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(en) SchNEWS 489, Friday 18th March, 2005 - WAKE UP!!! IT'S YER SWASHBUCKLING...

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 18 Mar 2005 07:55:00 +0100 (CET)


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LOLLY ROGERED -------- "Because this war was never about bringing democracy to Iraq - at
every turn democracy has been suppressed - we have a very clear
role to play here. Our role is to support the demands for
democracy that are coming from Iraq, where Iraqis are being
violently repressed for making those demands." - Naomi Klein
Two years after the invasion of Iraq, the war on terror means war abroad
and the dismantling of human rights at home. While Bush uses photogenic
images of US-funded McDemos in Lebanon to spin the lie that democracy is
on the march in the Middle East, Iraq remains occupied, new wars are
threatened and the Palestinian people face continuing attacks.

Iraq was invaded to grab control of Iraqi oil and extend
Washington's influence throughout the region. An unsustainable
capitalist system is bringing war and misery to millions as it
attempts to keep profits up while the oil runs out. It is not
democracy that is on the march in the Middle East - it is US
military power.

The recent elections in Iraq were nothing to do with democracy.
They were delayed again and again in the face of spontaneous local
elections in the early months of the occupation. Fallujah had to
be flattened tomake Iraq safe for democracy US-style.

Most Iraqis voted for the United Iraqi Alliance which called for
"a timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces" and
repudiated the free-market policies being imposed on their
country. So is that what Iraqis will get? Yeah right. Four days
after the election Bush told the Iraqi people "You don't set
timetables." Blair agreed, despite a coalition poll showing 82% of
Iraqis wanting coalition troops out by the time of the election.

Pieces Of Hate

All this is in clear breach of international law - it's global
piracy, 21st century style. In 2003 the Coalition Provisional
Authority enacted Order 39 allowing foreigners to own up to 100%
of all privatised industries. By the time elections were held, 200
state-owned enterprises had been privatised and unemployment had
climbed to 70%. The oppression of Iraq is being embedded in a
corporate-friendly restructuring of the economy. Only a defeat for
US and British troops will allow Iraqis to run their own country.

If the US wins in Iraq it will not end there - Syria, Iran, Cuba,
Venezuela will be next on the list for these
invade-occupy-privatise pirate raids. But this is not inevitable.
The Iraqi resistance has shaken the invaders, most acutely by
forcing the US to deploy troops beyond what it is able to do.
1,600 US and British troops have been killed in Iraq and 5,500 US
soldiers worldwide are said to have deserted since the war
started.

Memories of the Unites States' defeat in Vietnam are being
reignited in Iraq by unrelenting popular resistance, frequent
guerrilla ambushes, flag-draped coffins, US atrocities and troop
disaffection. Bush has said that mentioning the Vietnam War in
relation to Iraq is unpatriotic. Iraq, like Vietnam, could be a
major defeat for the warmongers.

The WMD that Bush, Blair and the corporations really fear is a
world of mass democracy. We need to build a movement in support of
real democracy in Iraq and at home to make that world a reality.
And real democracy isn't about rigged elections and police state
laws - it's about grassroots organising to defend basic rights.

We can take a lead from Iraqi movements like the Basra Oil Union,
a 23,000 strong federation of independent unions opposing the
occupation and privatisation. They have organised strikes, thrown
US corporation stooges out of their workplaces and won an
important struggle for higher wages in 2004.

Some people argue that we should restrict our protests to
police-controlled marches because direct actions are small and
lack 'visibility'. But direct action can be incredibly visible if
lots of people get involved. History shows, and the peoples of the
majority world know, that for protest to be effective it has to go
beyond what those in power allow. If children can face tanks in
Palestine we should be able to risk arrest occasionally for
putting a spanner in the works of the war machine.

In Glasgow last December six protesters chained themselves to the
factory gates at Weirs, a company working with Kellogg Brown Root,
who make the cages at Guantanamo Bay. In Brighton a campaign of
direct action against EDO, a local arms manufacturer, is gaining
widespread support and winning court battles for the right to
protest.

Yo-Ho-Ho

In London next month a week of action is planned against Windrush
Communications, a British company that brings together
politicians, capitalists and Iraqi elites to plunder Iraq's
assets. Windrush has already faced protests and court challenges
to their illegal activities that have forced charges to be dropped
to avoid having their activities challenged by international law.

These protests were small, but highly effective. If we're going to
win we need to build future protests into something that will show
the warmonger-pirates that we're serious about stopping them.

>From 1st to 6th April there will be a week of action against the
corporate plunder of Iraq including

* April Fools Day 11am, "Pro-Privatisation Party" with Rhythms of
Resistance and Theatre of War at Windrush's office, Mark Street,
London EC2A

* Saturday 2nd April noon-5pm, non-violent direct action training
workshop 12-5pm, RampArt Social Centre, 15-17 Rampart Street,
London E1

* Monday 4th April 7.30pm, public meeting on corporate plunder in
Iraq, London School of Economics, Room D202, Clement House,
Aldwych, London W1

More info from http://corporatepirates.gzzzt.net
stopthepillage@yahoo.co.uk or 07931 337890.

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TOTALLY OUT OF ORDER!

The control orders brought in by the government last week in a
piece of 'tough government' electioneering allow detention without
trial, without evidence being produced or due process of law.
Several Muslims are already subject to these orders.

Blair has ripped up rights going back to Magna Carta and given his
government the ultimate power of a totalitarian state - the moment
of accusation is also the moment of punishment. In the wake of the
Madrid bombings, a Spanish government minister said that Spain
would not bring in similar laws because Spanish democracy would
not go back down the dictatorial route of fascism.

There is no evidence that control orders are needed to stop
terrorist attacks. But that's not their aim - they are about
creating a climate of fear where any dissent can be portrayed as a
threat. They will also be used to intimidate and isolate migrant
communities supporting resistance against oppressive regimes
backed by the British government. Anti-terrorist laws are of
course also used to obtain information on legal political activity
and harass and arrest activists.

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CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK

For rocking against recruitment

Three anti-war students were banged up for doing a bit of light
chanting in the halls of the City College of New York to protest
against the army being at a careers fair. To stop one of the
protestors getting through their first verse, one agitated private
security guard politely smashed his head into a wall. They were
then arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest, and
disturbing the peace. One student has also been suspended from the
University for "posing a continuing danger" while a member of
staff has also been nicked in connection with the protest. Thanks
to the Iraq war, recruitment is down for the US army, and they are
facing protests whenever they appear on student campuses.
www.campusantiwar.net

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Social Climators

If you wanted to call a meeting of crack professionals to work out
how to tackle climate change, who would be at the top of your
invite list? How about energy ministers from the countries
responsible for the worst CO2 emissions in the world? If you think
that sounds like getting paedophiles to run a playgroup, you've
got a point, but then you probably weren't invited to the G8
International Energy/Environment Ministers Roundtable at all, so
it's none of your business.

As ministers gathered in London on Tuesday for the first in a
round of meetings on climate change leading up to the July summit,
a large NO!SE demo outside did their best to drown out the sound
of greenwash by, erm, making a lot of noise. But inside, the
atmosphere was tense. According to one conference-goer who
protesters told SchNEWS they had spoken to as he left, the mood
among the delegates was verging on panic. Why? Because climate
change is kicking in much faster than they had bargained on, and
they don't know where they're going to get the energy they need to
keep the global economy growing without fossil fuel.

While momentum gathers for the G8 Mega Summit in this summer,
Blair is attempting to clean off the stains left from the Iraq war
by promoting himself as 'the man with a plan' for climate change.
But the dyed-green carpet at the summit isn't going to cut much
ice (or stop any from melting). Away from the press conferences,
it's business as usual at UK Plc., and there's precious little to
suggest that cutting CO2 is about to become top of the agenda.

Coming soon to a green field near you: a dozen new airport
runways, a couple of new terminals, and up to 200 new roads. Some
will be spitting distance from the Breadsall Priory Hotel in
Derby, where the environment ministers are meeting today. In a
statement released after the home secretary imposed a Section 14
order banning protesters from Derby town centre, Melanie Jarman
from Roadblock said, "There are two road schemes planned that will
devastate Derby town centre, and trash part of the Peak District
National Park, leading to more climate chaos".

Far from cutting CO2 emissions, Labour continues to offer public
money to expand oil company profits. From BP's
Baku-Tbilisi-Cheyhan pipeline, the world's largest oil
infrastructure project, to the Sakhalin gas project in Russia, the
DTI continues to support fossil fuel projects guaranteed to bring
misery and pollution to the people unlucky enough to live on top
of the world's dwindling fossil fuel reserves.

So what's the big idea likely to come out of the G8, now that
they've turned their attention to global warming? At the moment,
the clever money is on a new generation of nuclear power stations.
According to 'our man on the inside' who chatted to the protesters
outside the Monday meeting, the nuclear lobby was doing well
inside. You know we're in trouble when they're flogging Sellafield
as the eco-friendly option.

On the evening before the G8's pre-meeting meeting, Rising Tide
and TRAPESE held a counter-conference of more than 20 groups
working to stop climate change, to plan for the international day
of action on climate change during the July summit. If you want to
stop global warming, and you don't think nuclear power stations
and Kyoto protocol plant-a-tree projects are going to do the job,
get involved. The next meeting is on April 18 - for details email
g8climate@risingtide.org.uk or check out
www.dissent.org.uk/climateaction

International Day of Action on Climate Change: July 8, 2005.

* Breaking SchNEWS: As SchNEWS goes to print, 12 cyclists are
under arrest for taking part in a Critical Mass protest near the
environment ministers' meeting in Derby. Don't these anarchists
understand? Roads are for cars!

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SchNEWS in brief

* 'Sweat Nothings': Globalisation, mega profits and bargain
basement labour in Central America - talk next Thurs (24th) at the
Cowley Club, 12 London Rd., Brighton 6.30pm www.nosweat.org.uk

* Interested in a DVD on The Angry Brigade? Email
christie@btclick.com

* Talk this Sat. (19th) 'Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: The UK's
unwanted?' 10.30 am, French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, South
Kensington

* Seed swap, films and food this Sunday (20th) at London Action
Resource Centre (LARC) 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London E1
1ES. 020 7377 9088 www.londonarc.org

* 1st April 'The new Terror Laws - taking liberties' public
meeting at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton 7-9pm

* The parents of Rachel Corrie - who was killed while trying to
prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home - are suing
Caterpillar Inc., the company that made the bulldozer that ran
over her. The lawsuit says that Caterpillar violated international
and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to
Israeli Defence Forces that it knew would be used to demolish
homes and endanger people.

* This Monday (21st) is International Day of Direct Action Against
the Arms Trade www.wombles.org.uk/auto

* Brighton Smash EDO Briefs: Mon 21st: a Citizens' Weapons
Inspection at local Brighton arms manufacturing company EDO MBM.
Meet 10am end of Home Farm Rd. Tues 22nd: a silent vigil outside
EDO 4-5.30pm. Weds: a benefit cabaret at the Prince Albert,
Trafalgar Street, Brighton. 4 bands plus comedian - starts 7.30,
£4/3. Thurs: regular weekly noise demo outside EDO. 07891 405923
www.smashedo.bpec.org

* New SchMOVIE out next week - "Don't Tell Anyone" - With the run
up to the G8, SchNEWS set up camera in the heart of corporate
Brighton last Saturday afternoon and asked shoppers what they
thought of the G8 and it's agenda. You can download the results
from www.schnews.org.uk/schmovies

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Inside SchNEWS

* American Brendon Walsh, has been sentenced to five years in
prison after pleading guilty to vandalizing a local armed forces
recruiting station. Send letters of support to him c/o Jeremy
Shirvan, 2714 William St., Endwell, NY 13760-5822 USA

* The trial of five Irish Catholic Worker peace activists, accused
of causing criminal damage to a US Navy Warplane at Shannon
Airport two years ago, collapsed when the jury was discharged by
the judge. A retrial is being set on Tuesday. www.WarOnTrial.com

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BLOCKHEADS

Local Authorities are busy drafting their five year Local
Transport Plans. Last time they did this in 2000, the Government
gave the go-ahead to 85 new roads - including Linslade, Hastings
and Weymouth. Whether your campaigning style is actions, letter
writing, or demos, taking action now could save a whole lot of
bother and destruction in the future. Road Block can help you
campaign against new road schemes. If you haven't got time, but
want to help, you can also ask your Local Authority which road
schemes they are considering for the LTP, and pass that
information to Road Block. 01803 847649 www.roadblock.org.uk

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Market Forces

Anti-capitalists bringing down transnational corporations by
playing the stock market? It's true! Activists are using the stock
market to help boycotts of your favourite brands - Coke,
Starvebucks, McDonalds and Exxon. The idea is that you club
together as part of a 'hedge fund' and sell stock in targeted
firms 'short'. A hedge fund is basically the very rich clubbing
together and 'hedging' their bets by playing a range of different
stock market games. One of those games is 'selling short'. For
example, say Coke stock is worth £10 this month, £12 next and £15
in 3 months time. You then sell the stock 'short' for £11 in month
two. If you buy enough stock (which is why smaller franchises are
targeted) people panic and sell their stock too and the price goes
down. Your £10 stock is then worth £9 in three months time, not
the planned £15. Coke lose out, big time. Investment activist Max
Keiser says "For every 1,000 new boycotters, I and my group of
investors/activists will increase the size of the fund by £5,000.
All profits will go the groups/people who are the victims of bad
companies."

Forget the Glastonbury ticket, become a shareholder! See
www.karmabanque.com for more info...

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..and finally...

In an effort to drown out the sounds of screaming civilians in
burning buildings, major record labels are doing their bit.

Virgin, EMI and the rest supply all the new CD releases to "our
boys at the front" at special discount. Troops can now listen to
cheap pop as they go about keeping Iraq "secure", though not,
presumably, at the same time. This may explain some recent US
losses however. Whoever said war couldn't be fun?

In classic rock-rebel style, however, one group are having none of
it. The Super Furry Animals have included an anti-militarist
clause in their recent negations with the majors. The clause
forbids any of their music to be offered at discount to the Armed
Farces. Fans of the Welsh quartet will be pleased to know that the
sweet blend of pop and rock they love will not be drifting over
the battlefields of a corrupt war. Coalition Forces hinted it will
not affect their decision to stay in Iraq.

Disclaimer
SchNEWS warns me hearty to stop buccaneering around. Ah-harr Jim
me lad!

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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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