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| Friday 5th May 2006 | Issue
WAKE UP!! ITS YER EXPORT
And Out | Laughing Gas | Greasing
The Palms | Corporate Punishment | Seeds
Of Hope | Jamaica Inn-justice | SchNEWS
In Brief | Traffic Jam | Mayday
Roundup | ...and finally...
THINK ITS ALL DOVER.... IT IS NOW
One of the most sustained and successful direct
actions in the 90s, the campaign against live exports looks set
to kick off again. In response to attempts to export calves
destined for continental veal crates through British ports and airports,
thousands joined demos round the clock and physically prevented
transports from boarding ferries. The anti-live exports campaigns
saw animal rights move out of the anarcho-punk ghetto and become
a street movement which ranged across generations (the so-called
granarchists with their eldritch scream of Eeeevil).
Hundreds of police were drafted in across to keep ports open but
eventually the tenacity of protesters exhausted police budgets and
in some places such as Shoreham Docks transports ceased altogether.
(See all the way back to SchNEWS 6,
7, 12) The struggle was brought to
an end with the BSE crisis where due to abuses suffered by animals
in industrialised agriculture in the UK (such as enforced cannibalism),
EU countries refused to take UK cattle.
Activists from Viva, Animal Aid and Kent Against
Live Exports are calling for a mass demonstration
on Saturday 6th May - the day transports resume. Meet at 11am
on Dovers seafront, near the shelter/toilets on the
approach road to the Eastern Docks. Stalls and food will be
on site with speakers at 12pm & march at 1pm.
Ten years later and the UK Government is celebrating
the resumption of this cruel trade as the EU beef ban expires.
Before the trade ban, male dairy calves were taken from their mothers
at just a few days old and shipped to the Continent in veal crates.
These crates are so cruel that their use has been banned in Britain
since 1990. This time exporters are hoping to use Dover as the gateway
to the continent.
Aid campaigner Kate Fowler told SchNEWS. Calves suffer
when separated from their mothers, during livestock sales and transport,
and then are incarcerated for the rest of their short lives. We
are appalled that the government supports the shipping of British
calves overseas where they will endure such cruelty. As well as
attending the demonstration in Dover on May 6th, there is something
every person can do on an individual level. To save these calves
from ending up in veal crates, people should stop eating dairy products.
These young calves are, after all, waste products of
the dairy industry. Without milk, there would be no veal.
The calves are a surplus by-product
of the dairy industry because their mothers milk is
bottled off for people. Whilst some female calves will enter the
UK dairy herd, many of the males - being too scrawny for beef production
- are currently shot at birth. Up to half a million of these unwanted
animals will now be shipped abroad each year. Young calves are known
to fare particularly badly during the long, traumatic journey by
road and sea in contraptions which are so cruel that most British
consumers have shunned veal for years.
* See also Viva! www.viva.org.uk
* Kent Against Live Exports www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~kale
* Animal Aid www.animalaid.org.uk
UK Animal Rights Prisoners
Write letters or send em cards, help with publicity
if they want it, join or start support groups for them...
for more info about prisoner support see www.brightonabc.org.uk
- Garfield Gabbard TV4271 HMP Hull, Hedon Rd, Hull,
HU9 5LS - is on remand for affray connected with a demonstration
against Covance animal labs.
- Dave Blenkinsop, (EM7899), HMP Bullingdon, Patrick
Haugh Road, Arncott, Bicester, Oxon, OX6 0PZ - is serving
10 years: 3 years for GBH (on Brian Cass of HLS), 18 months
for burglary in connection with theft of 600
guinea-pigs from Newchurch Farm and five and a half years
for possession of incendiary devices.
- Paul Le Boutillier (KA9326), HMP Hull, Hedon Road,
Hull, HU9 5LS - is serving five years for making thousands
of phone calls to animal abusers such as Covance workers,
HLS shareholders, farmers and hunt supporters.
- Paul Holliday (KA9328), HMP Lindholme, Bawtry
Road, Hatfield Woodhouse, Doncaster, York, DN7 6EE - is
serving 18 months also for phone calls to animal abusers
such as Covance workers, HLS shareholders, farmers and hunt
* For more see The ALF Supporters Group www.alfsg.org.uk
Energy companies beware - its all go in
Bolivia this week, as gas supplies begin to be brought under
public ownership. Under Decree 28701, royalties paid to the Bolivian
government by energy companies will increase from half to 82%. Companies
will be obliged to sell 51% of their holdings to the Bolivian government
and have six months to renegotiate contracts or get the boot. The
law fulfils an election promise by left wing president, Evo Morales,
to bring natural resources back under public control, following
the recent gas wars which pushed two presidents out
of office (See SchNEWS 427 and 502).
Although the move was greeted by celebrations in
the capital, La Paz, international investors are less excited. Amongst
them is the government of Brazil, run by former Trade Union activist
and now market friendly Lula Ignacio da Silva. The Brazilian state
owned energy company, Petrobas, which has £1bn invested in
Bolivias gas fields, has called the move unfriendly
and was, perhaps, a little surprised given that the government admitted
that the military seizure of its facilities in Santa Cruz, had caught
Brazilian ministers with their pants down. UK plc weighed
in voicing concern that the move will put more pressure on the security
of energy supplies in Europe and our ability to continue to burn
fossil fuels like theres no tomorrow.
Last week saw President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
visibly grin when he suggested that oil at $100 a barrel wouldnt
be too bad a thing. Over in Peru a closely fought election may see
the victory of Ollanta Humala, who rose to fame after President
Alberto Fujimori who legged it to Japan following a corruption scandal.
Now hes trying to pretend to be Japanese to prevent extradition.
Bolivia is currently following Venezuelas decision to form
an assembly to draw up a more radical, indigenous-friendly constitution
and may be joined by Peru following Humalas talk of rewriting
their constitution in order to stop the process of neo-colonialism
Over in Washington investors are beginning to feel
the pinch. Peter DeShazo, director of the Americas programme at
the corporate friendly Centre for Strategic and International Studies
in Washington was worried about the extent Morales will be
authoritarian and not democratic. Perhaps hed forgotten
that Morales was elected in a landslide victory. Maybe it slipped
his mind that the levels of indigenous support for these movements
suggest that people are rightly taking back whats been taken
from them by the likes of DeShazo?
Annita Roddick used to proudly display a
sign in her office claiming they were the most honest cosmetic
company in the world. Fans called her the Mother Teresa
of capitalism. But then in 1994 a US mag, Business Ethics,
blew the lid on her operation. Their Shattered Image story documented
how the company nicked the Body Shop name and marketing concept,
told porkies about the origins of key products, and wasnt
wholly truthful about its fair trade programs. Now theyve
sold their soul to LOreal, customers are turning away
fast. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that the French
firm, LOreal is 26 per cent controlled by our favourite Swiss
multinational, Nestle (voted, in one poll last year, as the least
responsible company in the world).
Body Shop bosses have been so shocked by the publics
reaction that they sent a letter to activists defending their position,
claiming that now the Body Shop is owned by LOreal, they will
be able to influence one of the worlds largest cosmetics companies.
(Body Shop represents only 1/50 of LOreals business,
by the way). Furry rabbits need worry no more. The Body Shop and
LOreal have reached an agreement on ethical standards.
So thats OK. Maybe the Body Shop bosses who were negotiating
the deal forgot that their new parent company, LOréal
were amongst a number of companies that have been trying to persuade
the French government to dump legislation that brought in a ban
on animal testing for cosmetic purposes. Check www.boycottbodyshop.co.uk
for more info.
* Over in the United States, Co-op customers
will be no doubt pleased to see their investment in Exxon Mobil
going to some good causes. The oil company is continuing to pour
millions of dollars into think tanks and Public Relations firms
to peddle the lie that the science behind global warming is wrong.
Exxon funds organisations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute
who have compared the risk of climate change to that of an
alien invasion. The free market-lovin Institute has
twice taken legal action against the US government to stop it from
distributing a report that shows how climate change is affecting
* Corporations are nice guys really, especially
those like Betchel and BP, according to Ethical Corporation,
the oxymoronically named mag which promises Incisive analysis
of the global drivers that make corporate responsibility a critical
risk to your corporate reputation and brand. Back in Oct 2004
they ran a Business Action on Human Rights seminar attended
by the likes of BP, Shell and De Beers (see SchNEWS 485).
This time were being invited to hear company
bosses talk about ethical leadership. But hurry the
£1,000-a-head tickets for the agenda-setting, corporate responsibility
shindig are selling out fast! You can hear Barclays CEO John Varley
forget to mention the banks investments in Apartheid South
Africa or Nestles Niels Christiansen skirt around the millions
of malnourished babies on Formula Milk. Or find out how mining corporation
Rio Tinto lobbied the Australian government to boycott the Kyoto
Treaty. If you cant quite afford to go along to the bash,
why not pick up a subscription to the greenwash magazine - a tax
free snip at £250 a year over on www.ethicalcorp.com
Watch are celebrating ten years of being a thorn in the side
of many a shonky firm, becoming the first port of call for many
activists and researchers getting their heads around the head spinning
world of the big zillion-dollar rip-off all around us. To mark the
occasion there will be a conference in October, and leading up to
this CW are calling for readers to send in their top ten corporate
crimes on the back of postcard, and even a poetry competition (entries
close July 1st).
more contact 01865 791 391 or see www.corporatewatch.org.uk
Detainees in Guantanamo Bay have now been
refused permission to plant a garden, in line with the same policies
that have refused them everything else (e.g. a trial). Gardens are
common in prison-of-war camps, but these prisoners are not allowed
one, even though they are innocent. They live in Camp Iguana, a
section of Gitmo for prisoners who have been found innocent. The
US cant decide what to do with them, so they keep them fenced
in a pen on a small patch of land. Problem solved! One prisoner
told his lawyer that after being refused permission, seeds or tools,
they went DIY, saving the seeds from food they were given. They
scratched the hard, dry earth with plastic spoons and mop handles
to make enough soil to plant into. A prisoner said they now have
watermelon, peppers, garlic, cantaloupe and a two inch lemon tree,
though its not doing too well.
UK-based campaign group, Reprieve, has asked for
people to send them seeds, which will be passed onto the prisoners.
They ask to only send pre-packaged, commercially produced seeds,
in sealed packets, to avoid giving customs an excuse to reject them.
Send them along to Reprieve, PO Box 52742,
London, EC4P 4WS.
When 30 police raided Ernesto Leals London home on Mayday
to cart him off to Belmarsh Detention Centre it was not the safety
of the public that was being protected but the Home Secretarys
career, as Labour pulls out all the stops to show how tough it is
on immigration and crime in fear that its losing working class voters
to the BNP. Ernestos family fled Chile in the 1970s to escape
Pinochets coup, arriving in Scotland where they were adopted
by the Fife mining community and became active in social justice
struggles. Ernesto grew up and made his home in Britain and has
a UK passport.
In 2004 he was convicted of grievous bodily harm, his first and
only offence, as a result of a racially motivated pub brawl. Now
Ernesto faces deportation to Jamaica a country he has never
visited or had any connection with. Ernestos sister Sonia
told SchNEWS, Ernesto did commit a crime, which he served
his time for in an open prison because he was not considered a threat
to the public. No reason has been given as to why he would be deported
Ernestos family are asking people to contact their MP and
the Home Office (phone 0208 196 0942 fax 0208 196 0930) asking why
Ernesto Leal (reference L306526) is being deported.
- Stop the Seal Prison Demo against the Sealife Centres
application for seal and otter pools in Brighton on Sat May 13th.
Meet outside Sealife Centre at 12pm. If you can help putting up
stalls and banners get down there at 11.30am. Brighton Animal
Action will also hold meetings 1st and 3rd Weds of every month
Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton, 7pm. 07787953347
- East Anglian Social Forum 6th May, 12-5pm, will be held
at the Citizens Advice Bureau, Ipswich (opposite St Mary
Le Tour church) with discussions about the environment and the
public service crisis.
- On 15th May will be a Block The Builders blockade against
the building of the new laser facility at AWE Aldermaston
in Berkshire 0845 4588366 www.blockthebuilders.org.uk/action
- In Worthing a Rally For Civil Rights May 6th, 2pm Montague
Place, Worthing (near bandstand) in opposition to everything from
ID Cards to new police powers. www.eco-action.org/porkbolter
- The film A Letter to the Prime Minister - Jo Wildings
Diary from Iraq will be screened at the Environment
Centre, Pier Street, Swansea, May 8th, 7.30pm. Read Jos
accounts at www.wildfirejo.blogspot.com
Plus activist Dave Rolstone talks about his work in Iraq and Palestine.
Work may be about to start on the proposed M74 motorway running straight through Glasgow. Despite being rejected by a Public Local Enquiry, the Scottish Executive is pressing ahead regardless. This week at Eglinton Toll, in the pathway of the road and the site of the Cre8 Summit last year (see SchNEWS 501), workers cleared, leveled and graveled most of the site. This comes after other tree felling and clearing at another site, and the SE continuing to purchase land along the route.
* Next meetings of JAM74 - 9th & 23rd May, 7.30pm, Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, 6 Daisy Street, Glasgow G42 8JL
* For more see www.jam74.org
Traditional 1st of May demos and protests took
part all over the UK and around the world last weekend. In London
up to 4,000 joined the TUC march to Trafalgar Square. 800 people
from the Autonomous Bloc marched on the issues of precarity and
migration. Meanwhile, the Space Hijackers were having a police
victory party outside the Bank of England (see And Finally).
Elsewhere in London the Workers Memorial Day demonstration commemorated
those killed at work.
It was busy in Manchester with a Chaos Mass bike
ride, a May Day march, anti-nuclear demonstration to commemorate
the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, and a picnic against capitalism.
Over in Cambridge demos took place against the privatisation of
public services, as well as an Extra tea for mayday
action where activists visited ASDA to give extra tea breaks to
the workers forced to work on Mayday.
Up in Newcastle a contingent from Tyneside Community
Action for Refugees marched demanding the right to work for refugees
and asylum seekers, and in Liverpool the Merseysides May Day
celebrations included a march and a rally in Princes Park. In Scotland
there was the traditional May Day march and rally in Edinburgh,
and a MayDay parade in Glasgow.
Fed up with the fact that the annual Mayday confrontation has become a boring ritual? Haven’t smashed up a Mcdonalds for what feels like eternity? Annoyed that the pigs have got it all sewn up?
The Space Hijackers (www.spacehijackers.org) a group of situationist degenerates have an answer (of sorts) - if you can’t beat ‘em (or if in fact they’re beating you) join ‘em.
“Meeting up in our secret side room, of a central London pub, the Hijackers bashed our brains together to come up with something for this year. Eventually the Mayday Police Victory Party was born. We realised that without a major anarchist action, there would be a lot of Police missing out on their guaranteed double time, mayday bonus. Plus their bosses would be looking forward to toasting the hard work they had put into suppressing previous maydays, in order to get people to toe the line and protest in an organised and authorised manner. What better way to celebrate this than to invite the police to a big, anarchist street party? And what better location than the Bank of England, on a bank holiday? We decided to host a Police party, for the police, dressed as the police. Our actions generally attempt to blur the line between general public and hijackers, involving everyone in the event rather than performing for them. The police however always get stuck on the outside, looking in longingly and wishing they could play. We have never been ones for painting things as totally black and white, and we know that underneath those stern uniforms there are a bunch of saucy party goers aching to get out.”
SchNEWS warns all readers that if you’re gonna dress up as a copper remember to hide your number... Honest!
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