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<nettime> SchNEWS 153/154, 6th February 1998 (Part 1 of 2)




Published in Brighton by Justice? - Brighton's Direct Action collective

Issue 153/154, Friday 6th February 1998




Fifteen masked-up environmentalists spent an hour on Sunday sipping tea on
the lawn at the Sussex home of the boss of one of the world's biggest

Mark Moody-Stuart, Group Managing Director of Royal Dutch Shell, and his
wife Judy, were startled to find protesters scrambling on their roof and in
the front garden of `Little Blackbrook' in Hassocks, where they unfurled
ten-foot banners proclaiming "MURDERERS" and "EARTH FIRST!".

By the time police arrived after a quarter of an hour, Mrs Moody-Stuart was
serving refreshments as members of South Downs Earth First! grilled her
husband about the meeting of 1,000 killer corporations in Davos,
Switzerland, which ended on Tuesday. Simultaneous actions took place around
the globe in Colombia, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, South Korea,
Spain and the USA. Nearly 200 organisations from 54 countries, with a
combined membership of 20 million, have released the Declaration against
the Globalisers of Misery.

The playwright Harold Pinter, and Ken Loach, the film director, were among
the signaturies denouncing "the accelerating centralisation of political
and economic power and the shift to unaccountable and undemocratic

One EF!er told SchNEWS: "This is direct democracy in action. Injustice
isn't anonymous, it has names and addresses. It was the only chance we had
to literally bring home the reality of the destruction that giant
corporations like Shell inflict upon indigenous people across the globe."

White-haired Moody-Stuart, 57, told the protesters: "I don't really want a
`MURDERERS' banner on my roof, could you take it down? I'm getting on a bit
and it'd benefit us both - you could use it at the next AGM!"

It marks the build up to MAI-DAY, when the corporations finally take over
the world (see SchNEWS 141) with the signing of the Mulilateral Agreement
on Investment, due in May. And this time: ITS WAR! This monster free trade
treaty will give multinationals the right to sue national governments, with
greater political right than any soverign nation. It's already happened in
Canada under a three-country treaty, NAFTA, where the Ethyl Corp. Of
America is suing the Canadian government for $367M for trying to ban the
use of MMT, a controversial gasoline additive it produces in Ottawa. It
wants "immediate compensation for imposing legislation which hiders it's
operations [profit]."

While the UK press is silent, activists in Oxford set up a DIY polling
booth - a people's referendum - last month to get people to vote for or
against the treaty. Once they learned details 99% voted NO.The final
negotiations take place in Paris between the world's richest 29 countries
on February 16-20th. Oxford City Council passed a motion denouncing the
treaty in a letter to the DTi. Another referedum will be held tomorrow, and
the idea is being repeated in Reading and St Andrews. To set one up call
Corporate Watch 01865 791391. A national action has been called for Friday
13th at the House of Commons, with an appropriate `horror' theme. Contact
the World Development Movement on 0171 737 6215.


On Feb 23-25th, 600 activists from People's Global Action will meet in
Geneva for the first conference of a new world-wide co-ordination of
resistance to the global market and the MAI. SchNEWS'll be there - why not
come too?

   * Playfair Europe!, Oviedo, Pedro Masaveu 1 10 E 33007 Oviedo, Spain +34
   * People's Global Action:
   * Public Citizen:

E-maul the Counter Globalisation Network:

   * GLOBAL STREET PARTY, May 16th, everywhere. Contact RTS 0171 281 4621
   * PEOPLE'S SUMMIT, May 15th-17th, Birmingham, against the G8 meeting
     0121 632 6909
   * RECLAIM EUROPE!, June 14-16th, Cardiff, against EuroSummit '98, the
     finale of Britain's six-month UK presidency.


SchNEWS Presents: Mark Thomas

* as seen on that TV thing *


(10th) to launch our sexy 3rd book -"SchNEWSannual" featuring issues
101-150 + photos; cartoons; features & 16 pages ov hot contacts. Send us #6
and a stamped addressed envelope.


It's War!...on the Telly

"The hard reality is that there is no more reason for monitoring Iraq's
poison gas supplies than those of Syria, Iran, Israel. Iraq shouldn't be
working on trying to develop a nuclear bomb. But Israel already has a
number of them. The US, France, Britain etc. all have large supplies. Do I
trust Iraq with the bomb? No, of course not, but I don't trust the US with
it either."
- David McReynolds, USA War Resisters League

Doing the rounds in the USA at the moment is `Wag the Dog', a film about an
American president who tries to get out of the mess he's in by going to
war. Sound familiar? In Clinton, the US have a President who apparently
doesn't impale or inhale, and ignores the advances of Boris Yeltsin, but
you can't really blame him for that, as he's a real ugly. Despite this, he
still insists it must go to war with Iraq because they are not conforming
to UN resolutions.

America have broken countless UN resolutions and are the only country in
the world that is currenly being investigated for the use of biological
weapons (over Cuba). Maybe they are just not happy with the UNICEF figures
that show that seven years after the Gulf War, over TWO MILLION Iraqis have
died as a result of UN sanctions, half of them children. And once again, it
will be the civilian population that will suffer the consequences,
especially if any of these military targets which are hit release toxic
chemicals. Could it be that a few years from now we will be witnessing Gulf
War Syndrome II? And there was us thinking sequels were never any good.

Where was the outcry when Saddam used chemical weapons on the Kurds? Who
speaks out when Britain continues to sell Hawk jets to the military
dictatorship of Indonesia which has occupied East Timor since 1975 and
killed a third of the population? Why did America stay silent when Israel
invaded the Lebanon in 1978 and again in 1982 and who still occupies South

This 'crisis' is just another chapter in the carve up of the Middle East,
against the intersts of the mass of people living there, by the
superpowers. Well what a surprise...


The National Peace Council have set up an emergency response network:
Phone: 0171 354 5200 Email:

   * Sat Feb 14th 12 noon: National demo against the threat of war outside
     Ministry of Defence.
   * Monday 16th Feb: direct action to shut down the air base at Northwood
     in Middlesex which is the HQ for the rapid-deployment force.
   * There's a cheap minibus going to Faslane Peace Camp in Scotland
     (camped outside the home of Trident) from Brighton and London 17th Feb
     - 22nd. Ring Alis 0171 275 9452 to book a place.



Clamp Down Rundown

12/4/97 Reclaim the Streets, Trafalgar Square: 3 people from Immersion
charged with conspiracy to murder. Sound-system impounded and later
reaturned. Charges were dropped.

5/5/97 Llyanbered, North Wales: Police hellicoptors and riot vans appeared
at Marchlin Quarry and seized the Babble soundsystem. The driver was

21/6/97 RTS, Bristol: Desert Storm soundsystem and truck impounded on the
M4 and owners charged with conspiricy. Rig and truck returned in October
and charges dropped.

13/7/97 East Sussex: police threw the CJA at a private birthday party
following the Brighton Dance Parade, at which 20 soundsystems made to
promise not to put on free parties that night.

16/8/97 Deiniolenin, North Wales: Police strip searched two people for
drugs on their way to a free party, finding none, before setting up road

6/9/97 Norfolk: at the legally squatted Thelverton Hall, police arrived
before the soundsystem to prevent a party organised by Innerfield and
Planet Yes.

18/10/97 24 officers arrived at a private birthday party and found #10
worth of cannabis. They nicked two people, took the key to the house and
impounded the soundsystem.

31/10/97 Norfolk: At the squatted Thelveton Hall, police crushed another
Innerfield do by seizing equipment, which they later had to return.
People's bedding was burnt on the front lawn by the owner of the hall.

11/97 Tottenham: 60 riot cops busted party and seized equipment belonging
to the Immersion rig - later returned minus a few bits.

31/12/97 Brighton: one party was stopped before it began; another was
stormed after midnight by riot police who then baton charged people
outside. A third party took place in a squatted bingo hall, until police
seized the rig in the morning.

31/12/97 Nottingham: Pulse,Smokescreen and DIY tried to put on a party in a
non-residential area, but police stopped it with roadblocks.

25/1/98 Hackney: noise pollution officers stopped a party in a disused
Hackney warehouse, siezing sound equipment which they are now seeking to

A View from the Dance Floor

In January 600 party-heads, clubbers, sound-system collectives and rave
organisers met in Bristol's Trinity Hall. The all-day, all-night
party-come-conference built a united front

"It's the War of the Flea. Soundsystems keep growing from the grassroots.
While the authorities try and contain them, they keep coming back to
irritate them. One may be out of action for a time, but another will spring
up in it's place"
- Debbie Staunton, United Systems

"Riot police have conducted a year-long war of attrition against large
private and open air parties, making scores of arrests and breaking up
events before they start"
- The Big Issue, 3/11/1997

While New Labour were busy popping champagne corks and celebrating with a
May day post - election knees up, other parties (of repetitive beats) were
being actively state-crashed across fields and warehouses all over Britain.

Dancing is OK, so long as you do it without the beats. Otherwise police
resources and manpower, to the tune of an inner city riot, may have to be

In the week before Labours landslide victory an unsuspecting party goer
received this posting on his e-mail: "the North Wales police are monitoring
your activities, and we will take action to stop your event". The next day
several officers grilled him over rumours of a May bank holiday rave -
Having monitered the UK Dance Listings web page, and e-mail North Wales
police followed the data trail right to his door.

The following May Day "election" weekend, the Tribe of TWAT, Chaos, BWPT
and Babble soundsystems, trailed by a party convoy, were met by the
regional Zero's In-Tolerance squad at Marchlin quarry in Llyanbered,
Deploying helicopters and riot vans, the Babble system was impounded and
the party convoy forced to find sites over the border into England.

Not that English police dont leave their Criminal Justice Act (CJA) calling
cards when sound-system festivities come to town. A month after the
election, following an all day RTS party, Desert Storm were pursued by
Bristol police to the bottom of the M4. Shielded by several hundred people,
the truck had been led to the outskirts of Bristol to avoid being snatched
by stationed riot vans. On setting out for the long haul up North, the
vehicle was pulled and the soundsytem impounded.

While 1997 saw quarries, fields, and warehouses ransacked even private
gatherings were being trashed.

The second half of 97' runs something like this, clampdown in Wales
continues, with Rave Watch schemes, arrests and system seizures. Armed
response units show at a Norfolk house party on Halloween. Police in
Tottenham and Hackney discover the Noise Act. Riot police showed at the
Innerfield Bingo Hall bash, seizing their rig, and stealing records and
connection leads. Then, only a month into 98'as part of the "Transforming
Hackney" programme, five sound-systems were taken under the Noise Act...

In 1993 the Southern Central Intelligence Unit began "Operation Snapshot".
Following the events at Castlemorton festival, open air raves were
identified as a target for police operations. "Any information, no matter
how small, on New Age Travellers or the rave scene" was to be logged onto
police databases for future intelligence. Working in since, the Home Office
tacked ravers on their CJA top ten social deviant list, by outlawing
sound-systems and making criminals of their owners. On the party scene
since, 1997 saw more legislation, manpower and resources mobilised to close
down free parties than ever before.

Clubbed to Death

"If we are not careful night-life will turn out to be no different from the
bland consumerist playground of chainstores and fast food outlets which
punctuate the daytime economy"
- Manchester Metropolitan University Institute for Popular Culture

"Management who do not co-operate i n drink and drug related matters will
be brought to task and this could ultimately lead to closure"
- Chief Superintendent Peter Harris, Greater Manchester Police

In 1998, sniffer dogs, drug swab tests, search warrants and licensing
powers are used on innocent clubbers. Many will be recorded on CCTV, inside
club venues some made to submit to drug test. Some clubs will be closed and
promoters forced to sanitise their nights with fresh police disinfectant
licensing solutions.

This new clean club solution won't effect corporate scum like the Ministry
of Sound but will wash out alternative dance and DIY circuits nationwide.
In Brighton, where special SWAT teams forever chase the rave to the grave,
fave Chief Inspector Bailey issued a report toEnvironmental Services
calling for a revoke of a cafe's 24 hour licence. Bailey said Brighton
police had "collated intelligence and video footage" implicating the Sub
Cafe's management with known criminals and drug dealers. The cafe had it's
flyers banned for using the words "chill out", CCTV cameras spying on the
venue, and officers wandering in on weekends, threatening the place with
closure. However, when Bailey's bully boys rolled up in front of the
licencing committee with their snooper film rushes and "intelligence"
casebook; it turned out the evidence was misleading, and the Sub management
were cleared. However, the continued harrassment eventually led to their

Zapped on Camera

When Web and Kirby, the multi-pub conglomerate, bought the Brighton beach
front Zap club they decided to install hidden CCTV cameras. The spy system,
all grand spanking pervy new, is in full colour - so it can pick out that
pink stitching on your bright fluffy bra. Web and Kirby say it's part of
the new sanitised Zap charter. Finally, a club you can take your gran along
to - they even shut at a mildly respectable 3.00am nowadays.

The Zap Club joins other Brighton snooper spots - the Paradox, Event,
McClusky's, Greens and Cybar, in installing CCTV systems where footage can
be used on police request. This is all part of the new Orwell-Clubs
initiative on behalf of Brighton police, where, to get an entertainment's
venue licence, you have to spunk up (literally) on spy cameras first.

Drug Czar Hellawell has already given his thumbs up to new club bashing
powers. On Newsnight he said, "Alongside inner city areas, clubs were
public enemy number one." The Legg Bill (Public Entertainments and
Licensing Act) when it becomes law this year, will give police the power to
shut clubs on any evidence of drug use. Smoke a spliff in your local Ritzy
and there goes your Saturday night sesh. Even without this Legg-up, police
are getting their jollies in North Wales by strip searching students on
route to Bangor University. In Manchester police are launching Club Watch
schemes all over town, with plans to make CCTV a licensing condition.
Elsewhere, Hackney council have set up a 24 hour weekend anti-rave hotline,
which puts winging locals through to Noise Pollution Officers. On 25th
January a tip-off led to five sound-systems being impounded in Stoke

   * Problems with red faced loony ravers winging about your party next
     door? Hav' a word with Hackney Noise Pollution Officers on - 0181
   * Anyone interested in seeing their cleavage or sweat spots should phone
     the Zap on - 01273 202407
   * Information on the Drug Czars plans and Home Office legislation call -
     0171 2734000

The Music Press

Most of the dance music press appear to be either drowning in records or
too off their cake to notice the repetitive beatz genocide taking place in
clubs, disused Bingo Halls, empty quarries, fields, squatted mansions and
private homes around the country. While the authorities continue to snatch
and destroy sound-systems, sap the life and creativity out of clubs, and
criminalise those on the dance pulse - music journalism is censoring the
real issues under a blanket of glitzty club ads, DJ cult worship and
sequinned wonder bra's. In just one copy of a well known double-barrelled
titled dance mag, SchNEWS found evidence of 90 pages of ads, 41 pages on
club related stuff, 1,349 cleavages, and 3 pages on drug, underground and
general news bit. Sorted!

Dancing to Whose Tune?

At one and a half grand per hour to keep going, police helicopters are
expensive pieces of kit, to be used only for serious anti-crime operations.
Some bewilderment then, was felt by an ecstatic crowd of party-goers
raising appreciative arms up to the scintillating spotlight shon from the
helicopter hovering above. While club lighting is usually expensive in
itself, those at this party at a derelict farmhouse near Peterborough last
summer, were treated for more than an hour to a dazzling aerial light
display courtesy of the old bill. And though that party was not actually
busted, the incident gives cause to ask again questions passing over the
lips of party-goers across the country: why the hell are police channelling
so much of their resources into checking people's attempts to celebrate
together? What is it that seems to make some coppers almost come with
excitement at the prospect of a clamp-down?

Free parties are not new, by any stretch of the imagination; the same
openness between people manifest by random chats and hugs at parties today
was experienced by those at popular festivals down the ages. Pretty much
the opposite of being on the tube in London, where passengers are almost
always silent and avoid eye contact, gripped by the alienation that is the
everyday reality for most of us. Can't the authorities get their heads
around the sense of ownership felt by people at free events, created by
those within the dance community simply for the love of the party? How much
more real is that experience than that of commercial clubs, where the will
to dance is enclosed and removed from everyday life, then sold back to us
for the price of a ticket? Perhaps though, that is precisely what those in
power can get their head around. With the growth of the free party scene,
people spent more time away from commercial `entertainment' venues, getting
their drugs of choice from the black market instead of from a bar. We
empowered ourselves to put on our own events and discovered that they made
those offered by the world of commerce seem boring. No wonder a backlash,
then: free parties undermine some people's pursuit of profit, and for a
while threatened to execute the judgement that contemporary leisure was
pronouncing against itself.

What is it that's so empowering about beats? When dance music tears through
our apathy with 150 bpm thrown out across a crowd, we begin to live more
intensely, as anyone who's felt it will tell you: music unites, and
inspires people to let themselves go. To say that that should only take
place within the walls of licensed clubs is to say that people should only
be able so freely to express themselves within the limits imposed by
corporate and other authorities whose interest in dancing is merely to
fleece those of us who love it. For them, the walls and time limits of
clubs exist to contain our creative desire for self-expression, making that
desire separate from ourselves and lives, something that can only be bought
into, instead of being collectively realised. Those walls trace the same
lines of enclosure as those marked out by the walls of art galleries, which
keep `art' as something removed from everyday life, to be exclusively
controlled by a few. At the Reclaim the Streets party last April, the
Immersion rig gave it some on the doorstep of the National Gallery, starkly
contrasting that bastion of high culture with something joyously
participative, embracing of all the people there. It's no coincidence that
Reclaim the Streets parties when they began took the soundsystem as their
central part, bringing to the everyday public space of the streets this
instrument of a free culture whose public, inclusive celebration had
elsewhere been the target of so much repression.

But it's not simply about being anti-club; many club nights are wicked, put
on for fair prices by people with attitudes as good as the sound folks they
attract. The issue is one of control: loads of us like to go out and dance
a lot. So on who's terms do we do this? Undoubtedly the reason the police
and general authorities want to herd us all into clubs is because that is
the arena in which they can best control what we do. The crux of it all is
this: that dance culture, at its best, offers people a glimpse, immediate
experience of a way of being together vastly different from the reality of
most people's lives, where the spectre of money continually haunts the
space between us. What would it be like if people hugged and communicated
so freely on the tube? These different ways of relating to one another are
both a cause and an effect of the concrete realities with which they are
bound up. With most of our most basic resources - land, information, the
space around us - annexed by a minority social class, the rest of us look
past each other in our efforts to compete for a bigger slice of the cake.
Of course we feel alienated from one another - all that we share is our
lack of control. Whether or not we're aware of it, each time we put on a
free party we take back a space to make our own, and declare autonomy from
the market system.

Party-goers everywhere should have no illusions about why their scene is
being so heavily targeted by those in power. So how much does your culture
mean to you? Across the country, in the various invisible territories of
abandoned halls and darkened fields, beautiful free events are being
surpressed by those with one hand pointing to the guarded club door, and
the other gripping a side-handled baton. But people's will to dance is as
relentless as their determination to think and organise for themselves. We
have scarcely begun to make them understand that we do not intend to play
the game.

"I don't understand why half the world's still crying, when the other half
of the world's still crying too, man, and can't get it together"
- Janis Joplin (as sampled by Stay Up Forever Records)



Radstock Railstock

Having left a 10 mile strip of railtrack disused for 23 years, British Rail
are now in the process of selling it to Bath and East Somerset Council who
want to build homes, factories etc. Local campaigners and residents are
opposed to the loss of this important urban wildlife sactuary and safe
passage for pedestrians avoiding the bumper to bumber Frome Rd. According
to activists the land used to belong to the Coal Board whose disused land
is meant to revert to common land after 20 years. As the council are unable
to prove ownership their eviction will be illegal, but they have already
started preparing for war and trashed an activists caravan. It can be
resisted if YOU get yer arse down there. Ring 01761 432273 for directions.


Cooltan Re-Squatted

London based itinerants Ecotrip have taken back the Cooltan in Brixton -
the old community centre that was brought by the Voice newspaper but left
to rot for the past year. A Valentine's Day Party is being planned (372
Coldharbour Lane, 14th Feb. of course, 10pm) The building is proposed to
become a luxury 196 bedroom hotel - just what Brixton needs.


Kick McCrap out of Footie

You've heard of the Kick Racism Out of Football campaign - but what about
the one to kick McDonalds out of football? A Wycombe Wanderers supporter
was none too happy about the appearance of Ronald McDonald before his teams
game commenting "We need to protect our local children from such corporate

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