Number 69 - June / July 2000


NEW!   Join our news mailing lists now.   NEW!

CONTENTS

News in Brief
Features
Latest News
Issue Download
Send Us Your News!

NEWS IN BRIEF

[ Contents ]

FEATURE: MAY DAY FOR THE UK

MAYDAY is RED for international workers day, GREEN for Beltane – the ancient fire and fertility festival that signals rebirth, and BLACK for the anarchists executed on MayDay 1886.

FEATURE CONTENTS
THE "CLASS OF 2000" PHOTO

More than 300 people gathered on Sunday afternoon for a "Class of 2000" group photograph in an act of good-humoured defiance at the forthcoming Anti-terrorist bill. They purposely arrived dressed-up in the clothes that make the stereotypes of what "direct action" activists should look like, and in a party atmosphere endured the good two hours it took for the set up to be finished.

The "models" ranged from a baby of a couple of months to a venerable lady, who would not give her age. To find out more about the bill and those opposing it, check: in depth legal analysis of bill http://www.blagged.freeserve.co.uk/terrorbill, details of the protest http://drink.to/dissent/.

[ Feature Contents ]
THE CONFERENCE

The anti-capitalist conference passed off without a hitch, and with satisfied participants all round. Workshops bashed out theoretical and strategic arguments, while the relaxed venue allowed much mingling and meeting between like-minded people.

[ Feature Contents ]
AROUND THE WORLD

Actions, demo’s and celebrations took place all round the world on this day, the traditional day of pagan celebration and solidarity amongst the oppressed of capitalism. 15,000 marched in S.Korea, 10,000 in Ankara, Turkey. 10,000 fought the police in Berlin, where one Swiss Anarchist was killed. The Dutch killed their Queen. We can’t list it all here, but try these websites: http://www.indymedia.org, http://www.reclaimthestreets.net, http://www.freespeech.org/mayday2k.

[ Feature Contents ]
ACTION REPORTS

London

There were strong, colourful critical mass contingents of cyclists, both on Friday evening and Monday morning. The weekend also saw an anarchist football match and a tour of the East End’s anarchist heritage. Actions on Monday began with Animal Action handing out free veggie burgers outside McDonalds on the Strand. Meanwhile around 6000 people were gathering at Parliament Square, supported by critical mass cyclists and with great banners strung between the trees: "The Earth is a Common Treasury for All".

This is where the guerrilla gardening action took place, helped by the police watering the grass in advance. The street was reclaimed and turf laid out in the shape of Great Britain. Paving slabs were dug up, plants were planted and a merry festival began. Only plastic trowels and manual effort went into this action : materials were carried by hand and by bike, there were no big secrets, just what the people there made of it. Giant sculptures of Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men, overlooked open mic debates while daners waltzed round a Maypole in the shadow of Big Ben.

Meanwhile, however, crowds had followed a samba band up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, and didn’t return. A McDonald’s and a money exchange office were trashed, a nice spectacle for the crowds of cameras surrounding it. Various statues were graffiti’d, except for General Montgomery’s – a delicate display of flowers was instead placed at his feet. Then the police (in the background before now) moved in and split the Trafalgar Square crowd from those at Parliament Square (who continued their festival in peace). The crowd was ringed in Trafalgar Square, bottles were thrown and people were no longer allowed out, creating a long and boring stand-off. The crowd at Parliament Square was now also sealed in, where discussions through open mics ended in the decision to leave en masse. The crowd (politely) pushed through the police line and walked down Millbank cheering and clapping. Police lined the exits along the route, and the crowd kept getting blocked in, and was separated when crossing a bridge. Some vehicles were trashed along the route. It ended up in Kennington Park, with tensions high and skirmishes with police. Some people made the effort to defuse the situation, and a football match next to the police lines helped the tension dissipate.

The people in Trafalgar Square were kept penned in for hours, and only allowed out one by one. Another guerrilla gardening action took place at Hackney Marshes (East London), where people organised an occupation and children gardened happily.

[ Feature Contents ]

Manchester

In the morning, the seaside came to the city. Sticks of red, black and green rock, with Resistance is Sweet running through the middle were given out to passers-by, a revolutionary seaside band entertained the masses and saucy seaside political postcards were delivered. There was a coconut shy where people got to ‘knock politicians’ blocks off’ and a cut-out copper to stick your head through for a seaside photo.

At 2pm, crowds began to gather at Piccadilly Gardens, with banners, music and colour, plus the usual police helicopter, mounted police, evidence gathers etc. By 3pm, up to 20 small autonomous groups had slipped away from the 500-strong crowd for Challenge Anarchy, a 'treasure hunt' each facilitated by an Anarchy Rice, targeting many places with their action pack of leaflets, flyposters, paste, chalk and spray cans.

There ensued: Shell blockades; many McDonalds occupied, leafletted or shut down; supermarkets targetted for genetics (food and GM cotton) and general nastyness; fake £20 notes dished out, with slogans included; cash machines 'melted'; a 'slave auction'; Disney (sweat & child labour), Starbucks (sponsoring globalisation), Reed & other employment agencies (casualisation & resultant insecurity & deaths) and NatWest (investment in animal abuse & general banking) visited; seeds and saplings guerilla gardened; spoof TV show making people spend exactly their £10 asylum-seeker voucher; anti-mass media 'The Lies' newspaper mock-up and actions; Fidelity Investments (investing in Occidental's attack on the Columbian U'Wa people) 'muralised'; Stagecoach buses stopped, leafletted and rolled under by disabled activists & others (Clause 28-support, few buses accessible, & anti-worker, rural routes, high fares etc Stagecoach manopolisation); general anti-consumerist, -advertising and -CCTV propaganda & shops closed down; plus "Unite, Resist, Celebrate" Mayday leaflets, and much chalking, stickering, subvertising and painting.

Meanwhile the main crowd went for a roving RTS through the city centre, followed by the cops and free food. Crowds divided up and rushed through police lines, defending themselves with wheelie-bin obstacles from horse charges, finding ways out, dividing and recombining, reoccupying briefly the Mancunian (motor)Way, closing down other city centre roads, until they were penned in near the Oxford Road McDonalds. 40 people entered the adjacent AMEC construction site, to climb up scaffolding above the police and crowd, as the Inspector announces "You'll be allowed to leave in small groups after giving your details, whe.., HOLD THAT LINE!" as people surged through the lines of riot cops.

People dispersed to rest up before the night's entertainment... A couple of dozen police in vans staked out the free party meeting point, but didn't notice dribs and drabs of people being led off. A little later, a mass of over 200 set off by the classiest route ever, silently snaking over land where their vans couldn't follow, in the darkness, together, to Mayday's secret free party celebration. They arrived at the Hacienda, unnoticed by police, despite the CCTV just outside the world famous ex-club, to party the night away. Graffitti inside from the first time we squatted it was updated to "People - 2, Police - 0". Some people were arrested when they left, but most left en masse and walked free.

On Thursday 4th the Hacienda was still occupied. After another night's party, the police left the site well alone. Before the building was vacated, huge banners covered the front of the building proclaiming "Anarchy", "Hac the System", "Resist", "We are Everywhere - http:// www.capitalismsucks.co.uk", and "Police Mutiny Now".

Arrests - 35, mainly various minor charges. Police impounded a van, & imposed a Section 60 (CJA extra stop & search powers) on the whole city centre.

[ Feature Contents ]

Sheffield

Sheffield's Mayday was on Saturday 29th April and was summed up by one participant as a "Perfect Day". Estimates of people range from 800 to 1500. The day started with a GM action on a branch of the co-op supermarket whose chesses bare the lovely slogan "Products contain GM so we don't have to use animal products." aah how nice.

Next came an animal rights demo against Natwest funding Huntingdon Life Sciences. Tapes of tortured animals were played to passers by, while the manager got very pissed off. His branch is the scene of regular animal rights demos.

Then things got surreal with about thirty people dressed in as highway men descended on a super tram stop in the town centre. For about an hour, to the sounds of Adam & the Ants' every tram was stopped and leaflets were given out saying why transport should be free and why it is wrong the stagecoach (the owners of supertram) use the money they cream of the public to fund a bigoted homophobic campaign.

Around 1pm a very colourful critical mass took place. About 200 to 300 cyclists, walkers and skaters took over the streets. Roundabout after roundabout was taken, in a flash of colour and celebration. They even broke through a police line to take the main roundabout where the M! comes into Sheffield! There was only one dodgy incident where a trapped car reversed into a cyclist. Luckily the girl was unhurt, and soon carried on. The critical mass then met up with the carnival. This featured a giant maypole dance, samba bands and the painting of an ambulance destined for Cuba.

After about two hours the crowd moved again. They went through town stopping at the peace gardens, the scene of a former protest camp, before they took one of the big inner ring road roundabouts. This was held for about half an hour, ensuring some long traffic jams.

The afternoon saw a carnival, which began with some excellent drumming outside the city hall. The war memorial flagpost was temporarily turned into a very colourful Maypole and a traditional may dance was had around the pole.

Then the carnival took to the streets ending up on one of the busiest intersections. This was held for around 15 minutes before it was decided to head for the pre-arranged chill out space on Devonshire Green. A loud soundsystem was unleashed here and people danced till dark. Then there were two after parties, one in the adjacent squatted community centre "Wiser Monkeys" and one out in the Peak district.

There were no arrests and no police/protester clashes of any significance.

[ Feature Contents ]

Aberdeen

In Aberdeen, there were demonstrations at both McDonalds, then after the dinner rush at Starbucks coffee house. All went well at McDonalds, where some staff even came out to our peaceful gathering and spoke to us and read our literature. Feeling quite successful, the protesters decided at 2 o’clock to move to Starbucks.

Again there was no trouble, and the demonstrators hope that they managed to get across their message.

[ Feature Contents ]

Glasgow

More than 1,000 protesters reclaimed the streets of Glasgow with a colourful parade around the city centre, ending in Kelvingrove Park. Peaceful protesters also marched in Edinburgh.

[ Feature Contents ]

Bristol

There were gnomes, kids, sunshine and giant puppets in Bristol. Eco-activists cleaned the windows of various capitalist targets such as McDonalds, NatWest and Burger King. One of the window cleaners explained "Its a metaphor. We want to make it clear these are dirty companies." The eco-activists also handed out seeds "to be planted anywhere" whilst five people climbed up a monument / modern-art / structure and hung various banners.

[ Feature Contents ] [ Issue Contents ]

FEATURE: PRAGUE IN SEPTEMBER

On September 26-28 the IMF and World Bank are holding their 55th annual summit in Prague. A mass mobilisation of people to Prague is beginning, while peoples around the world will join together in an expression of solidarity with the demonstrators in Prague.

A public international contacts list is regularly posted in order to facilitate decentralized and non-hierarchic networking. To have your contact information added to it, please contact resistance@x21.org, indicating

Any 'enquiries' or concerns about the September 26 global day of action should be directed to other activists in the group, city, country or on the various mailing lists, for us to mutually help each other with ideas and advise. There is no-one in charge or pulling the strings for the day. It will be a radically decentralised and non-hierarchic event entirely of our own creation in co-operation and solidarity with one another.

NEEDED: Translators!!! To make S26 information available in every language, especially Spanish, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, and Chinese. http://x21.org/s26 or http://go.to/s26.

The next international meeting to co-ordinate and info exchange will take place in Prague - starting on the 16th of June and continuing possibly till 19th please arrive ready to start the meeting at 10.am on 16th. Morning. If you wish to come e-mail h.summers@merseymail.com.

[ Contents ]

BLACKPOOL EMERGENCY! 30 DAYS IN OCCUPATION

The Leys Farm and Allotments Action group in Blackpool are fighting to save their site from 'development'. It is a mixed area of open land and personal allotments. Their third application to have the site designated as a Town Green has been accepted. However, Barratts still moved in with the buldozers and razed most of the wooded area to the ground. Defenders are sitting on the site ( and have been in occupation for over thirty days! ) but are urgently in need of others to stay as well. Most have jobs and are no longer young and are beginning to feel the strain.

Eviction notices have been given. There’s a county court appearance on the 9th June, with hopes for a favourable outcome. People are needed to occupy the site as long as possible while the process of town green application is going through.

Contact: 01253 351765, 01253 313777, 01253 596383, or 01253 356821.

[ Contents ]

SHEFFIELD REVIVED

On the 21st-22nd May, the people of Pittsmore took over a derelict garage in the centre of what is a very deprived region of Sheffield. God knows how long the garage stood empty, but many of the shops around are boarded over, with a frightening amount of used needles lying around. People took over the garage on Saturday afternoon, bringing music laughter and paint. The first job was clearing the rubbish. Then they brought out the sofas and turfed the forecourt. For the rest of the day, people danced against the destruction and depression in their area. Murals now cover the walls of the garage. The sign reads 'Sunny Spital, Hooray!' (after Spital Hill where the garage is).

The mixture of people involved was fantastic. Local community activists and local EF!ers alongside passers by and concerned people from the area. They received a great deal of support from local shops. One gave them free food, and asked if they would do it every weekend.

The garage is on a busy main road and no one passed by with out looking at our celebration of the area. ‘Reclaim the Satyagraha’ also held their second organising meeting there. There are many derelict buildings in the area so the reclaimers will probably be back for another weekend in the sun.

Contact: Sheffield EF! (also see http://www.satyagraha.org)

[ Contents ]

OCCUPATION OF MAFF (MINISTRY OF FARMS AND FISH)

On Tuesday 23rd May, concerned members of the public from all over the country descended in a madly spontaneous action, on the MAFF building in Smith Square, London. At precisely 2 pm, six respectable looking people calmly walked into the foyer, sat down on the floor and proceeded to form a circle attaching themselves together with lock-ons i.e. attached to each others wrists with carabinas and chain down drain-pipes. One person in the circle was also attached to a door to prevent the circle being moved. Another activist locked on, with a d-lock around his neck, to the front door. A support person who wasn't locked on was allowed to stay inside with them. Messages written on the drainpipes read 'MAFF loves Advanta', 'Wot no democracy?', 'Another MAFF-GAFF' etc.

Outside four activists braved the rain holding a banner with 'Pull up and Pay Up' as well as signs that stated that 'GAFF was closed due to dishonesty, deception and undemocratic behaviour over the genetic contamination of the Countryside'. There then followed six hours of interesting conversation with the four van-loads of riot cops that turned up about everything from allotments and corporate control to the merits of organic chocolate. Despite ruthless singing of the entire 'Seize the Day' repetoire, we realised that the Minister responsible, Nick Brown, would not come and meet with us. It was a model of elegant British civil disobedience with no arrests and no confiscation of equipment. It was fun, simple, empowering and made national media as well as providing an outlet for some of the deep frustrations and concerns of the people that took part.

[ Contents ]

SQUATTED VILLAGE COMMUNITY

In the Basque country a community has squatted five abandoned medieval villages in ruins. In 1995 they started the projects, trying to produce their own food and break the links to the capitalist economy more and more. Inside the community they try to avoid reproducing patriarcal structures and to live in accordance with nature.

This spring two of the villages got orders of eviction. The government of Nafarroa intents to evict and destroy the villages, including the rebuilt houses, by machines in order to avoid new occupations. This attempt is expected in June or July, most likely in the first half of July. They are preparing for non-violent resistance. Activists are invited to go to the Pyrenees and join them (it helps to speak spanish or basque).

Contact address in town: Iruneko Gaztetxea, Calle San Augustin, 17 E-31001 Pamplona, Nafarroa E.H. Postal address: Artanga, Rala, E-31430 Aoiz, Nafarroa E.H., artanga@gmx.net.

[ Contents ]

WELSH ANTI-TERRORISTS

May 6th saw a great anti-Terrorism Bill demo on Bangor high street. About 50 people representing at least 12 different direct action groups including Cymdeithas y laith (the welsh language society), Gwynedd and Mon EF!, Gwynedd Stop the Hawks, animal rights activists etc etc - funked on down the high street to the sexy sound of Samba Bangor. Speakers from the above groups and others, many of whom have already done incredible stretches of time for having the guts to stand up and be counted, called the bill Fascism, said that IT was terrorising US, etc- a very empowering event. Several Plaid Cymru MP’s and Assembly members have voiced concerns in the Welsh Assembly about the bill. Wales has an incredible history of direct action and they don’t want to lose it!!! A strong NONVIOLENT coalition against the bill is forming...

For more info email bangor-werdd@egroups.com.

[ Contents ]

ASPE VALLEY CAMP

A fresh beginning for the 12 years of resistance to the E7 motorway in the beautiful Aspe valley in the south of France has arrived. On May 7th there was an anti road demonstration with 3000 people which ended with the construction of a tree house camp, directly on the destruction site. It took the state 1½ days to evict this first camp. At the third eviction some 100 cops and the Prefect (regional head of government) showed up. The camps' trees were cut immediately. However, a new base camp has been erected again! This has been built on land that's not been confiscated yet and still quite near to where construction work will take place soon. At the moment some 15 people are inhabiting the camp. Help is needed!

Permanent campsite/info point La Goutte D’ Eau, Cette Eygun Pyrinee, France, tel: 0033 (0) 672634905, http://citeweb.net/lagoutte, lagoutte@eudoramail.com.

[ Contents ]

SPEAKING PIE TO POWER

For those who don’t yet know, the Biotic Baking Brigade (BBB) are an international network of Pie-rect Action resistance to neoliberalism, politicians and sell-out NGO ‘leaders’. This year’s lucky recipients of pies have included the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Michel Camdessus, and the creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, Keith Campbell. As Agent Apple expains, "This uprising has its roots in the belief that our planet is not dying, it is being killed; and the ones doing the killing have names and faces." See http://www.asis.com/~bbb/index.html.

Anne Widdecombe, 27. April
Shadow Home Secretary Anne Widdecombe was spectacularly pied while signing copies of her first book in Oxford. A custard tart, made to a traditional Romany recipe, was delivered by Agent Orange of the Campsfield High Command of the BBB. Agent Custard Tart, who targeted the shadow Home Secretary because of her attitude towards refugees, said: "The Conservatives are stigmatising asylum seekers in a cheap bid to gain votes that would probably otherwise go to the BNP. The overwhelming majority of people seeking asylum are people who have faced oppression – even torture and other violence, discrimination and deprivation in the country they have left. We should be welcoming them and offering them refuge, as common decency and international law demand." A man was charged with using threatening words and behaviour and a woman with assault and affray. The custard-stained books sold well.

For information on refugee support, contact: National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC), 110 Hamstead Road, Birmingham, B20 2QS, 0121 5546947, ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk.

David Icke
British anti-semitic conspiracy theorist (and ex-Green Party candidate) David Icke was pied during a press conference/book-signing in Canada. As well as claiming that the world is run by shape-shifting reptiles (possibly from Mars), Icke uses historical right-wing anti-semitic theories like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and has also praised the research of British Holocaust denier David Irving.

The book-signing / press conference was interrupted when three protestors, two dressed as lizards, one with an alien hand puppet, entered the store and proceeded to ridicule Icke. While being heckled for his anti-semitic views by the alien hand puppet, Icke was suddenly creamed by two lemon-meringue pies. While the pie-tossers fled, the lizards and hand-puppet were aggressively confronted by Icke’s Followers. All escaped unscathed, leaving a cream covered mess of bigotry and nuttiness behind. The pies were selected for their flaky crusts. Flaky pies for a flaky guy.

[ Contents ]

ACTIONS AT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS

Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty are currently seeking a ££200 million loan from the Department of Trade & Industry to build the Ilisu Dam in the Kurdish region of Turkey. This will evict 25,000 people, destroy towns and villages and threaten conflicts with Syria and Iraq over water flows. Fifty members of the Ilisu Dam campaign stripped off in the Annual General Meeting, revealing "Stop the Ilisu Dam" across their T-shirts, and asked the board members questions about ethical and environmental responsibility. The board members fled and Group 4 security grappled with the protesters. Contact: Ilisu Dam Campaign, Box 210, 266 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2, 01865 200 550, ilisu@gn.apc.org

Rio Tinto, 12. May
The notorious Rio Tinto mining company is currently polluting and violating human rights in such places as Kelian, Indonesia, where the local community is demanding compensation for land, crops and property. A statement from the Kelian community association (LKMTL) was read out at their AGM, despite the local police preventing the community representative from attending. Tinto’s chairman claimed the corporation was very concerned, but made no suggestions on resolving the situation. The Chairman of the South African Mineworkers Union and others also spoke on behalf of other countries where conditions were bad. Contact: Partizans, 41a Thornhill Square, London N1. 020 7700 6189, partizans@gn.apc.org.

British Aerospace, 4. May
BAe exports arms to every dodgy dictatorship and war machine it can. Activists at their AGM caused 30 minutes of disruption by tying themselves together. Many were removed, but those who remained kept the pressure on board members with awkward questions. Simultaneous protests took place at BAe sites around the country. In Usk, activists blockaded the Glascoed munitions factory, bringing traffic to a standstill on the main road between Usk and Pontypool. They were told that they were breaking the law but replied that they were there to uphold international law, in preventing the manufacture of weapons which would be used illegally to murder innocent civilians. Contact: CAAT.

Premier Oil, 15.May
Premier Oil held their AGM in London on 15th May. A large number of Human Rights campaigners joined the usual company directors and shareholders to highlight the corporation’s complicity in the ongoing human rights disaster in Burma. Their latest project involves the construction of a major pipeline throughout Burma stretching to the Thai border. Facing tough questioning in the AGM, Charles Jamieson, chief executive, reckoned that the company’s presence in the country was actually helping to bring about necessary change! Essential to the oil development programme is a railway being built entirely by slave labour, with children often as young as 10 making up a significant part of the workforce. Those not working to ‘standard’ are punished by torture and death. Human Rights studies estimate that 60,000 people a day are forced to work on the railway, and that every 18 months around 300 die. So there we have it, Premier Oil, a prime example of a multinational corporation working for thegood of the people. Contact: Burma Action Group, Bickerton House, 25-27 Bickerton Rd, London N19 5JT, http://www.freeburmacoalition.org.

[ Contents ]

LIVERPOOL RECLAMATION

A community event will take place in Liverpool on Saturday June 17th, involving the reclamation of unused land, a temporary moderation of the assault by cars on our daily lives, and an afternoon spent networking / mooching in the park. Then a benefit in the evening. Spikey it won’t be - all are welcome with pushchairs, propaganda, flapjacks and cans. Local accommodation can be arranged when you get there. Lark Lane (look out for the lollipop people) Liverpool 17 - 1pm onwards. Buses from City centre: 32, 82 from bomded-out church. Train: to St Michaels station from Liverpool central. Walk: ask for Princes Park then Lark Lane.

[ Contents ]

PYLON WARS

The Cork Harbour Anti Pylon Group is fighting the construction of Overhead High Voltage Power Lines in The Cork Harbour Area on the South Coast of Ireland. The pylons have now been held up for 4 and a half years, with legal challenges and the support of UK eco-activists. The High Court soon adjourns for the summer recess, so things should remain peaceful for now. For latest info, visit http://www.cobhantipylon.com.

A telephone mast is Sligo, Ireland, was cut down in January, apparently with a chainsaw. Analysts say this is a departure from previous methods of cutting down masts: The hard men of Ulster prefer petrol driven angle grinders and they do it with tractors down in Tipp.

[ Contents ]

HMP OLNEY ACTION

About 30 people occupied the construction site of the new HMP Olney on 30 May. Cranes and other machinery were sat on, offices were occupied and work came to a standstill for an afternoon. Police were very late to arrive, and protestors had ample time to leave with no arrests. Olney is one of 3 new prisons under construction in the UK. Group 4 and Carillon, formerly the construction arm of Tarmac, (who built Cookham Woods kids’ Prison) are building it next door to a secure training centre and a young offenders institute, both of which house young people. Contact: CAGE and see Diary Dates for Bastille Day actions.

[ Contents ]

RECLAIM LIFE

Anti-genetics campaigners and disabled activists converged on the multimillion pound genetics showcase the International Centre for Life (ICFL), on Saturday 27th May in Newcastle. The protest coincided with the opening of the "LIFE Interactive World" visitors centre.

Media reports before the day warned of "inflitration by violent anarchists" and in most cases gave more coverage to the concerns of protestors than the Centre for Life. The police and security were out in force, and briefly prevented the funeral march marking the death of human and bio-diversity entering the square, until they were sure the coffin was empty. The opening ceremony was a pathetic sight, attended by about 50 people including Carol "it's the best science exhibition I've ever seen" Vorderman, who was met by her clones branding the ICFL "Frankenstein's Castle". Others were dressed in Gestapo uniforms highlighting the links between Nazi-style eugenics and human genetic engineering.

A small number of visitors continued to trickle in throughout the day and were handed leaflets presenting an alternative perspective on the Centre's activities. In the square outside the theme-park, demonstrators played football and a giant game of snakes and ladders to show there is more to life than reductionist science and big-business.

Based on the poor turnout of visitors on its over-hyped opening day, it seems very likely that the LIFE attraction will fail on its own terms, if similar public wastes of money such as the Dome are anything to go by. Some of the visitors leaving the centre told protestors it was "a total waste of £6.95". Leafletting outside the Centre will continue over the coming weeks.

For a more detailed critique of the Centre for Life which goes beyond media soundbites, get a copy of GeneNo's booklet "International Centre for Lies", available from GeneNo, PO Box 1TA, NE99 1TA, geneno99@yahoo.com.

[ Contents ]

BALLS-UP IN GENOA

On May 25th, representatives from 21 countries tried to use Genoa as a biotechnology showcase. But the event backfired, ending up ringed by 5,000 Italian riot police, disowned by the city authorities, dumped by the government and besieged by protesters. A group of councils (including Genoa’s!) which had banned genetically modified food, sent their mayors to the demonstrations! The protesters united under the slogan ‘Rebellion is Natural’. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth had earlier pulled out of the rallies because they were billed as a "mini-Seattle".

[ Contents ]

GOLDEN CROSS EVICTED

The protest site at Golden Cross Road, Essex, set up to oppose the destruction of woodland to make way for luxury houses was evicted on Friday 12th May. Bailiffs entered the site on the Tuesday, taking control of the camp’s squatted bungalow and the last protestor was brought down from the trees on Friday. Developers Wilcon Homes Ltd have ordered the trashing of the woodland to commence, despite this being in contravention of planning regulations which stated that no trees would be touched between March and July due to Wildlife Act restrictions. The protestors appeared in Southend court on Friday, 1st June with their cases adjourned. The developer in question is Wilcon Homes http://www.ukpg.co.uk/wilcon/home1.html part of Wilson Connolly Holdings plc. The Ashingdon site has also been evicted.

Golden Cross is 20 minutes away from the Hockley site, another nature rich area which is being ‘developed’ by Countryside Residential. At present there are plans afoot for another 3,000 homes at nearby Battlesbridge. All this is just a small part of the massive influx of new houses that is currently sweeping the South-East, despite there being more than enough empty homes to accommodate those in need.

Contact: Golden Cross Action Group 01702 541 267.

[ Contents ]

STREETS OF CAMDEN

Sunday 14th of May was 5 years since the first RTS party, on Camden High Street. 5 years on and cars still choke the shoppers and residents of Camden. Squeezing pedestrians onto narrow, congested pavements. Some Camden residents have declared that they have had enough, and decided every weekend to (dis)organise actions to remove the automobiles off of THEIR street. The intention is to block cars, through any non-violent, non damaging means possible, and reclaim Camden High Street for pedestrians and shoppers. They invite the community to organise itself. It is hoped that this will become a characteristic of Camden, with space at the very heart of Camden for people to revel, enjoy themselves and generally live. Every weekend, from 10 till approx. 6ish (or whenever people disappear). Contact: camdenautonomists@microsuxx.com.

[ Contents ]

NEW CAMPAIGN FROM THE LAND IS OURS

Legacy of Slavery & Imperialism - TLIO will shortly be launching a new campaign that makes the connection between the original looting of human and natural resources by slave traders and the roots of economic imperialism enjoyed by multinationals at the start of the 21st century Over the next 12 months, The Land Is Ours will be seeking to raise public awareness of this new campaign. We plan to openly invite businesses and families who profited from the slave trade to pledge their backing for this campaign, in the form of some high profile actions. If you want to join up with this campaign, then you can subscribe to the following e-mail discussion list: LegacyofImperialism@egroups.com. Web-site: http://www.oneworld.org/tlio. [ Contents ]


THE THREAT TO DARTMOOR

Many Dartmoor walks start at Cadover bridge. Yet this favourite area is a landscape under threat of destruction. The clay Industry wishes to excavate a super quarry in the Blackabrook Valley, a wild and attractive tributary of the river Plim and to dump millions of tons of clay waste on Shaugh moor and Crownhill Down.

Two companies have applied for environmental impact assessments. These might not be completed until the end of the year. Afterwards, there’s an interval of 16 weeks before any action can happen.

Contact: Dartmoor Preservation Association 01822 890646.

[ Contents ]

STREET PARTIES

Glasgow
A successful street parade and party was held with over 100 people on Sat 27 May which finished at Gartocher Terrace, Glasgow, after going via Shettleston Police Station. It was cup final day so there were no police (often 200 odd officers have been at much smaller demos/ blockades). Later in the day, Combes waste yard got trashed: fencing, CCTV, a window, lights plus two tasteful stone eagles were repositioned. C.I.D. have since made door-to-door enquiries about the vandalism. Contact: 07979 836223 to talk to residents of Gartocher Terrace fighting to stop a waste disposal business invading their street.

Dublin
May 27, Ireland's very first reclaim the streets... By three o'clock Dublin traffic was brought to a standstill as hundreds streamed onto the bottom of O'Connell Bridge. Banging drums, dancing and singing in the pissing rain, they held the road for an hour before being shoved off. Then they paraded through the town, blocking the traffic for another hour or so before the rain got too much.

It had all started with a lot of confusion that morning because two different locations were given for the RTS. Only a handful had turned up at 12noon - the original kick off time. By two o'clock though, hundreds had gathered at the bottom of O'Connell St, eagerly waiting for the right time to block the road. They knew by then that the bouncey castle definitely wasn't happening. But it didn't matter once a banger car was equipped with a sound system. As people rolled the car down to block the bridge, they could hear the drums and cheers of hundreds streaming onto the road. "Reclaim the Streets" banners blowing wildly, they danced onto the street, whooping, hollering, blowing bubbles to the surprised, immobile cars on O'Connell Bridge. What a beautiful sight in the fair city!

[ Contents ]

ISSUE DOWNLOAD

You can download complete issue package (also contents list of contacts and dates) as a plain ASCII text file (zipped, 26K).

SEND US YOUR NEWS!

We can't tell you if you don't tell us. Send your news, stories, prisoners addresses, quotes, leaflets and up coming dates on the the back of an envelope, A4 sheet, computer disk or email to EF!AU. Don't forget pictures, (as photos or graphics files) or drawings.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

The editors of the Earth First! Action Update do not intend to encourage people to carry out any illegal action. The Action Update is for information purposes only.
[ Issue contents ]