Justice? Brighton's Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal Injustice Act

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Issue 93
4th October 1996

DOCKS AND DREADLOCKS - come together!

A-DAY! A-DAY! - Job Seekers Allowance



OPEN CAST VICTORY - Wakefield plans rejected





crap arrest of the week

...and Finally





Six months behind schedule, the Job Seekers Allowance finally replaces Income Support and Unemployment Benefit this coming Monday. Under the JSA, JobCentres will have more power to direct claimants to be more 'employable' - the 'wrong' attitude, 'wrong' haircut or insufficient evidence that you have been 'actively seeking work' could mean penalties. The new computer system in the JobCentres allows 'client advisers' to match claimants to vacancies each time you sign on - you could be offered a job at �2.50 an hour on the spot, and, again, a refusal will mean penalties. Worse, under JSA, the penalty itself increases from 40 per cent of benefit being deducted to 100 per cent!

The JSA will increase the pressure on claimants to take crap jobs, so that even those already in work are under threat. If JobCentres force claimants to work no matter how low the pay, then employers have no incentive to offer decent wages. This creates a bosses market; existing workers will have to price themselves down and work harder just to hold on to their jobs.

The government's anti-'fraud' campaign tries to portray claimants as scrounging off those in work. But the JSA reveals our shared interest: by refusing low-paid jobs, claimants maintain the bargaining power of those in work. In accepting these low-paid jobs, we scab on each other, producing the kind of low-wage, dog-eat-dog society the government wants.

However, inside information shows that the JSA, this proud government monolith, is built on extremely shaky foundations. The bosses in the Employment Service have been frightened so much by actions by claimants' groups over the past few months that they are now trying to divide dole workers from claimants by suggesting that claimants' groups are organising physical attacks on staff. A recent leaked internal document to district managers advises them to call the cops at the merest hint of any kind of demo, and discusses 'compensation' should staff be attacked or have personal property damaged by campaigning claimants. While planning to sack around 10,000 of their staff, put the rest on short term contracts and pay them peanuts, the ES bosses now try to present themselves as their protectors!!!

In fact, any 'targeting' of individuals that has been carried out by anti-JSA claimants groups has been against management themselves, not ordinary staff. Most staff are as vehemently opposed to the JSA as claimants. In fact, it has been strike action by staff that has done most to delay the implementation of the new regime.

Meanwhile, a leaked letter from one of the bosses in the Benefits Agency admits that the JSA will be in complete chaos this Monday! Not only are they in trouble with their new computer systems, but BA staff have been decidedly unco-operative. BA workers will be on strike for the first two days of the JSA. At the same time claimants groups across the country will be taking action, occupying and picketing ES and BA offices. Of course we will all try to resist individually - by arguing, complaining and bullshitting. But the only way we are going to make the JSA unworkable for everyone, not just the most individually resourceful, is through collective action - this is what really frightens the state.

The JSA comes in this Monday, but collective disruptions by claimants and dole workers will send a signal that this new regime will be practically and politically impossible to implement fully.

Actions against the JSA this Monday 7th October:

London: Meet Westminster Central Hall, 1 pm.
Brighton: Meet Churchill Square, 12 midday
Be there!!!


This Friday (4th October) marks the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, a celebration of anti fascist resistance and a commemoration of the thousands of people who, through direct action, stopped a mass fascist demonstration in the East End of London .

Sir Oswald Mosely was the 'brains'(!?!) behind the Blackshirts, a contingent of the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Modelled on the Nazi technique of the early 30's, Moselys intention was to seize upon the despair and insecurity of mass unemployment, inciting hatred and violence.

By 1935 the BUF claimed 2,000 members, had full time organisers in branches all over London, and was heavily funded by supporters such as the newspaper tycoon Lord Rothermere. Anti Semitic slogans, propaganda and police protected BUF street meetings helping to create an atmosphere of tension and paranoia. When Mosely announced he would be holding a "provocative march" in October 1996, the people of London were in uproar.

"Four local mayors went to plead with the Tory Home Secretary for the march to be banned - but to no avail. The Jewish Peoples Council against fascism collected a petition of 100,000 signatures calling, again unsuccessfully, for the march to be banned."

Wot?? The Tory Home Secretary wouldn't listen?!?? Petitions ignored?? Never!!

On 4th October 1936, 3,000 fascists assembled at Royal Mint Street, protected by twice as many police. An article in The Times of 1936 states "Cheers and the raising of hands in the fascist salute heralded the arrival of Sir Oswald Mosely in an open motor car..." wearing the Blackshirt uniform "...and a red and white armband indicative of 'action within the circle of unity'." But what the BUF and police were not expecting was the extent of the resistance they were to face(sound familiar?). A quarter of a million anti fascist demonstrators took part in a mass battle of resistance, white washing the proposed route of the march with slogans like, "ALL OUT ON 4th OCTOBER" "BAR THE ROAD TO FASCISM" and the anti fascist slogan from the Spanish Civil War, "THEY SHALL NOT PASS".

Children's marbles were used to keep the mounted police back. Elderly residents threw bags of soot and milk bottles from the building windows. Children shouted "Mosely shall not pass!". An eye witness claimed "Loudspeaker vans patrolled the streets booming out the message for all to rally to the defence lines at Cable Street and Gardiner Corner." An anti-fascist tram driver abandoned his vehicle, blocking the way to Commercial Road, while a lorry was overturned, donated for the cause of preventing the march.

An eye witness describes how "The police first tried to clear the roadway. There were people going straight through the plate glass windows. There were horses coming straight into the crowd,and the police were just hitting anyone indiscriminately.... There were women going down under the horses hooves. Absolute terror."

After hours of fighting, "Counter demonstrators against the fascists were so great that the narrow thoroughfares...were completely impassable." The anti fascist demonstrators were victorious. Mosely was told to withdraw his 'troops', as he went off with his tail between his legs whinging "...the British government has openly surrendered to Red Terror."

Friday October 4th should be remembered as a milestone in anti-fascist history and for the effectiveness of resistance and direct action. Fascist and far Right organisations are still prevalent in Britain today, but as those who fought in The Battle of Cable Street cried, " THEY SHALL NOT PASS!!" Hats off to all a quarter of a million of you !!!

* Anti Fascist Action (AFA) have set up The Cable Street Fund for AFA prisoners and defendant welfare.
Please send any donations to : The Cable Street Fund c/o AFA, BM 1734, London WC1N 3XX

* SchNEWS recommend reading 'The Battle of Cable Street' by the Cable Street Group - excellent pamphlet with eye witness accounts.
Available at �2.99 from 178 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BJ.

* France's far right National Front has now decided to sue anyone who calls it extremist! The leader of the NF Le Pen, is denying that his wish to expel 3 million mostly Arab immigrants from France is not extreme...


On Monday, Luton Crown Court cleared Exodus Peace Steward Paul Taylor (Biggs) of two counts of GBH and one of ABH. He was originally framed on a trumped up murder charge, which was dropped on the day the case came to court, due to insufficient evidence (see SchNEWS 54). The next battle the dedicated party and housing collective face is a threat to Long Meadow Community Farm, which has been verbally sold to persons unknown... despite them putting in an offer for the property. SchNEWS has been assured they will put up a fight for their rights.


Plans for an open cast mine at Sharlston, near Wakefield, have been rejected by the Department of the Environment this week. The town's deep-mining colliery was closed down four years ago as part of Michael Heseltine's decimation of so-called unprofitable pits. Within weeks H.J. Banks, the company responsible for open cast mines in Yorkshire and Wales, had announced plans to extract 300,000 tonnes of coal from the site over the next two years. Banks, who have been targeted before by Earth First! told us that they remain undaunted by the recent stream of refusals for their open cast sites. A spokesman described planning procedures as a "lottery" and claimed that developers needed to work on persuading communities, instead of focusing on environmental concerns. He told us that in future they intend to work more closely with road builders, extracting coal and minerals to provide a suitable surface for motorway construction.


A Royal Protection Squad officer has been convicted for a vicious road rage attack on a woman in London. As PC Stephen Dunsdon was on his way to work at Buckingham Palace he witnessed a minor collision between two cars. When one of the drivers, Carolyn Verguson, got out to check her vehicle Dunsdon swore at her and told her to get back in the car. Carolyn went over to the cop-car and asked for his details, he responded by slamming his car door on her arm - which was already in bandages because of torn ligaments - and she ended up in hospital.

In court Dunsdon was described as 'angry and aggressive' and was ordered to pay �500 compensation for assault and ABH. Such police behaviour is becoming increasingly common according to Police Review. As the number of deaths in custody rose to 50 for 1995/96 record numbers of cops are being convicted of criminal offences. This year 260 officers were found guilty of a range of offences, 410 have received disciplinary action, and 20 resigned to avoid messy trials. A mass cull to eradicate Mad Pig Disease in long overdue.


21 French homeless people are suing the city of Nice for violation of their rights since begging was banned in June. Over 800 sorted itinerants were rounded up by police and driven 10 miles out of town to a municipal hostel, where they were questioned before release. Begging bans have also been placed in Cannes, Menton, La Rochelle, Pau and Carcassone, and stray and unmuzzled dogs have been banned in a bid to 'tidy up' the streets for the benefit of tourists.


*** Four young Indian men died after running 5 miles in temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees Centigrade...in their quest to become coppers. The 10,000 applicants were whittled down to 450 who were told to complete the physical test in Orissa, as part of their application procedure

*** Queen Victoria's statue in Hong Kong was given a make over on Monday with a hammer and two tins of red paint, by 27 year old Poon Fing-lui in a political gesture to China

*** An international tramps and travellers conference is underway in Argentina. Organisers are expecting 300 delegates from Europe Canada and South America. The weeks events will include a non-competitive hike, where participants struggle to walk no faster than anyone else!

*** Hip green '70s style jacket lost or stolen from the Volks Tavern at Lunarcy. Please return, sentimental value. Ring the office

*** Simon Sunderland, the Sheffield graffiti artist jailed for five years in March (see SchNEWS 65) had his appeal heard this week in London...and is now a free man!

*** SchNEWS was told, as it went to press, that a 'major incident' had occurred at the Allbright & Wilson plant in Avonmouth near Bristol. A fire explosion caused clouds of toxic fumes to waft over the town. Despite this, the best advice given to residents was to "stay inside with the windows shut."


We've received reports of a prisoner being seriously fucked around by the Prison Service. George Black is being intimidated by prison authorities for protesting his innocence and seeking decent justice for himself. He has been moved around 41 times, to 20 different prisons - getting a kicking en route most of the time, and has had his property stolen five times in three years.

Brighton Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) are calling for people to send him cards and messages of support (recorded delivery is safest, 60 pence extra). Write to George Black, GL0728, HMP Full Sutton, Moor Lane, Full Sutton, York, YO4 1PS. Prison can be an isolating and intimidating experience for many people, and Brighton ABC are currently supporting loads of prisoners, many of whom are banged up for their political views, direct action etc.

To get involved contact:
Brighton ABC, C/o Priory House, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, BN2 2GY.


*** For slicing a peach. Obviously a vicious flesh wound! The 'criminal' was later severely beaten in his cell.

*** For being 'in an anclosed space'. So they put him in a cell!

...and Finally

Are you a 'lentil snorter'? Named yourself after a character from the Legend of King Arthur, The Hobbit or Alice in Wonderland? Like a bit of non-violent cuddling? Well you better watch out! A founding statement from AHA (Anti-Hippy Action) proclaims the direct action movement "is being sabotaged by a shadowy group of soap dodging troublemakers. In a word - hippies. At any demonstration about a perfectly legitimate issue you will find them with their horrific clothes, painted faces and atrocious politics, making other demonstrators embarrassed to be there."

And if they reckon you've got 'soya bean curd for brains' AHA are gonna get you - with a campaign of sustained pisstaking to humiliate and demoralise, boasting "We intend to have trained squads of activists at all demonstrations ready to reduce any hippie element to tears in the hope of making them either go home or cut their hair. But they do have our best interests at heart "believe it or not, there are people around today who remember the 70's...who know all about bad haircuts, painful experimental music and ropey politics - they still bear the scars." So be warned There will be no platforms for hippies at ABA. And certaintly not any sandals.

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e-mail: kierant@netresult.co.uk

massive respect to all our new friends in Liverpool - especially the Lark Lane posse (u know who u are)

The SchNEWS advises all readers to Let It Be. All you need is love. Just remember even if you decide to take direct action you will receive No Reply from your MP. In My Lifetime there will be a Revolution. Think For Yourself in these terms and don't be the Fool on the Hill worshipping Penny Lane. Then you will be content. Oh, and why don't we do it on the road? Er, honest.