Action Update Nov 2002 -temporary page

South Pacific Solidarity!

Serious sabotage and damage committed during an inyasion of New Tribal Missions HQ in the UK.

On 11 October more than fifty people took direct action against the New Tribes Mission (NTM) UK Headquarters in Grimsby, in solidarity with resistant indigenous people of the Philippines, West Papua and Bougainvil Ie. NTM have stated that they intend to preach to every tribe on the planet by 2025, such as the Agta of Northern Luzon and tribes in Mindanao.

NTM build airstrips in jungles, have their own planes to ferry first missionaries and then businessmen, CocaCola and the military. First comes Christianity and then corporations. The indigenous people of West Papua have declared missionaries one of their 4 biggest threats: they areas responsible as mining or logging companies for ecological and cultural destruction.

The activists visited NTM wearing West Papuan masks, invaded and occupied the offices. They severely outnumbered the missionaries working there. Essential information and equipment was removed which will prove valuable to research for resistance to NTM. Other people sabotaged and dattnaged essential computer hardware, software and other office equipment; Others argued with workers; Others demonstrated outside or in the village nearby with banners. A timing device was planted in a toilet that later opened a valve on the cold water supply leading to flood damage during Friday night/Saturday morning. All the protestors left the scene without arrest, although missionaries attempted - and failed - to stop people leaving.

Rio Tinto company blockaded

Anglesey Aluminium Metals (AAM) at Holyhead, North Wales, was blockaded for six hours by 15 people making novel use of a clapped out minivan and a tripod. The action was in solidarity with the OPM - the Free West Papua Movement. 51% of AAM is owned by the infamous Rio Tinto (RTZ), which has a major interest in the disastrous Grasberg mine in West Papua.

The van, laden with two concrete-filled barrels, was towed in at 8.3Oam before breaking down' outside the main entrance to the plant. Someone stuck their hand through a hole in the side panel and locked onto one of the barrels. The other barrel fell through a hole in the floor of the van. and another person locked on. A long tailback rapidly ensued.

Meanwhile a scaffold tripod was erected at the back entrance to stop anyone slipping out that way. After a couple of hours a previously overgrown third entrance was opened by AAM, allowing light traffic access, but articulated vehicles were prevented from passing for another 3112 hours. The activists received support from AAM workers and local contractors. Workers and redirected traffic were leafleted. Local TV and newspapers covered the blockade. No arrests were made.

The Grasberg mine is one of the largest producers of gold and copper in the world. Indonesia gains 20% royalties from it, providing 47% of West Papua's GDP. The mine has turned the local river system into a poisonous slurry channel. As a result of which hundreds of children have died from copper poisoning, and the river and the trees on its banks are biologically dead. Protests by the local people have been met with severe repression by the Indonesian military, paid for in part by Rio Tinto and supported by their security forces.

Embassy occupied

The Indonesian Embassy in London was occopied in solidarity with the people of West Papua Occupiers chained themselves torailings in a third floor windowshouting "Papua Merdeka"(Freedom for Papua) to the on-I ookiong crowd. The Indonesianflag was pulled down and thePapuan `Morning Star' flag wasahout to he raised when Indonesianofficials dragged the flag raiser whohad climbed up the side of thehuilding back into the embassyusing unnecessary force.

Another group of activists gathered outside with banners reading "Free West Papua" and "Victory to the OPM". The huildingremained occupied for 3/4 hour whilstthe demonstrators made theirdemands. Enraged staff pushedpeople ahout and eventually thepolice arrived and cut people fromthe railings. Four people werearrested and charged.

Solidarity South Pacific
ssp@eco-action.org
c/o SDEF!
Prior House,
6 Tilbury Place,
Brighton
BN2 2GY
Tel: O273 695505
www.westpapua.net
www.eo-action.org/ssp/

Anti-war actions

Menwith Hill is a US spy base, monitoring communications in Europe and the Middle East. It is central to intelligence gathering in the so- called `War against Terror' and a key base for the global spy system Echelon. The base is actually US territory. US intelligence officers and military work there as well as support personnel from the UK - in all 3,000 people. It is being used to identify targets in Iraq and will be used to co-ordinate bombings when they start.

The action was a massive success. The main gate at Menwith is under construction so access is through two side gates. These, and a disused rear gate, were shut by activists, leaving the base almost completely shut down. The US military even came to have a look - something unheard of at Menwith, they usually stay well away. This is just the beginning... The US and British governments are making war in our names. We need to build an active resistance movement and sabotage their war effort. Indifference is not an option!

October 2: the trial of 2 people charged with criminal damage at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston was postponed after the prosecution failed to produce evidence that the site, near Reading, had ever been licensed to produce nuclear weapons. The defence lawyer stated that, under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001, anyone "possessing or producing" a nuclear weapon is "guilty of an offence," and "liable of conviction to life imprisonment" - unless, under Section 48 of the Act, such possession or production has been authorised by the Secretary of State. Aldermaston has, so far, been unable to produce such authorisation. Pre-trial hearings have been set for a later date.

Ireland, 19th August: activists were arrested at Shannon Airport after protesting its use for fuelling US military aircraft on their way to Europe and the Middle East. often carrying weapons like `daisycutter' bombs designed to `clear' spaces 600m wide of all living beings. Gardal later told activists that they `didn't know the half' of what went on at the airport at night. and said that jets had recently passed through which even security personnel were not allowed to approach.

Activists disrupted an army promotion and recruitment event at Horseguards Parade in London which also included the charity Stroke Awareness working closely on ajoint scheme, using army fitness trainers to promote exercise. The activists "tried to point out what appears to be the contradiction in: `Get fit and go kill people' - or - `Get fit and go kill other people's children' - Or - `Get fit then go and get killed'. `Get fit then watch out for the Depleted Uranium' would have been even more to the point."

Anti-capitalism rides again...

Anarchist Travelling Circus, a UK wide series of actions projects and events, and a mobilisation against the G8 Summit taking place in Evian (Lake Geneva on the French-Swiss border) June 1st 3 d 2003

Recent summit-hopping protests have built and revitalised the anti-capitalist movement, strengthened international solidarity, created new links, and mobilised people and ideas. This process is important, but mobilising around one-off events isn't enough. The Anarchist Travelling Circus attempts to reconcile mass mobilisations with local projects and actions; create links between anti-capitalist and daily struggles in our communities and workplaces; involve those who cannot/do not want to travel around getting tear-gassed; and emphasise that our multiple struggles against war and militarism, the destruction of the earth, debt and lack of housing, the treatment of asylum seekers, the mind-numbing, soul-destroying monotony of wage labour and many other issues cannot be won until the fight against capitalism is won, daily, constantly, everywhere.

The idea is a 5-6 week tour of the country, perhaps beginning on Mayday, and culminating in Evian on June 1st at the G8, with a possible `No Border' Camp en-route. As the Circus progresses around the UK, people could join and leave at will. staying on till Evian or never leaving their home town. At each city, town or village people would organise actions, open social centres, or stage cultural events. The idea is for anybody interested to set up local groups to organise events and transport and network the idea locally. An internet discussion list has been set up, to subscribe, send a blank email to: anarchisttravellingcircus-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. If you are setting up a group in your area and would like a speaker, please email anarchisttravellingcircus@yahoo.co.uk and let us know. The web address is www.g8circus.org.uk.

Local updates

Nazis out!

Anti-fascists have attacked a shop in central Burnley owned by Steve Smith, BNP organiser for Burnley The `shop sells little beyond a bit of Nazi memorabilia and is instead mainly used as a base for BNP organising in Burnley, and as a distribution point for BNP and Countryside Alliance propaganda. Anti-fascists smashed windows and graffiti'd the front of the shop.

Happy Meal

A new McDeath in Reddish has proved unpopular with locals. Since opening it has been robbed once. broken into several times with the burgers thrown about and friers opened (meaning they might be contaminated and it can't open next morning) and the doors and windows are kicked in on a weekly basis...! It's hardly surprising considering the outlet was built despite local opposition and with planning permission gained on the sly(by applying under the name of Warburton's), not to mention McDonalds' reputation for worker and animal exploitation.

At the palace

The fence enclosing the top of Crystal Palace Park has been torn down. At acandle-lit vigil protesting Bromley Council's enclosure of part of the park people pulled oft the plywood hoardings and entered the park. Around 50 people, mostly local residents, joined in, and before long a long stretch of the fence lay on the ground. For info see: http://uk.indymedia.org/ front.php3?articleid=40531

Teeing off

Victory-for the local campaign against Reddish Golf Club's plans to tip waste in Reddish Vale. The club had planning permission dating from 1965, and stood to make £1 5-30,000 contracting the tipping out. Local campaigners made it very clear to the Club that they would be reporting it to the Environment Agency for not declaring earlier dumping of toxic substances, and suggested that there might be other serious repercussions should they go ahead with the scheme, which would send 5,000 waste lorries to the Stockport beauty spot, past schools and other community sites, over two years.

Scotts Fucked

Two-thirds of Scotts' peat stock destroyed in one night On the night of the Saturday 31st August a small group of people visited Hatfield Peatworks near Doncaster and slashed 3/4 of Scotts' bagged peat. Based on figures by Scotts' lawyers for a previous action of this kind we estimate that over £100,000 worth of damage was done.

Southend

Activists took to the trees in response to plans for a £3.5million road widening scheme. Two climbers scrambled up trees on the route of the planned dual carriageway and held an eight-hour vigil. Campaigners for the group, Parklife, fear the road widening scheme will destroy more than 100 mature trees and a large shrubbery area. Parklife claims 25,000 residents have backed its protest through petitions and letters to newspapers.

European NewSREAL

A `new tool in globalisation activists' armoury' was launched at the European People's Global Action Conference in Leiden. The European NewsREAL is a half hour monthly video magazine of news stories produced by grassroots video activists. The project has a centralised translation system so copies can be made in different languages. The NewsREAL will be screened to audiences of up to 8 million viewers on US Freespeech TV, and in small cinemas, universities, cafes and squats across Europe. Contact: abragga@hotmaiLcom or Undercurrents Alternative News 01865 203661

New publication

Free copies of "Sexual Assault in Activist Communities" are available (help with postage appreciated). Email activistsagainstsexualassault@hotmail.com, including info on how many you need and whether you can make any financial contribution. Postal address: Local Affairs Commissioner, CSA Main Office, University Centre- level 2, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

Casualisation debate

There is an online discussion forum on casualisation and workers' right abuses, in the campaigns section of Billy Bragg's website. See www.billybragg.co.uk This seems all the more vital after a week (September 13th-20th) during which six men, one woman and a child were killed on construdion sites across the country.

Israeli action

22nd September: two hundred activists demonstrated opposite the Ministry of Defense in Tel-Aviv against Israeli violence in the West Bank. The action was called by Gush Shalom, the radical Israeli Peace Bloc. This was the first Israeli demonstration against army action on Arafat's compound in Ramallah. Demonstrators shouted: "Get Out of Ramallah!" and "Fuad, Fuad, (Ben-Eliezer), Minister of Defense, How Many Children Have You Killed?"

Iraq Attack

From a sanctions-breaker

"As we find ourselves on the verge of another Gulf War it's easy to forget that the first never ended for the people of Iraq. Twelve years of economic sanctions have compounded the effects of the 1991 war, condemning an entire population to poverty and suffering. According to UNICEF, over 500,000 under-fives have died as a consequence of sanctions.

A dilapidated infrastructure resulted from Allied bombing, and has remained in an appalling state because sanctions deny both physical commodities and economic resources. The result: undrinkable water and raw sewage backing up into peoples' homes, in a country which had British-standard sanitary systems a decade ago. Obesity, once the most common complaint in child health problems, is now replaced by poverty and starvation. 800,000 children under the age of five are chronically malnourished, according to the World Food Program. The biggest child killer in Iraq over the last twelve years has been diarrhoea and other water contamination related diseases. I've watched as young children walked barefoot through human waste in Basra, seen four month old babies dying in front of their mother's eyes as a result of wasting from diarrhoea. The Security Council Panel on Humanitarian Issues said in March 1999, "even if not all suffering in Iraq can be imputed to external factors, especially sanctions, the Iraqi people would not be undergoing such deprivations in the absence of the prolonged measures imposed by the Security Council and the effects of war.' Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, both former UN Humanitarian co-ordinators, resigned in protest at the sanction regimes, which they've called "failed" and "genocidal". The humanitarian impact of a war on Iraq under these conditions would be catastrophic, condemning an already suffering nation. A Pentagon administrative officer warned President Clinton in 1998 that the pre-cursor attack plan to Desert Fox would as a "medium case scenario" result in the deaths of 10,000. If, as in 1991, the attacks targeted vital civilian infrastructure, it would be "an attack on children's ability to survive" according to Save the Children, and a worse scenario than that above.

According to a UNICEF representative in Iraq, if military action interrupts the distribution of the monthly food ration, which most households in Iraq have an "almost total dependency" upon, it would result in `"famine on a large scale." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated that the collapse of the electrical sector could "potentially dwarf all other difficulties [so far] endured by the Iraqi people."

The Bush/Blair `dossier of evidence' provided nothing but conjecture. There are 23 million people in Iraq, the warmest, most loving, compassionate people I've ever had the privilege of meeting. With children already dying at epidemic proportions we have to do everything possible to prevent adding to this already fatal cocktail. Awar on Iraq would be a gross violation of international law, of decency, of morality and of any democratic process in Britain, with the majority of people across the political divide opposed to a war in Iraq."

Voices in the Wilderness has been running a postal sanctions breaking campaign for some time. People send small packages of medicines or toys to Iraq without applying for an export licence, and use their action as a means of getting the local media to cover the issue. This is a breach of the law on sanctions, and should not be undertaken without due consideration! Contact Voices for a pack, including details of where/what to send, and legal ramifications. Voices UK, 5 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, London Nl 9DX, 08454582564, http://www.viwuk.freeserve.co.uk/

Spy base blockade - sabotage the war effort!

24th October: 5am: Around 20 protestors locked themselves to the gates of Menwith Hill US Spy Base, Yorkshire. The blockade lasted 41/2 hours, hitting three scheduled shift changes. Around 1000 staff were turned away on arrival and the base was reduced to essential services only. No arrests were made.

Sumac picnic

A tew week ago the Sumac centre and friends went for a picnic in woods near Nottingham. It was the first time in a year and a half since the closure of the old Rainbow centre, that almost everyone got together without the pressure of getting the new centre open. Not everyone was there - a few people were back at the centre running the cafe and the Veggies crew were off doing an event as they almost always are. Everyone played rounders and an amazing, amusing game of three frisbees and football was invented. We sat down to a vegan picnic and much wine was consumed. After sunset, a fire kept the day going into the early hours.

The Sumac centrc is finally open, meeting the only deadline we have managed to keep, which was to open the weekend before Glastonhury and the summer exodus to fields across the country. Volunteers were up til early hours the week before finishing off the building work. We only finished at 2am the night beforc our opening day, when over 1 00 people came for free tea and cakes, a kids' ceilidh by Monster Massive and a bring-and-buy sale.

The vegan cafe is open three days a week (Fri-Sun I Oam-6pm) and the number of customers is building up. Our library is starting to emerge from its boxes and the shock of living in garages and cellars across Nottingham. Work still needs to be completed on the bar, which we hope will be open for Christmas. And thoughts have turned to our out-buildings, which are derelict and full of everything we had to get out of the way to open the main building. In our heads is a new grand ecologically souird office and workshop block. The volunteers who have been working on this for two years (seven days a week at some points) are exhausted, but new volunteers are starting to come in to turn this part of our dream into reality.

More information from www.veggies.org.uk or info @ veggies.org.uk or 245 Gladstone street. Forest fields. Nottingham NG7 6HX 0845 458-9595. Donations welcome.

Animal rights

North-West SHAC Day of Action: Activists easily gained entry to a "secure" building to invade WorldCom's offices and halt work, whilst workers from other offices were informed about WorldCom's involvement in horrendous animal cruelty. Many wished us luck in closing Huntingdon Life Sciences. We then paid a visit to Marsh, HLS' insurers. Activists stormed the building and locked themselves into a conference room. A megaphone was directed out of the window and for an hour passers-by informed of Marsh's support of HIS. Police tried to arrange a meeting between us and the manager, but he was too ashamed to speak to us. Eventually police piled in and we were escorted out. Manchester Animal Protection - tel 07932 547785

Revolutions Per Minute has published `The Rich at Play,' an analysis of hunting with hounds. It concentrates on the historical basis and cultural context, beginning with the Norman Conquest. Hunting is examined as part of the laws and practices enabling the ruling class to control space. the author analyses the peculiarly non-rural composition of the Countryside Alliance, and the populist, libertarian politics whereby it gathers public sympathy for hunters, which it portrays as part of a `rural dispossessed'. Available from Revolutions Per Minute, BCM Box 3328, London, WCIN 3XX.
www.red-star-research.org.uk
revopermin@ukonline.co.uk

International solidarity

Demonstrations and harassmentin San CristobaL, Mexico

On September 10th civil society groups from across Chiapas took to the streets of San Cristobal to protest at the intimidation, harassment and interrogation of people who work with local organisations. Seechiapas.indymedia.org for updates. There have been protests in Barcelona, Geneva, Paris, Madrid, Argentina, the Basque Countrv,Canada and the United States over theMexican government's continued human rights abuses in Chiapas. Suggested actions include organising protests at Mexican Embassies and Consulates, and at the offices andheadquarters of companies investing inChiapas. Zapatista communities are alsocalling for emergency human rightsdelegations to Chiapas. Seewww.chiapaslink.ukgateway.net for information and advice. Some communities have also been forced off their land and are in need of financial support: if you can raise money, e.g. through a benefit night, contact GlobalExchange's Mexico program for moreinformation. Emailmexico@globalexchange.org

cLose the SchooL of theAmericas! Stop US trainingof terrorists!

On November 16th 1-4 pm: vigil/rallyoutside the US embassy in London inmemory of those murdered by SOAgraduates in El Salvador, and insolidarity with the action outside theSOA in Fort Benning, GA. The SOA isa US military school that trains LatinAmerican soldiers in counter-insurgency and now counter-narcotics. Opened in 1945 in Panama, it was a major foreign policy tool in the U.S. fight againstcommunism. In the early eighties, the SOA moved to Georgia because a major newspaper in Panama dubbed it the "School of Assassins." The school is notorious for training some of Latin America's most brutal dictators; several years ago manuals were released, showing curricula including techniques of torture and rape. The school is now named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co- operation. See www.soaw.org.uk

Starbucks settLers

Berkley, California 17th August: About 25 queer `settlers' imitating the actions of illegal Israeli settlers in Palestine, descended on Starbucks, claiming Berkeley as "a city without people for people without a city." The group, organized by Oueers Undermining Israeli Terrorism(QUIT!), posted a banner proclaiming the cafe "Queerkeley - A Prophecy Fulfilled." They erected homes, lawn furniture and sign's reading "It Works In Palestine, Why Not Here?" and "It's Ours Because We Say So" and gave patrons tracts explaining their religious claim to the land: "And the Lord saw that the queer people were harried in this land. And the Lord spake unto the prophet Harvey, "You will lead your people across the wide water's unto a new land." Harvey was fearful, and cried, "How will we cross the wide water's? For they are cold, and they are filled with all manner of hazardous substances and raw sewage and other pollutants." And the Lord responded, "I say, Lo, I have promised the land of Berkeley to the lesbian's and to the gays, and the bisexual's, and to the transgenders and the intersexed, and all gender variant peoples. And this land shall be blessed with fruits and nut's, unto 50 genderations." - Book of Reclamations and Realty, 4.0. The group`selected Starbucks for their settlementbecause founder and CEO, Howard Shultz, is a major supporter of the Israeli `state and Starbuck's ha's become the prime target of an international boycott of corporations with ties to Israel www.inmind's.co.uk/boycott-israel.html. See www.quitpalestine.org. or email quitpalestine@yahoo.com

Russian anti-nucLear actioncamp 2002

In response to the Russian government's decision to import 20,000 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste, environmental groupsorganised protest actions, including an action camp, in Siberia. The June camp took place near the prohibited zone around Krasnoyarsk- 26, Russia's largest high-level radioactive waste store and plutonium-producing reactor. Early in 2002, local citizens and environmental groups collected nearly 100,000 signature's calling for a vote on whether to ban nuclear waste imports into the region. For moreinformation, or to donate, contact:+7 (095) 7766281 (English speaking). e-mail: ecodefense@online.ru, alni@online.ru

Winter Moot 2003

The EFI Winter Moot is the annual network gathering to discuss UK-based ecological direct action our strategy tactics campaigns and actions. The next one is being held in Nottingham from the evening of Friday 7th to Sunday 9th of February 2003. There will be cheap vegan food available, accommodation, and a creche. The building has disabled access.

Venue details, a map, and other information will be sent out in January 2003. If you want to receive these please send an SAE to: EF! Moot c/o South Downs EF!, Prior House, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, BN2 2GY For specific enquiries please contact us by email: efmoot03@hotmail.com or leave a message on: 07763 552627