco-Arcadia, cream teas
and veggie food. info@bass23.org

* Rebel Alliance - the irregular get together of Brighton's Direct
Action Groups, with a speaker from London NoBorder Network next
Wednesday (8) 7.30pm at the Unemployed Centre, Tilbury Place.



Two more protestors were this week dispersed by cops using the
catch-all Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO's). They were holding
a banner and handing out leaflets outside Reed Exhibitions (owners
of Spearhead and organisers of DSEi, the world's largest arms
fair). One of those demonstrating said "The protest lasted around
half an hour until a van of cops pulled up and said that whilst
they respected our right to protest we couldn't do it where we
were because we were on private property and if we took a step
forward we would be on the highway and they would nick us for
obstruction. They also claimed that it was illegal to display a
sign outside a private building! However they did say that we
could go and protest on the green which is a ten minute walk away
and has no relevance." The ASBO banned them from Richmond for 24
hours. www.dsei.org

A wannabe copper, one of those Community Support Officers, in
Richmond, south west London, told two 14-year olds to disperse
after he observed them browsing CDs in local shops. He accused
them of acting suspiciously and issued them with a leaflet
including a map of Richmond marked as a "Designated Dispersal
Area". Failure to comply with a dispersal order can result in a
fine up to £2,500 or three months in jail.


Animal Wrongs

Four years ago Steve Christmas was out trying to stop a fox cub
hunt, when he was deliberately run over by Michael Maynard
(SchNEWS 274). He has finally received some justice after being
awarded £18,500 compensation for his injuries, which included a
crushed pelvis, broken ribs and serious abdominal injuries. The
driver of the vehicle escaped prosecution for the attack and it
took the police two years from the time of the assault to bring a
case against Maynard for driving with no insurance or license.

Cub hunting has started and with it looking increasingly unlikely
that fox-hunting will be banned, despite Tony Bliar's promises,
the only way to save lives is getting out in the field. Contact
the Hunt Saboteurs Association 0845 4500727 www.huntsabs.org.uk
Harlan Firgrove, in East Sussex a breeder of rabbits and guinea
pigs for vivisection has closed after a four year campaign. Harlan
says it has nothing to do with the protests, although SchNEWS
reckons the increased costs of security with a galvanised steel
perimeter fence and 12 security cameras must have played a part.
Harlan had also failed to get an injunction to stop some of the
protesters costing them £70,000.


..and finally...

It's all go here at SchNEWS Towers, so don't expect a SchNEWS for
the next couple of weeks We are nearing the deadline for the
SchNEWS at Ten book which will be out for our conference and big
party on Saturday 16th October.

We are still finalizing details of the Conference which will be at
the Camden Centre, Euston Road London so keep an eye on our
website. Both the Conference and the Party are costing quite a bit
to put on, so if you want to stop us worrying ourselves to death,
you can get cheaper advance tickets for the party by sending a
cheque for £8 (payable to Justice?) with an SAE to 55 Canning St.,
Brighton, BN2 OEF.

Keep sending us your party and protests cos we will be updating
the party and protest section on the web each week cos we're nice
like that.


SchNEWS warns all snoopers ciphering off the profits - you're on a
ID-ing to nothing in this ID- ill world. Honest!



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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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 - a snip at £2; Survival Handbook issues
- 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

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.

FOR CORRESPONDENCE USE schnews@brighton.co.uk THANK YOU.
This week's SchNEWS: www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news466.htm

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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