the pork-bolter
No 48, September 2002

Operation Hysteria!

FORGET burglaries, car theft, vandalism or assault. The most serious crime facing Worthing police at present is people trying to deliver letters along rural footpaths. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from the cops’ absurd and widely ridiculed handling of the latest episode in the battle to save precious ancient woodland at Titnore Woods, Durrington. This blatant and laughable piece of overkill was even given an official name by the cops - Operation HASP. Presumably this stood for Hysteria at Sussex Police. The pages of the local papers are filled each week with tales of riled householders, disgusted pensioners and shocked victims who have been fobbed off with "staff shortage" excuses when they try and get the boys in blue to investigate their particular crime. But, it appears, there were unlimited numbers of police, riot vans, video-camera squads and reinforcements available on Sunday September 1 when a group of people decided to deliver a scroll to rich landowning family the Somersets asking them not to sell land off Titnore Lane to a giant property consortium. And it wasn’t just on the day itself that the town’s top cops managed to suddenly tap into some previously undreamt-of resources. In the run-up to this harmless event - which was only ever planned as a symbolic gesture - they had already gone to great lengths to harass and intimidate anyone they thought might be taking part in a perfectly legal and peaceable form of protest. First of all a woman who helps produce your very own independent newsletter, The Porkbolter, was intercepted in the street outside her home on her way out for the day with her two kids, by two plain clothes cops. These were Pc Sean McDonald (CM440) and DC Jodie Moss (DM725) from the Divisional Crime Unit. (It never became clear what "crime" they were investigating. Are they so short of crime to look into that they have to branch out into hassling people trying to protect the environment?) The cops were interested in our report in the August issue on the plans by Ye Olde Friends of Titnore and were eager to be provided with names of "organisers" so they could "help" them. Needless to say, no such information was provided. Next, news started to filter in of letters that had been sent out by recorded delivery by police to various people they thought might be involved in the protest. We have heard of six people receiving them, though there could obviously be many more (let us know if you got one!). The letter from A/Chief Inspector (Operations) R Whitfield began: "As you may be aware, a protest has been advertised for Sunday 1st September 2002, meeting at the ‘Coach and Horses’, Arundel Road, Durrington, at 1.00pm. This is a protest against the development of housing in the Titnore Lane area. Sussex Police is aware that you are one of those who feel strongly about this issue and attended a previous protest on Sunday 26th May 2002 at Titnore Lane." It added, in somewhat garbled English: "Sussex Police strongly urge you, if you are an organiser, or can tell us who the organiser of the event is, who can contact the organisation on 0845 60 70 999 and ask to be put through to the Highdown Planning Department. In any case, police officers will attempt to speak to you on the day of the protest to ensure you are aware of how this demonstration can best be facilitated." The deliberate atmosphere of intimidation and criminalisation of dissent continued on the day. The fifty people who gathered to symbolically hand over a scroll were amazed at the size of the police operation that had been launched. Police riot vans were parked up in laybys along the A27 for miles in either direction, video camera wielding "evidence gatherers" were openly filming protesters (and also hiding in roadside bushes) and metal barricades had been erected around the Coach and Horses, the pub where they were meeting up. Clement Somerset failed to turn up at the pub to meet the campaigners, as he had earlier promised. And when the group started strolling up the public right of way to the Somerset family’s Holt Farm, just north of the A27, their way was blocked with a thick line of police and a riot van – with another van and reinforcements seen lurking by the farmhouse. They were informed by the police that "Section 42" emergency powers had been invoked and anyone continuing along the public footpath would be arrested. Eventually Mr Somerset arrived on the scene, accepted the scroll and engaged in a brief, polite debate with the delegation about his status as a friend of the countryside and the impending sale of the Titnore land to a consortium of property developers - he refused a donation of £1 to help him out of his hardship - before the group dispersed back in the direction of the pub. Said Bob Bobbins of Ye Olde Friends of Titnore: "The presentation passed off completely peacefully, as we always knew it would. "We have been amazed at how wrong the police have got this all along. This was never even going to be a proper demonstration - it was just a gesture more than anything. Someone in the force must surely now be brought to book for launching this massive and costly over-response."

Borough sliding out of control, police warn

OUR brave boys in blue are battling against the threat of total anarchy in the Worthing area, unreliable sources have revealed exclusively to The Porkbolter. Complained one senior officer, who did not want to be named for fear of ridicule: "It’s chaos out there. We just don’t know what’s going to happen next." One headache that has been haunting the police in recent weeks has been the large numbers of irresponsible local people who have been organising a whole series of social events and outings without informing the force in advance. Said the officer: "We have now reached the stage where people are actually arranging, behind our backs, to meet their so-called friends in pubs around Worthing without having first applied for and been granted a Certificate of Authorisation from the relevant department. "How can we cope with this? How can we know how much policing we are going to need, and where, if people aren’t registering their movements in advance with the authorities, as required under the new Security Laws." Police are also probing a potentially dangerous circle of anti-social elements on the western fringes of Worthing, known only to them as the South Ferring Chapter of the Goring and District Bridge Club. It is believed the notorious animal-loving subversive "Riot Gran" may be linked to this shadowy group, who are known to brandish heavy sticks and thick flame-resistant overcoats. Said the officer: "Our intelligence is zero. We have no information on what this group is or what it is planning to do. It is essential that organisers identify themselves prior to any further activities. "We simply do not know how many bridges may be targets for this club and what kind of explosives they have access to. We are investigating reports of a large number of ‘rubbers’ involved in their activities and believe they may already have set up a clandestine ‘rubber’ factory in Ferring." He warned: "We have evidence that if someone supplied them with nuclear materials and expert advice, they could produce a rubber nuclear bomb at any time now, bouncing the whole of civilisation into oblivion."

Justice in Worthing - shock

JUSTICE triumphed at Worthing Magistrates Court earlier this month - for what is believed to be the first time in the town’s history. In a stunning victory for the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign against the casualisation of labour, all charges against the protesters who occupied the Shoreham docks of Euromin, the company responsible for killing Simon Jones in 1998, were dropped. The Crown Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday September 3 that it considered it was not in the public interest to proceed with the prosecutions. The protesters had been charged under section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (consolidation) Act 1992 following a protest at the docks on December 3 2001. All the accused faced a maximum sentence of six months in jail if found guilty. Anne Jones, Simon’s mother, and others were to give evidence at the trial about the appalling lack of safety at Euromin’s dock. The protest that led to the charges being brought was an attempt to draw attention to this lack of safety and force the relevant authorities to take action against Euromin. Colin Chalmers of the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign said: "We’re glad that the CPS has finally realised that the people protesting against this death trap of a dock aren’t the criminals here. Dozens of firefighters recently fought a major blaze at Euromin’s dock, where, unlike all other docks at Shoreham, gates aren’t locked, there are no security guards and there is nothing preventing small children from playing with heavy machinery. Our campaign will continue until the authorities wake up to what’s going on here and shut this cowboy operation down." Anne Jones, Simon’s mother, said: "I’m very glad these charges have been dropped. There clearly isn’t any public interest in prosecuting peaceful protesters in this way and it’s good that the Crown Prosecution Service has now realised that." Lydia Dagostino, the solicitor representing the five accused, said: "This is a small but important victory in an ongoing campaign against those who killed Simon Jones. This case highlights that direct action and peaceful protest still have an important role to play in our society."

Microchipped madness

ONE of the fears that always haunted The Porkbolter is that one day English people will not only be taxed, registered, spied upon, eavesdropped, monitored and manipulated by the powers-that-be, but that we will all actually have microchips inserted in our bodies so they can ensure they know exactly where we are 24 hours a day. So it felt like someone had just walked over our graves when we read of the parents who are having their 11 year old daughter microchipped because they have been caught up in the media hysteria over child abductions. Explained The Daily Mirror (September 2): "Danielle Duval will be implanted with a microchip to track her every move. If she was kidnapped, her exact location would be discovered via computer." Danielle herself gushed: "I will feel so much safer knowing that mum and dad could find me in an emergency." Although tragedies like that of Jessica and Holly are horrific and disturbing, it is worth remembering that children are more likely to be struck by lightning than whisked away and murdered - and much more likely still to be killed by a motor car. We can’t afford to let state-sponsored hysterical fear push us into a nightmare totalitarian future where freedom has been totally extinguished - and the whole human race will in effect have been murdered.

Sick of the lot of them?

FAST relief from authority is promised from Anarchism 2002, otherwise known as the 21st annual Anarchist Bookfair, to be held from 10am to 7pm on Saturday October 19 at the Camden Centre, Euston Road, London, (near Kings Cross). Free entry. Info from www.anarchistbookfair.org or from 84b Whitechapel High St, London E1.

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PORK-SCRATCHINGS

A LOVELY glossy newsletter has been produced by railway operator South Central Ltd boasting of a "new era of travel" arriving soon with their new south coast trains. What they don’t mention, though, is that the Class 377s will spell the end of an era for many cyclists. At a time when we are all supposed to be exploring green ways of getting around, they have simply decided not to leave enough room in the trains for carrying any more than a couple of bikes - this would get in the way of their aim of cramming in as many people and profits as possible. Local pedallers are rumoured to be be planning some direct action disruption when the new cycle-hostile trains come into action.
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SUPPORTERS of the new fan-led Wimbledon AFC were in Worthing on September 7 for a match against Withdean 2000 at Woodside Road (they lost 2-0). And they will have found much in common with Worthing people fighting Asda/WalMart’s insidious scheme to replace Worthing Sixth Form College’s sports fields with a new supermarket. For the Dons supporters have already sampled Asda’s community-minded, sports-friendly approach - the firm is one of the backers of the official Wimbledon FC’s universally despised relocation to Milton Keynes. The Wimbledon fans like Asda so much that they are calling for a national boycott of the firm’s stores. Of course, we haven’t got an Asda here yet, so we can’t be of much help - but we’re with them in spirit!
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WORTHING opponents of war with Iraq will be travelling up to London on Saturday September 28 to join what promises to be a massive national demo, starting from the Embankment at 1pm. Meet at Worthing railway station at 10.45am, not forgetting your home-made banner or placard telling Blair and Bush where to stuff their special relationship.
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SINCE September 11, 2001, internet freedoms have been badly eroded under the pretext of 'fighting terrorism’. That was the anniversary warning from the well-respected international group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres). Said secretary-general Robert Menard: "What would the citizens of Europe and elsewhere do if they were told a law had been passed allowing what they sent through the post to be routinely read by the police at any time? They would be outraged at such restrictions on their freedom. Yet there are exactly the kind of measures that have been taken or are being taken concerning the Internet. We need to be much more vigilant." Info: www.rsf.org
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A DATE for your diaries! The Porkbolter will shortly be five years old and to celebrate we are holding a party to which YOU are invited (no, sorry - not you over there, but everyone else). Hold onto this or any other copy of our newsletter, coz it will give you free entry on the night.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1, 7.30pm

THE VINTNER’S PARROT,

WARWICK STREET,

WORTHING

THE PORK-BOLTER’S FIFTH BIRTHDAY BASH

Featuring live band BECOMES THE WATER OF DEATH

plus DJs, beer, interesting conversation etc


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THE next meeting hosted by Worthing eco-action will be at 7.45pm on Tuesday October 1 upstairs at The Downview pub opposite West Worthing station.

Warning - know your rights

THE complex and finely balanced relationship between the state and individual in modern democratic Britain was this week set out in a statement from the Minister for Obedience. He explained: "Beyond the framework of the permitted representative processes the Crown at all times retains a prerogative to act in such a way as to protect the interests of the Crown through any measures deemed expedient by those authorised to reach such a decision. Any attempt to limit or challenge these Crown powers will be met with such force as is necessary to maintain the rule of law." Added the minister: "What this is saying, in other words, is that we’re right, you’re wrong and if you’ve got a problem with that you just try and do something about it and see how far you porkin’ get, sunshine!"

Pig is beautiful - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOLTER is a local independent newsletter named after an old nickname for Worthing people. It has been going since 1997, coincidentally just after Tony Blair became Prime Minister. It is run entirely by volunteers and, unlike certain supposedly much larger and more powerful bodies, is allowed to do what it likes without consulting George Bush first. To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of at least £3 payable to The Porkbolter, to PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. You can go on the email list for free. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. or send e-mail porkbolter@eco-action.org.

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright. No weapons of mass destruction, honestly Mr Bush sir!


and finally ...
Reclaim Your Town, Reclaim Your Life!

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