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(en) SchNEWS Issue 494 - Friday 22nd April - Excerpts WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! AND GO BALLISTIC...

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 22 Apr 2005 08:17:08 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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Rocket Roulette ---------- "It's politically sensitive, but it's going
to happen," sneered Commander-in-chief of US Space command, Joseph W.
Ashy "We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space."
Unlike the rest of the planet, who generally agree that space
should be used for peaceful and beneficial purposes, the US still
think that it would make a nice location to lobb missiles from.
Back in 1983, President Ronald Reagan introduced the original
'Star Wars' plan to defend the US against what was hailed as 'the
evil empire', the Soviet Union. We are told that the original cold
war relic was a very 'complex and extensive' strategy but
apparently the next episode is a bit more Bush friendly. The 'Son
of Star Wars', otherwise called the Ballistic Missile Defence
programme (MDP), is a project hoping to create a defensive screen
for the entire US, which would be able to detect any incoming
missiles through ground and space-based radar. A rocket is then
launched, destroying the enemy's missile in space before it
reaches American soil.

The fact that the US had signed the Anti-ballistic Missile treaty
didn't act as an obstacle to George Wanker Bush and within months
of his presidency the treaty was effectively killed by US
withdrawal. After bulldozing their way through government
negotiations, Star Wars bases have been set up all over the world
with six MDP missile interceptors in Alaska and 4 in California
waiting for deployment. Of course it was easy as pie getting Tony
to participate in hijacking the planet despite a large number of
Labour MPs said to be "disgusted" with Britain's interest in
backing the US. "Flyingdales" is US ground-based radar which has
been set up in North Yorkshire and a communications installation
now graces Menwith Hill. Bush is reported to be keen to get the
system up and running as soon as possible! So what's the hurry
then? Well first of all, the US have decided that military
conflict in Iraq is a perfect indication of how 'important' the
use of space is to national security and military operations. But
those whose heads are screwed on don't get why waging a completely
unnecessary war means that this grossly expensive project with an
eerie apocalyptic ring to it should be at the top of the US's 'to
do' list. Well, there's also the supposed growing threat from
North Korea who the US intelligence community insist have
developed long-range missile capability. However, a number of
outside experts highly doubt that this is the case. Joseph
Cirinione, a specialist in weapons proliferation reckons that this
would have meant "a huge technological leap for them". So, the
urgency to find a new missile menace continues. Step up the next
phantom threat contender ...Iran! US officials have often quoted
Iran as close behind N. Korea in its pursuit of longer range
rockets, even though all they have come up with is a missile just
capable of limping to southern Europe. Of course, believe it or
not there is actually another country America really fears but
doesn't like to actually mention too much. Behind closed doors,
they engage air force space workers in a bit of innocent
brainwashing against this mystery country - freebee computer war
games are handed out in which the enemy "red team" just happens to
be named after a little place beginning with C n ending in A! No,
not Canada, but China! The fact that they have a gigantic
population and rapidly increasing wealth and military space
ability is pissing the US right off!

But whilst Bush's grubby hands are reaching for the stars, China
is trying to slow things down and is hoping (with Russia) to renew
a new global veto on weapons in space. You see, China and Russia
are likely to contest the MDP, only they do not yet have the
funding to match up to the US's loony investments. A big fear is
that if Bush gets the system up and running, it is unlikely the
planet is going to chill out while the US military looms above the
Earth's surface. Other countries will be under enormous pressure
to start developing their own space weapons and devices to blind
US satellites. The US will only increase their expenditure and
justifications (more wars, people!) whilst other countries
struggle to meet the challenge of creating a costly and lethal
arms race into space. Frightened yet? Well you probably don't have
to be for a while...


It IS Rocket Science

All this extra-terror-estrial talk and no action! 'Why?' you might
(or US taxpayers should) ask, when $10 billion a year is being
spent on star wars (while US education, health care, social
security etc constantly get cut back)? Well fortunately for the
universe, the missiles are, ahem, refusing to take off.

Even though the US have spent decades launching satellites, space
shuttles and oh, man on the moon (nudge, nudge) the missiles are
veering far off course. Maybe this is 'cos although the US now
accounts for 43% of world military spending, they thought they'd
save themselves a bit of cash, relying on commercially proven
motors. "We thought off-the-shelf technology was kind of a
slam-dunk!" quipped Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish. Despite a
$45 million bonus being offered for a successful test (which cost
$10 million each), the shabby missiles are still careering off all
over the gaff, often having to be postponed due to bad weather!
The US had better hope that they don't get attacked by any
missiles when it is raining.

All this work in the name of defence...America must have a serious
missile neurosis don't they? Or do they? 'Full Spectrum Dominance'
is a term coined by US space command, meaning COMPLETE military
dominance of land, sea, air, info and space. Two documents by the
US Space Command, "Vision for 2020" and "Long Range Plan", also
bring to light what Americans are really salivating over here;
"The United States will remain a global power and exert global
leadership...Widespread communications will highlight disparities
in resources and quality of life - contributing to unrest in
developing countries. The global economy will continue to become
more interdependent. Economic alliances, as well as the growth and
influence of multi-national corporations, will blur security
agreements. The gap between 'have' and 'have-not' nations will
widen - creating regional unrest. One of the commonly understood
advantages of space-based platforms is no restriction or country
clearances required to overfly a nation from space." Maniacal
power ploys such as this and the US effort to "control space" in
"Vision for 2020" are reminiscent of the great empires of Europe
ruling the waves, and thus the earth, and all point to a very
unsettling reality of ultimate global control - and as Bush stated
in his post 9-11 speech "It's going to be a long, long war."




Crap Arrest of the Week

"For, erm, well, let me think a minute..."

500 citizens weapons inspectors were arrested by cops in Belguim
last Saturday.. Amazingly, not one charge was brought against any
of them! How could the police get it so wrong? Surely the point of
making an arrest is because a law is being broken, in which case
charges should naturally follow? .To do it once in a day is
perhaps forgivable, but 500 times seems....suspicious.

At Schnews Towers, we reckon the Boys in Blue are Company Men, one
and all, and not fit for our-company.



Indian villagers fighting a massive aluminium strip mine (see
SchNEWS 487) have been cheered by the announcement that employees
from one of the companies involved will "refuse to smelt any
alumina shipped to British Colombia from Alcan' s eventual
operations in Orissa."

Canadian mining giant Alcan want to get their hands on one of the
world's richest deposits of bauxite - the raw material for
aluminium - in the Kashipur region of India. The $1.4 billion
monster strip-mine and refinery promises to displace up to 20,000
people, destroy their livelihoods and culture, contaminate food
and water sources and obliterate their spiritual sites.

Villagers have been fighting the mine for the past 12 years but in
November politicians decided that the Alcan mining project was to
be launched at any cost - since then repression has been seriously
stepped up.

Protests are being planned at Alcans AGM next week




While 15 vanloads of cops patrolled outside and Greenwash
Guerrillas warned the public to steer clear due to toxic levels of
'greenwash', shareholders planning to protest at BP's Annual
General Meeting last Thursday were refused entry after the company
issued a statement declaring - illegally - that "We do not permit
entry to persons whose conduct, behaviour or general demeanour may
interfere with the good order of the meeting."

But what about BP's anti social behaviour? It ranges from
bankrolling Colombian paramilitary death squads, backing the
environmental disaster that is Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and of
course expanding fossil fuel production. They have also been busy
trying to hoodwink everyone that they are in fact a caring oil
company who are really into looking afterthe planet; (this is
known as greenwashing.) In fact BP invest less than 1% of its
annual budget in solar and other renewable energy sources, much
less than it ploughs into advertising and PR.

Plans are underway to make a legal challenge to BP refusing entry
to shareholders. 07708 794665 www.londonrisingtide.org.uk,

* Join the protests against arms dealers BAE systems who are
holding their AGM on Wednesday 4th May. Queen Elizabeth 2
Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, opposite Westminster Abbey.
(Nearest tubes St James' Park & Westminster) 020 7281 0297



Purveyors of tooth rot juice Coca cola are in the spotlight in
India again, for all the wrong reasons of course. Their plant in
the southern Indian State of Kerala has been closed for a year
now, due to public pressure. The Plant was drinking all the water
reserves in the area, leaving the surrounding villages facing
drought. This week, the High Court gave them permission to drain
no more (!) than a half million litres per day from the water

But the local council have yet to decide whether to give the
Company permission to re-open the plant, and have 2 weeks to do

The Campaign against Killer Coca Cola has been gaining momentum in
recent times, especially in places they hit hardest, i.e. India
and Columbia. Protests are greeted Cokes AGM during the week.




Positive SchNEWS

Students in Canada have been leading by example recently,
organising massive opposition to their Governments attempt to
convert student bursaries into loans. A seven week strike at
Quebec university culminated in a 100,000 strong demonstration in
Montreal last month. Big Business areas of the city were
blockaded, offices of the ruling Liberal Party invaded - but
outside of Canada, no-one has heard a thing about it.

Receiving support from unions and university staff, this was about
much more than student fees. The Canadian State are moving to
dismantle, piece by piece, the hard-won welfare system (er, does
this ring any bells?) Turning grants into loans hits the poorest
in society and represents the thin end of the wedge of the
neo-liberal agenda. The State capitulated, however, and the
bursary system is to remain!

SchNEWS hopes students elsewhere are taking note (s)....



SchNEWS in Brief

* The people who gave us the Use Your Loaf Social Centre are once
again running a Friday night cafe starting tonight (22) at a
temporary centre - the Ragged School, Hales St, Deptford SE8. 7-12

* The Oxford Action Resource Centre opens with a week of events
from Monday (25th) to 1st May. The centre is in Room 1 of the East
Oxford Community Centre, Princes St off Cowley Road.

* A series of events are being planned to commerate the 20th
anniversary of the "Battle of the Beanfield" when travellers
vehicles were attacked and hundreds arrested on their way to the
Stonehenge Free Festival (see SchNEWS 25) ** email

* Want to oppose the Iraq Oil Petroleum Conference happening
London in June? Then get along to a planning meeting next Tuesday
(26) 6.30pm the Institute of Autonomy, 76 Gower St "We may not
have stopped the war but we can stop their spoils of war."

* There's Direct Action Affinity Group training for DSEi arms fair
and G8 on Saturday 7 May 10.30am The Institute for Autonomy, 78
Gower St, London WC1. www.dsei.org

* The Dissent network have set up a 'trauma group' and are
offering training to people who want to get some skills in
counseling and support ahead of the upcoming G8 meetings.

* Manchester Radical Bookfair Saturday 30th April the Basement, 24
Lever Street (off Piccadilly Gardens) www.radicalbookfair.org.uk

* 'Now we are free - Lessons from Vieques' Conference 29-30 April.
Come and share strategies for effective resistance against
depleted uranium testing, live firing ranges, military bases,
low-flying, nuclear convoys and other issues. - and celebration
the liberation of Vieques who finally persuaded the US to leave
their island are 60 years of bombing practice. Pearce Institute,
Govan, Glasgow www.scotland-uxb.org


Belgian Waffle

Citizen Weapons Inspectors were out in force in Belgium last
Saturday. People from around Europe gathered at three NATO
military centres around the country and, despite a huge police
presence, attempted to enter buildings to check for WMD's. "At a
time when key NATO countries are doing so much to encourage Iran
to give up its nuclear aspirations, it would be hypocritical for
NATO not to do the same", said Nicky Davies, from Greenpeace
International who supported the action.

Police made 500 arrests. See this weeks Crap Arrest for more.



Have I Got SchNEWS For You- The Tour 2005 (AKA The Anarchists Quiz
Show With Real Answers) tour dates so far:

* Oxford - Thursday 28th of April at East Oxford Community Centre,

* Newcastle - Sunday the 1st of May at The Green Fair, 6pm
Tyneside Social Centre marquee.

* Glasgow - Wednesday the 4th of May venue and time TBC.

* Edinburgh - Friday the 6th of May venue and time TBC.

* Coventry - Monday the 9th of May at The Earlston Cottage pub,

* Reading - Friday the 13th (AAHHHHH!) at The Rifc Centre, 7pm.

* For more information ring the SchNEWS office on 01273 685913.


Inside SchNEWS

Lindis Percy, the veteran peace campaigner arrested 30 times in
the past 11 months in protests outside Menwith Hill Spy Base
(SchNEWS 492) has been convicted of four charges of obstructing a
police officer and one of obstructing the highway. Now the cops
have applied for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order against her. The
prosecution said that they would not call any witnesses in support
of the application. The application for the ASBO will be heard on
17th May at Harrogate Magistrates Court, the ASBO seems to be a
forgone conclusion as the judge said that on the evidence he had
heard and looking at the list of convictions he didn't need want
any more evidence. The use of ASBOs against protesters is the
latest tool in the armoury of the state of silencing dissent, to
add the Harassment Laws, Anti-Terrorist powers and a vast array of
Public Order legislation.

Weekly vigils against Menwith Hill continue, every Tuesday 6-8pm.
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases 01943 466405

..and finally...

God works in mysterious ways....in this case via the mortal coils
of Tory Coucillor Allison Bucknell and Andy Humm. These two are
begging for an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) to be served on
the creator of www.lynehamvillage.co.uk website, Mitch Hawkins (no
relation to Stephen, the international professor of Outer Space).
Based in Wiltshire, Mitch ran a few Dead Pope jokes on his site,
much to the annoyance of Humm, who runs similarly named
www.lynehamvillage.com. Humm teamed up with the Lyneham Counciller
Bucknell, who is no doubt upset at the heavily anti-right wing
content of Mitch's site. They consider his site to be causing
"damage to the community", with spoof adverts for new pope "Fancy
a new job? The Vatican is now looking for a new Pope now that the
current one has snuffed it," and jokes like: "The pope was
watching the reconstruction of Michael Jackson's trial on telly
and saw all the boys coming up to testify against Michael. Pope
says: "If he shags anymore little boys, I will have to make him a


SchNEWS warns all readers strike us down and we will become more
powerful than you can ever imagine ... 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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