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(en) Britain, SchNEWS 472, Friday 5th November, 2004 - PLAIN TEXT

From Jo Makepeace <webmaster@schnews.org.uk>
Date Fri, 5 Nov 2004 08:21:36 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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"In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom
enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power." - 'The Power
of Nightmares' documentary It was victory for fear and loathing this week, as
President Bush was given another four years to rule the world. A victory for
fear - those terrorists are out to get us! A victory for loathing - gay marriage,
abortion and other such liberal nonsense are bringing America to its knees.
The Christian right is no stranger to Washington's corridors of
power, but a combination of a born-again Bush and a massive
family-values movement, has delivered unprecedented influence to
Americas religious fundamentalists with dozens being quietly
installed in key positions. These fanatics want to roll back the
clock to the middle ages. So under pressure, the National Park
Service has approved the display and sale of a creationist book
that claims the Grand Canyon was formed by the flood that launched
Noah's ark. Religious groups receiving federal funds are legally
allowed to refuse to hire Jews, gays, unmarried mothers, or anyone
who fails to meet their moral code. Doctors sent to restore social
services in Iraq were vetted to make sure they were anti-abortion.

More worryingly for Americans, while much of the Christian right's
influence could be quickly reversed with a change in
administration, Bush's crusading makeover of the federal courts
will undermine women's and gay rights -and bolster the corporate
agenda -for decades to come.

I'm a Believer!

The Bible-belters are bedfellows (but only opposite sex ones) with
the Neo Conservative power hungry who believe that the US should
use its position as the world's only superpower to shape all
events of the 21st century, ensuring they're favorable to
America's principle interests. As Pentagon adviser and arch
neo-con Richard Perle purred "If we just let our vision of the
world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to
piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ...our
children will sing great songs about us years from now."

As the recent documentary 'The Power of Nightmares' pointed out
politicians used to sell us dreams, now they use nightmares to
keep us all in line, and the war on terror is one which Bush
continually sold to the US electorate. But as one sceptical
observer in the British security services commented "All they need
is a big bomb every 18 months to keep this going." While Jonathan
Eyal, director of the British military think-tank the Royal United
Services Institute said "There is a long tradition that if you
divert all your resources to a threat, then you exaggerate it."
And with $143 billion plus on "defense."-that's a helluva lotta
exaggerating to do.

Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford, says
that governments often believe struggles with terrorists "to be of
absolute cosmic significance", and that therefore "anything goes"
when it comes to winning. The historian Linda Colley adds: "States
and their rulers expect to monopolise violence, and that is why
they react so virulently to terrorism."

American journalist Arianna Huffington points out "What the
president calls faith is actually nothing of the sort. It is
fanaticism, pure and simple. The defining trait of the fanatic is
an utter refusal to allow anything as piddling as evidence to get
in the way of an unshakable belief. This zealot's mindset is what
allows President Bush to take in the death and destruction in Iraq
and see them as 'freedom on the march.'"

"This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and
the Islamic fundamentalist enemy," explained Bruce Bartlett, a
policy advisor to Bush. "He understands them because he's just
like them."

* Making a killing: the corporate invasion of Iraq with No Logo
author Naomi Klein. Friends House, Euston Road 24th November
6:30pm £5/£3 unwaged www.waronwant.org/naomiklein

Texan Chain-Saw Massacre

The US has begun a new campaign of assaults on Iraq's cities
which'll cause more civilian casualties than the invasion. An
attack on Fallujah is imminent and British troops are to be
accessories. If the attack on Fallujah last April is anything to
go by, this will be yet another bloodbath. Forty-ton battle tanks
and helicopter gunships were used against slums. Aircraft dropped
500lb bombs, marine snipers killed old people, women and children,
ambulances were shot at. The marines closed the only hospital in a
city of 300,000 for more than two weeks, so they could use it as a
military position. 600 people were killed. This was 'a military
operation', against 'foreign militants' and 'insurgents', never
against civilians and Iraqis defending their homes and homeland.

A recent letter sent by representatives of the people of Fallujah
to the UN secretary general Kofi Annan said "On the night of 13
October a single US bombardment destroyed 50 houses and their
inhabitants. Is this a crime of genocide or a lesson about US
democracy? The US is committing acts of terror against the people
of Fallujah for only one reason - to force them to accept the

"The whole world knows that the US and their allies have destroyed
our country on the pretext of the threat of weapons of mass
destruction. Now, after their own mass destruction and the killing
of thousands of civilians, they have admitted that they have not
found any. But they have said nothing about the crimes they have
committed. The whole world is silent, and even the killing of
Iraqi civilians is not condemned. Our representatives have
repeatedly denounced kidnapping and killing of civilians. We have
nothing to do with any group that acts in an inhumane manner. We
call on you and the leaders of the world to exert the greatest
pressure on the Bush administration to end its crimes against
Fallujah and pull its army back from the city."

* This Sunday (7) Parliament Square, London 2pm 07818651124

* On the day of the promised massive assault vigil 5pm-7pm,
opposite Downing Street www.stopthewar.org.uk

* For some direct action meet 7pm Edith Cavell statue (opp the
entrance of the National Portrait Gallery). 5-7pm, Picadilly

* Sunday 14th London Nonviolent Direct Action Training Workshop,
7a Rampart Street, E1, 11am-4pm, 0845 458 2564, www.voicesuk.org


Cost of invasion:

* Monthly cost of Military Operations in Iraq $3.9 billion
(Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, July 9, 2003)

* Current total cost $143.5 billion and counting... See

* Ongoing Military Operations in Afghanistan, $1 billion/month
(USA Today, September 8, 2003)


Crap Arrest of the Week

For throwing a wet sponge!
Two people were arrested last Saturday for lobbing wet sponges at
a George Walker Bush impersonator during a peaceful anti-war
protest in Leeds town centre. While the public clearly thought it
was a laugh the police failed to see the funny side, when a highly
agitated police officer proved how big 'n' tough he was by
singling out a 16 year old girl and arresting and cuffing her.



"Tony Blair wanted to restore peace, freedom and democracy for the
Iraqi people; he wanted to get rid of that brute Saddam Hussein.
He spent millions on that, but he says he can't pay for us, who
are British citizens, to go home" Allen Vincatassin -
representative of the Diego Garcians.

The Diego Garcians were exiled from their island in the 1970's
after deals between Britain, Mauritius and the US. Mauritius got
its independence from Britain in 1965, but let Britain keep the
Chagos Islands, of which Diego Garcia is one. In return Britain
paid Mauritius £3 million. Then the thrifty British government
agreed to lease the island to the US for military use in return
for an £11.5 million discount on nuclear submarines.

The people of Diego Garcia were tricked and forced off their
island to make way for an air base. All the animals on the island
were gassed, and two of the longest runways in the world were
constructed. Recently, many of the bombers that have been
flattening Iraq and Afghanistan took off from Diego Garcia.

The Diego Garcians were sent to Mauritus, where they have lived in
slums for the last 30 years. They lived in extreme poverty; many
starved, died or committed suicide. The British government
maintained the lie that the island had no permanent residents.

In 2000 the High Court ruled that their expulsion from the Islands
was illegal. Neo Labour invented a 'feasibility study' to decide
whether the island could be resettled; it decided that it would be
'too expensive' to repatriate the Diego Garcians, would be
ecologically harmful (the B52s aren't?), and anyway, the islands
are in danger from global warming.

While the Diego Garcians have been prevented from returning to
their island, others have been welcomed. The US military for one,
along with thousands of Filipino and Mauritian workers who have
been brought in to build and maintain the base. Ironically, the
Diego Garcians are now twiddling their thumbs in the Jobcentre in
Crawley. Multinationals such as Cable and Wireless also have a
presence on the island serving the bases. Recently there's been a
plan to allow tourists to visit the island, which means anyone
will be able to go there, except the people whose homeland it is.
Oh yeah- anyone who can afford the £4,500 cost of the cruise that

Now they are arriving in Britain, from the slums of Port Louis in
Mauritius, in search of a better life. The Diego Garcians were
'graced' with full British citizenship in 2002. The first group,
including Allen Vincatassin arrived in 2002; they were told by the
Overseas Territories Minister, at the time, Baroness Amos that
they would be given no help by central government. Luckily the
local council were more sympathetic and gave them temporary
accommodation until they found work.

Since then, 200 Diego Garcians have landed in Gatwick and are
living in Crawley. Many of them, such as the most recent arrivals,
face destitution, denied access to any benefits from the
government who exiled them from their homes, despite the fact that
they hold British citizenship. They have been denied benefits
because they fail the DSS Habitual Residency Test (HRT); they
cannot prove they have been resident in Britain for more than a
month. Which is strange, as it was the Government who kicked them
off British territory in the first place. The Diego Garcians are
currently challenging this legislation and asking the government
to allow them benefits from the moment they arrive.

A Demonstration was held yesterday outside Downing Street to ask
Tony Blair to consider doing them the massive favour of just
lifting the HRT for them. The issue has started to get into the
public eye and after 30 years, some of our upstanding MPs are
starting to ask questions about the issue.

There are disputes between West Sussex County Council (WSCC), who
are currently footing the bill for temporary hotel accommodation,
and central government. The government says that they won't pay
and that WSCC have no responsibility either. WSCC have been
looking after the Diego Garcians so far, but are worried about the
costs of looking after the one thousand more who might come. It
was a central government decision to displace them in the first
place, so financial responsibility should rest with them. By
passing all responsibility onto the local councils the government
might turn local people against the Diego Garcians, as they might
resent having to pay for their benefits- although when SchNEWS
went to meet them, the Diego Garcians reported that locals had
been friendly and sympathetic.

SchNEWS accountants worked out that to put all the Diego Garcians
in the world on full benefits for a year would cost roughly 1
million pounds- about the cost of 2 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Bearing in mind that most of those currently in Crawley are
working and don't need benefits, and most of the rest wouldn't
need a full years' worth, then the cost would never be that high

* Write to your MP or to Bill Rammell the Overseas Territories
Minister about this: rammellb@parliament.uk

* Donate money to help the Diego Garcians legal costs and get by
without benefits: British Indian Ocean Territory Islanders
Movement, Barclays Bank, Sort Code 20 23 97, Account Number

* There's an awareness raising party for the Diego Garcians in the
Synergy Project (which is a fundraiser for South London community
projects), SeOne Club London (London Bridge tube), Nov 19, 9-6,
£10/12/15 featuring live Diego Garcian music, art, films and
photos about their story, and then DJs. www.festival-of-flight.org


Positive SchNEWS

BeyONdTV, the crew who brings you quality home entertainment
featuring stories and reports that tend not to crop up in the
corporate media are celebrating their 5th Annual Video Activist
Documentary Festival. The lively event consists of a variety of
documentaries, community video, music, short movies, dance,
subverts and animations from the world's most radical producers
which are overlooked by mainstream broadcasters. It's happening
November 19th-20th Patti Pavilion, Oystermouth Road, Swansea,
Wales, UK 01792 455900 beyondtv@undercurrrents.org


Pop Yer Clogs

Farmers in India have found a novel use for Coca Cola - killing
bugs. Cotton and Chilli farmers in Andhara Pradesh and Chattisgarh
are spraying their plants with the sugary drink and saving a
fortune on pesticide costs. "I observed that the pests began to
die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton" said one. And
it's not just Coke that kills the bugs. Pepsi, Thumbs Up and other
locally produced soft drinks all have the same effect. One theory
is that the sugar in the drinks attracts red ants which feed on
insect larvae. Coca Cola don't endorse the use of their drink as a
pesticide and say: "Soft drinks do not act in a similar way to
pesticides when applied to the ground or crops. There is no
scientific basis for this and the use of soft drinks for this
purpose would be totally ineffective"

While some farmers have been using cola to kill bugs, many others
want to kick Coca Cola out of India. Coke have been depleting
water reserves - effectively stealing water from local
communities. A massive march of 250km will take place 15th-24th
between their two bottling plants in the state of Uttar Pradesh.


SchNEWS in brief

** Cartoons by Kate Evans: 10 years of sketchiness' with stuff
about Palestine, breastfeeding, anarchist disorganization and good
ol' road protesting, opens at the Cowley Club, 12 London Road,
Brighton Monday (8) night www.cartoonkate.co.uk

** 'Stop the Database State' - talk at the Cowley Club, next
Thursday (11) to find out how we can stop Neo Labours obsession
with ID Cards

** Benefit gig for SchNEWS at The Glebe (nr train station), Glebe
Street, Stoke On Trent next Sat (13) Bands include Zounds and
Bastards Trained By Bastards, £4

** Interested in a new Leeds Social Centre? Then get along to a
meeting 18th November 7.30pm, Holy Trinity Church Cafe, Boar Lane,
07963 951267 leedsarc@yahoo.co.uk

** Want to get involved in a new direct action youth group in
Exeter - then get along to a meeting on 18th 5pm in the Phoenix
Centre in the drama studio exenet@hotmail.com

** SchWHOOPS! We got the website for Brasil de Facto wrong last
week, it should have been www.brasildefato.com.br If you want to
help the financial situation of the independent paper, email

** Anarchist Polish Solidarity Night at the 1 in 12 Club, Bradford
with speakers, Polish food, music and vodka 7.30pm 20th, £3.

** Roadblock - Conscious UK hip hop and reggae with Carpetface, Le
Magnifique, Underground Alliance + DJ Pierre, in aid of the
Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 24th November, 7 ­ 12pm, The
Windmill, Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, £4

** Book Talk: American Dream or Global Nightmare? With Ziauddin
Sardar and Melanie Phillips, 8pm, 9th at University College School
Theatre, Frognal, Hampstead. £4.50 adv/£6 door 01763 207151

** Halloween at Shannon warport, west Ireland, was celebrated in
true pagan style by two banshee peace activists. They managed to
construct a shrine to the war dead near the runway before being
discovered by airport security.

** 'Defend Travellers' Rights': public meeting to organise a
London action group to oppose the evictions and persecution of
Travellers. Bring your ideas about how to resist evictions,
bailiffs and the councils responsible. Sat, 13th Nov, 7pm, @
London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel,
(Corner of Parfett st). nooneisillegal2003@yahoo.co.uk

** The next planned eviction is at the Twin Oaks Site nr
Borehamwood, Herts on Monday 8th. Travellers legally purchased the
site but the council wants the land and is withholding planning
permission. People wishing to help in the sites' defence can phone
Jim on 07733 454151


..and finally...

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter thinks that liberals are
becoming 'increasingly violent and hysterical' over the US
election, recently claiming "I don't think this is a fight they
want to pick. We've got the guns and we've got the men." !

Unfortunately (for Coulter) this rather smug warning didn't manage
to stop Tuscan terrorists 'Al Pi-eda' rising from the audience at
the University of Arizona last week and giving her a good
walloping with cream pies. Coulter, whose latest work is titled
'How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)', was giving a speech at
the university when the pies connected with her left shoulder and
face. The protestors, unable to make a hasty escape, were promptly
arrested and charged with criminal damage, disorderly conduct,
vandalism, and assault without injury. Subsequent to the tasteful
attack, cops found in a post-arrest search "pieces of paper
(propaganda) involving Coulter's name and the explanation of 'Al
Pi-eda'". No further weapons of mass confection have been
discovered as of yet...



SchNEWS warns all fundamentalists, you guys and fawkers can kiss
my ASBO... Honest!



What's On? Check out out Party and Protest guide at
www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm - it's updated every week, has
sections on regular events, local events, protest camps and



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