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(en) SchNEWS 381, Friday 15th November, 2002

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 15 Nov 2002 05:07:08 -0500 (EST)

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


"Bush, Blair, Berlusconi - they don't speak for the people. We speak for the
people. And we the people are going to stop this war." - Speaker at European
Social Forum, Florence.
Last Saturday over half a million people marched through Florence in
Europe's biggest demonstration yet against the forthcoming US invasion of
the Middle East. Maybe it was a million as some reports have said, but
SchNEWS ran out of fingers and toes to count on after four hours of seeing
people stream along the well-reclaimed city bypass that was the only road in
town big enough for the protest.
The march took place during the European Social Forum meeting in Florence
and was always going to be a big march, with communists and anarchists,
unions and peace groups, and social forums from across Italy taking part.
But it was more than that. It was another example of the growing, often
unreported movement against Bush and Blair's war plans that is sweeping the
US and Europe.
While Britain was represented by everything from Essex Students to Dundee
Trades Council, the march was largely Italian, young and unaligned. Local
residents clapped and cheered, hanging out anti-war banners. The conference
before the march saw meetings in aircraft hangers overflowing with people -
60,000 turned up for the Forum instead of the expected 20,000 - wanting to
discuss anti-capitalism and the coming war. At one meeting of 2,000 people,
a Vietnam war veteran told the crowd, "We didn't start protesting about the
Vietnam war until it had been going on for years. This movement is much
bigger, and you can stop them too". During the conference, a local
Caterpillar factory that makes vehicles used to crush Palestinian homes was
occupied and its contents rearranged. Demos, discussions and direct action
are all part of the growing global movement against this war and the crazy
system that is making it happen.


In order to regain control of Iraq's oilfields, the US is willing to let the
Iraqi people pay a very high price. According to a new report by British
health professionals, a war against Iraq could kill half a million people,
mostly civilians. 260,000 are likely to die in the conflict and its
immediate aftermath, with a further 200,000 dying later from famine and
disease - the US will target bombs on water systems and other infrastructure
to cripple the country and will ensure these deaths. In the report's worst
case scenario, nuclear weapons are fired on Iraq in response to a chemical
or biological attack on Kuwait or Israel, leaving a massive 3.9 million
people dead.
But all that's just for starters. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz has said that a US-imposed regime in Iraq would "cast a very large
shadow, starting with Syria and Iran, but across the whole Arab world". Iran
is a country with a population larger than that of the UK and was described
by Bush as part of the "Axis of Evil", perhaps making it the next country to
be made safe for "US vital interests". The brutal Israeli occupation of
Palestine could become the norm for the rest of the Arab world as a foreign
power imposes its will by military force. The people of the Middle East are
about to pay a very high price for capitalism's addiction to oil.
The diverse, growing movement against war knows all this. A new generation
of activists in the rich countries of Europe and North America who want to
live in a sustainable and just world are challenging their own governments
and finding friends and allies in the countries attacked in their name.
There have been over 400 major demonstration in the US against an attack on
Iraq. This was described as "a burgeoning national anti-war movement," by
the Washington Post, "with protesting by people who have never protested
before". Many US and European activists, often Jewish, have gone to
Palestine, risking their lives in order to provide Palestinian families with
some protection from Israeli attacks. In Florence, groups discussed
blockading US airbases across Europe, jamming airbase radar systems with
balloons and tinfoil, taking direct action to stop the supplies necessary
for war. As one protester told SchNEWS, "If Bush and Blair think this
movement is going to write letters, march politely and then go home, they're
in for a fright."
* To read about the report on Iraq deaths
* Recommended reading 'War Plan Iraq' by Milan Rai (Verso 2002)
SchNEWS poser of the week:
How come Neo-Labour has got enough money to bomb Iraq, but can't afford to
pay striking firefighters a decent wage?
* The Brighton Firefighters support group is meeting Wednesday 20th at St.
George's Community Centre (Crypt of St. George's Church), St. George's Road,
Kemptown 7.45pm to discuss what steps they can take to support the strike.
* For more on the strike www.30kfirepay2.co.uk www.labournet.net


On 6th October, three American nuns disabled a US nuclear missile silo in
northern Colorado. Dressed in white boiler suits with 'Disarmament
Specialists' written on the front and 'CWIT' (Citizen Weapons Inspection
Team) in big letters across the back, the Dominican sisters bashed up the
silo lid and the tracks that carry the lid to its firing position, cut
cables, and cut through the surrounding fence. The action, which took place
on the first anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, is the 79th
ploughshares or related disarmament action since 1980 in the United States,
Europe, and Australia. In a statement carried with them onto the site, Carol
Gilbert, Jackie Hudson, and Ardeth Platte stated that they had "come to
Colorado to unmask the false religion and worship of national security... We
hope in the light of [God's] Word to name things what they are, to unmask
the lies, abuses, and racism hidden in the rhetoric of patriotism, security
and moral superiority." All three have been charged with Sabotage and
Malicious Destruction of Property of the United States and each faces up to
30 years in jail. Write to them at: Clear Creek County Jail, Box 518,
Georgetown, CO 80444, USA. For more info email: disarmnow@erols.com or visit


Groups in a number of places including Brighton, Leicester and Bristol are
planning Stop the City, Stop the War demonstrations if war is declared on
Iraq. Check out the full listings on the Party and Protest section of our
website and if we don't have your event listed, let us know what your plans
are. ** The Stop the War group at the School of Oriental and African Studies
have launched a new website: www.soasstopwar.org ** Disobedience Anti-war
Benefit -with Citizen Fish, P.A.I.N. and Subsister, plus DJ's, Food &
Stalls. 23rd Nov. 7pm, Chats Palace, 42-44 Brooksby's Walk, Homerton, E9.
£5/£3.50 www.disobedience.org.uk ** Discussion on war coverage and the risks
faced by journalists. In memory of BBC journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan who
was killed two years ago reporting from the war torn Sri Lanka. NUJ, 308
Grays Inn Road, London WC1. 25th Nov, 6pm. www.rsf.org ** NATO war-mingers
will meet in Prague, Czech Republic (21st-22nd Nov) to discuss, among other
things, the so-called "War on Terrorism" and the expansion of NATO into
Eastern Europe. Actions are being planned against the Summit. Border actions
are also planned in the likely event that protesters are stopped from
entering the country. Latest info: www.antinato.cz



Since the late 90s the Indigenous Mapuche people, whose ancestral lands have
been occupied by the states of Chile and Argentina since 1885, have been
occupying land and engaging in other forms of nonviolent direct action to
defend their communities. More recently they have been involved in
campaigning and land occupations to defend the environment from forestry
companies and large dams. These actions have sparked a violent response from
the state at levels that would make General Pinochet proud! Hundreds of
Mapuches have been arrested under State Security and Anti-terrorism laws.
Two community leaders have been murdered, and last week 17-year old activist
Edmundo Alex Lemun Saavedra was shot in the head when police attacked a
non-violent land occupation of the Mininco forest. He later died in
hospital. www.mapuche-nation.org or
 www.chile.indymedia.org (in spanish)


Help! SchNEWS needs people to help with the mailout on Friday afternoons for
a couple of hours. And with desk top publishing on Thursday evenings. There
will be a DTP training evening Thursday 28th, give the office a call if yer
interested in either. ** Aspire have opened a new social centre in Leeds and
promise a week packed with workshops, film shows, food and other groovy
stuff. Buckingham House, Otley Road, Leeds. Also a free shop where you bring
anything that you don't want and take things you do. ** Woodside Caravan
Park, the travellers who brought their own site, have managed to delay
eviction. They have lodged an appeal and are safe until then (although the
appeal date has yet to be set). www.f-f-t.demon.co.uk/fft/WOODSIDE.HTM If
you want to be on their Red-Alert list ring 01206 523 528 ** Undercurrents
BeyONd TV 3rd Annual Video Activist Festival. 23rd Nov. noon- 9pm, Swansea
Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea. www.undercurrents.org/beyondtv/ **
Mad Pride have a benefit night Tuesday 19th, Bull And Gate, 389 Kentish Town
Road, London NW5. 7.30 pm. £5 on the door with performers and comedians 020
7388 8679  ** Good SchNEWS - McDonald is closing lots of its restaurants!
Many of these are in the Middle East, where a boycott of US goods and
services is having an impact. A total of 175 restaurants in 10 countries are
closing, and McD shares worth £31 two years ago are now worth only £10! **
Anti-Capitalist Social Night, Nov 19th, 9pm upstairs at the Princess Louise,
208-209 High Holborn, London. 07944 586416 www.temporary.org.uk ** On
November 7, over 2500 people in Chicago marched in protest of the annual
meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD is yet another
'government in bed with big business' think tank and is made up of the 100
most powerful captains of industry from the EU and America. Their mission is
to "remove obstacles to trade" between the EU and US, including such
nuisances as the restrictions on marketing GM products. According to US
officials, up to 80% of TABD's recommendations have been turned into
official policy. www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news284.htm. ** Women Speak Out
Gathering next weekend (22-24). A gathering of women activists from all
kinds of movements and backgrounds to meet and exchange experiences, views
and ideas. MERCi Centre, 22a Beswick Street, Manchester. Children are
welcome and there's even crash space. £10 donation requested for the weekend
including vegan food. 0161 227 8086/07753 606723 www.bellow.org.uk **
Sweatshops, Globalisation and International Solidarity Sat 23rd Nov.
Conference to bring together campaigners and campaigns from the
anti-sweatshop movement. 12-6pm, School of Oriental and African Studies,
London. £5. 07904 431 959 www.nosweat.org.uk ** Say no to US training of
terrorists!! The US Army School of the Americas has been training Latin
American soldiers in counter-insurgency (read: torture, oppression, and
genocide) since 1946. Protest against the School of the Americas Sat 16th
from 1-4pm at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London. ** Week of action
against Newchurch Guinea Pigs (who breed them for vivisection) 18th-24th
Nov. www.guineapigs.org.uk or 01902-564734 ** The new Sussex Anti-Corruption
Alliance want groups and individuals to get involved
www.sac-a.human-rights.org ** "Riding the Dragon", a new book highlighting
the abuses that Shell oil company have committed, was published on Tuesday
accompanied by protests outside some of Shell's worst refineries. The book
and other facts about Shell can be seen at www.shellfacts.com



Neo-Labour promised to get tough on criminals this week - but if you happen
to be a company director who kills one of your workers, you're in luck! This
so-called 'justice for all' doesn't include you. Five years ago, the Labour
Government promised that it would do something about corporate crime.
Unsurprisingly, victims and their families are still waiting. Chris Jones,
father of Simon who was killed at work 4 1/2 half years ago, told SchNEWS,
"This is the same old Blairite crap: go for soft targets and easy results.
Graffiti artists haven't killed or injured anybody. Yes, paedophiles are
nasty, but corporate cowboys killed Simon at work, and at least 1500 people
since him. Neo-Labour has done nothing about it. The Home Office is fast
becoming the political wing of the CBI. Apart from ratting on their promise
to bring in the corporate killing bill, they are also trying to sneak in the
removal of compulsory inquests into work-related deaths, and have
specifically excluded victims of health and safety crimes from the
much-hyped 'Victims' Charter'. The cover-up goes on."
So remember - tough on chewing gum and spray paint, but not on corporate
Centre for Corporate Accountability 020 7490 4494



Another node of international resistance has sprung up in Caracas,
Venezuela, with the opening of the Libertarian Social Studies Centre. The
centre - which runs along the lines of promoting self-organisation, anarchy,
and solidarity free from party politics - has opened a vast library and
hopes to buy a printing press for some pamphleteering. But it needs
donations (in US$$) for rent and resources! centrosociallibertario@yahoo.com



Robert "Seth" Hayes, a former member of the Black Panther Party and in
prison for the past 30 years, has been moved from the hospital ward where he
was receiving treatment for Hepatitis C and Diabetes and has been
transferred to the general prison. He is suffering from dizziness, weakness,
headaches, and loss of feeling in his extremities. The prison has cut off
all monitoring of his medical status, claiming that it is no longer needed.
They have also refused to purchase personal blood sugar testing units for
Seth or any of the 40-50 other diabetics in the prison. Please write to Dr.
Lester Wright, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Correctional Services,
Albany, NY, 12226, USA, to demand Seth be given adequate medical care.
Letters of support to: Robert "Seth" Hayes #74A-2280, Clinton Correctional
Facility, Box 2001, Dannemora, New York, 12929, USA. Full details:


...and finally...

Security services in German who'd been secretly tapping the phones of 50
people got caught out recently after the people whose phones they were
evesdropping on got charged for the privilege! One confused customer
complained to the phone company about a mysterious phone number on his bill
that he was supposed to have made calls to. But when he called the number he
was told by a message that he did not have authorisation! Oops! The security
services admitted there had been some error and said it was caused by a
software glitch. Any geeks out there know how to cause the same "problem" in


SchNEWS warns Florence not to mess around with Dougal or else Zebedee will
go boing!


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

SchNEWS Round issues 51 - 100 £4.00 inc. postage.
SchNEWS Annual issues 101 - 150 £4.00 inc. postage.
SchNEWS Survival Guide issues 151 - 200 and a whole lot more £4.00 inc.
The SchQUALL book at only £7 + £1.50 p&p. (US Postage £4.00 for
individual books, £13 for all four).
SchNEWS and SQUALL's YEARBOOK 2001. 300 pages of adventures from the
direct action frontline. £7 + £1.50 p&p. You can order the book from a
bookshop or your library, quote the ISBN 09529748 4 3.
In the UK you can get 2, 3, 4 & 5 for £20 inc. postage.

SchNEWS Of The World issues 301 - 350. 300 more pages of adventures from
the direct action frontline. £7 + £1.50 p&p. You can order the book from
a bookshop or your library, quote the ISBN 09529748 6X

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
photos, cartoons, subverts, a "yellow pages" list of contacts, comedy

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