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Issue 692 - Junglist Missive

Jo Makepeace | 25.09.2009 18:45 | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | Animal Liberation | Climate Chaos | Migration | World

The refugee camps in Calais called the 'jungle' are smashed by French police... plus, climate campaigners blockade the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine in Wales, the Titnore Protest Camp near Worthing holds a direct action picnic halting work on the new Tesco super store, animal rights campaigner Sean Kirtley is released from prison on an appeal, an abandoned cathedral in Bristol is squatted for a week of events and actions called Co-Mutiny, and more...



SchNEWS, Issue 692, Thursday 24th September 2009




In a move that left home secretary Alan Johnson
“delighted”, the long predicted clearance of the migrant
camp in Calais (see SchNEWS 682, 684, 685) took place on Tuesday
(22nd). Around 500 French riot police moved into the
“jungle” at 7.30am, bulldozing tents and seizing the

At dawn that morning the remaining migrants of the camp had gathered
around a fire where they waited for police with banners in English and
Pastu, one proclaiming: “We need shelter and protection. We want
asylum and peace. Jungle is our home”.

No Borders activists confronted the advancing police, at one stage
using a length of rope to form a human shield around a group of
frightened teens. The police cut the rope and rushed in, knocking the
activists and migrants to the ground, resulting in the dramatic
footage that graced the national press.

After the police had left, one activist described the scene:
“The Afghan-Pashtun jungle has been completely razed -
it’s like a road-building site.”

In total police arrested 278 migrants, 132 of them minors. Those of
them that have been released have described how police took away their
money, phones and clothes.

Although some have been sent as far away as Toulouse, a third of the
migrants have already been returned to the streets of Calais. They now
have no possessions, nothing to eat and nowhere to stay. No Borders
activists are remaining in the area, with one saying
“We’re busy trying to help people rebuild the camps -
we’ve brought loads of tents and tarps over from the UK.”

Another described the situation: “[it] seems to be calming down
now – with less and less police visible – but our work
load has been ramped up because of the situation these people have
been left in.

There are seven or eight other camps around Calais but at the moment
there doesn’t seem to be a move towards evicting them, which
suggests that the whole thing was a P.R stunt.”

The situation in Calais, a short ferry hop away, remains one issue
where British activists can make a real difference to a horrendous
situation perpetuated by our government. One activist summed it up,
saying “What we’re doing here makes a huge difference,
when we’re there and shit happens, police back off a little, but
because the journalists are interested in what we do and they can
legally film the cops, it can calm the situation right down –
we’re making it a story”.

There have been solidarity demos in Wales, Manchester, London and

* For information on going to Calais ring (from UK) 00 33 63481071 or

* For updates



Wales has been following up their inaugural climate camp with
continued action targeting the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine. On
Wednesday (23rd) employees arrived for their day’s work to find
two climate protesters suspended in nets from the bridge used to
transport freshly removed CO2 nuggets and rubble to waiting trains.
Most of this is destined for Aberthaw Coal Fired Power Station, the
biggest polluter in Wales.

The demonstrators cast their nets at 4am and halted mining works
until 2.30pm. Once the two had been rumbled, an enormous turnout of
coppers and officials followed, with at least 30 plod shutting down
roads around the site. Specialist police climbers abseiled from the
bridge in true Mission Impossible style and promptly arrested the
campaigners, who were later charged with aggravated trespass after
being held in cells for around five hours.

In a slight oversight on the police’s part, one demonstrator
was released without any bail conditions and the two were handed back
all of their climbing gear with their possessions – obviously
the force are not too bothered about a possible re-enactment of the

* See



Work was disrupted this Tuesday (22nd) at the site of the Tescos
development at Durrington near Worthing, when the Titnore Protest Camp
held a Picnic Against Tesco. Work on the Tesco mega store has been
going on for around two months. The steel frame of the building is
already starting to go up in a compound with heavy security. All a few
hundred metres from ancient woodland and the likely South Downs
National Park boundary.

Around 20 people set up a picnic in front of the gate into the
building site, stopping all vehicle access. Two women ate their
sandwiches locked to a dumper truck on the site. Others ran an info
stall outside the existing Tesco. Most of the workers were sent home
for the afternoon and delivery lorries were turned away.

Later the picnic moved over to the protest camp in Titnore Woods. The
camp is not yet under immediate eviction threat as the Tesco
construction is a field away, but it’s at risk as soon as the
housing development begins. Watch this space! Donations and visitors
welcome at the camp.

* See




After 16 months in prison, long-term animal rights prisoner Sean
Kirtley has been released following a successful appeal. There are
still fearsome reporting restrictions surrounding the case and, as
Sean is still awaiting the Crown Prosecution Services decision on
whether to re-open the case, SchNEWS can’t give ya the full
low-down. (Although we can tell you he went straight to the pub after
getting out)

Sean was convicted back in June 2008 of conspiracy to
‘interfere with the contractual obligations of an animal
research organisation’, an offence under section 145 of the
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (See SchNEWS 634). He was
sentenced to four and half years (out of a maximum possible five).
That sentence has been quashed, as has a potential five-year ASBO,
which would have totally restricted his ability to exercise his
freedom of speech. The charge related to an ongoing campaign against
Sequani, a vivisection laboratory based near Ledbury in Herefordshire.
His ordeal began with wave of arrests code-named ‘Operation
Tornado’, a NETCU* coordinated strike at the animal rights

Sean was the only one of two people convicted (one other man plead
guilty at an early stage), and the only one imprisoned. His six
co-defendants were all acquitted. Evidence relied heavily on phone and
e-mail records that the prosecution used to suggest a
‘conspiracy’. This charge was useful to the prosecution
because the Sequani campaign had been entirely peaceful, and there is
not one shred of evidence linking Sean to any violence against people
or property. The central plank of the evidence against him was that he
updated the campaign website.

Despite being almost the definition of a ‘prisoner of
conscience’ it’s been nearly impossible for Sean’s
comrades to get any of the mainstream civil liberties organisations
interested in his case. Instead, the fear of being tarred with the
animal rights brush has silenced those who would usually be most vocal
about such a blatant attempt to stamp on a campaign. Also, funnily
enough NETCU - usually lightning fast to gloat on their website when
one of their victims gets a prison sentence - haven’t got round
to press releasing the news of Sean’s successful appeal yet.

* See

** National Extremism Tactical Co-ordinating Unit (See SchNEWS 581).



The great ship Co-mutiny sailed into Bristol last week, taking over
an abandoned cathedral deep in the heart of consumer paradise. The
banners proclaiming “another world is possible” hung next
to chi chi wine bars and Asian fusion restaurants. The squatted
cathedral provided a free shop, daily cheap vegan meals, workshops,
prop making, music and meeting space. The Co-mutiny convergence
project was designed to provide a space for those working for social
change in Bristol to gather and work together, and for other people to
come into contact with alternative ways of organising and living.
Elsewhere in the city Susie Darlington and company set up a squatters
estate agency - “Places for people”.

The squatted space and themed days of action opened to the public
with an estimated 700 people attending the Bristol Anarchist book
fair. Thousands of copies of a spoof newspaper, The Evening Pest hit
the city and were distributed around the city advertising the week of
events - ranging from radical knitting and song writing to daily
themed actions covering animal rights to climate change.

Monday saw a critical mass bike tour of Bristol anti-militarist
targets, followed on Tuesday by a well-attended No Borders rally and
workshop outside Trinity police station, where migrants are

Bristols inaugural Anarchist Games were staged on Wednesday with a
variety of feisty events, all to reclaim some space in the vast
private shopping centres that blight central Bristol.

On Thursday a group of confused penguins invaded Bristol Airport
wondering where all their ice had gone while on Friday a carnival
toured the banks of Bristol chucking custard pies at the credit crunch
baddies and handing out thousands of leaflets arguing to repossess
banks not houses. Angry lumps of coal then headed for RBS where they
demanded to be put back in the ground.

While Co-mutiny have may failed to sink the entire good ship
capitalism, the hearty crew certainly shivered a few timbers during
the week, and we hope those involved will continue the raiding

* See



In 2001 Serbia’s first Gay Pride march ended in disaster after
groups of fascists and football hooligans attacked the marchers,
hospitalising 20. Despite threats from far right groups, including
threats of lynching, LBGT groups tried again this year, organising
another march for 20th September.

In preparation, organisers liased constantly with police, but at the
eleventh hour the police refused to provide any protection. They then
revoked the permit, making it an illegal gathering.

Facing off against 5,000-10,000 fascists and being targeted by cops
was not the sort of day anyone had in mind. The offered alternate
venue of a field on the outskirts of town was hardly Gay Pride style
either and was refused on principal and the march abandoned.

As this goes to press, some of the organizers have already fled the
city to lay low after their details, including photos and addresses,
were published on a far right website.

* See also

* Solidarity with Serbian LGBT demo today (25th) outside the Serbian
embassy in London 3pm-5pm



The residents of Mainshill Solidarity Camp have been keeping up the
pressure on Scottish Coal this week, disrupting preparations for an
opencast mine that would extract 1.7 million tonnes of coal and
destroy 340 acres of South Lanarkshire woodland (See SchNEWS 691).

Along with stopping the logging machines gaining access to the site
with a massive barricade - rigged up to the suspended walkways -
protesters have been routinely stopping any work happening by digger
diving and maintaining a stealthy presence in the area marked for
clearing, making it impossible to fell trees safely. Local residents
have been holding things up by approaching machinery and talking to
operators about the impact of opencast coal mines on their community.

The ever-considerate local constabulary have been escorting workers
and machinery on to site, helping pull down defences and barricades
they meet on the way.

On Tuesday (22nd) one person scaled the drilling rig and prevented
work for five hours. Specialist police climbers eventually managed to
remove her. She reported,“Once they’d got me down they
tried to carry on drilling, but because they’d stopped for so
long, the hole had become unworkable, so they had to abandon
boring.” She was arrested and appeared in Lanark Sheriff Court
the following day, receiving a six month suspended sentence for breach
of the peace. Scottish Coal claimed in court that the interruption had
cost them £2,200. Our source confirms: “This is a crucial
time for action. The longer we can delay preparatory work and the more
we can cost Scottish Coal in the process, the greater the chance we
have of winning this campaign.”

Their perseverance is certainly making an impact. A logging company
sub-contracted by Scottish Forestry Commission have pulled out of the
project after refusing to work while the camp is occupied.

* For directions and how to get involved see



Last week a group of travellers in South Wales faced eviction not
only from the squatted land they’re living on but from the whole
county it’s in! They are living on a road which is part of a
council estate (in Penarth near Cardiff) that has sat mostly empty for
around eight years. Despite there being 5000 homeless people in the
Vale of Glamorgan, the residents were evicted from the social housing
in order to build yet more yuppie flats. The council are yet to do
anything to the site and clearly don’t like the attention the
travellers have brought to it so they are attempting to ban them from
‘residing in their vehicles’ throughout the county for
three months! The order was directed at named and unnamed individuals
suggesting that anybody who spends too long in their vehicle in the
area could be breaking the order and face arrest, impounding of
vehicle or a £1000 fine.

Bizarrely the case was held in a magistrates court, (a criminal
court) despite being a civil matter. One of the travellers (and
previous winner of Crap Arrest) told SchNEWS, “Basically our
solicitors told us that if we hadn’t challenged this it would
have gone through on the nod, but it was a total misuse of the
law”. The case has been adjourned for a month to go to county

* Having eviction problems? Try the Advisory Service for Squatters



After two days hitching rides on tractors through the mountainous
back roads of Honduras, hiding from military checkpoints in car boots,
Honduras’ democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya quietly
slipped into the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa last Monday (21st).
Zelaya promptly appeared on the embassy balcony to announce his
return, sparking a siege of the embassy and a wave of protest and
repression across the country.

On hearing of Zelaya’s return, thousands immediately descended
on the embassy to show their support and protect the president. After
seeing their laughing denial of Zelaya’s return disproved, the
coup regime responded by announcing a national curfew, cut off the
embassy’s electricity and water and sent hundreds of soldiers
and police to surround the embassy. At 5am the next morning the
military began to disperse the peaceful crowd with tear gas, rubber
bullets, water cannons and live rounds.

During the assault, police also attacked the offices of the Committee
for Detained and Disappeared Persons of Honduras (COFADEH), firing
tear gas into the building. COFADEH Director Bertha Oliva said:
“The people can’t even walk the streets in peace.
They’re being beaten just for stepping out of doors. [The
police] hunt them as if for sport.” COFADEH alone documented 36
serious injuries and at least two deaths while independent reports
indicated police arrested around 350 people and detained them in the
Villa Olympica football stadium.

After dispersing the crowds, masked police and soldiers cordoned off
the streets around the embassy, preventing access even for
international journalists and human rights workers. A few hours later
they wheeled in a pick-up with massive speakers in the back and began
to direct a constant stream of loud music at the embassy building.

Honduran congressman Marvin Ponce, who was with Zelaya in the
embassy, described the regime’s reaction as: “a reflection
of their philosophies, this government of putschists. They don’t
respect human rights. They don’t want a political

Despite the curfew remaining in place throughout Tuesday and
Wednesday, Hondurans have continued to take to the streets, with
thousands marching against the coup, setting up barricades of burning
tires and participating in protest caravans of hundreds of vehicles.
Attempting to regain control, police and military have been
confronting marchers on the city streets and in residential areas,
raiding houses in poor neighbourhoods in search of dissidents.

Coup leader Roberto Micheletti initially demanded Brazil either grant
Zelaya asylum in Brazil, or turn him over to be tried. However, he now
appears to be cracking, first stating: “I will talk with anybody
anywhere at any time, including with former President Manuel
Zelaya”, before inviting an Organisation of American States
(OAS) delegation to the country to broker an agreement. Short of a
full-on assault on the embassy of the country with Latin
America’s biggest air force, it might be the only chance
he’s got.

* For background see SchNEWS 691, 682

** See also and



SchNEWS advises all readers - refugees didn't go to Calais for a
Bruise Cruise. Honest.


Jo Makepeace
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