A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) SchNEWS 397/398, Friday 28th March, 2003

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 28 Mar 2003 08:02:05 +0100 (CET)

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

wake up! wake up! it's those pesky kids from... SchNEWS
"This war is a campaign of humanity."
- Donald Rumsfeld US Defence Secretary.
"The mother held one child after another. Her eight-year-old daughter had
been killed. A small girl, half naked, was cradled in one of the woman's
arms, emitting tearing screams whenever she was moved -- into the X-ray
room, out again, into the treatment room. Her face was ripped by shrapnel.
Another child was in a bed. The doctor lifted the blankets to reveal a
bloody mess of open leg. She howled and screamed as they tried to clean it,
called out to Allah while her mother and aunt held her. Her head was heavily
bandaged and one eye closed and swollen. 'The skull is also open,' the
doctor said."
- Jo Wilding, activist staying in Baghdad.

So let's get this straight. America and Britain are busy helping to save the
Iraqi people by blowing them up (instead of liberate read eliminate),
bombing them with weapons of mass destruction because we are told Iraq has,
er, weapons of mass destruction. After last Friday, Iraqis have been treated
to the 'mother of all bombings' - the most momentous display of firepower in
the history of warfare. This has then been followed by 'smart bombs' so
pinpoint accurate that they've hit everything from a Baghdad market to a
Syrian bus carrying civilian passengers to their own planes! As Dr. Mohammad
T. Al-Rasheed so aptly pointed out, "The logic of killing hundreds of
thousands to get rid of one man is the logic of the megalomaniacs and the

Many of the bombs being dropped on Iraq contain Depleted Uranium (DU), a
radioactive by-product from nuclear reactors. So no need to worry, if the
bombs don't get you then the uranium will. When a DU shell explodes, it
sends out dust particles contaminated with uranium that are small enough to
be inhaled - high doses kill, low levels can cause cancer. And the dust
particles make no distinction between civilians and the military. The United
Nations has passed two resolutions which include depleted uranium weapons
among "weapons of mass or indiscriminate destruction", and have also found
them incompatible with International humanitarian or human rights law. The
uranium used has a half-life of 4.5 billion years (for all you
non-scientists out there, that means it takes a bloody long time to
decompose) and Professor Doug Rokke, a former US Army physicist, sees it as
"a form of nuclear weapon that contaminates everything and everyone."

Since the last Gulf War, leukaemia and Hodgkins disease in Iraq have
increased tenfold, as has the proportion of babies born with birth
defects -without heads, brains, spines and limbs. Cancer specialist Dr Jawad
Al-Ali describes the dust as carrying "the seeds of our death" and estimates
that in the southern Iraqi city of Basra almost half the population could
develop cancer within ten years.

If the bombs and poisonous dust don't kill Iraqis, then how about the last
twelve years of sanctions, the most draconian ever imposed by the United
Nations (see SchNEWS 235). The sanctions block medicines, ambulances, food,
and even pencils and crayons destined for primary schools (they might take
out the graphite for use in nuclear power stations!). Denis Halliday, who
was sent to Iraq as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, described the sanctions
' effects on Iraq as "nothing less than genocide." Similar words have been
used by his successor, Hans Von Sponeck. Both resigned in disgust.

Before the sanctions, Iraq had the best national health service in the Arab
Middle East. Now, according to UNICEF, up to six thousand children die each
month as a direct result of the sanctions and not, as Blair assures us,
because Saddam starves them. 32% of children under 5 are chronically
malnourished and suffer and die from preventable and curable diseases due to
a massive lack of medical supplies. A visiting child psychologist reported
that some children no longer play games because the games remind them of
dead friends they used to play with.

The sanctions have also made the catastrophic effects of depleted uranium in
Iraq even worse. After the last Gulf war, southern Iraq is still littered
with burnt-out tanks contaminated with the remains of a million depleted
uranium shells. While in Kuwait millions were spent on environmental
clean-up efforts, Iraq had only scarce funds for reconstruction, leaving
radioactive waste to rot, untreated. The resultant epidemic of cancers is a
catastrophe that Iraq's health care system can't cope with, thanks to
sanctions which block medicines getting through and which make drugs too
expensive for the vast majority of people.

But then this war was never about liberating the ordinary people of Iraq,
but about oil and controlling the Middle East. As journalist Paul Routledge
said, "The New World Order turns out to be the The World Ordered Around by
the USA. The 21st century looks like being the century of unrelenting
American imperialism. Its slogan: 'Agree with Washington - or you are dead.

For a different perspective on the war see: www.indymedia.org; www.zmag.org;
Recommend reading: John Pilger "The New Rulers of the World" (Verso 2002);
Anthony Arnove "Iraq under siege" (Pluto Press 2003).


Jo Wilding is a peace activist monitoring the situation in Baghdad. Here are
a few excerpts from her diary: March 25th: In the end, three people died
yesterday in the farmhouse which was bombed at Dialla, including the young
wife, Nahda, who was missing in the rubble. She, along with Zahra the eight
year old daughter and her aunt, Hana, were buried this morning. People are
taken for burial in coffins but are buried in shrouds. A pick-up truck
returned to the remains of the house with the three caskets riding in the
back, cobbled together out of small pieces of wood.
In fact, the couple had been married just one week, not three as I wrote
yesterday, and a neighbour showed us a flouncy pink invitation to the
wedding festival. Omar, the bridegroom, sat silently crying on the floor in
the hospital corridor, leaning on the wall, body bent, head in his hands.

There was nothing which could explain the attack: nothing which even looked
like a target that, perhaps, the pilot might have been aiming for. It made
no sense. The villagers said the plane had been circling overhead. Its pilot
must have seen what was there.

March 26th: Saad Shalash Aday is another farmer from Al Mahmoodia in South
Baghdad. He had a fractured leg and multiple shrapnel wounds including a
ruptured spleen, perforated caecum, colon and small bowel, and abdominal and
leg wounds. Two of his brothers, Mohammed and Mobden, were also injured and
ten year old twin boys Ahmed and Daha Assan were killed in the same house
when a bomb exploded two or three metres from the building. The doctor, Dr
Ahmed Abdullah, said two other men were killed in the same attack around 6pm
yesterday (Tuesday): Kherifa Mohammed Jebur, a 35 year old farmer, and
another man whose name nobody present knew.

"Is this democracy?" the men demanded to know, gathered by Saad's bed. "Is
this what America is bringing to Iraq?"
Dr Ahmed is Syrian but has lived and worked 27 years in Iraq. He wasn't
working yesterday but estimated about 30 casualties came into Al Yarmouk
hospital. That's just one hospital and yesterday was a fairly light day of
bombing. . It makes no sense for me to speculate about the plans and
intentions of the US/UK military, because I don't know, but several
incidents of attacks on farms have been reported to us.
Diary in full at: www.bristolfoe.org.uk/wildfire/iraq/index.htm



For dressing up as a bunny!
Children in New York were distressed to see the Easter Bunny being taken
away in handcuffs from outside the local K-Mart last week. The bunny was
protesting about the shop replacing the traditional chocolate Easter bunny
in their baskets with candy toy soldiers armed with machine guns and rifles.
For her trouble, she was nicked for trespassing.


Last Thursday people woke up and heard the bombs had started falling on
Iraq. Thousands bunked off work and school and took to the streets from
Dundee to Brighton, and all points in between...

In Worthing a few hundred blocked roads and occupied McDonalds. In Tory toy
town Saffron Walden, once host to the Levellers rebellion, people
re-discovered their roots and staged a protest in the town centre. In
Rochester, protesters brought traffic on the A2 near Rochester Bridge to a
standstill with a demonstration and sit down protest. In Cambridge 400
people sat down in the city centre bringing traffic to a halt for six hours.
The nearby Army Recruitment Centre was shut down for the day following an
occupation by 35 people. Aggressive Cambridge police (one had to be
restrained by a colleague) arrested 22 people, some as young as 14.
Schoolkids in Lancaster shut down the city for five hours and occupied the
town hall. Thousands caused gridlock in Bristol and surged through police
lines to close the M32. Many cities were closed down by thousands: Leeds,
Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Swansea, Cardiff,
Barnsley, Little Nothington. the list goes on.


We all know about the 200,000 people who turned out to march through central
London on Saturday, but what we're not told about are the numerous small
groups, like the 300 protesters who gathered in Bangor, Wales, to mark the
end of a 24 hour rally. At the US spy base at Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire,
a thousand people took part in a 'Foil the Base' demonstration. Attempting
to disrupt satellite signal receivers by having as much foil in the air as
possible, people came dressed in glitter wigs and silver body paint while
decorating police vans with tinfoil, fake blood and No War signs, then
deflating the tyres for good measure. There were 11 arrests, but all but two
were released without charge. One of the two, Christine Reid of CAAB, was
charged with criminal damage for writing a peace message on a barrier at the
main gate and adding the word War to a traffic Stop sign.

And this week the protests continued. On Monday, 7 people blocked the runway
at RAF Valley, Anglesey for four hours by chaining themselves to drag nets,
preventing Hawk fighter jets from taking off and training pilots for the
war. More people blockaded and chained shut the main gate. Fortunately,
there were no arrests. At RAF Welford in Berkshire on Tuesday, 4 activists
locked themselves to a car and then to each other, successfully preventing a
convoy from transporting bombs to RAF Fairford. In the early hours of
Wednesday morning, a man climbed to the top of Hulme Bridge in central
Manchester and fixed a 'No War' banner to it. He stayed up there for around
8 hours, during which time the bridge, a busy road, had to remain closed. He
eventually climbed down, leaving his banner behind, and was arrested for
"placing items above a carriageway and causing danger to road users." For
the latest on protests see: www.indymedia.org.uk

A few selected highlights of upcoming events and demonstrations planned for
the coming weekend and onwards are: Saturday (29) London Various stop the
city actions. Meet noon outside London School of Economics, Houghton St, off
Kingsway, (Holborn tube) Wandsworth Stop The War will be meeting at
11.30am, Clapham South Tube Station & head for Brixton Ritzy for 1pm to join
a South London protest. Edinburgh, 1pm, assemble Waterloo Place, Manchester,
1pm, meet Heywood St. Cheetham Hill or Platt Fields, Wilmslow Rd, York,
Block & Awe disruption in city centre (blockandawe@hotmail.com), Swansea,
noon, protest in Castle Square, Chatham, noon, Riverside to Rochester
Castle** Sunday (30) - London, 1pm, picnic in Parliament Square,
Stourbridge, 1.30pm, Balloons not Bombs, picnic area, Mary Stevens Park **
Monday (31) Blackpool, 6pm, assemble opposite Winter Gardens**April 5-6
Reclaim the Bases Lots of actions across the country. To find out where

To keep up to date with anti-war protests check out the SchNEWS party and
protest section on our website.
We are also compiling a list of regular demos and vigils etc so please send
details to stopwar@schnews.org.uk. Also check out our useful list of anti
war resources and let us know of any we've missed out.


"There may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and
world public opinion." - New York Times, February 2003.

Actions against the war happened all over the globe as soon as America
started dropping its humanitarian bombs. Here's a small selection of some of
the highlights.


* Since war started there have been almost continuous protests in San
Francisco. The scale of the protests have been met by the scale of the
policing operation and harassment, with over 2000 arrests, mostly for
failure to disperse and highway obstruction. The punishment for this heinous
offence was being pushed about, dragged around by your hair, and arrested by
12 riot cops at a time. The whole of SF was shut down for 16 hours last
Thursday - rather than having one mass march there were many different
mobile groups. The mobility of the protests was what proved most effective
in shutting down the city - blocking intersections, occupying buildings and
performing hit and run actions on corporate targets kept the cops
out-manoeuvred and overstretched all day. Police response was also hampered
as many cop cars had windows smashed and tyres slashed to limit their
movement. http://sf.indymedia.org/
* The award for the nicest protest award goes to a group of women who held a
knit-in under the banner "Crafty Bitches, Knitting for Peace."
* Last Saturday a quarter million people marched through New York city
centre, while in Chicago over 10,000 people gathered. There were over 800
arrests when the authorities refused to allow protesters to return to the
convergence point and penned hundreds who wished to leave. Who were then
arrested for not leaving! http://chicago.indymedia.org/


* In Göteborg, Sweden, over 40,000 people marched through the city on
Saturday and on Sunday there was street theatre in the shopping centre.
* In Spain thousands took to the streets in opposition to Prime Minister
Asnar's support of the war. In Madrid a breakaway protest went to
demonstrate in front of the US Embassy - the police charged en-masse into
the crowd to break it up.
* In the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, protesters gathered at 2am in front
of the US Embassy as soon as the bombing had started. A presence was
maintained until the main demo at 4pm, when a crowd 1500 strong tried to
storm the embassy but were driven back by riot cops.
* If you thought British or American cops were nasty, just be thankful that
they don't carry mp5 submachine guns, AK47s or possess tanks, which is what
greeted anti-war protesters in Istanbul, Turkey. Despite such massive police
presence, protesters closed down the streets for a few hours, with no
injuries or major arrests.
* The Danish PM was covered with red paint, just after he'd given a speech
offering support for George W. Bush.
* In Athens, the up-for-it Greek Anarchists were joined by lots of unruly
schoolkids. Together they "un-renovated" a recently restored posh hotel. The
embassies of pro-war countries (Italy, Portugal, Britain) also got
redecorated with stones and the Ministry of Internal Affairs was toasted
with Molotov cocktails. Most anger was saved for the US embassy, where there
was a fierce battle with the Greek police using chemical weapons (tear gas)
to disperse the crowd. One report said that the gas near the embassy was so
suffocating that a pigeon flying above fell dead. Just yer typical Athens
demo! www.geocities.com/anar_gr/english.htm


* In South Africa, schoolkids led the protests in Cape Town and were joined
by workers from factories. The US consulate has seen a continuous picket
outside it since the war started, with at least 50 people always maintaining
a presence.


* In Pakistan, Karachi University was occupied when students and teachers
went on strike. Six protesters and 12 police were injured in Calcutta,
India, when 1000 people tried to storm the US cultural centre. Thousands of
workers took the day off work in Delhi to demand the government oppose the
*In Yemen, three protesters and a policeman were killed when a riot broke
out after police tried to disperse an unauthorised demo which was
approaching the US Embassy.
* In Cairo, Egypt, a group of 5000 was dispersed by the police spraying blue
soapy water! In eleven other Egyptian cities there were large demos and
strikes. *Five different demonstrations happened in Lebanon where protesters
were repelled by water cannons when they charged the British Embassy.
* In Jordan there was a ban on pro-Iraq demonstrations and a gathering
outside a Mosque was broken-up by a police baton charge. Journalists were
also attacked and had cameras confiscated. The next day protesters attacked
police with stones, who responded with tear gas.
* In the Philippines, spontaneous and organised protests have occurred
before and after the war started. 10,000 people protested in front of the US
Embassy in Manila on March 22. Two days before, the Embassy had been pelted
with red paint bombs.


* In Melbourne, 30,000 people held an emergency demo, shutting down the city
centre with a simulated air-raid siren reminding residents of the realities
of what it must be like in Baghdad. Later, 500 people marched to the US
Consulate which was pelted with paint bombs.
* In Perth, 2000 workers downed tools and walked off their construction
sites to join the protests against the war. Schoolkids walked out and there
was a sit-in in front of the US consulate where a rally was held before
police got fed-up with the situation and dispersed everyone, arresting 11.
* In Sydney, 20,000 took to the streets in the pouring rain and the New
South Wales premier had his car paint bombed. On Sunday, 50,000 took to the
* The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, had to leave his house by the
back when Greenpeace activists chained themselves to his gates last
Wednesday and blockaded a major road in the capital.
* In New Zealand, 600 marched to the US Consulate in Wellington, where
ribbons and photos of Iraqis were laid at the gates. Some candles were lit
and one accidentally lit the ribbons and photographs. Ooops! There were
bigger protests with 4,000 on Saturday. One police photographer suffered
cholesterol damage when he was hit by an egg.


When two brutal regimes clash, they always need as much human cannon fodder
as possible. Saddam's policy is to keep his loyal Republican Guards close to
him, to protect him from the US/UK invaders. While he puts poorly-equipped
conscripts as cannon fodder to face US/UK forces in the desert, and
threatens them with torture of their families should they desert the
frontlines. The US has a different arm-twisting technique - to dangle offers
of skills training, free college education and health care in the faces of
poor Americans in order to get them to sign up to whatever crazy cowboy
scheme Bush comes up with. The sad result is a disproportionate number of
'people of colour' on the US frontlines in the Gulf. During the first Gulf
War, over 50 percent of front-line troops were non-white, although people of
colour only make up around 10 percent of the overall population. Over 30
percent of US troops are non-white but they make up only 12 percent of

When recent studies showed a dip in young African-Americans' interest in
becoming patriotic cannon fodder, the Pentagon schemed up a flashy new
Spanish ad campaign targeting Latino youth. But all the promises of
'adventure', and 'career' are as empty as the thing between George Bush's
ears. Most recruits never get any college funding from the military and only
a small amount graduate. To top it all off, the skills you learn in the
military are geared towards military jobs, not civilian careers; so when you
finally leave after years of blind discipline, many employers may tell you
to go back to school and get some proper training. As vice-president Dick
Cheney smugly put it, "The reason to have a military is to be prepared to
fight and win wars...it's not a jobs program." So the US military can't
guarantee that you'll get educated or that you'll even be alive at the end
of your eight-year commitment. They can't even promise you won't be
desperately ill from one of many "mystery illnesses" like those of the
Vietnam and Gulf wars. What they can promise is a series of absurd
conflicts, all aimed at lining the White House's pockets and often placing
the soldiers in extreme health risk. Whether it's atomic testing in the
1950s , Agent Orange during the war against Vietnam or exposure to depleted
uranium in Gulf War I the US military excels in using its soldiers as guinea
pigs and then covering up any supposed 'side effects'. The big hush hush at
the moment is the disastrous effects of Gulf War Syndrome.
Gulf War II has proved to be not too dissimilar from the first Gulf War. The
US frontlines are filled with stupendous amounts of 'cannon fodder of
colour.' As coalition casualties pile up, the human faces of the US military
machine are revealed. The dead US Marine, Kendall Waters-Bey, comes to mind.
His irate father appeared on CNN berating George Bush and saying the only
reason his son had joined the Marines was to escape the streets and be able
to provide for his son. Kendall's sister Nakia also hit out "This war's all
about oil and money. (Bush) ought to send his own daughters over there to
See www.objector.org, www.afsc.org

War briefs

If you want some interesting new anti-war posters check out
www.uhc-collective.org.uk/ ** Media Storm Shelter everyday at the London
Action Resource Centre (LARC) with a café and open access radio - where the
war media gets torn to pieces. Broadcast across London on Resonance 104.4
FM, online at http://freeteam.nl:8000/uknowar 11am-12pm. LARC is open daily
10:00am till 10:00pm, 62 Fieldgate St E1 (Whitechapel Tube) 020 73779088. **
'Salt in the Wound' an anti-war single featuring Jello Biafra and Conflict
is out this week. If you fancy seeing Conflict on Top of the Pops, why not
get yer hands on a copy. www.peace-not-war.org ** If you get arrested at a
military base, you could use the defence that you are upholding
international law. http://osstw.lautre.net/article.php?id_article=30


Before last Saturday, SchNEWS hacks thought that going for a peaceful walk
in the Cotswolds was about as law-abiding as you could get. How wrong we
were! Despite it being a day of brilliant sunshine, the long arm of the
state hung a dark cloud over the national day of action at USAF Fairford in

>From the minute they arrived in Fairford, the 4,000 strong crowd was
surrounded by layers of riot cops on horses, men with dogs, RAF police, US
security police and bog-standard military police - armed with guns, batons
and other maiming weapons - plus razor wire all arranged to protect B-52
bombers being loaded with cruise missiles. Police snatch squads darted into
the crowd, grabbing a few people who were wearing white overalls and
arresting four people. Police evidence gatherers filmed peaceniks as they
strolled down country lanes, while other coppers had a go at people for
sitting on a town green and threatened them with arrest for 'deviating from
the agreed march.' Some coppers even refused to let children put flowers by
a fence.

Three coaches driving up from London were turned back before they even
reached Fairford. A would-be peace protester explains, "The police called in
4 police forces specifically to stop us. There were about 200 officers
involved. We were searched and filmed when we got to within 10 miles of
Fairford. We were then escorted back to London by a helicopter, 3 police
vans, and 6 motorcycles, an escort which changed in each county!" Police
searched people and vehicles for "offensive weapons" under Section 60 of the
Criminal Justice Act, but the only things they found worth confiscating were
headscarves and body padding. Among the passengers was the 64-year old aunt
of one of those killed in New York on September 11th. Over the past weeks
hundreds of people have been stopped and searched in the Fairford area by
police using powers under the 2000 Terrorism Act. For legal info see

* Sam Grafton and Joss Garman were arrested inside Fairford on Wednesday
night "by a Texan with a machine gun." They're being held on remand under
various conspiracy and criminal damage charges. They've been told that
because deadly force has been authorised in the area, it is for their own
protection that they are being held! Contact: 07773 1552657.

Inside SchNEWS

As so many people are being arrested for non-violent direct action and
protests, it's as important as ever to write to prisoners and to support
them in court. Here are a few people who'd love to hear from you.
Toby Olditch and Phillip Pritchard - caught on USAF Fairford property
allegedly trying to damage war machinery: Toby - JT 5132, Phillip - JT 5131,
both at HMP Gloucester, Barrack Square, Gloucester, GL1 2JN. ** Angie
Zelter - Charged for trespassing onto a US air force base near nuclear
capable F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft, contact David 01508-550446. ** Karen
Fallon - charged with criminal damage to a hanger window at Shannon
Airport - Limerick Prison c/o 210 Le Fanu Rd., Ballyfermot, Dublin 10,
Ireland. ** Barbara Smedema--Disabled an American communications satellite
at the military airport of Volkel, in the Netherlands. Contact: P.I.Ter
Peel, Patersweg 4, 5977 NM Evertsoord. Netherlands. ** Arthur Milling and Dr
Margaret Jones will be in court on 23 May for cutting their way into
Fairford and causing £50,000 of damage to B52 support vehicles two weeks
ago. Contact: media@tridentploughshares.org. **Other peace prisoner info:
www.peacenews.info. For Legal info check out www.gwi.org.uk/legal.htm


A week before war started, twenty anti-war activists disrupted trading for 2
hours at London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), Europe's major
centre for trading in futures contracts for crude oil. They highlighted the
obvious links between war in Iraq and the west's compulsive oil habit.
Sandra Reid, a member of the direct action group Infernal Petroleum
Experience said: "Oil courses through the veins of the capitalist system,
turbocharging its destructive impacts. We are taking direct action to stick
a well placed spanner in the war machine."
Despite being set upon by traders, the protesters were able to unplug
telephones and computers and bring trading to a standstill. Two people
managed to barricade themselves into an office for 40 minutes until they
were dragged out by police.

Repeated claims by politicians that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with
oil are contradicted by the desperate volley of leaflets that continue to
rain down on Iraq, reminding its citizens that: "If the oil industry is
destroyed, your livelihood will be RUINED!", and by Bush's desperate pleas
to the Iraqi people not to set fire to their oil wells.

Earlier this month, 60 anti-war student protesters, many of them dressed in
tiger suits, invaded the grounds of ESSO's UK HQ. A 12 foot wooden model of
an oil tanker bearing the slogan "ESSO's Going Down" was dumped in the
company pond. This followed actions in February in which activists shut down
the power to pumps and locked petrol nozzles together at 119 ESSO stations
across the UK.Further info from www.stopesso.com 0870 010 9510

* A Methodist minister and two grannies dressed in mourning garb were
arrested on Tuesday night during a 30-strong peace demonstration at an ESSO
petrol station in Exmouth. One of the women, Mo Mooney, an ex-Wren said: "I
served my country for many years and as far as I'm concerned I'm serving it
now." They were bailed to return to Exmouth police station next month.

* March to the End of the World this Saturday (29), to mark the second
anniversary of Bush's dumping of the Kyoto agreement on Climate Change. The
20 mile march starts at Esso HQ in Surrey and ends at the US Embassy in
London, but you can join it along the way. Contact:
www.campaignagainstclimatechange.net 020 8855-3327.

* Behind the Propaganda - deconstructing BP. Talk about BP's dirty tricks
and human rights abuses around the world, speakers from West Papua and
Colombia, 31st March, 7pm, Cowley Club, London Road, Brighton.

* On April 24th join the Carnival Against Oil Wars & Climate Chaos as they
greet BP's annual general meeting at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
01865 241097 www.burningplanet.net

SchNEWS in brief

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court Ruling that Section 55 of the
Immigration and Asylum Act is illegal. Section 55 was set to withdraw all
financial support to asylum seekers who didn't immediately apply for asylum
on arrival in the UK. Because of the finding, asylum seekers can now
continue to look forward to a massive 70% of the dole, but this may be
short-lived as David Blunkett has vowed to make changes to Section 55 in
order to make it legal. www.refugeecouncil.org.uk ** While war hysteria
continues, the state is continuing to further erode our rights. In the
latest Criminal Justice Bill making it's way through Parliament are
proposals to give police powers to take fingerprints and DNA from anyone who
is arrested regardless of whether they're charged or not. ** Stuff the War!
The SchNEWS mailout will bite the dust if we don't more help, if you've got
a couple of hours spare on Friday afternoon to help out in the office then
get in touch with us.


Striking school children, some as young as 11 and 12, brought Brighton City
Centre to a halt last Thursday in protest over the British and American
invasion of Iraq. Taking to the streets with chants of "No War," "One, two,
three, four, Tony Blair is Bush's whore," and other brilliantly unprintable
slogans, the students blocked roads in the city centre for nearly four
hours, telling perturbed motorists to "Turn off your engines, you ain't goin
' nowhere." Cynical, disillusioned Brighton activists were spotted in the
area, wandering in a haze of shock, awe and respect, gobsmacked by people
half their age with twice as much energy and imagination. "I was just about
to trade in my Palestinian scarf and trendy body jewellery for a thankless
call centre job," said one old, formerly disenchanted 23-year-old in a faded
Che Guevara t-shirt. "But today has convinced me that the revolution may
still be possible!"

Meanwhile, one group of school kids (pursued by rabid Socialist Worker's
Party paper-sellers) broke off from the main march and paid a visit to the
local American Express building. The pledge of allegiance was not said, the
star spangled banner was not played, but nonetheless, the American flag
became the centre of attention for much of the crowd, who decided the old
stars and stripes were in need of a drastic makeover. An upstanding,
tax-paying, Daily Mail-reading bystander who was later quoted in the Argus,
described the event as sickening and depraved, but a nearby American
reckoned it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

Earlier in the day, in an important lesson on free speech, teachers and
heads around the city locked many young pupils into their schools, desperate
to keep them from expressing an opinion. Pupils at Blatchington Mill,
Cardinal Newman, Dorothy Stringer, Varndean, and Patcham were threatened
with suspension, expulsion, and extra citizenship classes (to teach them the
real meaning of democracy and blind obedience) if they left school to
participate in protests. In some cases, pupils even faced locked gates and
the harrowing spectre of future visits from local blood-thristy pro-war MPs.
But in a series of daring walk-outs and escapes, hundreds of locked-down
school kids still managed to join the protests in the town centre.

SchNEWS were on the scene at Blatchington Mill when, at 11am, a brave group
of around 50 students walked out of school past barely-opened iron gates and
a grimly frowning headmaster. (Readers may remember Blatch's open-minded
head, one Mr. Neil Hunter, when he referred to pupils that had staged a
spontaneous anti-war demo a few weeks ago as "mindless idiots." Since the
spontaneous walk-out, six Blatch kids have been excluded and the "always
wanting to show both sides of the argument" Mr. Hunter has invited the local
pro-war MP, Ivor Caplin, to come and spew pro-war propaganda at the school.)
After leaving Blatchington, the triumphant procession of Blatch kids met up
with nearly 200 other excited and out-of-breath pupils who had just rushed
out of Cardinal Newman. "We've just escaped, we've just escaped our school,"
they panted. "They tried to lock us in!" Teachers had tried to lock gates
and chase anti-war escapees through the school grounds, but many kids still
managed to find a way out. As SchNEWS rounded a corner near Cardinal Newman
school, the sight that awaited was grand indeed - 20-30 blue and
grey-jumpered Newman kids pouring over an exterior stone wall after teachers
had blocked all other routes of exit from the school.

Eventually the whole group of anti-war pupils made it safely and soundly
down to the Old Steine for a day of protest and road-blocking. Many of the
kids were still around at 5:30 the same afternoon, when nearly 5,000 people
(probably Brighton's biggest ever demo) converged on Churchill Square. Even
in the evening, most of the chants and road sit-downs were led by school
kids from all over the city.As one young protestor explained, "We did it
because we wanted our voices to be heard. We were rebelling against the
Government because we feel it is rebelling against us."

* Kids in Therfield school Leatherhead who bunked off to go to an anti war
demo where given lines by the Headmaster "I will not walk out of school."

* Thousands of newly politicised school kids took part in anti-war
demonstrations all across the UK last week. For more info from the
school-uniformed frontlines in Manchester, London, and hundreds of other
cities, check out www.indymedia.org.uk


Schoolkids Peace Demo, Saturday 29. Come show your support for the coolest
kids ever!! Assemble Madeira Drive (by Sea Life Centre), 11am.

Hove Peace Demo, Saturday 29, 11.30am at Hove Peace Statue for march to Hove
Town Hall at noon.
Anti-War Gathering, every day at the War memorial, Old Steine, 5.30-6.30pm.

Weekly Anti-War Demo, every Friday starting today. Assemble Churchill Sq,
5.30pm for a rally and peaceful protest.

Public Meeting, Wed 2 April "Where is the anti-war movement going?"
Brighthelm Centre, 7.30-9.30pm.
Protest At Northwood Military Hq, London, 6 April - Transport leaves St
Peter's Church, Bton at 9am. £5. Tickets will be available from Community
Base, Queen's Rd, Brighton
Sussex Action for Peace 01273 706820 www.safp.org.uk


Rachel Corrie, an American international peace observer in Palestine, was
run down and reversed over by Israeli digger drivers while trying to stop
them from bulldozing Palestinian houses in Rafah. Murdered on the 16th of
March, she was the first international to be killed since the beginning of
the Iraqi conflict. Rachel had been volunteering for the International
Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian led organisation attempting to
alleviate human rights abuses in the occupied territories. As such she was a
part of an international collective, taking direct action to resist the
brutality of Israel's 36 year military occupation. 600 homes have been
destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of the most recent Intifada. On
average, 3 Palestinians a day are killed in the occupied territories.

The ISM has been criticised for supporting and protecting those involved in
Palestinian violence, such as suicide bombers. But as Rachel said in an
email just before she was killed "If any of us had our lives and welfare
completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we
knew, from previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could
come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been
cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were being
beaten and held captive- don't you think we might try and use violent means
to protect whatever fragments remain ...The vast majority of people here,
even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they wanted to give
up resisting on their land and just leave, can't leave ... I think this
qualifies as genocide"

Israel's occupation of the Gaza strip and the West Bank is totally illegal
under international law (The Geneva Convention), but there is no suggestion
that there's going to be any pre-emptive strikes by the US. Instead the US
provides Israel with $10bn a year in aid. This compares to a measly $1.7
billion that they've set aside to help rebuild Iraq after they've totally
obliterated it.

Following Rachel's death, protests took place in her honour across the
world. In Palestine, these were attacked by the Israeli army.

Members of the ISM have vowed to continue their peace work in the region

SchNEWS Of The World

SchNEWS Annual 2002 * 300 pages * issues 300-350, plus loadsa photos,
cartoons, satire, and more for only £7. Available now in Brighton from the
Cowley Club, London Rd, & Punker Bunker, Sydney St, or send £8.50 (cheques
payable to Justice?) to us (p&p included) ISBN 09529748-6-X

...and finally...

Last Thursday in San Francisco, direct action found a new form of expression
when a group tired of samey-samey protesters set up Pukers4Peace - inducing
vomitting in the plaza outside the Federal Building in San Francisco to show
how sick the war made them feel. One barfer said, "Militarism makes me sick.
Puking is the most disgusting display of emotion that is still legal." "My
puddle is the longest-lasting one," proudly declared one protester, as pools
of chuck had people pegging their noses for the afternoon.

After 16 hours of protests (which those public pukers were a part of), a San
Francisco cop told the local paper, "After 16 hours of fighting communists
and anarchists, a Red Bull can help us go another 16 hours. We're here as
long as they are." Lovely product placement! Don't it make you want to puke?

SchNEWS warns all pigs with wings not to take any bull.Honest!

SchNEWS-l mailing list

****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
COMMANDS: lists@ainfos.ca
REPLIES: a-infos-d@ainfos.ca
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca/
INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

-To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@ainfos.ca the message:
unsubscribe a-infos
subscribe a-infos-X
where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)

A-Infos Information Center