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(en) SchNEWS 433, Friday 5th, December, 2003 - PLAIN TEXT

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 5 Dec 2003 06:53:06 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

"It looked like a popular, bloodless revolution on the streets.
Behind the scenes, it smells more like another victory for the
United States over Russia in the post-Cold War international chess
game." - Mark MacKinnon, journalist
While government ministers meet in Milan this week for more
farting about climate change, the pursuit of dwindling oil stocks
continues to map events across the globe. According to the
snappily named Association for the Study of Peak Oil - made up of
such radicals as former industry executives, geologists and
statisticians - oil is running out and reserves have started to
decline. No news there then. And none of this bothers the oil
junkies. While the US has less than 2 per cent of world crude-oil
reserves, it gobbles up a quarter of the world's supplies. Without
imports, it would run out of its own reserves in just three years.
Britain's total oil reserves are enough to satisfy our cravings
for a mere seven and a half years.

US Professor of Peace and Security studies, Michael Klare,
predicts the emergence of a new geography, "Attracting the
greatest interest will be places that harbour particularly
abundant supplies of vital materials." The Persian Gulf region,
which includes Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait possesses
two-thirds of known future oil reserves. The Caspian Sea Basin
which includes the Central Asian states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is next, with a fifth of the world's
total reserves, so they're the next target for the oil junkie

Of course SchNEWS now realises that the Iraq war was nothing to do
with oil - if Iraq's main export was parsnips we are sure Britain
and America would still have invaded out of a profound sense of
moral duty. A morality much in evidence in America's response to
the recent 'velvet revolution' in Georgia.

Last year Georgia, a country of five million was given $64 million
of US aid, making it the second biggest recipient of US aid per
capita after Israel. The reason? Georgia is in the frontline of
the 'war on terror'. Russia says that its mountainous Pankisi
gorge is a hideout for Chechen rebels, while the US reckons that
amongst these fighters there might be as many as a dozen Al-Qaeda
members, which works out around over five million dollars a head!

Now it just so happens that 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. Bingo! Just weeks ago
the World Bank and European Development Bank each approved a £300
million contribution for BP's massive Baku-Ceyhan pipeline
project, which will stretch from the Caspian through Azerbaijan,
Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean. According to the director
of the Liberty Institute in Georgia, western oil money provided
some of the finance behind the toppling of the Shevardnadze
regime. With 60 percent of its population living well below the
poverty level, the Georgian people had clearly had enough of
Shevardnadze. But he had also upset his western 'friends' by
arguing that the Baku-Ceyhan pipelines could damage the country's
ecology and, more importantly, by pursuing major energy deals with

Within weeks, President 'elect' Bush sent senior adviser Stephen
Mann to Tbilisi with a warning: "Georgia should not do anything
that undercuts the powerful promise of an East-West energy
corridor." When the energy deals with Russia went ahead anyway,
former U.S. secretary of state James Baker flew in and warned the
Georgian leader of the need for a free, fair parliamentary
election. The vote was rigged, the people rose, and in a bloodless
coup Shevardnadze became history. The new president Mikhail
Saakashvili is a US-trained lawyer who, according to Business
Week, has been courting Washington for some time with promises to
block Shevardnadze's plan to give Russian oil interests a foothold
in the country.



Even if we forget the damage that oil is causing to our climate,
governments and oil companies always claim that new pipelines will
benefit the poor.

Just like in the Sudan. A recent report 'Sudan, Oil and Human
Rights' shows that oil company executives "turned a blind eye" to
well-reported government attacks including aerial bombings of
hospitals, churches, relief operations and schools, so that the
opening up the oilfields might go ahead. While Sudanese government
oil revenues rose from zero in 1998 to almost 42 percent of GDP in
2001, the biggest benefactor was the military who received 60
percent of the money.

The World Bank Group justified its $93 million commitment to the
Chad-Cameroon pipeline by claiming it would help reduce poverty.
But before a drop of oil had even flowed through the pipes the
Chad Government had blown an estimated $4.5 million of oil-related
money on arms to fight its civil war.

As Michael Renner, a journalist looking into conflict caused by
resource exploitation, points out: "In case after case, an array
of burdens - ranging from the expropriation of land, disruption of
traditional ways, environmental devastation, and social maladies -
are shouldered by the local population."

Meanwhile the US has given the protection of pipeline routes
(rather than the protection of people) as a prime reason for its '
war on terror'. In its May 2002 report, the US Office of the
Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism has classified more than half of
the international terrorist attacks committed during 2001 as being
directed at a single pipeline in Colombia. In keeping with this,
the US military is redefining its role to include oil pipeline
security. US troops are now in Colombia training the army to
provide pipeline protection.

In September 2000 a bunch of neo-conservative nut cases issued a
report, the Project for the New American Century (see SchNEWS 387)
stated: "At no time in history has the international security
order been as conducive to American interests and ideals.The
challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this
American peace. " It advocated the need for the US to engage in
"constabulary duties" with a much larger military presence across
the globe. With many of those Dr. Strangelove wannabes now in the
Bush administration, their dreams are now the worlds nightmares.
The 'war on terror' provides a handy smokescreen for America to
set up military bases across the world and help itself to the
worlds dwindling oil supplies.

* For more on the oil industry check out the October edition of
the New Internationalist www.newint.org

* For more on the bloodless coup see

* Campaign against the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline www.bakuceyhan.org.uk



Stickers are really good. As propaganda they work well because
people see them for a long time.

But one particular sticker managed to stop a plane. An
unidentified man stuck one proclaiming "War is Terrorism on a
Bigger Budget" on the door of a 727 while boarding a flight from
Atlanta to San Francisco. After everybody had got on, a ground
crew worker spotted it and then all 162 people were made to get
off again and get searched once more. The plane finally left 4
hours later.

P.S. Don't get stuck up if you want any SchNEWS stickers. Just
send an SAE to the office.



Fancy working in India? The Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, Madhya
Pradesh are looking for volunteers to work in their centre,
helping local victims of the 1984 Union Carbide chemical leak help
themselves. This month is the 19th anniversary of the "Hiroshima
of the chemical industry" (see SchNEWS 238) and it continues to
poison people, with each monsoon washing more and more toxic
chemicals into the soil. In an effort to save a whopping $37 per
day, managers at the plant cut back on safety regulations and
overfilled storage tanks with the noxious MIC chemical - 500 times
more dangerous than cyanide. The inevitable initial leak killed up
to 10,000 people, with 130,000 still affected Cancer, "monster"
births and menstrual disorders are now rife in the area, for which
Union Carbide (now owned by Dow Chemicals) have never been held to
account for.

In 1994, ten years after the leak, money raised in the UK was used
to fund a multi-purpose clinic on a 2 acre plot, ½ kilometre from
the now deserted chemical plant. Volunteers work with local
residents of Bhopal in providing herbal remedies, yoga and
educational programmes to those still affected by the chemical
leaks. The Sambhavna Clinic is in the process of expanding their
operations, building a new clinic which intends to be a "model for
holistic, integrated health care", helping the community to help
themselves. Anyone is welcome as a volunteer, with people staying
for a minimum of two weeks, often integrating the work with a
broader tour of India. People with medical skills are in big
demand at the centre. Work is also needed on video documentation,
solar electric system and biological wastewater management. For
those of us who like to remain in soggy old Britain, the Pesticide
Action Network (www.pan-uk.org, 020 7274 8895) needs help with
raising funds and awareness. www.bhopal.net



Not every little country down south bends over backwards (or
forwards) to accommodate the Yankee oil dollar. Last year Costa
Rica's newly elected President Abel Pacheco promised new
legislation banning all future extraction of oil and coal and
looks set to deliver on this with politicians currently
negotiating the text of an Environmental Bill of Rights.

Pacheco's decree was a direct result of 3 years well-organised,
non-stop protest and direct action by indigenous NGO,
Anti-petroleum Action who fight oil concessions to US and Canadian
companies. Particularly big in the loser stakes are Harken Energy,
Texas-based friends of Bush, who were hoping to stick their rigs
in the Talamanca region of southeastern Costa Rica: a pristine
area resting between several protected wilderness areas and home
to endangered sea turtles.

The best case scenario is that this non-cooperation will spread
through the area and the signs are hopeful. In May this year
Nicaraguan activists in the Oilwatch network called for their
government to institute a moratorium on oil concessions. In June,
Ecuadorian environmental activists presented the new government of
Lucio Gutierrez with a proposed prohibition on expansion of the
oil frontier.

In an environmentalist's wet-dream of a presidential statement,
Pacheco announced that the ban was to protect his country's
future: "The true fuel and the true gold of the future will be
water and oxygen, our aquifers and our forests." Whatever he's on
can George have some please?

Harken Energy has lodged a claim against the Costa Rican
government for $57 million over the cancellation of an oil
exploration contract. The compensation demanded is equivalent to
more than three times the Costa Rican GDP, and 11 times larger
than the annual government budget.



* Discussion and skills-sharing event to re-launch Lancaster
Indymedia - Sun 14th, 2-6pm, The Basement, 78a Penny St.,
Lancaster. imc-lancaster@lists.indymedia.org

* What a surprise, the Indonesian government has been using
British made Hawk jets, Scorpion tanks and Saracen armoured
vehicles to repress dissent in the Aceh province, despite
Indonesian assurances that British equipment will not be used for
offensive or counter-insurgency purposes. These so-called
assurances are what the British government uses to justify sales
of weapons to oppressive regimes.

* An electricity supply station in Bergamo, Italy near a Bayer
industrial site was attacked with a pipe bomb. A communiqué
published by local newspapers stated that the action was done to
stop the works inside the factory and as a direct attack against
the genetic engineering projects of Bayer Crop Science.

* The D'Hoppe protest camp in Belgium, despite being evicted back
in July has prevented the landfill being expanded. The pressure
from the camp forced the government to investigate the landfill,
which was found to be too large and was contaminating the
environment with chlorides, heavy metals and phenols. The owner
has 9 months to clean up the contamination or face legal
proceedings. More proof that direct action works.

* Milan Rai will be talking about his new book 'Regime Unchanged:
why the war on Iraq changed nothing' Thurs 11th 6pm, Cowley Club,
12 London Road, Brighton

* Keith McHenry, founder of the Food Not Bombs movement will be
speaking Weds 10th at the Forest Cafe, 2 Bristol Place, Edinburgh

* Also on Weds 10th Slough for Peace are hosting "Giving
Globalisation the Thumbs down", the Labour Memorial Hall Church
St, MEP Dr. Lucas will be one of the speakers 8pm

* Guantanamo Bay Demo: Sat 13th End injustice at Guantanamo Bay.
1-4pm, opposite Downing Street, London. Campaign against
Criminalising Communities 020 7250 1315 www.cacc.org.uk



While the Mining Industry was having its annual back slapping
award ceremony at the Mines and Money Congress, anti-mines
campaigners handed out their own awards for making a big fat mess
of our plant rather than for making big fat wads of cash. Top
prize of the "Death Roll Award" went jointly to Jim-Bob Moffet and
Robert Wilson who are respective heads of the US company Freeport
and the UK-based company Rio Tinto. Under their leadership the
companies have taken the world's richest mineral deposit at
Grasberg from under the feet of the indigenous people of West
Papua, Indonesia. John Rumbiak, a native Papuan human rights
activist said: "In the three decades that Freeport has operated in
Papua, the company has single-handedly succeeded in establishing
its own fiefdom. With the assistance of the Indonesian armed
forces, paid by Freeport to safeguard its operations, the company
decides who can enter the area surrounding its mine and who
cannot." Rio Tinto also won the "Goni Lozada Award For
Unsustainable Development" (which is fitting considering its close
relations with the Bolivian ex-president after whom the award is
named). The judges were shocked that Rio Tinto, given its track
record, was nominated for the Mines and Money equivalent award for
"Sustainable Development". Rio Tinto also shared the "Emperor's
New Clothes Award" with Newmont and Placer Dome for its advocacy
of Submarine Tailings Disposal (dumping waste in the ocean!) in
the Asia-Pacific region despite the problems such dumping has
caused elsewhere.

For more information Phone: (+44) 20 7700 6189 or see



Democracy is alive and well in 21st Century Britain courtesy of
Thames Valley Police. Yep, you can demonstrate as long as you
don't mind being searched, shoved into the corner of a car park
where no one can see you, only allowed to protest for two hours
and have your numbers restricted. This is what happened at the
tenth annual protest against Campsfield asylum detention centre
last Saturday.

Despite nine years of demonstrating outside the gates of
Campsfield with organisers cooperating with the cops, this year
the police decided to impose severe restrictions on the demo,
under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. Many of the people
demonstrating were themselves asylum seekers who after fleeing
persecution were very frightened by what the police were doing.
Apparently the restrictions were the result of police
"intelligence", so had the police uncovered a sinister plot? No,
Group4 Security had told lies to the police saying that detainees
were upset by the fact that people outside were vocally supporting
them with drums, chants and loud hailers. The police even had the
audacity to cite the Human Rights Act 'that detainees have the
right not to be disturbed in detention'! This is despite people
from the Campaign being told repeatedly by detainees that they
welcome outside support. The Close Campsield Campaign are going to
make complaints about the policing operation, they are seeking
reports and pictures of the demonstration. Contact Bill on 01865
558145 or go to www.closecampsfield.org.uk



SchNEWS doesn't usually encourage rampant consumerism unless it's
our products we're ruthlessly peddling.

* You may have been there, you may have done it, but have you
bought the t-shirt? We've got SchNEWS black t-shirts, with "If
you're not pissed off You're not paying attention" on the front
and the website and monkey wrench bunny on the back are available
short sleeved in skinny rib or large sizes for £8, or long sleeve
(M/L/XL) for £10.

* SchNEWS books for sale: This year's annual Peace de Resistance
and CD-Rom £10; SchNEWS of the World £6.50; Yearbook 2001 - a
bargain at only £3; SchQUALL - nearly sold out £7; Survival
Handbook only £2; SchNEWS annual only £2; and we thought they were
gone, but we've found a few more, the second SchNEWS book,
SchNEWSround for £5.

* All prices include postage in the UK. Make cheques payable to
Justice? To get your order in for Christmas send them to: SchNEWS
(Merchandise), 55 Canning Street, Brighton BN2 0EF.

* FREE Stickers to spread the word, send us an SAE and we'll send
you a load, or download them off our website.


..and finally...

It's something all parents have to do - choose a name for their
new born. But how about calling him or her L'Oreal, Del Monte or
even ESPN (it's a U.S. sports channel). Yep there's a new craze in
affluent America of naming babies after large corporations with
names like Timberland, Canon, Chevrolet and even Courvoisier,
after the cognac. Cleveland Evans, a professor who has been
studying baby names for 25 years reckons it reflects parents
"aspirations" and growing desire on the part of parents to mark
their children out as different! Let's hope SchNEWS readers don't
start jumping on the bandwagon and calling their new born Crap
Baby of the Week.



SchNEWS warns all readers that oil's well thats end well...



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per book, further details as below...this one comes with a free
multimedia CD too!

SchNEWS Of The World - issues 301-350 for £6!! Past books are
goin' cheap... SchNEWSround issues 51-100 - SOLD OUT; SchNEWS
annual issues 101-150 - going for £2!! Survival Handbook issues
151-200 - also at £2; SchQUALL issues 201-250 - almost sold out -
£6; Yearbook 2001 issues 251-300 - bargain £3. Add £1.70 p&p for
each book, cheques to Justice? Honest!

In addition to 50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles,
photos, cartoons, subverts, a "yellow pages" list of contacts,
etc. You can also order the books from a bookshop or library.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9
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post-free to prisoners.


SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone: 01273 685913 (NO FAX)
Email: schnews@brighton.co.uk Web: www.schnews.org.uk


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