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(en) schnews 379

From Julian Martin <julianmartin@ntlworld.com>
Date Fri, 1 Nov 2002 14:21:43 -0500 (EST)

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



"Is it a real victory - so many victims? The tragedy of the
musical did not spring out of the blue. It is not the end, but the
beginning. Now we shall live in fear, as we see our children and
our elderly go out into the street. Perhaps this is how Chechen
people live?" - Anna Politkovskaya, Russian journalist who went
in to talk to the hostage takers.

Russia's very own war on terrorism came back to haunt it last
weekend when Chechen rebels took hundreds of people hostage
in a Moscow Theatre. Their demand was that Russia pull out of
Chechnya which over the past few years has been bombed back
to the iron age - retribution for a number of bomb attacks in
Moscow that were blamed on the rebels. Russian troops captured
the capital Grozny - already a pile of rubble after the last war
with Russia five years earlier - and in the process killed up to
40,000 civilians. Although the `conventional' war has largely
ceased, human rights organisations have reported a rise in the
disappearance, torture and summary executions, in what is called
the `Wild West' of Russia.
There is a catalogue of human rights abuses perpetrated by the
Russian Army: In June, a ditch containing 50 mutilated bodies
was discovered near the Russian army post in Chankala. The
corpses were missing eyes, ears, limbs and genitals. In July in the
village of Meskyer Yurt, 21 men, women and children were
bound together and blown up, their remains were thrown into a
ditch. The list goes on...

Some those who survive sometimes wish hadn't. In Zernovodsk
this summer, townspeople say they were made to watch women
being raped. When the men tried to defend them, 68 were
handcuffed to an armoured truck and raped too. After this
episode, 45 of them joined the guerrillas in the mountains. One
older man, Nurdi Dayeyev, who was nearly blind, had nails
driven through his hands and feet because it was suspected that
he was in contact with the fighters. The Russians do not deny
that these things happen, there's even an official order issued
banning such abuses.

Theatre of War

Last weekend's tragedy has refocused attention on the conflict,
which Russia has repeatedly claimed is winding down, even
though its soldiers continue to die at a rate of two to three a day.
Russia's President Putin has tried to sweep the embarrassing
brutalities of the ongoing `anti-terrorist' operations under the
carpet, whilst the West has turned a blind eye so they could get
Russian support for their own wars of terror in Afghanistan,
Iraq and elsewhere.

The problem according to Krystyna Kurczab-Redlich, a Polish
reporter is that "the brutality of the Russians has also resulted in
a growing radicalisation of their opponents." Russia has tried to
link the rebels to al-Qaeda, as some of the Chechen leaders no
doubt see the conflict as a holy war. Now Chechen's everywhere
face a further crackdown. Soldiers are surrounding refugee
camps, while Chechen's in Russia are being rounded up and
arrested. Russia has tried to stop the World Chechen Congress
in Copenhagen, they persuaded Denmark to arrest Akhmed
Zakayev, Chechnya's top European representative, who was to
be the main speaker, who they accuse of playing a part in the
theatre siege. As one Russian journalist commented "The search
for participants in the terrorist act is turning into a cleansing
operation to rid Moscow of all Chechens."
* For conspiracy theories that it was the Russian secret police
who carried out the 1999 bombings of apartment blocks that
sparked the latest war with Chechnya and swept Putin to power
see http://uk.indymedia.org/front.php?article_id=24275
* Amnesty International this week published a new report on
the human rights situation in Russia and Chechnya. For copies
020 7814 6200 www.amnesty.org

More Shit in the Pipeline

Both Russia and the US are fighting the `war on terror' to justify
attacks on (largely) Islamic societies with racist rhetoric about
the need to combat `fundamentalism', but the real reason behind
it is justification for anything the state does to protect its
interests. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the former
Soviet republic of Georgia.

Back in July, this tiny country was granted $64 million of aid by
the US government, making it the third largest recipient of US
aid in the world. The reason? Both the US and Russia reckon
that Georgia is in the frontline of the `war on terror'. Russia
argues that Georgia's mountainous Pankisi gorge, which sits
along the border with Chechnya, is a hideout for Chechen rebels,
who are able t o move across the border to launch attacks on
Russian troops. The US reckons that amongst these fighters
there might be as many as a dozen Al-Qaeda members. The $64
million is for counter-insurgency training and equipment for the
Georgian army, allegedly so that it can flush out these bad guys.
Russia was furious about this move, which amounts to the US
establishing a base for its Special Forces on the Russian border.
Russia accused Georgia of `complicity' with international terror
and Putin wrote to the UN saying that Russia reserved the right
to use `pre-emptive strikes' on Georgia to defend itself.

The US claim that it's pouring money on the Georgian military
so that they can take out al-Qaeda, one journalist wrote, `why
would the dozen or so suspected al-Qaeda terrorists hang around
until a new force is trained?' But what other reason would there
be for making sure the Georgian army is tooled-up like the
Green Berets? Hmmm, maybe it's got something to do with the
massive oil and gas pipelines that the US and Britain want to run
through Georgia, to take oil from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Ceyhan
in Turkey. For the last 10 years the US and Britain have been
investing in central Asian oilfields, but have been struggling to
find a way of getting the oil to the West without taking it
through Iran or Russia. The proposed solution is the
Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which if built would transport 1 million
barrels of oil a day along a route that runs across (amongst other
things) 20 major rivers and 2 dense primary forests, and borders
on several zones of conflict.
The consortium of companies backing the pipeline is only
offering to provide 30% of the £3 billion costs. BP, the company
heading the consortium, has said that the project would not be
possible without masses of `free public money' (i.e. our money),
including £65 million from the UK's own Export Credit
Guarantee Scheme. It will also need military or paramilitary
patrols all along the route to protect the pipe from sabotage and
theft. Campaigners opposing the pipeline say that the proposed
route `as well as passing through war zones, cuts through villages
and bisects peoples' lands. Many will be evicted, or forced to
trespass on oil company property in order to lead their daily
lives. Similar situations in other countries (such as BP's pipeline
in Colombia) have led to major human rights atrocities.' Whilst
Georgian peasants worry that Russia's `new hard-line' approach
to Chechnya will drag their villages back into conflict, Western
greed for Central Asian oil is driving plans that, if carried out,
will ensure that Georgia is threatened by war and environmental
crisis for decades to come.
More info: www.bankwatch.org


Crap Arrest of the Week

For kicking a balloon...
One of Turkey's most famous singers, Hulya Avsar, faces the
prospect of six months in jail for kicking balloons displaying the
Turkish flag. Avsar allegedly kicked some balloons that were in
her way as she walked to meet guests on her TV show.
Unfortunately for the popular singer it's illegal in Turkey to
display the flag on objects and near blasphemy to have the sacred
flag on the ground. The TV crew and the balloon makers also
face a six month stay in jail for the malicious act.



Last Tuesday (22nd October) workers on the Birmingham
Northern Relief Road were able to enjoy an unscheduled break
when a dozen people stormed the construction site of a bridge
over a canal and disabled diggers and a crane. The protesters say
it represents the start of a new phase of the campaign against car
culture and climate change in the face of a renewed road building
program under the Labour Government. The action happened
one day before the start of the British International Motor Show
and the UN climate conference in New Delhi, India (COP 8).
At the Motor Show in Birmingham, Europe's largest car show,
actions continued highlighting how the car industry is part of the
problem of climate change.

It's not just people in the west who have been protesting against
climate change. Those communities most affected (mostly in
southern countries) met at a Climate Justice Summit held at the
same time as the UN climate conference to provide a platform
for climate change impacted communities from around the
world. "The negotiations to solve the climate change crisis have
been hijacked by corporations and industrialised nations,
especially the US. These meetings resemble a trade meeting to
push globalisation over developing countries rather than a
meeting to address the genuine needs of people," said Medha
Patkar of the India Climate Justice Forum. The summit was
followed by a 5, 000 strong rally in New Delhi.

And while the people directly affected by climate change met to
discuss the issues affecting them the world's Governments met
to carve-up another commodity - the earth's climate. The
conference looks like being yet another failed opportunity, with
the initial draft resolution in combating climate change being
described as "unacceptable" and "worthless". Expect more
storms and floods of hot air from the conference which finishes
today. www.corpwatchindia.org
Car show actions: www.anticarshow.net

* 600 protesters managed to shut down all 28 Esso petrol
stations in Luxembourg last Saturday in a climate change protest
by Greenpeace.


Listen up !

Last Thursday protestors used D-locks, Superglue and good ol'
determination to blockade the US spy base in Menwith Hill,
Yorkshire. The blockade started at 5am with protestors
D-locking themselves to the main gates and then handcuffing
themselves to each other. With alternative gates sealed off by
Superglue and locks, all traffic was blocked and the 3 scheduled
shift changes were disrupted. Most employees were prevented
from entering the base to do their daily spying and so ended up
heading back home. After 4 ½ hours the ever-friendly men in
blue were threatening arrests and the protestors ended the
blockade, happy with the results.
So what's this spy base about then? Well, it's an `interception
centre' that would be used to co-ordinate any bombing of Iraq.
It's part of America's murky `Echelon' programme set up during
the Cold War - a network of `listening posts' able to intercept
millions of phone, fax and e-mail messages. Our upstanding
government assures us that `communication interception' is
covered by strict legal guidelines - honest! But the EU
parliamentary committee set up to investigate `Echelon' reckons
that Uncle Sam uses it for industrial espionage to benefit US
companies. So the committee recommends that all EU
capitalists encrypt everything...now!
* Fylingdale Star Peace Camp, outside the US airbase, which is
now 5 months old, have received eviction papers and are
appearing in court next week. Vigil outside the court
10.45am,6th Nov, Whitby Law Court, Waterstead Lane, Whitby.
The camp also urgently needs funds send money payable to
`WoMenwith Hill Women's Peace Camp', P.O. Box 105,
Harrogate HG3 2FE. Tel 01947896481


SchNEWS in brief

Sick of prefab pop music? To help the sporadic network aimed at
bringing down `Pop Rivals' visit www.killpop.org

The global arms trade has flourished since the end of the Cold
War. Find out in the `No-Nonsense Guide To The Arms Trade' -
available for £7 from CAAT, 11 Goodwin Street, London N4
3HQ www.caat.org.uk

Taking Aim - a Revolutionary Conference for the liberatarian
left, activists and other rebel-rousers, will be held in Bradford
next year. To get involved email conference@riseup.net.

Sic - Chumbawamba's very slick er `zine' is out. All good stuff
with Mark Thomas and others contributing, available now for a
fiver www.chumba.com/_sic.htm

To get a copy of Que Se Vayan Todos, the excellent newsprint
publication about the events of the last 12 months in Argentina
send SchNEWS a 41p SAE

Zapatista - A benefit for Mayan autonmous communities, Tues
4th downstairs at the Sanctuary, Brunswick St, Hove. With food,
info and world and rebel beats. Kicks off at 7pm with the film

Remember Barry Horne. Anniversary of the death of the animal
rights prisoner who died on hunger strike against the
government broken promises of animal welfare reform.
Memorial demo Tues 5th 2pm followed by night vigil at HLS,
Alconbury, Cambs.0845 458 0630 or 07899 775493

Scottish Anarchist Day School Sat 9th, Kinning Park Centre,
Glasgow, Scotland. 10.30am-5pm. Workshops, discussions, and
much more! £3/1. Anarcho-scots@lists.mutualaid.org

Runway No Way Demonstration against Stanstead Airport, 2nd
Nov Montessori School, Mole Hill Gn, nr Broxted. 07817

Public meeting to discuss the current aviation consultation 14th
November at Plants Brook School, Upper Holland Road, Sutton
Coldfield, West Midlands 7.30pm.

Remember the fuel blockades a couple of years ago by truckers
and farmers? Welsh farmer Mr Brynle Williams one of its
leaders claimed to have no political bias: "I'm not a politician,
I'm just a simple farmer." Well guess who has been selected as
Conservative candidate for Clwyd West? But then he did say "I
don't want a career in politics at all" so maybe joining the
dinosaur Conservative Party is the right thing to do.


Woodside lined

The Woodside Caravan Park - a legitimate campsite in
Bedfordshire bought in 1997 by 27 gypsy families - is under
threat of eviction from this Friday (1). A protest camp has been
set up to help the community resist eviction, and needs more
people and tat. This comes a week after a gypsy from another
camp, a 22 year old father of two, was subject to a murder
attempt and dumped in a coma outside Woodside in a racially
motivated act of intimidation. For Woodside residents this is
even more reason to remain on the site as they feel safer
together. Info. 01767 681 651


Barred for life

The indefinite detention of 12 people without trial in the UK
under last year's knee jerk Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security
Act (see SchNEWS 363), has been deemed legal by the High
Court. In July an appeal by those detained under the Act, led to
an immigration appeals commission to rule that it contravened
the European Convention on Human Rights. That decision has
now been overturned by the High Court who believed the
government that these 12 people are a threat to the nation's
security in this `time of emergency'. And what evidence did the
government need to produce to show that we're in a state of
emergency- well the evidence put forward by the government to
back it's argument remained secret and was not considered by
the court in it's decision. As according to the judges the
government is in a better position than the courts to make such
important decisions. Two of those detained have now left the
country, the remainder now face indefinite imprisonment for
the duration of the `emergency'.


Inside SchNEWS

Pelle Strindlund from Bye Bye Meat Industry - a group that
carries out "animal rights ploughshares type actions" - has been
given 8 months for rescuing hens from a battery farm. He'd
appreciate letters of support. Pelle Strindlund, Ostragċrd
kriminalvardsanstalt, Box 215, SE462-23 Vanersborg, Sweden
Cassidy Wheeler an US anarcho-primitivist serving 8½ years for
petty theft is looking for penpals to keep up with what's going on
whilst he's inside. Cassidy Wheeler #1428456, SRCI, 777
Stanton Blvd., Ontario, Oregon 97914-8335, USA.


...and finally...

Boom, Boom...For those readers old enough to remember Basil
Brush the country's favourite fox, you'll remember that he
wasn't all sweetness and light. Well he's back on TV screens and
he's still causing a bit of a stir, not only is he fatter and now
allegedly a bit camp, but his fox's natural instinct to dislike
farmers has resulted in an episode of his series being
`temporarily withdrawn' by the BBC. The episode, which
featured Basil calling a bad-tempered farmer `manure breath',
and then ALF-style liberating the farmer's chickens from a
chicken pie fate. The BBC insisted that the programme was not
being screened because it was "not yet ready for transmission"
and that it was nothing to do with complaints from Richard
Haddock, a member of the National Farmers' Union council,
who said: "I am absolutely disgusted. The BBC in London seems
to be going down this anti-farm agenda." Which is obviously
laughable considering the unquestionable support they gave to
last month's Countryside Alliance March.
This story was stolen from October's brilliant Shoreham
Protester- which includes loads of interesting info about the
Countryside Alliance. 50p plus SAE from The Shoreham
Protester, 7 Stoneham Road, Hove, BN3 5HJ.


Sorry it's late, it's not my fault.


Cor-blimley-they're-practically-giving-them-away book offer

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SchNEWS and SQUALL's YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of
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