| Friday 20th July
2007 | Issue 597
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER DROP OF THE RED'N'BLACK STUFF...
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Eire
We Go Again | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Mayo
The Force Be With You | Agrexco Aggro | Positive
SchNEWS | Selex Pedition | Party
and Protest | Gun's 'n' Rousers | and
EIRE WE GO AGAIN
ARRESTS AT SOLDIERS HILL AS SECURITY GETS HEAVY AT TARA
Seven protesters against the motorway planned at the Hill Of Tara in Ireland (See SchNEWS 596) were arrested on Weds 18th trying to stop diggers from illegally destroying the important archaeological site at the proposed Blundlestown interchange in the Tara/Skryne Valley.
Campaigners against the new M3 road were there by 7am and the morning quickly turned into the battle of Soldiers Hill as they were met with thirty diggers and heavy security. After protesters stood in the road in front of the trucks, five were arrested by Gardai, including archaeology professor Muirfeann Ni Bhrolchain. A further two were nicked in the evening, all for obstruction and Public Order charges.
This marked a shift in security tactics – up until then anyone putting themselves in danger from machinery stopped work. The change was evident after contractors and security personnel acting for SIAC/Ferrovial attempted to establish a machinery depot in the middle of the Valley, at the proposed site of the 25-acre Blundlestown interchange. Protesters were subject to physical abuse, including threats and actual blows, leaving one hospitalised.
After the morning arrests, EU MEP Cathy Sinott arrived announcing that Ireland is currently in court with the EU over the recent archaeological discoveries along the path of the road, and called for work should be stopped for two months until the court hearing – a call likely to fall on deaf ears without even more determined public action.
Of the seven arrested, four have been remanded in custody for a week after breaking bail condition and returning to the protest site. They will appear in Navan District Court next week.
The Hill Of Tara is still to be won – but there’s not much time. Help the protests all you can now – with getting down there, and also camp tat including the usual rope, tarps, food, etc.
* For more see www.savetara.com
CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK
For being too shirty...
Too much fashion cheek from one SchNEWS reader who found herself in a pickle after being nicked by City of London cops last Friday. Officers took offence to her t-shit which was emblazoned with a picture of an Uzi machine gun and the slogan, “Could somebody point me to the nearest McDonald’s?”. This was apparently just too saucy and she was hauled off to the station by beefy burger-loving cops and held for some hours before being released, minus the offensive attire. We’re not sure whether they are now relishing taking the matter any further...
MAYO THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Another SchNEWS correspondent with a report from Rossport:
“The resistance to Shell’s proposed gas refinery and pipeline development in County Mayo, Ireland, has intensified once again. Last Wednesday three local fishermen were jailed, accused of assaulting Gardai on a picket last year. They vigorously denied the charge and the prosecution were unable to produce any evidence in court aside from contradictory police testimonies.
Nonentheless, Judge Devins (coincidentally married to junior government minister, Fianna Fail – surely no conflict there) somehow managed to find both men guilty and sentenced them to three months inside. The community response was swift and unequivocal. On Friday, two men locked on to an immobilized vehicle for over six hours, blocking traffic on the main haulage route to the proposed refinery site at Bellianboy. Locals also used their bodies to block traffic on the alternative routes to the site.
In the evening, a procession of 100 vehicles drove to welcome home the three bailed fishermen. The convoy stopped when it reached the proposed refinery site and around 200 people gathered outside. Some of the crowd forced open the gates and around 100 people marched through the site. The community celebrated as power was temporarily reclaimed from Shell in Bellinaboy.
Since the picket was broken last October, community control of the situation here is infrequent, and they have no doubt about the strength of the forces they are up against. One resident told me, “Make no mistake, this is war. Shell and the Gards will not stop at anything until this thing is built.” With the odds so stacked against them their uncompromising opposition is impressive, but in the face of what life here will become if Shell succeed, they are people with little to lose. If the development goes ahead, this remote community, and the land and sea many of them depend upon, will be altered irrevocably. The gas pipeline is only the beginning - if it is built, oil refinery developments are certain to follow. Consequently, resistance is not so much a choice, as a necessity.
Campaigners are hoping to keep the momentum of the past week going and a national day of action has been called for Saturday at Bellinaboy. In general, support is always welcome, the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located near the site providing a base for activists who want to help with the campaign. Come with ideas for action!”
* For more detailed info check out www.shelltosea.com www.indymedia.ie/mayo www.rossportsolidaritycamp.com
Activists again managed to disrupt business at Agrexco Carmel - importer and distributor of Israeli food and veg - last Sunday (15th). Agrexco are 50% owned by the Israeli state, imports 60% of all Israeli fresh produce, and are the major distributor in the country. The action was part of an ongoing campaign against the company, who sell goods grown on illegally occupied Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.
After replacing the Israeli and British flags with the Palestinian and the black and red Anarcho-syndicalist flags the group then entered the warehouse for a brief inspection of the produce, before some d-locked themselves to a trailer.
The staff at the depot in Hayes, Middlesex weren’t happy about the interruption to their Sunday overtime, and assaulted some of the protesters. One stand up guy went as far to say “I don’t give a damn about this war crimes nonsense!”. The cops soon arrived twenty minutes later.
When the general manager Amos Orr finally arrived (whaddya know, he doesn’t work Sundays), he wasn’t best pleased to see the flags flying but, true to form, the company declined to prosecute for aggravated trespass. The Police were left to merely conveniently look the other way as Amos and one his drivers tried to moved the trailer the protesters were locked onto. It was only after being reminded of their ‘Duty of Care’ that the cops returned to stop the truck just inches away from one of the protesters.
Agrexco’s reluctance to prosecute comes from the aquittal of seven protesters in January 2006 (See SchNEWS 529). The trial for aggravated trespass ended up with the company having to disclose where their goods came from, but was thrown out before the defence had an opportunity to present their case arguing that dealing with these settlements in occupied Palestine constitutes unlawful business. For the same reason, the management of Agrexco didin’t press charges against the six nicked during another blockade last November (See SchNEWS 571).
Consequently, the activist ‘open season’ on Agrexco continues and after an afternoon’s fun, the protesters left without any arrests.
* For more see www.palsolidarity.org
A SchNEWS writer currently doing voluntary work in Rwanda reports back with a story of some DIY social support in the troubled country:
"A decade on from genocide which saw over a million Tutsi’s murdered in three months in 1994 - the worst atrocity of a civil war which killed three million - Rwanda is still desperately poor with most of the population living below the UN poverty line. Resources are scarce, but one small charity is making a big difference to some Tutsi survivors’ lives.
The Marembo Centre in Kigali was set up in 2005, initially providing street kids / orphans with a safe haven, hot meals and the chance to go to school. Two years on, the children have a new place to stay and the Marembo is used as a community school teaching art, music, computers (they now have an internet connection), mechanics, karate, football and English. All this is free to anybody who wants it, all run by volunteers working for nothing." More info including how to donate www.ryico.org
Up in Scotland, activists under the banner of ‘Fuck the War Coalition’ have been targetting Selex, an Edinburgh arms company. Part of the massive Finmecannica corporation, which actively supports and makes profits from war, Selex specialises in making parts for artillery, Apache helicopters and military aircraft such as the Harrier and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Locals are letting their local arms dealers know how they feel. Last week they smashed factory windows for the third time in recent months. Perhaps someone should set up the Smash-Selex campaign?
The in-yer-facely named “Fuck the War Coalition!” have also busy elsewhere in the city lately. A slippery organisation only existing when carrying out direct action, unmembers have been out spraying anti-war slogans and breaking windows at the US Consulate in Edinburgh, as well as similar actions at a local armed forces recruitment centre and the offices of the pro-war MPs. For more see http://scotland.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3893/index.php
PARTY & PROTEST
JULY: 18-21 Earth First Summer Gathering – five days of
eco-living and planning action – at Woolseybridge Farm, 1.5
miles NNE of Diss, Norfolk. www.earthfirstgathering.org.uk
21 - Workshops and benefit gig for Gatwick No Border Camp. From 3pm workshops inc. films on the Tube cleaners, climate change and migration. From 7pm-midnight: food and music from Spanner (ska/punk), Ruth Theodore (folk). Chat’s Palace, 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DF Free from 3pm-7pm then after 7pm: £5/£3/donation firstname.lastname@example.org or www.noborders.org.uk
27 – Critical Mass – cycling protest usually held
on the last Friday of the month, at 5.30pm. In ten cities across
Britain - for more see www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm#crit-mass
AUGUST: 4 - Brighton Pride - Parade starts from Madeira Drive
at 11am to Preston Park, where lycra clad revelry continues till
Following the recent aquittal of two Smash-EDO roof-occupying demonstrators (See SchNEWS 594), two more prosecutions failed last week, this time for ‘using language or behaviour intended to cause harassment alarm or distress’. Despite one activist having already spent two days in court in preparation for trial, Sussex police continued their policy of dropping the charges at the eleventh hour - although surely unrelated to the fact that EDO are keen to avoid court and any more awkward cross examinations...
Celebrations were short-lived for one of acquittees as he was arrested again earlier this week (18th), during a weekly noise demo. Cops swooped in to confiscate a portable sound system, using an obscure council bylaw never previously used for this kind of purpose. See you in court?!
The campaign continues undaunted, with spokeswoman Sarah Johnson saying, ‘Despite Sussex Police repeatedly failing in their attempts to criminalise peaceful protest they continue to target activists who demonstrate against a company on their doorstep responsible for war crimes committed across the globe. We refuse to be intimidated and will continue our campaign against EDO MBM until they shut down.’
* See www.smashedo.org.uk
Life’s tough on the hard streets of Malmo, Sweden. One would-be drug dealer bit off more than he could chew when he tried to rip off a couple of local nuts by selling them a family bar of chocolate for £700, instead of delivering the 9-bar of hash he’d promised.
The two unhappy hard-centered punters were less than overjoyed and have now just been prosectued for shooting the candy man in the foot and hitting him over the head with an axe. And just when he might’ve thought he had gotten away with merely his injuries having only been caught selling really expensive munchies, the creative city prosecutors take the view that pretending to sell even illegal substances still counts and are doing him for fraud.
SchNEWS suggests all, ahem, recreational retail merchants learn from this morality tale and always play straight in yer dodgy dealings... (that last bit of soapbar we scored had a chewy caramel centre!)
SchNEWS warns all readers the only rip-off we tolerate is SchNEWS merchandise. Honest!
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