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Issue 26 - April 2000

Society disintegrating? Citizens unhappy? Then why not
JUST BLAME IT ON THE ‘BEGGARS’

ADOLF HITLER certainly knew the value of a good scapegoat. The majority of Germans were content to sit back and let him construct a hideous totalitarian military-industrial police state, safe in the knowledge that he was stamping out the "sub-human" elements who had caused all the country's woes. These days, of course, you can't get away with blaming 'The Jews', or 'The Blacks'. Even the notorious 'Dole Scroungers' are not quite the convincing demons they used to be, what with most of the population in constant fear of losing their jobs and ending up unemployed themselves. So who better to blame than the one group of people who can't answer back – the homeless and destitute, or, as they are now always termed, 'Beggars'. In the last few weeks Worthing has been coated in a noxious layer of inflammatory bile designed to convince us that there is suddenly a Beggar Problem (which will require a Final Solution, no doubt!). This was shamefully led by the Worthing Guardian, with the Worthing Herald getting in on the act as well. And providing the fuel for the media hate orgy has been town centre manager Clare Potter, whose job is to make Worthing a town fit for business to make profits in. According to the propaganda, it's not just a couple of cold people sitting in doorways we're talking about here but a Conspiracy of Beggars (Adolf would definitely have approved). Yes, whole gangs of them are being chauffeured into town, renting mangy dogs, changing out of their designer suits to dress up in old blankets, and even, horror of all horrors, blocking businesses' fire exits! The disturbing thing about all of this is the timing – it seems to have come as part of a national media-created scare about 'Beggars', 'Asylum Seekers', 'Romanian Gypsies' etc etc. Anything to distract attention from the growing unpopularity of New Labour's dodgy pro-business/anti-people regime ... A notable aspect of public attitudes to the homeless is the element of envy involved. Although sleeping rough is hardly a soft option, there is a freedom in a life on the streets that many wage-slaves would like themselves and therefore resent. The sad truth is that, for most people, industrial civilization offers a "choice" that boils down to having either a roof over your head or the freedom to decide your own destiny. Does life have to be like that? We think not. Roll on the porkin' revolution!

Authorities with a terror of dissent

THE campaign against the new 'Prevention of Terrorism' Bill in Worthing has had quite an impact in the town. Worthing Against the Terror Bill mounted a dramatic week-long intensive high-profile campaign against this insidious anti-democratic police state legislation, which has so far been sneaked most of the way onto the statute books with the minimum of media scrutiny. A successful protest was held in Montague Place, Worthing, on Saturday March 11 and the same day saw the opening of a squat infoshop/cafe at the former Steyne Bookshop in the High Street, with the surreal name of the Terrorist Tearooms. This was open to the public every day, offering free tea and coffee, displays, a reading room, videos etc for nine days non-stop and, together with the street activities, managed to get the campaign’s message across to huge numbers of Worthing people. As a finale a couple of spectacular stunts were staged on Friday March 17 and Saturday March 18, involving some dare-devil climbing. The police response to one protester on the rafters in the Montague Centre, plus a few supporters handing out leaflets, was to send in the 'riot' cavalry once again! At one stage, certain cops’ hostile reaction to onlookers and aggressive driving through the crowd, plus 'Evidence Gatherers' sticking their video cameras up the noses of everyone in the vicinity - even children - led to an intimidating atmosphere. This was worsened by the sight of brave cops racing off down Montague St after a 12 year old boy (for reasons unknown), brandishing their batons and dragging him off to the police station, along with two adults who tried to intervene on the boy’s behalf. The climber was also arrested after his amazing five-hour stint. If you haven’t heard by now, the Prevention of Terrorism Act is basically aimed at stamping out protests and treats political activists as worthy of fewer rights than actual criminals like robbers or murderers. Even talking about pulling up one genetically modified carrot would, for instance, be classed as 'terrorism' and anyone, like your very own Pork-Bolter, that dared voiced support for such action would be guilty of supporting 'terrorism'! If you want more info on the campaign write to Worthing Against the Terror Bill c/o our address. Meanwhile, the Terrorist Tearooms have been boarded up by landlords West Sussex County Council. We wait to see if the authorities put this publicly-owned building to as good a use as the activists they want to see in jail.

A clear sign of council’s priorities

NEW road signs planned by Tory-run Worthing Borough Council provide an illuminating insight into the contempt in which they hold the rest of us. The Worthing Guardian revealed (March 10) that drivers entering the town will be welcomed to "Worthing, Centre for Business, Shopping and Leisure." So nobody actually lives here, then?

Big Brother puts kids on drugs

"MORE than three-quarters of a million children could be given drugs to control their behaviour - against their wishes and those of their parents. The spectre is raised by legislation planned by the Government to give increased power to psychiatrists. Mental health workers are warning that the new legislation is being drawn so widely that doctors will be given the right to drug children just because they have a difficulty with maths or spelling." No, we didn’t make this up just to scare you. This is a genuine report from The Observer (February 22). Already tens of thousands of schoolchildren with mild behaviour problems are being drugged with Ritalin - dubbed the ‘chemical cosh’ or ‘kiddie crack’ - simply to control them. The number under state mind control rose from 3,500 in 1993 to126,5000 in 1998 and is still rising. In the USA one in every 30 children is on Ritalin. And it’s getting much worse. The planned new law would allow psychiatrists to give compulsory drugs to any children or adults that they see fit. So it’s mind control drugs for ‘hyperactive’ kids like Dennis the Menace or ‘Just’ William and, potentially, any adults ‘deranged’ enough to question the values of our Glorious Industrial Civilisation. An early candidate could well be Bill Joy, a leading American computer software innovator, who has shocked his fellow scientists by warning of techno-calamity ahead for the human race. In a major article in Wired magazine, Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us, he says that humankind will soon be under threat from hugely powerful and self-determining computers and we face ‘something like extinction’ within two generations. He warns that by 2030 computers will be a million times more powerful than today and highlights nanotechnology - the creation of creating tiny machines atom by atom - and genetic engineering as major threats, in an analysis which reinforces the warnings of jailed Unabomber and fellow scientist Ted Kaczynski. Back in the present, Big Brother - that genetically modified hybrid of Big Business and the State - continues to exert an ever-tightening grip on our lives and our thoughts.

Apart from the frightening Prevention of Terrorism Bill (see above), here are some other examples that have caught our attention in recent weeks.


Porky Pie’s Chemistry Tip of the Month!

(for Worthing Borough Council)

2Fe + O2 +H2O (+ NaCl accelerant) - Fe2O3 + H2

(ie: if you insist on putting iron bollards next to the pier you’d better paint them properly or they’ll go all rusty) The ideal solution for the council could be H2SO4 + H20 (sulphuric acid)


Traffic - will Clare dare to care?

WORTHING is being urged to adopt a car-free day, following the trend which has proved a big hit in France and Italy. A reader has sent us a copy of a letter he has sent to town centre manager Clare Potter. In this he writes: "If Worthing dedicated just one day to open up the town centre to pedestrians, cyclists and children perhaps then the positive experience might make people think. Worthing could lead by example and show towns such as Brighton, who do show initiative, that we are not a town that has corrupted itself in the pursuit of the goodwill of the minority." What will business-friendly Clare say to this? We will let you know!

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

Shamrock Farm at Small Dole is closing down after 50 years of torturing monkeys. What can we say except "Wow, cool, amazing, great, yeah!", "Hats off to Save the Shamrock Monkeys!" and "Victory to Riot Grrran!" There is a national march against vivisection from Hyde Park, London, at 2pm on Saturday April 15.
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MORE good news, this time from the campaign against casualisation of labour sparked by the horrific death of student Simon Jones at Shoreham Docks in 1998. His family has won a High Court battle forcing the Director of Public Prosecutions to reconsider his dodgy decision not to bring corporate manslaughter charges against Simon’s employers. This was a first and will hopefully set a precedent.
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LOW average pay is a ‘striking feature’ of the West Sussex economy, the county council has been told (West Sussex County Times, Mar 31). Meanwhile, a report from Sussex Enterprise boasts that county businesses are doing very well and consider the area a ‘strong base’ for their profit-making activities (W Herald, Mar 2). Surely these two phenomena cannot in any way be connected? (Nice facelift for Worthing Jobcentre, by the way – but sadly still the same crap jobs!)
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TWO women who repair street lights in West Sussex came face to face with enlightened and liberal Sussex Police recently, reports the county council’s Streets Ahead newsletter. Heather Turnball told how she and Joanne Todd were working in an underpass by Gatwick Airport "when suddenly the tunnel was rushed from both ends by armed police." Added Heather: "We were marched off at gunpoint to a security office and asked to explain what we were tampering with. When I said we were electricians maintaining the lights, one of them said ‘But you’re a girl!’." We were impressed by his powers of observation.
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A MAJOR date on the protest calendar this year is Bank Holiday Monday May 1, when the Reclaim Mayday event will be hitting the streets of London. There’s a load of stuff going off, such as guerrilla gardening to improve the city environment! Meet at Parliament Square (Westminster tube or walk from Victoria) at 11am. A free party at the Millennium Dome has also been mentioned. For all the latest info check the website at http://www.freespeech.org/mayday2k (internet access is available at Worthing library). And at Worthing.eco-action’s meeting at 42 Marine Parade, Worthing (above Paiges) on Tuesday May 2, 7.30pm, there will be a full report on the previous day’s activities, which sound like they’re not to be missed!
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SUPPORTERS of the South Down and Eridge fox hunt beat up Insp Roy Apps of Sussex Police on March 11, landing him in hospital. (Evening Argus, Mar 13).

Bogus OAPS: an official warning

BOGUS pensioners are plaguing Worthing and law-abiding citizens should take care not to be fooled by them, warns Herr Raus of the council’s Department for the Disposal of Unsuitable Persons. He points out: "These so-called pensioners are forever claiming they cannot afford to pay their bills or buy their shopping, but we have had reports of them arriving by train from out of town and even travelling by taxi! These masters of deceit pretend to have difficulty walking long distances and often clog up town centre benches for long periods, impeding views of advertising hoardings and detracting from the modern business-friendly image of the town."

Sow about a subscription?

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent community newsletter for Worthing, which we are old-fashioned enough to regard as a place where people live rather than as a Slave Labour Camp/Centre for Business where the riot police are called out every time someone climbs a tree. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue , simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Copies of back issues are still available. Cheques/postal orders made payable to The Pork-Bolter. email subscriptions also available. Drop us a line: porkbolter@eco-action.org or PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7NZ. website: http://www.eco-action.org/porkbolter

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright coz information is freedom, innit?


and finally ... The time has come to stand up and be discounted!