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(en) Loombreaker 33 Dec 02

From "Loombreaker" <editorial@loombreaker.org.uk>
Date Thu, 12 Dec 2002 03:57:30 -0500 (EST)

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

Loombreaker 33 December 02

1. CBI Stormed
2. Defy-ID
3. Embrace the Base
4. Trouble in the Pipeline
5.  Anti-war action at Fairford
6. Cornerstone Raid
7. Women speak out
8. NATO report
9.  Florence REport
10. AYN Gathering
11. Community organising web ring
12  Above the parapet
13.  Under the pavement
14   Aspire Raid
15.  Badger build illegal settlement in palestine

CBI stormed

The attempt by Manchester City Council to attract all kinds of corporate criminals to 
locate in Manchester was sabotaged by peace, environmental and workers rights 
protests. Having persuaded the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to hold its 
prestigious annual conference in Manchester, they must have been deeply pissed off 
to find it so severely disrupted by protests. 
First off on the Sunday was the AMICUS union demanding equal pay for women. This 
was closely followed by a big anti-war demo, which saw banners draped across the 
entrance, and speakers with full PA system. But not content with gathering outside, 
the militant crowd decided to storm the entrance, rushing past shocked security 
guards and employees. The 40 or so people who managed to get inside before 
shutters came down were buzzing, and marched round and round the exhibition with 
banners and shouting slogans. A couple of others left the group and managed to set off 
a fire alarm (which never sounded), throw corporate literature in bins, and generally 
cause more havoc. The only disappointing thing was that more people in that main 
group didn't also use their initiative in this way. Meanwhile outside the crowd that 
remained outside were more revved up, shouting angrily at police who had batons out. 
Unfortunately the group inside agreed to leave the exhibition, and even more 
unfortunately, once they were out, the SWP led everyone off in a march round the 
building. Even worse, they effectively did the cops job for them by dispersing everyone 
shortly after the march. This was awful because the fat cats were having their welcome 
receptions and dinner only shortly after this. If the group inside had refused to leave, 
and if the SWP hadn't marched everyone off, this dinner would have been seriously 
disrupted. Oh well. 
On Monday, a smaller group of anti-war protesters had stalls alongside Friends of the 
Earth, and joined with the 150 or so firefighters who had gathered to `welcome' Gordon 
Brown to Manchester. You could hardly hear yourself speak due to their noisy airhorns 
and whistles. It's a shame none of the speakers linked the dispute to the anti-war 
protests (fund the firefighters, not the war?), but many of the strikers expressed 
solidarity with us individually. After posing for a few media shots, they left. 
Despite stepped up security, two environmental and anti-war activists got into the 
exhibition the following morning, spraying fake blood on the BP stall. BP are a prime 
target because of their involvement in the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline (see last loombreaker) 
and their blatant war-mongering. Lord Browne, Chief Exec of BP is vying to have a cut 
in the carve-up of Iraqi oil reserves even before a war has started. "We have let it be 
known that the thing we would like to make sure, if Iraq changes regime, is that there 
should be a level playing field for the selection of oil companies to go in there if they're 
needed to do the work there". 
Browne said BP should be allowed to operate in a post-Saddam Iraq because it was 
responsible for discovering much of the country's oil reserves before being thrown out in 
the 1970's. Impending war with Iraq has given a financial boost to BP and other oil 
companies by driving up the price of oil. The CBI were hopping mad by the time this 
action happened and it warranted a special mention by Digby Jones, Director General, 
saying how the CBI would co- operate fully to bring these two criminals to justice. (See 
`Trouble in the Pipeline' inside) 
We wonder why the biggest criminals, the corporate criminals like BP go unpunished. 
The two activists were arrested and charged with £6105 criminal damage. They will 
appear in court on 20 December. For more info on supporting the BP two contact 0161 
226 6814. See `Trouble in the Pipeline', inside, for more news of thes growing 


The government wants to introduce a national identity card. They are planning to 
introduce it on the sly as an "entitlement card". The "entitlement" card will contain a 
photo and some kind of biometric information (fingerprint or iris scan) which will allow 
the verification of your identity. 
Everyone above the age of 16 will be registered and issued with their own "entitlement" 
card which allows them access to social security, health, education and other 
services. You won't be required to use a card unless you wish to work, use the 
banking or health system, vote, buy a house, or receive benefits. The card is planned 
to be combined with the existing photocard driving licenses and the forthcoming 
passport card. So you will also need your "entitlement" card to drive a vehicle or travel 
abroad. They say that you won't have to always carry the card. But once it's in place, 
you can bet this will change. This is the first government legislation since the Poll Tax 
which will affect everyone. It will require everyone to register, and which will initially 
have the most impact on marginal groups - those who need benefits, who are ill, who 
work on the sly, who are criminalised, who are seeking asylum, who are activists etc. 
Defy-ID is an adhoc network of groups and individuals prepared to actively resist the 
introduction of a national identity card scheme in the United Kingdom as part of 
resistance to a Big Brother state. Tactics of resistance are likely to include non-
cooperation, sabotage, and the creation of support networks for cardless people. 
For more information about ID cards and the resistance to them: 
w: www.defy-id.org.uk    e: admin@defy-id.org.uk 

Embrace the Base, Blockade the Base 
Menwith Hill is the biggest US military spy base in the world and won an award for its 
work in intercepting communications and providing strategic information during the Gulf 
War. The base will play a critical role in any war against Iraq, as reported in the last 
Loombreaker. Now, with the US and Britain threatening another war against Iraq - and 
the use of nuclear weapons in such a war - two protests at Menwith Hill will celebrate 
the 20th anniversary of the women's blockade at Greenham Common, and encourage 
the contribution that women make to the peace movement. (See box opposite) 
Embrace the Base is on Thursday 12 December, 1-4pm, followed by Blockade the 
Base on Friday 13. 
What you can do: Encourage woman friends and family to attend If possible, organise 
transport to the base. If you are a member of a women's group, a trade or student 
union, get it to support and publicise the action. For leaflets call Sophie on 07930 
235791. Transport from Manchester is being organised by CND _ contact 0161 273 
Two women are in court for taking action against the other US spy base in Yorkshire, 
US Fylingdales. They are currently being tried by jury for intent to cause criminal 
damage after being apprehended by MOD police in March this year as they reached 
the perimeter fence of the base. More info from www.tridentploughshares.org 

Trouble in the Pipeline for BP 

The Baku-Ceyhan (pronounced Ba-Ku Jay-Han) Pipeline Campaign is gaining 
momentum throughout the country. The 1,750km oil pipeline stretching from 
Azerbaijan through Georgia and ending in Turkey threatens to create a 4km wide 
militarized corridor of land, destabilizing the nearby regions, increasing human rights 
abuses, degrading the local environment and releasing millions of tons of climate 
change gases into the atmosphere every year. BP leads the consortium of companies 
backing the pipeline, eager to start exploiting the Caspian Sea's vast reserves of oil 
and gas. This pipeline has not yet been built, and relies on `free public money' to start 
construction. If we can convince the financiers, including the World Bank (surprise, 
surprise), and the UK's Export Credit Guarantee Department, not to invest then we can 
stop this pipeline, stopping the sacrifice of another region of the world to the West's 
desire for yet more oil. A campaign in Manchester has already started to oppose this 
Actions around the country have targeted BP's recruitment events, challenging 
students thinking of applying to BP for jobs to see through the company's greenwash. 
Meanwhile in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, November 27 saw a protest at the office of 
the Georgian International Oil Company (GIOC), one of BP's partners in the project. 
The GIOC spokesman said that given BP's high professionalism the risk would be 
`zero minus one' - the same probability a seismologist gave the pipeline's chances of 
avoiding a major earthquake in its lifetime. 
5 days later Manchester's Baku Two (see front page) appeared in court to find a £750 
suit and £300 shirt added to the damages. At the same time, London Rising Tide was 
occupying the offices of BP's environmental (un)consultants, ERM, handing out of 
questionnaires to employees and hanging banners outside. (The spoof website they 
created is at www.erm-concerns.com). Over 6 hours later the occupiers left the 
chairman's office without arrest, having been filmed, searched and ID'd. 
If you want to know more about the national Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline go to 
www.bakuceyhan.org.uk (it should be up very soon - if it isn't go to www.ilisu.org.uk for 
the latest news of the campaign. To find out about Manchester activities email 
mancef@nematode.freeserve.co.uk or phone 0161 22 66 814. 

Anti-war activists are mobilising across the UK for a mass action at RAF Fairford in 
Gloucestershire on Saturday 14th December. If The US and British governments go to 
war US stealth bombers will take off from RAF Fairford to bomb Iraq. 
RAF Fairford is one of the main bases for US conventional and nuclear bombers in 
Europe. B2 bombers at Fairford are thought to be carrying the new generation of `more 
useable' nuclear weapons that could be used against reinforced bunkers in Iraq. 
Groups across the south and west of England including Bristol, Bath, Oxford, 
Gloucester, Frome and Brighton are already organising transport to the action. The 
Stop the War Coalition national conference on 7th December will be discussing 
coordination of support for the mass action against Fairford from across the country. 
Currently the first national Stop the War demonstration is planned for 15th February 
next year. 
People are meeting in Fairford village at noon to march to the base's main gate for 
12.30pm. At this point Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors www.gwi.org.uk will 
request entry into the base to check on the weapons of mass destruction kept there. 
"We want all weapons of mass destruction to be open to inspection," says inspectors 
coordinator Grace Trevett. "The US is tearing up treaty after treaty and they act as if 
they have the right to do whatever they like. But rights are universal and apply equally 
everywhere. Iraq is prepared to allow weapons inspections, let us see if RAF Fairford 
can do the same." 
>From 2.30pm people will be circling the base. A candlelit vigil is planned for 5.30pm. 
Protesters are expected to use their initiative in showing their opposition to the 
weapons of mass destruction being prepared for war at the base. 
The Pentagon chose to locate nuclear and stealth bombers at Fairford because 
alternative locations in Spain were feared to face too much local opposition. Let's show 
For more information about RAF Fairford go to 
LOCATION: Fairford is 10 miles north of Swindon and 20 miles west of Oxford. Fairford 
is on the A417 going east to west. Or along the A361 going north to south, turning 
onto the A417 at Lechlade village. RAF Fairford is 10 minutes walk from Fairford 

Over the Top 

At 8:45 on Thursday 28th November 2002 both houses which make up Cornerstone 
Housing Co-op in Leeds were raided by the police. The raid was in connection with an 
action against the `New Tribes Mission' (in solidarity with the indigenous peoples of the 
South Pacific) in Grimsby, Lincolnshire on 11 October 2002. The raid was carried out 
to secure evidence, namely some computer hard disks that were reported stolen 
during the action. 
The police arrested everyone who had slept in the houses that night or arrived during 
the raid for "conspiracy to burgle", and seized a wide variety of personal and communal 
effects. These included 15 computers used by lots of people and groups, and part of a 
printing press owned by Footprints Workers Co-op, which is based in the co-op. All 
arrestees were released without being charged and bailed to return to the police station 
on 6,7,8,9 January '03. 
Cornerstone are grateful for the many offers of support they've recieved, and express 
solidarity with the other three places raided in the same fortnight on unrelated pretexts: 
A-SPIRE (see inside), the Sumac Centre in Nottingham, and a friend in Manchester. 
(The moral of these tales, respectively: don't let police get a foot in the door, don't give 
someone else's address when arrested without asking beforehand, and... don't take 
your house keys on actions.) 

Women Speak Out 

As trailed in previous Loombreakers, from the 22nd to 24th of November, Bridge 5 Mill 
in Ancoats hosted 60-70 women taking part in Manchester's first ever `Women Speak 
Out'. WSO events have occurred before in many cities, but until now, always south of 
Watford. The idea is for women to come together for discussions and workshops, to 
meet each other, cook and eat communally and generally enjoy a weekend of fun and 
feminism. People travelled from as far away as Devon and Edinburgh, with a strong 
contigent of WSO regulars as well as local women who'd seen the publicity placed 
strategically round the city. Among many others, there were workshops on Feminism 
and Islam, DJ skills, Herbalism, Subvertising, Tae-Kwondo, ID cards and the Police 
State, and introductions to political issues such as the Baku-Ceyan oil pipeline, 
Palestine, the war in Chechnya, Animal Rights and the UK genetics campaign. 
We were entertained by inspiring performances from two local women poets, while 
another gave a preview of her one-woman play, which led into a workshop looking at 
issues of gender in performance. Several womens' book collectives and organisations 
brought stalls, there was a good attempt made at running a creche (lessons were 
learned for the future, however!), heaps of delicious vegan food, mattresses to sleep on 
and on the Saturday night the surrounding mills echoed to the sound of partying, 
fuelled by plenty of organic beer. A camera skills workshop means that after a follow-
up session on editing, a short film of the weekend should be coming soon to Beyond 
TV, so that those of you who missed out will be rushing home to check 
www.bellow.org.uk and ensuring you make it to the next Women Speak Out, which will 
be in Bristol, in the Spring. 

NATO Report 

The NATO summit, which took place on November 20 and 21, was the largest 
convention ever held in Prague: 46 heads of state 2,500 delegates 3,000 journalists. 
The Prague Summit was widely referred to as a meeting designed to take forward the 
further transformation of the Alliance, to discuss NATO's role in the "War on terrorism" 
and prepare for the enlargement process. Despite very large numbers of riot police 
effectively occupying the streets of the city and the tightening of border controls, up to 
4000 anti-war protesters descended to Prague for a week of actions and 
demonstrations to show their opposition to NATO's war machine. 
On Thursday 21st a defiant demonstration marched around the NATO conference 
centre in Prague. Earlier in the day a small peace protest summed up just what the 
anti Nato protesters had been facing in Prague. On Wednesday 20th Up to 1000 
protestors gathered on the streets of the Czech capital Prague where George Bush, 
among others, were attending the NATO conference protected by 12,000 police, 
soldiers and even US Air Force jets! The protests had begun on Sunday with a 
demonstration involving around 200 people. 

Florence Report 

A European Social Forum took place in Florence, Italy the week of 6/10th November 
billed as ³an open meeting space for in-depth reflection, democratic debate, free 
exchange of experiences and planning of effective action among entities and 
movements of civil society engaged in building a planetary society centred on the 
human being. It is an offshoot of the World Social Forum that took place in Porto 
Alegre, Brazil where Unions, NGO¹s and activists converged to give a positive counter 
to the World Economic Forum of business leaders in Davos and later New York. The 
official event ran concurrently with a number of other initiatives including: The 
Euro@ction Hub, an interconnection tool and space to reflect upon the media, 
processes of political production, communication between activists and new forms of 
expression; The Disobedienti No Work No Shop space - an axis of discussion and 
experimentation researching questions of knowledge and intellectual properties, 
income and new forms of workplace conflicts. 

AYN Gathering 

The Anarchist Youth Network is holding its network gathering on the weekend of the 
6th to 8th of December in Manchester. The Anarchist Youth Network (AYN) is a 
nationwide network of young people fighting for youth issues such as an end to tagging 
for young offenders, the scrapping of section 28 and an end to tuition fees. However, 
we also see the bigger picture and fight against capitalism, authority and the control 
which the government and big corporations have over our everyday lives. If you're 
interested, you can get in touch with the AYN at info@anarchistyouth.net, or you can 
see our website at www.anarchistyouth.net. 

Community Organising Web-ring 

At the Anarchist Bookfair 2002, a number of anarchists expressed the need and desire 
to put our energy into community organising. A web site and discussion group was 
subsequently created. The website (http://www.geocities.com/cadsz/) has details on 
how to sign up to the discussion group for UK based anarchists, which concerns how 
best to organise within our communities and become active around community issues. 
As Loombreaker goes to press a Wednesday, November 13, 7-9 pm: 

Above the Parapet 

"Reade's Lane is not a top priority for a 20 mph limit and speed camera", said a 
spokeman for Cheshire County Council, but Mr and Mrs Oakes weren't buying it. After 
17 road accidents outside their home in Dane-in-Shaw near Congleton, the retired 
couple made a wooden speed camera - complete with small glass lenses and a 
winking infra-red light - and stuck it in their garden, distributing home-made 20mph 
speed signs around the village. "Everyone we spoke to was tired of the situation," said 
Mrs Oakes. "Our neighbours had tried to take action and had petitioned the local 
council, but nothing was done and I felt that we needed to do something to get the 
speeders to slow down." The national media picked up the story, somehow bemused 
at 67 year olds taking such action, even 67 year olds with cars crashing into their wall 
at 2am. Suddenly the Council was in the spotlight and blinking, claiming it had 
installed some chevrons. The Oakes' DIY speed limiters are sited on private property, 
not hanging into the road or obscuring vision, so are legal. "Normally we are not the 
kind of people to raise our heads above the parapet but this is something we felt we 
just had to do", said Mr Oakes. 

Under the Pavement 

...the beach! The slabs are pulled up again on Tuesday 17 December, 10pm-midnight 
on ALL FM 96.9. The explosive radio show goes out on Tuesday every four weeks, 
reporting on Manchester's radical and activist communities, including news, interviews, 
opinion, music, poetry and spoken word. The UTP website has playlists, news of future 
shows and webcasts and a guestbook to share your thoughts with. 


The Leeds a-spire collective reached new heights with their last fine residence. A large 
victorian mansion was transformed by an upferit bunch into a cafe/bar/skate 
park/home/temporary autonomous centre! Nearly as popular as the food and 
skateboarding were well-attended workshops that included women's self-defence, 
horticulture, theatre skills, puppet making, and talks and films on environmental and 
human rights issues. All of this run by a non-hierarchical collective of volunteers from 
the local community and all paid for purely from donations. The social centre was very 
popular with hundreds of people taking part in the various activities on a daily basis _ 
thus confirming the need for this form of self organised "free space" and drawing 
attention to the amount of empty unused property that could be put to much better 
Despite a court order to move, agreement was reached to stay in the squat till 
Tuesday 27th Nov. However the police had other ideas. Or rather no ideas. The party 
was a culmination of several weeks of hard work by all concerned and featured a 
degree of organisation and concern for the comfort and safety of those attending that 
would put most city centre nightclubs to shame. It was going well, with no complaints 
about noise or disturbance. Trance, dance, tea and chillout rooms, loads of people and 
the main system had just got going... when an unhappy police officer stumbled by. 
Failing to persuade a party of 400 people to suddenly go home and failing to convince 
our polite door staff that he was even on the guest list he decided to override the door 
policy and call out 50 or so TSG cops. 
Lashing out indiscriminatly with pepper spray, CS gas and truncheons they smahed 
their way into the building. 300 gurning ravers couldn't visualise how to resist and the 
party was over! The police were ridiculously heavy handed and nicked a dozen people 
for complaining. They face charges of violent disorder and affray, although anyone who 
was there knows who the brainless thugs were that night. We cleared out all our stuff, 
the sound systems were allowed to go, and the cops went back to the station to take 
more coke! By the next afternoon we were back in possession and having a meeting to 
decide what to do next. For more info www.a-spire.org.uk 

Armed Badgers Build Illegal Settlement: "If Israel can, we can." 

On Thursday 31st October at 3.00pm, 30 badgers armed with waterpistols stormed the 
Starbucks on Oxford St, Central London, claiming it as their ancestral home. Using the 
logic of Israeli settlers the badgers evicted some of the customers and erected the first 
badger settlement in London. With placards proclaiming "If it works in Palestine why 
not here" and "It's ours because we say so" the self-styled Badger Defence Force set 
up checkpoints to inspect shoppers and tourists for concealed weapons. "If they're not 
a badger, they could be a terrorist" a spokesbadger said. They handed out copies of 
the badger bible which proves their ownership of Starbucks and a fact sheet which 
answered Frequently Asked Questions about their activities. The badgers have 
selected the store for their settlement because of the role of its CEO as a major 
supporter of the Israeli state. The company has become a prime target of an 
international boycott of companies with ties to Israel. A spokesbadger said "Since the 
chief executive of this company clearly believes it is ok for one group of people to grab 
land belonging to another and say they have a right to it, we believe they won't mind if 
we take some of theirs... 

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