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(en) SchNEWS 301, Friday 20th April, 2001

From "Jo Makepeace" <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 20 Apr 2001 07:53:22 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

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This week's SchNEWS: http://www.schnews.org.uk/


wake up! wake up! it's yer burnt out


Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

ISSUE 301, FRIDAY 20th April, 2001



"Why should others make the effort to think about and change what they are
doing when the Government cannot be bothered to put their own house in
order?" - House of Commons Environment Select Commitee Report.

In case it hasn't caught your attention SchNEWS likes to slag off the
Government. Well, now a 'respectable' body of MPs, the House of Commons
Environment Select Committee, has joined us in sticking an authoritative
boot into the knackers of the Government's policy on waste.

They make many semi-radical recommendations for sorting out the waste
problems in this country. Reducing the amount of waste you produce in the
first place is the best solution. Providing decent recycling facilities to
increase recycling rates also helps. Simple stuff, really. Their report
slags off the government for failing to properly educate the public,
recycling targets are "depressingly unambitious", "lip-service" is paid to
waste minimisation, and the government has simply accepted the growth of
waste produced. They say "The Government must set a target for reducing the
rate of growth of waste and consider with some urgency precisely how it can
drive waste growth down and ultimately reverse it".

Of course, all this is pissing in the wind. In response, the Government
will probably come out with a load of crap about how great it is doing and
how it is meeting its targets. As the report says, the government "risks
succeeding in its own narrow terms whilst failing to provide a foundation
for a more sustainable system. Meaning that if your targets are totally
pisspoor then it's easy to meet them, isn't it? Well, what did we expect - a
state-sponsored no shopping week? Depressingly, the report will presumably
end up gathering dust on a shelf or in the bin- they'll probably even
forget to recycle it!


"We believe that incineration will never play a major role in truly
sustainable waste management and cannot, and should not, be classified as
producing renewable energy." - From that report, again.

To deal with the waste mountain the government's approach is to push ahead
with incineration. They want to build up to 160 over the next 20 years,
despite the fact that incineration produces lots of nasty chemicals like
dioxins that cause cancer (SchNEWS 260). The report reckons there should be
an incineration tax and that landfill tax should be increased. Can you see
New Labour upsetting its new business friends by whacking up their tax?
Most businesses aren't interested in reducing their waste. The report says,
"We are extremely disappointed with the inertia and negative attitude of
the Confederation of British Industry to changing the way the UK deals with
its waste. Rarely has the old phrase 'if you are not part of the solution,
then you are part of the problem' been more apt."

So with the Government and businesses not caring about waste or our health
we may just have to rely on what poor regulation we've got and keep our
fingers crossed we don't die of cancer. Those MPs from the Select Committee
reckon "Where recurrent breaches of limit values are found to occur, the
operator should be fined. If breaches continue to occur, the plant should
be closed down." Have any incinerators closed? Have they bog roll. Since
1996 there have been 899 breaches of emission limits (on average each
incinerator has at least one breach every month) but there hasn't been a
single prosecution!

Until now. One prosecution is at last happening, against the Byker
Incinerator in Newcastle. The City Council has kindly spread 2,000 tonnes
of by-product toxic ash on allotments, footpaths and bridleways around
Newcastle. Concerned locals had to hassle the relevant authorities into
doing something rather than the evildoing being discovered through the
regulatory action (SchNEWS 293) designed to stop it. The new Food Standards
Authority did a report into the pollution, but cleverly failed to study
children under 10 - the most vulnerable group - and haven't even considered
testing breast milk to look for effects on babies. Meanwhile, 2000 hens are
going to be slaughtered as they are contaminated with toxic ash, while the
'experts' assure us that there is no risk to humans, just like they said
with BSE. While the ash has been removed from 40 allotment sites, there are
apparently 20 other sites, and it 's on park flowerbeds, too. Similar
practices to those in Byker have occurred in London with toxic ash being
'recycled' into streets and paths by wise and generous local councils. We
at SchNEWS reckon the only 'wastes' we wanna see incinerated are
beaureaucrats and politicians. Trust you agree!

* Communities Against Toxics (CATS) PO Box 29, Ellesmere Port, CH66 3TX.
0151-339-5473. cats@recycle-it.org.uk. CATS Waste Conference. 11th May,
Holiday Inn, Lower Mersey Street Ellesmere Port. 12th May, Stephenson Hall,
85c Highbury Place, London N5.


A new Centre made out of 'a load of rubbish' opened in Manchester this
month. Bridge 5 Mill Centre has shredded polystrene packaging as
insulation, with window frames and doors made from reclaimed timber. The
reception has been made from straw bales, mud and an old snooker table. The
centre is located in one of the most deprived inner-city areas in the
country, and the majority of the work has been carried out by local people,
many of whom joined the project as unskilled labourers and have now gained
nationally-recognised NVQ qualifications. The Centre includes an exhibition
on environmental issues and a resource centre full of infor and advice.
Contact MERCi on 0161 273 1736


For juggling... A while back the Canadian Labour Congress held a teach-in to
educate people about the Free Trade Area of the Americas. After the meeting
finished Resisto the clown began juggling, when two cops came from nowhere
and nicked him. After holding him for 3 days Resisto was given bail under
the condition that he didn't go to any protests and didn't leave the
province. Ten months later all charges were dropped and Resisto remains
unbowed "I've been juggling for years and I've juggled many strange and
dangerous objects but I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible to
juggle capitalism without dropping human, environmental and animal rights".
Resisto, along with tens of thousands of other people will be back in
Quebec this weekend to tell corporate power where to get off.

* Can't get to Quebec? Then join the on - line protests (oh no, this is now
illegal under the Terrorism Act so you better not). Details by emailing

* Keep up to date with the action http://quebec.indymedia.org


Not Very Ryton

Ryton Organic Gardens, the long established headquarters of HDRA, the
organic organisation, is under threat of losing its organic status - thanks
to a nearby genetic test site. The GM maize trial proposed at Wolston in
Warwickshire is less than two miles from the gardens.

Not only is organic food grown at the gardens to be sold in their shop and
restaurant, but there are trial areas used to develop improved organic
methods mainly funded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

So what sort of genetically modified idiot came up with the idea to put the
trials at Wolston? Who decides where GM farm trials go? In theory it should
be the government appointed Scientific Steering Committee, but in reality
it's SCIMAC an industry body who have taken on the job of finding farms,
which the Steering Committee then rubber stamp.

The industry then provides the seed and pays farmers a 'compensation
package', thought to be around £1,000 per hectare, while the taxpayer stump
up the rest. In the case of the 32 maize trials that's £4.4 million.
According to a spokesman from Aventis, the 'life-science' corporation
behind the maize trials, they knew of the existence of the HDRA site but
they reckon there's no risk from the GM crop so they didn't bother to tell
them. The first HDRA heard was through a local radio station.

Fodder maize is grown specifically to be fed to cattle - but it can
cross-pollinate with sweetcorn, and bees - which HDRA have on site - could
move the pollen several miles from the crop each day. And that sort of
contamination could lose the biggest organic organisation in Europe its
organic status.

* There's a rally in Wolston Village this Saturday (21) 11am, followed by
public meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday (26) April 7.30 pm

* HDRA, Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG Tel: 02476 639229


Breaking the Silence

British Sign Language (BSL) is the first or only language for over 70,000
people in this country, yet it's not recognised as an official language.
Many deaf children are forced to learn in English in mainstream schools,
and denied their own language many leave with an average reading age of 8
or 9 years. Deaf people and their supporters have had enough and are
stepping up their campaign to get their language recognised. Following on
from their 9,000 strong demonstration in London last year, they have
organised demos across the country. Last month in Manchester100 people
blocked a road and couldn't be moved, because the cops couldn't get their
message across. This month people were in Wolverhampton, and this Saturday
(21st) there's a BSL march in Brighton, meet 12 noon, Brighton Railway Car
park, contact 0870 4063716 march@sudp.fsnet.co.uk Contact Federation of
Deaf People, PO Box 11, Darwen, Lancs BB3 3GH www.fdp.org.uk


SchNEWS in brief

   * Protesters in South Africa are celebrating a victory after 39 drug
     companies dropped legal action against the South African Government
     for importing 'cheap' generic drugs to treat Aids. Zackie Ahmet from
     the Treatment Action Group said, "one of the main reasons for their
     [drug companies] withdrawal was the size of the local and
     international mobilisation of protest"
   * After 3 years of fighting, the 'No Tarmac Quarries At Bestwood'
     campaign has stopped the company getting planning permission for two
     quarries between Bestwood Village and Bestwood Country Park in
     Nottingham. Tarmac have handed the land over to the Country Park,
     increasing it's size by a third.
   * Former Crap Arrestee of the Week Jon Neil has just won £1,200 in
     compensation after being nicked at last year's Smokey Bear's picnic.
     The cheeky Mr. Neil was arrested for the heinous offence of laughing
     at a humourless Hampshire police officer's wig.
   * After a three and a half year campaign by Newcastle Animal Rights
     Coalition against Cornyhaugh Mink Farm, the Farm announced last week
     that it was also closing. Protestors in the campaign were some of the
     first people to be charged under the Protection from Harassment Act,
     originally designed to protect woman from stalkers
   * A 30 second TV 'uncommercial' showing a blank screen aimed to black
     out CNN starts next week's TV Turnoff week. Check out

That's enough of the good news.

   * Nine Ladies Anti-Quarry Campaign, set up to defend the historic and
     beautiful wildlife site on Stanton Moor Hillside (SchNEWS 258) could
     be facing eviction soon. People are urgently needed to defend the
     camp. A big Beltane party is planned so get down there for a party and
     stay for the eviction! 0797 404 9369
   * Fluoride is an extremely toxic chemical, yet the Labour gov't is
     racing ahead with plans to change water laws to force water companies
     to add it to our water. On the continent fluoride is almost entirely
     banned. The National Pure Water Association is giving a talk this Sat
     (21) 5.30pm at Hanover Community Centre, Hanover St, Brighton
   * At least 2,500 Israeli reserve troops have gone AWOL and thousands
     more have become conscientious objectors. In a bizarre twist Israel
     has recently jailed 600 soldiers to stop further rebellion! Meanwhile
     3 Israelis were arrested after driving around Tel Aviv broadcasting "A
     curfew has been imposed ... residents must enter their homes. People
     seen on the street after 7:30 p.m. risk responses according to the
     usual procedures." They have been charged with 'terrorising the
     public' unlike the Israeli politicians currently waging a terror
     campaign against Palestinians.
   * Take action against Plan Columbia (SchNEWS 273), the US's so-called
     war on drugs. April 30th sees the Columbian Government begging for
     money from EU governments in Brussels to fund this terror campaign.
     Demonstrations are planned 07950 923 448 lasocollective@hotmail.com


Inside SchNEWS

Veteran peace campaigner Lindis Percy is in Harrogate magistrate's court
next Wednesday (25) to face charges of "abusive or insulting or disorderly
behaviour" motivated by hostility towards an ethnic group, the said
persecuted ethnic group being - US service personnel! Ms. Percy was nicked
after she dragged the sacred Stars and Stripes in front of cars driven by
Americans at the US Spy Base Menwith Hill. The crown has accused Ms. Percy
of 'racial harassment' on the grounds that she most certainly hurt the
feelings of the US Servicemen, who broke down in tears as the bully Ms.
Percy was hauled off to jail.

* Rosie James and Rachel Wenham are in Manchester Crown Court on Monday,
April 30 for a re-trial. The two are accused of boarding and then smashing
up a British Trident Submarine at Barrow . Contact Trident Ploughshares at
42-46 Bethel St, Norwich NR2 1NR Tel: 01324 880 744 www.gn.apc.org/tp2000/

* The Trial date for Catholic Priest Martin Newell and Susan van der Hijden
has been moved to May 21. They've been on remand since before Christmas
after disabling 2 convoy trucks used to carry Trident nuclear war-heads.
Write to them at: Susan van der Hijden, EN 5880, HMP Highpoint,
Stradishall, Newmarket, Suffolk, CBA 9YG. Fr. Martin Newell, EM 6780, HMP
Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 0EB. A week of activities
in support of Susan and Martin is happening from April 19-26, including the
'Give Peace a Dance' next Thursday (26) 7:30pm in Camden Irish Centre,
Murray St. 07947-569577 www.geocities.com/londoncatholicworker

* Mass fax & phone-in for Mark Barnsley on Wednesday 25th April to governor
David Shaw at HMP Wakefield. Fax: 01924 299 315 or telephone: 01924 378282
to demand that Mark be moved from Wakefield Prison.


...and finally...

As the temperature rises in the run up to this year's Mayday protests, the
mainstream press have been printing such extravagant lies it's hard to know
what's actually going on. Crusties yesterday revealed to SchNEWS their
devastating new organic biological weapons, as they finally managed to
split the pea. "Why should the police have a monopoly on violence?" a
spokesperson told us from the anarchists' new HQ, a squatted postbox in
South London. Actions include:

   * 'Operation Dessert Storm' will see police lines covered in gloopy
     custard dropped from marauding helicopters.
   * Reclaim the Streets have forged links with Japanese whalers to
     stockpile harpoon guns, while their millionaire leader is thought to
     be bribing police to stay off duty on May 1st.
   * Carrier pigeons are being used to get around email monitoring. They
     will be fed raw couscous, as it expands in their stomachs they'll
     explode all over central London. And unwashed dogs on hemp strings
     will attack police alsatians.
   * Top direct action stylist Anita Roddick will massage police to death
     with peppermint foot cream.
   * Protesters will liberate gorillas from London Zoo so they can do a bit
     of, er, gorilla gardening.
   * The WOMBLES are organising a litter pick of Wimbledon Common.
   * In a shocking parody of Blue Peter, the police will produce a riot
     they prepared earlier.


SchNEWS warns all readers who' ve seen through the smokescreen and are
burnt out with burning issues, not to let things go up in smoke (except a
pipe of dope, of course). Honest


Cor-blimley-they're-practically-giving-them-away book offer SchNEWS Round
issues 51 - 100 £5 inc SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 £5 inc. SchNEWS
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Postage £4.00 for individual books, £13 for all four). In the UK you can
get the fist three for £15 inc. postage. And finally.... The Schquall book
at only £8.00 inc postage. In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book
contains articles, photos, cartoons, a "yellow pages" list of contacts,
comedy etc. All the above books are available from the Brighton Peace
Centre, saving postage yer tight gits.



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