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(en) SchNEWS 434, Friday 12th December, 2003

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 12 Dec 2003 11:47:59 +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

"Ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the
human spirit and anywhere, anytime, ordinary people are given the
chance to choose, the choice is the same. Freedom not tyranny.
Democracy not dictatorship. The rule of law not the rule of the
secret police." - Tony Blair, talking to the US Congress
It was Human Rights Day on Wednesday and Bush and Blair have had a
busy year upholding these rights: locking up refugees, repressing
dissent, bombing countries in the name of peace and exporting arms
to dodgy regimes - all in the name of Freedom of course.

Britain is the only European Union country to detain asylum seeker
children and practise detention without time limits. Luckily we've
got Group 4 security looking after those banged up for the crime
of wanting a better life. The company boasts that it has been
"recognised by the Home Office for leadership in implementation of
the Human Rights Act." Unfortunately this week's expose of its
guards at the Yarlswood detention centre paints a bit of a
different picture. During one session on human rights, trainees
were told, "Now they (asylum seekers) are rowing over in dinghies.
Sink them, that's what the Navy should be doing." And while the
company talks of the need to "establish positive relationships"
the undercover journalist was told, "Don't befriend them. Other
officers will turn on you."

Recently at another detention centre, Campsfield, police clamped
down on a demonstration in support of the detainees by imposing
strict limits on the demonstrators and shoving them into a corner
of a car park where no one could see them (see last week's


Over in the states, Kathy Kelly was arrested at a demonstration
against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
after trespassing at their US military training camp. The
Institute has been a target of protestors for years because it
teaches Latin American soldiers all about the Western values of
counter-insurgency. The Public Relations spokespeople for the
Institute claims that the school has been reformed and now teaches
these soldiers the same standards of respect for human rights and
civil law practiced by the US military. Which is why once Kathy
was arrested, she was pushed to the floor, handcuffed, kneed while
begging for relief because she couldn't breathe, dragged and
threatened with pepper spray if she didn't cooperate when being

Meanwhile in Iraq, top military commander General Ricardo Sanchez
has been busy with his new get-tough strategy with tactics
borrowed from Israel, who we can often see on the TV practicing
their own kind of 'freedom' on Palestinians. After the Yanks got
fed up with attacks from the village of Abu Hishma, a 500-bomb was
dropped on one house while eight sheiks, the mayor, the police
chief and most members of the city council have been arrested.
Razor wire fencing now stretches for five miles around the whole
village. "This fence is here for your protection," reads the sign
"Do not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot." All men
aged 18 to 65 have been ordered to get identification cards. One
Colonel said "With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of
money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we
are here to help them."

One of the reasons given for invading Iraq was to get rid of the
brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein (and let's forget that it was the
moral West who supported and armed him in the first place!). So
what about other brutal tyrants? Well in Uzbekistan there are over
6,000 political and religious prisoners, and every year some of
them can look forward to being tortured to death. Sometimes they
have their ribs and then their skulls broken with hammers or have
bits of skin ripped off with pliers. Some have been left to stand
up to their knees for a fortnight in freezing water; others have
been boiled to death. But Uzbekistan, in the middle of central
Asia's massive gas and oil fields and is seen by the US government
as a key western asset. Last year, the country received $500
million in aid, of which $79 million went to the police and
intelligence services, who are responsible for most of the
torture. Meanwhile at the beginning of the year Tony 'democracy
not dictatorship' Blair, gave Uzbekistan the green light to import
whatever weapons it wanted from us.

Then there's Guantanamo Bay where for the past two years 600
people have been held in small cages without trial. They
eventually face a closed military tribunal, with prosecution,
defence and judge all appointed by the US military. Or Belmarsh
Prison, where 16 people are being held indefinitely without charge
under our Terrorism laws. These are some of the shining examples
of Freedom and Democracy that we are holding up as an example to
dictatorships across the world.


One thing both Britain and America like is handing out weapons
around the world. Only the other day Amnesty International
published 'The Pain Merchants' a report that showed that last year
the Bush administration approved the export of electro-shock
weapons valued at $14.7 million and restraints worth $4.4 million.
45 countries bought the stuff, including 19 that have been cited
for the use of such weapons to torture prisoners. Take Turkey for
example: in one case a 17-year-old schoolgirl who had been
detained for distributing leaflets calling for Kurdish education
was stripped, threatened with rape and tortured with electric
shocks to her feet, legs and stomach.

Every minute of every day someone is killed by conventional arms.
So International Human Rights Day this year was the day a number
of countries pledged their support for an international Arms Trade
Treaty. Unfortunately it wasn't the world's biggest arms
exporters, but the political leaders of Brazil, Cambodia, Mali,
Macedonia, Costa Rica, Finland and the Netherlands that made the
announcement. It will be interesting to see if any of the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council - the largest
producers and traders in weapons rush over and put their name to
such a treaty. SchNEWS warns readers not to hold their breath.

* Demo Against Guantanamo Bay Saturday 13th. 1pm till 4pm outside
Downing Street. Orange overalls, blind folds and handcuffs
optional. Campaign Against Criminalising Communities 020 7250 1315


Crap Arrest Of The Week

For buying a lemonade!
A fire fighter from Minnesota was on holiday in Miami at the same
time as the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, where the
authorities were busy beating the human rights out of anyone they
thought might be an anarchist (see SchNEWS 432). The fireman
decided to stop and buy a lemonade on the way back to his hotel
but after leaving the store he found his way blocked by a police
line where upon he asked them which way to go to his car. He was
then nicked, held for 48 hours and then taken to court where the
prosecution realised that actually he was a fire fighter, was
nothing to do with the demo and dropped all the charges.


SchNEWS in brief

** The 2004 Miners Strike 20th Anniversary Calendar makes an ideal
Christmas present for yer dad. Send a cheque for £7.70 payable to
London Class War, to Class War, PO Box 467, London E8 3QX

** Barclays Bank have decided not to provide a loan to the
controversial Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. This is a major victory
for the campaign, but two other banks HSBC and Royal Bank of
Scotland are due to make decisions on loans on the 20th Dec and so
need to be targeted urgently. 01865 200 550 www.bakuceyhan.org.uk

** A new independent social centre in Aberdeen is planned, help
from volunteers, or anyone whose had any experience in setting up
something similar are welcome email: trained_chimp666@hotmail.com

** The Leamington Spark is Leamington Spa's new radical
newsletter. Issue 2 is out now - copies online at
http://latest-info.com/leamaltnews or available around town

** Meanwhile the Bradford Anarchist Group have been publishing
Bradford Calling. For copies send an SAE c/o 17-21 Chapel St.,
Bradford, BD1 5DT bradfordcalling@yahoo.com

** To find out if similar stuff's happening in your area go to
www.schnews.org.uk/pap/yourarea.htm - and let us know of any

** A new briefing by Corporate Watch, looking at the personal
experiences of farmers in Oxfordshire, provides an interesting
insight into the way corporate control has been probably the most
damaging influence on the farming in the last forty years

** The Fourth World War a new film about people around the world
who resist war - screening @ The Locomotive pub, 44 Mill Road,
Cambridge. Sun 14th, 7:30pm. www.bignoisefilms.com/4ww/index.htm

** Last week 15 people who have been 'resettled' from their land
to make way for the Sardar Sarovar Dam, in the Narmarda Valley,
India, attempted suicide. This sad event brought to the attention
of the world the shit deal those affected by the dam have been
dealt by the Indian Government. Surveys have shown that despite
government claims many of the displaced people have not received
the jobs and land that they'd been promised. www.narmada.org

** Forty Greenpeace activists invaded a French nuclear power
station last week to highlight the French government's nuclear
addiction. Greenpeace want to help them break the nuclear habit by
switching to wind power and set up wind turbines in the site!

** The government are looking for 10,000 good citizens to help
them develop the technology for their superb new ID card, which
they claim will help us to rid the UK of terrorists and illegal
immigrants. If you'd like to help (or maybe hinder) the trials
contact Melanie Briere at MORI, 020 7347 3023 trial@mori.com

** Benefit gig for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee,
featuring Crowzone, Careless and Chicuahua Zycantah, at the
Joiners Arms, Southampton, Mon 22nd, £3 www.freeleonardpeltier.org

** Meeting to set up a Nottingham Food Not Bombs Sun 14th, 7pm at
the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street. Bring some vegan food to
share sumac@veggies.org.uk

** Faslane, the home of Trident nuclear submarines, was shut down
for 4 hours on Tuesday when an activist climbed onto an MOD police
gate guarding the site. While she was there all personnel were
confined to barracks. She left after spray painting "Merry Xmas
from Faslane - No War" on the gate

** Following fires at Woomera, Baxter and Port Headland
immigration centres in Australia the Christmas Island detention
camp was also burnt to the ground last Monday causing millions of
pounds of damage. All detainees are now to be moved to other
detention centres.


Inside SchNEWS

If you've ever wanted to write to a prisoner but didn't know what
to say, now's a good time to send a christmas card to brighten up
their day. Here's a few long term political prisoners who could do
with a bit of support. More on writing to prisoners see

In June 2000, two US eco/anarchist activists, were found guilty of
setting fires to SUV's at a car showroom. Craig Marshall was
sentenced to 5 years 5 months, while Jeffrey Luers was convicted
to an outrageous 22 years and 5 months. Jeffrey Luers, #13797671,
OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem Oregon 97310, USA. Craig Marshall,
#13797662, SRCI, Stanton Boulevard, Ontario Oregon, USA.

Robert Lee Thaxton, #12112716 777, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem,
OR 97310, USA. Long time anarchist organiser, publisher and
writer, one of the few people who faced serious charges for the
June 18 anti-capitalist actions that took place around the world
in 1999 (see SchNEWS 217), was sentenced to over 7 years.

Jerome White-Bey, # 37979, South Central Correctional Centre, 255
West Highway 32,Licking, MO 65542-9069, USA. An anarchist prison
activist who set up the Missouri Prison Labour Union to fight
slave labour in prisons.

Harold Thompson, #93992, NWCC, Site 1, Route 1, Box 660,
Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079, USA. In prison since 1979, serving a
life sentence plus about 90 years. He is a passionate anarchist
and jailhouse lawyer who never gives up. He has also recently been
busy suing Aryan Brotherhood scum who attacked him inside.

Inaki Garcia Koch serving 5 years for sabotaging construction of
the Itoiz Dam. Letters to: Carcel de Pamplona, C/san Rogue, Apdo
250, 31080 Irunez, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.

Thomas Meyer Falk, JVA Bruchsal, Zelle 3117, Schoenbornstr. 32,
76646 Bruchsal, Germany. Imprisoned for a political fundraising
and bank robbery and will be inside until at least 2010.

Tomek Wilkoszewski, Zaklad Karny, ul. Orzechowa 5, 98-200 Sieradz,
Poland. Sentenced to 15 years after killing a Nazi in self

Fintan Lane, Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Road, Limerick, Ireland.
Sentenced to 60 days for non payment of a 750 Euro fine following
an anti war mass trespass at Shannon airport in Oct 2002.

Important: cards need to be sent today (12th) for them to get to
the prisoners by Christmas.

* The Campaign Against Prison Slavery are having a Xmas Picket on
Saturday 20th December at Wilkinson's 78-102 The Broadway,
Stratford, London. Bring banners, Xmas fancy dress and plenty of
Christmas spirit! Wilkinson's stuff is so cheap because they get
prisoners to make it for them for a pittance. More information
see: www.againstprisonslavery.org



Talk about double standards: Before the Stop Bush demo, teachers,
headmasters and police were all on telly saying kids would be
suspended or expelled for going on the march. Then last Monday for
the rugby world cup parade a senior cop said "Truanting children
are not my priority." and before the big demo against George W
there were scare stories about how Al Qaeda would use the demo as
cover for terrorism, but no such warnings for the rugby victory

Also here at SchNEWS towers we're quite used to the cops and media
getting it wrong on the "How many were there?" question but
normally they say it's well under the actual figure that attended.
This time, surprise surprise, it was miles over with the media
saying there were 750,000 people there. Maybe the person counting
was pissed and seeing double!



This week a group of former terror suspects had charges against
them dropped - predictably there was no big fanfare from the media
that the justice system had messed up. Nine Algerian men were
arrested last December. They were kept in jail for four months
without charge, released on bail in March and finally had their
charges dropped on Tuesday.

Rosemary McIlwhan, director of the Scottish Human Rights Centre
said: "It is interesting to see that the arrest of these people
was trumpeted and fanfared whereas when they were released it was
very quiet, and now we have had the charges dropped with next to
no comment at all. It raises the issue that the government is
stirring up hysteria about terrorism that is not really there."

Three of the men arrested have complained that the terrorism
allegations are still hanging over them. Hakim Ziem, 32, said: "We
cannot go back to our country to see our families, we cannot go to
work because everyone knows our names, we cannot do anything, our
lives have been destroyed." The men want an official declaration
of their innocence after claiming they would face death squads if
they return to Algeria. They are also demanding answers regarding
their detention, which they said had implications for other people
arrested under terrorism laws since the World Trade Centre
attacks. Perhaps the police should investigate first and then
arrest people... or realize that not all criminals are Irish,
black or Islamic. In fact police figures show that while Irish and
Black communities are arrested more they have lower crime and drug
use rates.

In contravention of international law, anti-terrorist legislation
allows persecution of ethnic minorities. The government treats
foreigners accused of crimes as automatically guilty, following
the lead of human rights law specialists - the US government, who
have similar legislation, allowing any non citizen to be locked up
indefinitely for any 'violation' (which is not a guilty verdict).

* Meanwhile the case against the six people who were arrested and
charged under anti-terror legislation in December last year for
supporting the struggle for democracy in Turkey continued at
Kingston Crown Court last Friday. The Justice system hit a new low
as the men face charges of "facilitating the retention or control
of terrorist property" which turned out to be magazines, films and
posters in support of a Turkish political party critical of the
Turkish government. These 'terrorist' magazines are actually legal
in "liberal" Turkey... (see SchNEWS 392)

Within the last week there have been numerous arrests under the
Terrorism Act and again they follow the same pattern. Politicians
confirm live on television the guilt of those arrested, details of
those detained splashed all over the papers and follow up arrests
leading to more detentions. No quick or fair process is guaranteed
for those that find themselves on the receiving end of these
operations. Almost a year later and the six are still being held
for having a few magazines.


..and finally...

Fed up wtih Christmas already? Well you're not the only one. Shop
workers in Germany and Holland have vowed to go on strike if they
have to endure anymore Christmas carols, which are played in a
continuous loop all the time they are at work. Spokesman Gottfried
Rieser said "Unlike the clients, the shop workers can't escape
this Christmas muzak which is boosting through the loudspeakers
all day long. It arouses aggressive feelings and they are getting
an aversion to all carols. They feel as if they are terrorized.
Especially Jingle Bells which is the worst." We couldn't agree
more! Bah Humbug!



SchNEWS warns all readers writes is right up our alley. Honest!



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