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(en) Britain, AF Sheffield Anarchists - The Fargate Speaker #3 - Autumn 2007

Date Wed, 19 Dec 2007 08:38:40 +0200



CLIMATE CHANGE, FLOODS... WHAT'S THE SOLUTION...?-- According to the government
it's building more roads. The government have over 200 new road schemes on the
cards at a cost of over £20 billion. Road expansion has been shown to generate
traffic which causes more pollution and worsens climate change. Concreting over
more of the country also increases the risks of flooding as there is more run-
off and less earth to soak up the rain. One of the roads planned for expansion
is the M1. The government want to widen it to 4 lanes in both directions from
Junctions 6a-13 (the M25 to Milton Keynes) and 21-42 (Leicester to Leeds). The
predicted cost is over £5 billion. "At Tinsley, near Meadowhall, the air quality
is already worse than the level set by the EU to protect human health."

At Tinsley, near Meadowhall, the air
quality is already worse than the level
set by the EU to protect human health.
Rates of hospital admission for asthma
are twice that as for Sheffield as a
whole.
There is so much noise from the motor-
way traffic, that the schools have to
leave their windows closed all year
round or the children can't hear the
teacher.
What about congestion? The Highways
Agency's own studies have shown that
the congestion will be worse after the
widening because the increase in ca-
pacity will be outstripped by the growth
in traffic.
There are far more effective ways of
dealing with congestion. Better,
cheaper public transport, slower
speed limits, getting freight onto the
railways and most importantly, reduc-
ing travel by en couraging commu-
nities where people can live and work
using local goods and services.
The campaign has included banners
drops, awareness raising, stunts and
demonstrations. We need more people
to get involved to stop this madness.
Contact Julie on 07759851073 or email
info@nowideningm1.org.uk
By: Sophi Stansbey
-------------------------------

WE'RE ALL GOING ON OUR SUMMER HOLIDAYS!

It wasn't just the good weather that decided to
have summer off in Sheffield this year.
Sheffield City Council seemed to have decided to
take the summer off too as they blundered their way
through the flooding crisis.
The damage: millions of pounds worth of damage to
our homes, our already overstretched fire service
pushed to its limit and the council's own bureau-
cratic bungling in failing to cover paid-up residents
fully.
And so to the council's response to this
drama:
South Yorkshire Flood Victim Support! A
relief fund financed by our own dona-
tions and no tax money whatsoever.
Once again, we are all left to pick up the
pieces from the council's mistakes.
By: A Walkley Couchsurfer
------------------------------

A TOUR OF CORPORATE SHEFFIELD

1. Sheffield Midland Rail Station:
Constant intrusion of "security" and
"safety" announcements.

2. The Sheffield Inner Ring Road (newest
section at Corporation Street):
Seating with stunning view of the back of
an elongated grey industrial shed. And a
gleaming litter bin positioned on an island
surrounded by several lanes of traffic. This
was presumably provided to offer pedestri-
ans a rest whilst avoiding being knocked
down. Or perhaps it's for those who no
longer care what their surroundings are,
when they're drinking/drugging themselves
into oblivion.

3. "The Upper Don Valley Walk" Public
Footpath (From Hillfoot Bridge along Club
Mill Lane):
A major fly-tippers hotspot for decades
leads through works until it becomes a
dusty rutted track used by heavy demolition
firm lorries. It turns into liquid mud after the
slightest rainfall. Wardsend Bridge was
swept away by the 25 June 2007 flood wa-
ters leaving Coopers Car Dismantlers and
Guard Dogs.

4. The Sheaf Valley Walk Public Footpath.
From Charlotte Road to Queens Road:
KFC immediately placed a "temporary"
fence which stopped anyone wanting to
walk alongside the newly opened river-side
walk. KFC also attached several eyesore
signs to the newly erected safety fence to
warn people of "Danger".

5. Moorfoot. The British State Govern-
ment office building, presently used by the
DWP:
Built in the 1970s this blocked the natural
route linking London road with the centre of
Sheffield. It should be reopened. Fifty years
is too long for the people of Sheffield to be
denied ways through the streets they live
and work in.
By: Phil Hutchinson
-------------------------------

COMMUNITY VICTORY: NO NEW TESCO IN COMMONSIDE

A
fter a well managed community campaign,
Tesco's have been successfully prevented
from building yet another mini-
supermarket, this time in Commonside.
Sheffield Council blocked the proposal after receiv-
ing over 1000 signatures demanding the chain keep
their greedy mitts out.

A Tesco's Too Far

The success of the campaign is a glimmer of hope
for all us who are sick of seeing local shops run into
the ground and replaced by identikit stores.
With a much larger Tesco's ready to be built on Spi-
tal Hill, this is a rallying call to all of us ready to say a
loud "No" to bad food, bad jobs and all-out bad shop-
ping.
Commonside's disapproval of Tesco's brought to-
gether businesses, residents and even our very own
Fargate Speaker, with a "Kick Tesco's out of
Crookes" special.
Successful strategies included shop adverts and
letter writing, but the real successful strategy was
community solidarity: pooling our resources together
for a common cause.


"TESCO Special" edition of Fargate
TESCO
We can defeat big corporations' attempts to
monopolise our lifestyles but only by acting
together as a community.
Boycotting shops is a step in the right direc-
tion, but by this stage the store has already
been built, local businesses have already
been damaged and we have been forced
into taking depressing, awfully paid jobs.
Businesses that we do not want must be
confronted before they have the opportunity
to damage our workplace and lifestyles.

Tesco's and other stores have the power to do this
only if we allow them. A small victory in Commonside
can be turned into a bigger victory for Sheffield if we
all continue to build upon it.
Whilst the council rejected the proposal as 'A
Tesco's too far", it is not they who prevented it but us
a community standing up for each other.
Sheffield Council has proven time and time again
that it is on the side of big business and not our local
shop keepers.
Local Action Can Defeat
Corporate Power
Will small business be able to realistically afford the
new city centre spaces, proposed to bring Sheffield
into the 21st century? I think not.
Whilst the council has responded to pressure in
Walkley, this will not stop the flow of multinationals
onto our local high streets.
If we are to prevent Sheffield from losing all its iden-
tity and heritage we must take the struggle up our-
selves by supporting our shopkeepers and giving
supermarkets the boot.
-----------------------------

Smile. If you're in Sheffield you're probably on CCTV

Since February 2003, our friends at the
Home Office have kindly invested
£3,300,000 of our money on CCTV in Sheffield. Why?
Sheffield Council offer three reasons:

1. 'To reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.'
However, according to Professor John Ditton from
Sheffield University Criminology Department, there is
'no real evidence' that CCTV is an effective deterrent
to criminals. 'We know, with the benefit of hindsight
and experience, that they do not really have a signifi-
cant impact on the crime rate,' said Professor Ditton.

2. 'To help reassure the public about their safety'
Evidently, making us feel as if we are safe is more
important to Sheffield Council than actually making
our city a safer place to live. In the past decade the
Home Office has spent 78% of its crime budget on
CCTV, making us the most watched nation in the
world. Think back ten years. How much safer are
you now?

3. 'To encourage investment'
Yes, the average Briton is caught on cam-
era ten times day. Yes, this will be a much
higher figure in an urban area like Shef-
field. (The average Londoner is filmed 300
times a day.) Yes, there is not believed to
be a single CCTV system in Britain to have
registered under the Data Protection Act
(which should provide some safeguards as
to what can be done with CCTV footage of
us). But worry not, our council reckon the
supposed benefits brought by increased
corporate investment in Sheffield will more
than outweigh these massive encroach-
ments on our civil liberties.
CCTV simply gives further power to the
state, allowing us to be watched and moni-
tored often without us even knowing it.
I for one ain't smiling.
By: Danny Carden
----------------------------------------

LETTERS TO FARGATE ...

Written in response to "Social Housing Cri-
sis" (Fargate - Summer 2007)
Social Housing, with its connotations of au-
thoritarian local councils and cliquey "we've
always lived here" mentalities amongst ten-
ants, does little to improve our quality of life.
Local Authority/Providers Groups being given the
power to buy and convert buildings already in exis-
tence in different parts of the city would give us all
chances to feel as though we are human beings too,
not just those who have financial advantages.
The situation in Sheffield has got worse. Large scale
developments are housing the salaried and certain
classes of students (mainly those with salaried par-
ents). But this hasn't meant a freeing up of older prop-
erties in areas such as Walkley, Hunter's Bar and
Crookes. Instead the people who own these properties
are renting them, often in poor condition, without self-
contained facilities and at a cost which Housing Bene-
fit will not cover. As property prices go up, the
squeeze on dignity and privacy become greater.
Although I wouldn't want to be a Sheffield Homes
tenant again, I know that the chances of getting a flat
in a place I'd like to live are virtually zero. I've been
through the Priority Needs scrutiny and like all aspects
of Local Authority operations, we are treated system-
atically as a lesser species of humanity. It is no sur-
prise that people get angry, but we need to present a
dignified mass protest to counter these oppressions.
Otherwise those with power over us can always justify
their surveillance, monitoring, punitive and authoritar-
ian attitudes and violence. ­Phil Hutchinson
(this represents an abstract of full text - ed)
-----------------------------------
http://www.afed.org.uk/sheffield/
http://www.afed.org.uk/sheffield/fargate_speaker_3.pdf
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