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WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S YER SMASHIN .
Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective
Issue 234, Friday 29th October 1999
.Nuclear weapons have always been perceived as unlawful. Although the defence policy is official, it is not legal. For the last 50 years, the British government and judiciary have refused to look at the legal facts. They have basically said if it is official, it must be lawful. .
What with the Filthy French and their dirty beef in the press this week, you might- as we did- have missed a little trifle in the news: Britain .s Nukes are Illegal! Last Wednesday in Greenock, Scotland, three anti-nuke Ploughshares 2000 women- Angie Zelter, Ellen Moxley and Ulla Roder- were acquitted of malicious damage and of nicking a life raft, after Sherriff Margarett Gimblett ruled that under international law they were right to ‘disarm . the research barge ‘Maytime . in June this year.
Expert witness Francis Boyle, a top Prof. of International Law, convinced the judge that simply possessing Trident made a nation guilty of ‘threatening genocide .- an act forbidden by international conventions, such as the Nuremburg Principles (drawn up in the wake of the holocaust) and an International Court of Justice ruling in 1996, which declared all nukes illegal. According to the judge the three were therefore not committing a crime but were acting to prevent crimes taking place- and after a four and a half week trial she directed the jury that under Scottish law they should be acquitted.
.I have the highest respect for these CND women, but I myself am not a CND supporter: I am totally apolitical I am rather worried about my job after this. I certainly won .t be expecting a mention in the Queen .s Honours list. . Sheriff Margaret Gimblett.
On June 8th, the women set off in a leaky dinghy and boarded the ‘Maytime ., part of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) at Faslane Naval Base, Argyll. Armed only with a hammer and screwdriver, they started to chuck computers and lab equipment overboard and expected to have about ten minutes before getting nicked. They ended up being in there for three and a half hours -and had time for a picnic before the MOD Plod arrived!
.The police pretended not to be embarrassed, but I .m sure they must have been . Ellen Moxley.
In court, Bargemaster Iain .I ain .t been nobbled, honest . McPhee was pressed by Advocate John Mayer to explain the function of the barge and its links with the Trident submarines. McPhee was so hesitant and evasive a witness that Mayer stated: .This is not cross-examination, this is dentistry. .
Eventually McPhee admitted that the barge conducted important acoustic research for the MOD, that the research related to the operation of Trident submarines, and that the action of the women had had some effect on the ability of the research station to proceed with its work. Nice one!
It .s a double whammy for Angie- she was one of four Ploughshares activists acquitted two years ago after trashing British-built .Hawk . planes bound for Indonesia, where they would have been used, as the court agreed, in genocide against East Timor (see SchNEWS 84).
Naturally, the State is not happy with such conclusions and will be launching an appeal about the Maytime case. This won .t affect the women, but it could affect any other ‘have-a-go-heroes . foolish enough to try to stop the annihilation of millions. After all, as Shadow Conservative Defence Secretary Iain Duncan Smith points out,
.The judgement is quite absurd. What these women have done is immensely dangerous. In damaging our nuclear deterrent, they do nothing but help other regimes who have the intention of harming the citizens of the UK. .
Like the bloody Frogs and their mucky beef, eh Iain? Get yer finger on that button!!
Aldermaston Womens . Peace Campaign have repeated their call for the Atomic Weapons Establishment - which builds Trident warheads- to be closed down after the Greenock judgement and revelations about appalling safety levels. Apparently it .s been ‘perilously close . to disaster in the past few months. There .s a peace camp outside Aldermaston 12-14 Nov. Tel 01222 396563
DID YOU KNOW?
The UK spends £4 million a day on nuclear weapons
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For chalking on the pavement
Jaggi Singh was nicked during a demonstration in support of jailed black revolutionary Mumia Abu-Jamal in Toronto, Canada and apparently charged with trespassing!
For tossing a flower onto the grass . Again during a Mumia demo, this time in Portland, Oregon. The man was nicked and fined $999 for ‘offensive littering. . When his friend asked why he was being arrested he was thrown to the ground breaking his arm and hauled away in handcuffs; when a woman tried to intervene she was first pushed into the road narrowly missing a bus and car -then arrested.
For using a megaphone . Same town, same demo, the man was arrested for ‘sound violation. .
On Tuesday Mumia was been given a stay of execution after a petition was filed in the courts listing 29 separate issues of constitutional violations during his trial when he was found guilty of killing a cop. The Ex-Black Panther has been on death row for the past 18 years and was due to be killed by lethal injection at the beginning of December.
Two people who absailed down into a quarry, just in time to stop a meadow being blasted by dynamite have had the charges of aggravated trespass thrown out of court. The two protestors we're part of the campaign to stop part of Ashton Court Park being dug up by a quarrying firm (See SchNEWS183). The judge ruled that as protestors were still underground fighting the quarry expansion, the protestors actions were excusable under the rather obscure eighteenth century Explosive Substances Act.
The Solidari@s con Itoiz (SI) and Narmada Valley UK solidarity group scaled the London Eye on Monday protesting against dam-building projects in Spain and India. Two Basque protestors stayed on the wheel for a day and a night, sleeping in tents at the wheel .s apex, 145 metres high! The protestors targeted London .s £35m prestige millennium bollocks project for it .s prominent “banality ., and dismissed it pithily as a “fatuous spectacle .. Martin Erreafrom Solidari@ said, .the wheel is a really good example of the waste of money in Western society while other people are being displaced and becoming homeless because of projects like these dams. .
The Itoiz reservoir has been under construction since 1993. Two of the region of Navarra .s presidents from the time of the dam .s building are currently in prison, interestingly, for .bribery, theft from the community, and illegal commissions. . A Committee created in response to the project found that it was totally illegal, would flood 9 villages and result in great ecological damage. It threatens two valleys that have a very special microclimate, a thriving habitat for many animals and some of Europe .s rarest plants. The Spanish courts condemned the project but unfortunately this did not stop construction and the European courts subsequently supported the dam. SI was set up as a result of this defeat and resolved on direct action. In 1996, 8 activists armed with circular saws cut six 15cm diameter steel cables that were essential to construction on the dam. Work had to be halted for 9 months but the protestors are now facing five year jail terms.
In India protesters claim that the Narmada Dam project will leave more than a million people homeless. The project dates back 40 years and has been resisted since work began 15 years ago. About fifteen villagers and activists have been standing in the waist deep waters confronting the submergence of their village. Similar protests and fasts are happening over the area and are being broken up by the police. Narmada UK concluded .The people of the Narmada Valley have resolved to drown, rather than move from their land. .
On Tuesday last week the protest camp in Hockley, Essex (see SchNEWS 224) was served with a possession order and on Friday security with cherry pickers moved in to clear tree houses. Developers want to build houses by a nature reserve - spending £150,000 on relocating up to 2000 great-crested newts. This despite a similar relocation in Peterborough ending in the deaths of 10,000 of this rare species.
This Monday a fella from Cornwall who owns some of the land Countryside Residential plan to build on appeared. He hadn .t been consulted, and offered the protestors the use of his land for a year for 1p! Weird goings on recently include £11,000 worth of damage by militant badgers, a security guard stapling his finger to a piece of wood, a druid mate of King Arthur .s showing up and staying, and the replacement with a teddy bear of a local councillor who failed to turn up at a local meeting.
People are needed. Contact C.A.S.H (Campaign Against Silly Houses): 0831 717815/01702 206353 http://www.angelfire.com/mt/GBH
schNEWS in brief
This Halloween Radio 4A broadcasts free speech on the Brighton airwaves on 106.6 FM from 10 a.m. till dawn the next morning
VEGETABLE OF THE WEEK
Protestors living on site to stop the Chelmsford to Southend bypass have won second prize in a best tomato competition in the local village horticultural show. The prize patch is due to be trashed by another road funded by the government .s Private Finance Initiative scheme (See SchNEWS 219). The green-fingered campaigners also came second in the flower arranging section - by putting some sunflowers in a smelly old para . boot! (ok so there was only three entries). They are asking for solidarity actions against the developers Laing. Contact Gorse Wood Campaign 07957 915977
SchNEWS 5th BIRTHDAY PARTY
Thursday 18th November - 8 pm - 2 am £3/4
@ New Maderia Hotel, Marine Parade, Brighton
Ring office for ticket details
Next month five women from the GenetiX Snowball campaign along with their press officer will be back in court fighting for their right - to go to court!
In September last year the six were Slapp .ed by Monsanto, in what has been dubbed the most “wide ranging injunctions ever seen in British law. . (See SchNEWS 184) In April a Judge decided that the six had the right to a full trial. Something Monsanto obviously don .t want as a lengthy trial will highlight the dangers of GM technology. So it .s back to the High Court for an appeal.
Confused? Well get yerself down to the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London on November 8/9th. 9.30 am. It .s essential to ring 0161 834 0295 from 5th November just to make sure the dates haven .t changed.
SchNEWS VOCAB WATCH
SLAPP .S are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, and are a common weapon frequently used by American companies to silence their critics.
Two Catholic under-11 footie teams have been the latest target from those brave loyalists in Belfast. Last weekend the referee spotted nails on the pitch just before kick-off, a sweep of the pitch uncovering 400 razor sharp masonary nails in the ground that had been planted to injure the mostly nine and ten year olds. The two Catholic sides have to play in a loyalist area as the council has not provided adequate grounds in Nationalist areas. As An Phoblacht points out .Sectarianism in local football is rife with many teams forced to play in loyalist areas being subjected to abuse on a regular basis. .
ON THE HOUSE
In May Conservative Westminster Council unveiled a new hotline for residents to inform on benefit cheats. Within hours a call came in that led, last month, to a successful prosecution and a three month jail sentence for a fraudster who had falsely claimed £9,449 in a housing benefit. The cheat? Richard Stirling-Gibb - a Westminster councillor.
(shamelessly stolen from Private Eye ; we knew our readers would love it.)
A 21-year-old Welsh engineering student is recovering in a South African hospital after his buttock baring antics went horribly wrong. The unnamed man ( .He has requested that we do not give out any further information, . said a hospital spokeswoman) was returning from a sightseeing trip to Stellenbosch when he got the idea to “moon . drivers on the highway out the back of the bus he was riding. He dropped his pants and pressed his buttocks against the back window. The window, unfortunately was also an emergency exit and swung right open. He tumbled out, landing on the highway with his trousers around his ankles, and skidded along the highway in front of astonished motorists. He was listed in a “serious condition . with “severe abrasions and blood loss, . but is expected to recover.
Stolen from Agitprop http://www.igc.apc.org/laborart
disclaimer: SchNEWS hopes all readers are having a smashing time
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Last updated 19th November 1999
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