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Sing a song of Esso Sing a song of Esso a pocket full of lies and oily greasy dollars to help the climate fry when the wallet opened George Bush began to sing "the planet may be burning but I don't see a thing" The boss is in the counting house counting out his money Bush is in the White House while the weather's going funny so let us now suggest to you that when you see their logo, do something for our planet Earth and don't go buying Esso -- Greenpeace
You may be reading this newsletter for the first time as a result of the BVEJ Experiment. To ensure you receive future copies please subscribe.
To participate in the BVEJ Experiment please visit the BVEJ home page and forward a copy of the BVEJ newsletter to everyone you know, ask the recipients to do the same. [BVEJ newsletter #0031 December 2002]
Blackwater Valley Environmental Justice was formed three years ago as a response to the lack of any effective environmental group in the locality, sadly a situation as true today as it was then. Since then the personnel has changed, but we remain true to our founding principles (see links from home page), the only difference is we have gone international, but our roots remain in the Blackwater Valley.
The lack of any effective local environmental groups was not the only formative factor, the lack of any quality local press, we report what you don't read elsewhere. Our other guiding principle was the dismay at the failure of all existing groups to see the wider picture and the need to cooperate.
Locally we focus on Farnborough Airport, Farnborough town centre and exposing corruption in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor. Recently we have taken a closer look at what is happening in Aldershot.
Internationally we are part of the anti-globalisation movement. We highlight the ills of Big Business, as of late Iraq has been the focus of our attention.
Unlike traditional groups, we link together issues, we recognise social, human rights and other issues and link them together. A group fighting rainforest destruction may need our help because it is a British transnational that is carrying out the destruction.
Almost all our back issues are available on our web site, we are slowly slowly, adding more. We used to produce briefings and urgent actions, resources permitting, we may again in the future. We have finally got around to updating our on-line diary (the newsletter contains an edited version).
At the moment newsletter production is our main activity. Our editorial team put together easily digestible articles, often with links and references for more in-depth information.
Latest version of the newsletter usually appears on-line a few days after we have e-mailed out the the newsletter. We will post a notice on Indymedia UK when available.
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On our item on Xenotransplantation last month (BVEJ newsletter #0036 May 2003), a typo gave the wrong web address. Should have been
As we were finishing off our last edition of the newsletter we noticed it was #0036, that means with this edition we are three years old.
We are sure there are many out there who wish we were stillborn, or strangled at birth, but so long as they are out there we wil be around to expose what they are up to and to keep you informed of what they are up to and to give you ideas of what you can do to hit them where it hurts.
A very depressing result in Rushmoor. The same old shits, the same old parties.
The LibDems succeeded in Knellwood and managed to sabotage Keith Parkins, letting in the odious Dibbs. Peter Sandy failed in Aldershot. Still, the duplicity of the LibDems did not do them a lot of good, as their activities in Knellwood caused Alistair Mackie to lose votes in St Mark's and he too failed to get in.
With the same old shits back in control, we are going to see more of the same arrogant, blooded-minded behaviour from councillors and officials.
At the count Peter Sandy and Keith Parkins were being slagged off. It's nice to know they must be hitting where it hurts.
During the election campaign the clueless Tories did not seem to know which ward they were in. Diane Bedford (standing in St Mark's) was knocking on doors in Knellwood, Roland Dibbs (standing in Knellwood) was knocking on doors in St Mark's!!!
We may not have done too well in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, but congratulations to the Devizes Guardians who won three seats in last month's local elections with a pro-community stance and under the banner of saving a local tree!
There is no substitute for democratic choice. People will regain their interest in elections only when they see that there is something worth fighting for; that there are, in other words, either significant differences between the major parties or realistic opportunities for the minor ones. The gimmicks intended to encourage us to vote in increasingly pointless ballots will engender the very cynicism the government claims to be contesting. -- George Monbiot
Is it possible?
With the old trusted time-tested ballot box, very difficult. With postal ballots and Internet voting, all too easy.
With the ballot box, you drop your ballot paper into the sealed box. At the close of poll, it is taken under guard to the count, where the seal is broken before witnesses and the ballot papers emptied out for the votes to be counted.
With postal voting, fraud is all too easy. What happens to the ballot paper once it has been dropped in the post box and is out of sight? What happens to it when it gets to the council offices? With dishonest and unscrupulous officials, whose jobs are on the line, will they be tempted to dispose of votes they don't like?
In an excellent article in The Guardian (29 April 2003), George Monbiot has highlighted a number of known frauds.
The new technique for winning votes is simple, effective and legal. You pick up a stack of postal vote application forms, then walk from door to door asking voters to fill them in. You either leave the form with the voter or encourage her to complete it on the spot, then take it back and deliver it to the registry yourself. You come by this means to possess a list of the people who have applied to vote by post in your constituency. Postal voting forms are all sent out on the same day: to seek to govern the way that confused or vulnerable electors may vote, you merely need to arrive at their homes soon afterwards. Your conversation goes something like this.
"Hello, I'm Algernon Scroggs, your Bring Back the Poll Tax Party candidate. I was just wondering whether you'd received your postal voting form." "I don't know. Is this it?" "Yes, that's the one." "What do I do with it?" "You put a cross next to the name of your favourite candidate. If, for example, you wanted to vote for me, you'd put your cross just there. Would you like to borrow my pen?" "Like this?" "Yes, that's it. Shall I witness it for you?"
This approach has already proved to be devastatingly effective in old peoples' homes and sheltered housing and among those who have difficulty with English. It is not hard to see how it can influence the decisions of people who either don't understand what is happening or wish to oblige their authoritative visitor. If the candidate is already a councillor, and the voter lives in accommodation provided by the council, she can, if she doesn't understand her legal rights, be made to feel concerned about the conditions of her tenancy, without any actual threat being issued. These are among the long-established reasons for the secret ballot. The secret ballot has just been thrown to the wind.
As ruthless parties in every British constituency wake up to these opportunities, elections will come to be decided less by people's voting preferences than by the swiftness and the lack of scruples of the canvassers turning up on voters' doorsteps. The universal postal votes the government is introducing permit party activists to follow the postman down the street, then hover over the voters as they fill in their forms.
The new procedures also introduce plenty of scope for criminality. The act permits candidates to gather up the postal votes and take them to the polling station: during the last local and general elections there were allegations from several constituencies that candidates had collected uncompleted postal voting forms from people who didn't understand what they needed to do, and filled them in themselves. Electors may also request that their postal votes are sent to a different address: in places such as Birmingham, Bradford and Pendle, in Lancashire, candidates are alleged to have filled in the voters' application forms themselves, ensuring that the voting slips were sent to their own addresses or those of their brothers or cousins or friends, then either forged the voters' signatures or taken the forms to the voters' houses. There they could bully them into voting on the spot, or pretend that they were collecting signatures for another purpose.
The Electoral Commission's response to these abuses is amazingly relaxed. It suggests that "candidates, agents and local party workers should not handle ballot papers", but proposes that this be enforced by means of a voluntary code of conduct. Far from introducing restrictions on their distribution of application forms, it believes that the practice should be encouraged, because the hazards are outweighed by "the potential gains in terms of increased participation". In the short-term, the aggressive pursuit of postal votes will, as it suggests, encourage participation, even if that participation is not entirely voluntary. But little could be better calculated to damage people's faith in the electoral process - and, therefore, in the long-term, their turn-out at elections - than the perception that other people's votes are being unfairly solicited.
The best we can say about Internet voting is that the Internet is not secure.
In Oldham, an Asian LibDem candidate encouraged voters to apply for a postal vote, the form to be sent to his cronies. Armed with sheaves of postal ballots, the same LibDem candidate then knocked on doors and 'helped' the voters tick the appropriate box. All perfectly legal. The only reaction of the Electoral Commission to this malpractice, is to suggest that maybe the parties should get together to devise a voluntary code.
In Guildford, a Tory councillor has been forced to reign and is under investigation for electoral fraud. Guildford had an all postal vote.
Who sits on and dominates the boards of all the residential homes in Knellwood? Why none other than our local Tories. In at least one home, to our knowledge, the Tory election crap was delivered with the official polling card. At the same home, leaflets for an Independent candidate were left on a table in the common room, to be thrown out after a couple of days if not picked up. In previous years, Independent's have been denied access to the same home on the direct instruction of a leading Tory. Returning officer (who is also the Borough chief exec) is aware, but no action.
Peter Sandy and Keith Parkins had a very good reception on the streets, people wanted to see change, they were sick and fed up of this corrupt Council. This was not reflected in the votes cast. Keith Parkins saw his vote halved from the previous year. Why?
Last year the Tories were crawling all over Knellwood, they even abandoned other wards, Gerald Howarth MP was enlisted to attack one of the candidates in the local press, such was the level of paranoia that they were going to lose all three seats (BVEJ news #0024 May 2002 and #0025 June 2002). This year they were not to be seen. Did they know something that no-one else did, that the election was already in the bag?
With rotten boroughs where corruption is rife, would not those same people rig the election to ensure they keep their snouts in the trough and not get caught? With today's lax controls it is all too easy.
George Monbiot, Death of the Secret Ballot, The Guardian, 29 April 2003
Andrew Norfolk, Police and parties fear vote-rigging in council polls, The Times, 19 April 2003
Jeevan Vasagar, Rigging doubts over postal ballots: Government scheme to improve turnouts could be exploited, The Guardian, 28 September 2002
Paul Waugh, Claims of postal ballot fraud to be investigated, The Independent, 4 June 2001
Martin Wainwright and Steven Morris, Police investigate postal vote 'coercion' claims, The Guardian, 2 June 2001
Such a high crime does not, and will not, melt away; the facts cannot be changed. Tony Blair took Britain to war against Iraq illegally. He mounted an unprovoked attack on a country that offered no threat, and he helped cause the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The judges at the Nuremberg Tribunal following world war two, who inspired much of international law, called this "the gravest of all war crimes". -- John Pilger
This cynical and shaming chapter in Britain's modern story was written in our name, your name. Blair and his collaborators ought not to be allowed to get away with it. -- John Pilger
As we have said all along, Tony Blair blatantly lied on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the intelligence reports were subjected to the same old discredited Neo-Labour spin to justify war with Iraq.
Blair went to war with no mandate from the British people, indeed millions had taken to the streets to say No to War, with not a shred of evidence for war apart from that which he had manufactured, waged war against a country with no air force, no navy and a bedraggled army, a country that was as near as could be defenceless.
Blair and his arse-licking cronies should be prosecuted for war crimes.
Please sign the on-line petition calling for Blair to be charged with war crimes. Please circulate details.
Thought you've seen it all? Harald T Nesvik, a Right-wing Norwegian Member of Parliament, has nominated the war criminals Tony Blair and George W Bush for the Nobel Peace Prize for their 'decisive action against terrorism'.
Please call for the rejection of this nomination by signing the on-line petition. Please circulate details.
Blair's level of hypocrisy seems to know no bounds. He was recently photographed in Basra in southern Iraq holding up a child. No mention of course in the lackey mainstream press of the tens of thousands of children killed by the sanctions Blair has been so keen to enforce on Iraq.
Weapons inspectors are to be allowed into Iraq but only to one site, for a couple of weeks, for the sole purpose of checking their original inventory to see what may have been looted. They are expressly forbidden from searching for weapons of mass destruction.
Hans Blix has heavily criticised the claims of weapons of mass destruction. He in particular attacked the quality of intelligence material supplied which allegedly identified sites of weapons production. If this is their best intelligence it says little for their intelligence.
What we do know is that the country is covered with radioactive dust from the use of DU munitions (see next month) and littered with unexploded cluster bombs (BVEJ newsletter #0036 May 2003).
There are estimated to be up to 10,000 unexploded bombs and mines littering Iraq, a situation made even more dangerous with the onset of the hot season as the heat alone can cause them to explode. Paul Hannon, editor of the Landmine Monitor Report explains 'they are designed to destroy heavy armour. When they explode near people, they can injure or kill anyone in a 150m area. One cluster bomb contains between 200 and 300 tiny bomblets, and they often do not all immediately explode. Most people do not recognise the danger of them.'
Especially vulnerable are children as they scavenge for firewood or for metal components of shells to sell. Every day children are being killed or mutilated. No mention of course by the hypocrite Blair on his recent visit to Iraq.
[BVEJ newsletters passim]
It's not that we believe Google is evil. What we believe is that Google, Inc. is at a fork in the road, and they have some big decisions to make. -- Google Watch
Once there was HotBot, then AltaVista, now it's Google. Yahoo never was in the running.
The top four search engines are: Alltheweb, Google, Inktomi, AltaVista. Two factors determine a good search engine, the ability to crawl the web and fast searches. About 75% of search request are through Google.
There are many more than four search engines, but only about four have the technology to crawl most of the web on a regular basis. Alltheweb (now owned by Overture) does the best overall crawling, followed by Google and then Inktomi (now owned by Yahoo). Google's bizarre crawling can be unfair for large sites with low or average PageRank. They may not get to many of the pages each month on such sites, even though by the end of that crawl Google is grabbing pages in spasms, at a rate of several per second. Then the next month Google's crawlers start all over again and do the exact same thing.
Of these top three crawlers, Alltheweb has the smallest number of users in the US. Many web masters wouldn't notice if Alltheweb disappeared -- despite the fact that they have good technology, both for crawling and for searching. Hopefully Overture can do something with Alltheweb and AltaVista (which they also bought in 2003). While AltaVista has good search technology, their crawling is extremely poor. Now with both under the same roof, Overture has the assets it needs to compete.
Also worth watching is Teoma/AskJeeves. Their search technology is good, and they have begun to expand their crawl.
Google uses some 15,000 cheap Linux boxes!
Microshit was once seen at the threat on the net, that threat is now seen as Google. If your website does not appear on Google, then it effectively does not exist.
This is one reason why we provide a lot of links. It helps web crawlers, but also helps you to know what is out there. It is also why we ask you to spread our newsletters around and to provide links to us. Such cross-referencing helps spread alternative information outside of corporate control.
There is a struggle going on for who controls the net.
Does this matter? To answer the question try searching for items know to be on Indymedia using Google. We are also aware of key websites 'disappearing' at crucial moments in history.
Immortal cookies were outlawed. Google uses a cookie that expires in 2038. They were the first, others followed. This cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Every time you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number.
Google records everything they can. For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as 'IP delivery based on geolocation'.
Google retains all data indefinitely. Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.
Please sign the on-line petition re Google censoring of IndyMedia
Google was nominated by Google Watch in 2003 for a Big Brother award.
I guess they have a problem with the word 'bucks' in our name. They're letting us use the word Haida -- nice of them. -- Darin Swanson
We've been using the term "bucks" in our Nation for far longer than Starbucks has. I played on a Massett basketball team with that name. We use the term 'bucks' to refer to young men. They're not just telling us to change our name, they're telling us to give up our pride in ourselves and our heritage. -- Darin Swanson
That was nice of them to let us use the word Haida. Bucks refers to young men in the culture of First Nations. We're Haida bucks. Originally there were four Haida guys that owned the place, so we decided to call ourselves HaidaBucks. It has nothing to do with Starbucks. -- Darin Swanson
I don't want to bow down to these guys. The word 'bucks' is theirs? They own that word? I don't think so, but that's basically what they're saying. -- Darin Swanson
For some reason, the corporate lawyers at Starbucks® can't tell the difference between their company's name and ours. And they seem to feel that the public is too stupid to be able to differentiate between our store and theirs. Personally, we think you are all smarter than that, and won't have any trouble telling the difference. -- HaidaBucks
Remember McDonald's v McChina (BVEJ #0020 January 2002) where McVomit tried to crush the little guy, only the little guy fought back and won.
McDonald's seem to think they have a monopoly on 'Mc', and will bully out of business anyone who dares to use 'Mc'. In the case of Frank Yuen, the proprietor of McChina, the gripe from McDonald's was that there would be some confusion in the minds of customers. Now we appreciate you may have to be a bit stupid to eat in McDonald's, but apart from the obvious difference that McChina was serving food, McChina, as the name may suggest, was serving Chinese food, whereas McDonald's serves salt-laden saturated fat masquerading as meat.
It is not only McDonald's' that try it on with these bully boy tactics, Starbucks are trying the same, bullying anyone who uses the name 'Bucks'.
The latest to be at the end of the Starbucks jackboot is the HaidaBucks cafe in the Queen Charlotte Islands (British Columbia, Canada).
Darin Swanson and his partners -- all members of the Haida Nation -- set up their HaidaBucks cafe three years ago. They are refusing to be ground down by Starbucks, and insist they have aboriginal rights to the name
HaidaBucks was founded in May 1999, by three members of the Haida Nation and one non-Haida with a Haida family. Located in the village of Masset (on Haida Gwaii in the Queen Charlotte Islands off the North coast of British Columbia), the cafe serves salads, soups, and a variety of sandwiches and subs in addition to its line of hot and cold beverages.
HaidaBucks far from imitating Starbucks, with identical shops with identical clones serving appalling coffee, resembles a native loghouse with real food served by native American Indians.
But see if you can spot the difference, as it appears Starbucks' fat-cat over paid lawyers can't.
If you cannot tell the difference you clearly have a future as a $tarfucks lawyer.
HaidaBucks are not the only cafe to be ground by the Starbucks jackboots. August 2002, Samantha Buck of Astoria, Oregon was also sued by Starbucks for having her shop be known in town as Sam's Bucks.
October 2000, Samantha Buck of Astoria, Oregon bought a small coffee shop in downtown Astoria and named it Sam Buck's - after herself. One year later, Starbucks Coffee opened a Starbucks store inside Fred Meyers, five miles away. Starbucks lawyers then served Samantha Buck with a cease and desist order: she must stop using her own name on her store, because they claimed it was causing confusion for Starbucks customers who might be led to believe they were patronizing a Starbucks' store when in fact, they were going into Sam Bucks. They offered her $500 for the expense of removing her name from her store.
Sam said no thank you, and soon thereafter, Starbucks filed a lawsuit. She must rename her store or an injunction will be filed, and assuming a properly corporate-friendly judge, will likely be issued and enforced. If Sam Buck continues to use her name on her store, she can be found in contempt of court, and can be jailed.
Samantha Buck has received a great deal of local support and publicity in the local paper - in addition to stories in Portland and Seattle papers and Seattle IndyMedia. Patrons from Portland and Seattle make a point of stopping in to offer their help.
In addition, A&D Cafe of Brooklyn, NY, which sells coffee called Warbucks and the the Black Bear Micro Roastery in New Hampshire, which has a blend of coffee called Mr Charbucks, have been ground by the Starbucks jackboots.
Starbucks seem to think they own the name Starbucks, and yet they plagiarized the name from Herman Melville's Moby Dick without attribution.
If, as Starbucks would probably claim, they are simply protecting their copyright, why are they not walking all over Sears and Roebuck's?
Ocean Beach fought, an unsuccessful battle to stop a Starbucks coming into town. It is boycotted by most of the folk in town. Ocean Beach have now modified their planning policies which prevents further $tarbucks/McVomit fast food type outlets moving into town.
It is not only local coffee shops that are suffering, coffee growers are suffering too. [BVEJ newsletter #0035 April 2003]
Let Starbucks know what you think:
Starbucks Customer Relations PO Box 3717 Seattle, WA 98124-3717 800-235-2883 http://www.starbucks.com/customer/contact_forms.asp
Starbucks sues tiny indigenous-owned coffeeshop for 'trademark infringement', UK Indymedia, 12 May 2003
Keith Parkins, McChina v McDonald's, UK Indymedia, 4 December 2001
Scott Simpson, Starbucks demands HaidaBucks change, Vancouver Sun, 16 April 2003
Astoria Coffee War, Indymedia Portland, 1 August 2002
Jake Batsell, Starbucks' attempts to protect trademark could grow tougher, Seattle Times, 14 March 2003
Naomi Klein, No Logo, Flamingo, 2000
Animals angry at the abuse being dished out by humans are taking matters into their own hands: in Uganda baboons have been protesting against deaths on the busy Tororo-Jinja highway. In one incident a lorry driver deliberately ran-over a female baboon, the baboons then sat in the middle of the road surrounding her body causing a traffic jam for 30 minutes. In another incident baboons threw stones and sticks at motorists after a baby baboon was run down.
In South Africa some captive antelopes were freed by a herd of elephants. The herd circled the fence and the matriarch undid the gate latches and opened it. The antelopes then saw their chance and escaped. The elephants then ambled off back into the bush.
A dolphin used by the US navy to detect landmines has gone AWOL. The dolphin, named Tacoma, on his first mission in Iraq, got a taste of freedom and decided he wasn't going to be a tool of the US war machine and hasn't been seen since!
Contractors carrying out work in Guildford town centre are members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, not so those hard at work destroying what little remains of Farnborough town centre.
The scheme was established to minimise the disruption when building work takes place. Those who are part of the scheme have to adhere to a Code of Conduct. Why are the cowboys in Farnborough town centre not part of the scheme, why does not the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor insist they are members of the scheme, or at the very least, adhere to the Code of Conduct?
Keith Holland (Rushmoor head of planning) far from applying the scheme, fails to monitor or enforce the planning conditions set by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor. The only guarantee we have from Keith Holland is that he will bend over backwards to give developers what they want. Holland has bent over so far backwards for KPI that his elbows must be touching his toes and Simon Rutter hard up his arse.
Check out the Code of Conduct, then fill out for yourself the flagrant breaches under each subheading.
If you operate a crane more than 10m high, or higher than surrounding trees and structures, within 6km of Farnborough Airport, then you need to inform the airport and obtain their consent.
More precisely, a written request has to be made to the airport manager detailing the following:
These details should be supplied within sufficient time for consideration by TAG and for flight avoidance procedures to be in place.
Failure to comply, apart from endangering aircraft and the crane operator, is a breach of British Standard 7121, Code of Conduct for Safe Use of Cranes, and a breach of Article 55 of the Air Navigation Order, which 'makes it an offence for a person to act recklessly or negligently in a manner likely to endanger aircraft.'
We reported last month that KPI were incapable of measuring the height of their own building on the old Post Office site and this would necessitate dismantling and re-erection of the tower crane (BVEJ newsletter #0036 May 2003). It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that neither KPI, Linden Homes, or the crane operators had given a second thought to notifying Farnborough Airport of what they were doing.
There can be no excuse for the recklessly endangering aircraft as TAG have informed all crane operators within central and southern England and all site authorities within Farnborough.
And what of our bloody useless Rushmoor head of planning Keith Holland? TAG have informed the local planning authority of these requirements and even provided the planning department with leaflets to distribute.
To find out more, contact Tony Knight at TAG:
Tony Knight 01252 526001/526003
As we reported last month, KPI were incapable of measuring the height of the eyesore on the old Post Office site, necessitating the dismantling and re-erection of the tower crane to gain additional height (BVEJ newsletter #0036 May 2003).
KPI and Linden Homes attempted to dismantle and erect the crane on the old Post Office, without first advising and obtaining the consent of Farnborough Airport. A clear breach of Article 55 of the Air Navigation Order, which 'makes it an offence for a person to act recklessly or negligently in a manner likely to endanger aircraft.'
To date there has been at least 18 planning infringements on this site. This is not counting what has been happening on The Mead.
It is little surprise therefore to learn that neither KPI nor Linden Homes are members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Now the two abominations are taking shape, many people are questioning how did they ever come to be granted planning consent.
As usual a big question mark against the competence and integrity of Keith Holland (Rushmoor head of planning). Why did he force though planning consent, why is a blind eye being turned to planning violations, why no code of conduct, why have they done nothing on Article 55 of the Air Navigation Order (TAG gave them leaflets which are available in the reception area of the planning department)?
Once again we, as are many others, are calling for a clear-out of the Rushmoor planning department. Holland must go, as must those immediately below him, as must John 'the bin-man' Edwards, his immediate superior.
JJB Sports were due to move into the eyesore on The Mead. The signs proclaiming this lie, were hastily taken down as May came and went. But if you were to believe the Farnborough News, the 'successful town centre redevelopment was on time. A lie that was exposed by a letter in the Farnborough News two weeks later. A lie that was apparent to any one who bothered to wonder through Farnborough.
JJB Sports is now due to reopen sometime during the summer.Keep an eye on the local press. We can make use of their publicity to leaflet the grand reopening with leaflets exposing the sweatshop factories where their tacky goods are produced.
Poppins are hoping to relocate to one of the retail units on the Old Post Office site. Adding to the already overcrowded fast food sector at the southern end of the town centre. KPI has assured Poppins no problems in gaining planning consent for change of use as Rushmoor give us anything we want!
Please challenge this planning application.
Brambles are closing down after 10 years in Farnborough town centre. Driven out of business by cowboys KPI in collusion with the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor. We are very sorry to learn of the death of Chris, one of the partners of Brambles.
Imagine what it is like living next door to the development on the old Post Office site, noise, dust, mud on the road, vehicle obstruction, being over-sailed by an unsafe tower crane. Then imagine getting up one morning to find your windows had been covered in by scaffolding and green netting. Not satisfied with this degree of un-neighbourly behaviour, the contractors have taken to throwing chewing gum and lighted cigarette ends into the neighbouring property. On receiving complaints about their appalling behaviour the response of one of the thugs working on the site was to pay a visit and issue death threats.
Not surprisingly, neither Linden Holmes nor KPI, are members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
The level of harassment and intimidation that neighbours of the old Post Office site are experiencing to force them out of their home, bodes ill for the residents of Firgrove Court who are likely to be the next to feel the KPI jackboot.
The latest wheeze from KPI is to claim that the terrace that each maisonette has is not part of their lease. The reason for this mind boggling assertion, and it is news to every leaseholder, is to try and avoid paying costs for overflying with the tower crane and other reasonable compensation claims. The response of KPI to these claims is to charge the claimants with being 'aggressive and opportunistic'. KPI on the other hand are reasonable and caring landlords. Try telling that to all the local retailers they have driven out of business and the residents of Firgrove Court who are being threatened with eviction to enable their homes to be demolished for a car park for the unwanted superstore.
The alternative being offered to Firgrove Court tenants, apart from being alongside the country's biggest B&Q, of inferior construction, and further from the town centre, will lack the open green area that is a feature of Firgrove Grove. When this was discussed by Rushmoor planning committee autumn of last year, dishonest planning official Daryl Phillips blatantly lied to the committee and said there was no public open space at Firgrove Court!
The planned northern end superstore may never go ahead. Boots, who were to pull out of Princess Mead and take up part of the superstore have now pulled out. This leaves Sainsbury's. Do they really wish to get into bed with cowboys like KPI?
Spean, a location in south Farnborough for which Pavilion sought planning consent for a three-storey block of eight flats and three terraced houses, has gone to Planning Appeal.
The objections put in by Pavilion are seriously flawed and hopefully should be rejected by the Planning Inspector. But, the case put in by Rushmoor is equally flawed, and seems to be a determined attempt by the planning officials to deliberate lose the Appeal.
At the original planning hearing, the Rushmoor officials blatantly lied on several counts, claiming the development was in keeping with the character of the area, as was the high density, would have no impact on the neighbours, no traffic problems etc. Fortunately, follow intensive lobbying by the local community, the committee saw through the lies, and threw out the application.
The officials are now arguing the development is out of character, but the density is okay. As it is the density that is driving the block of flats, they are clearly trying to throw the case. They are also still lying through their teeth and claiming there are no highways problems, the trees on Church Road East are worthless and of no value to the local amenity etc.
A big question mark has to be raised against the Rushmoor tree officer. Either he is bloody incompetent, or like too many in the planning department, in the pocket of developers. He claims the trees are worthless specimens. The trees just happen to be in the way of the flats! Walk along Church Road East and form your own opinions on these lovely trees. Manor Park residents found exactly the same problems with the Rushmoor tree officer.
Requests by local residents for information and suggestion of co-operation were met by an arrogant response and the usual obstruction from arsehole planning official Daryl Phillips.
This no doubt is what Keith Holland means by bending over backwards to help the local community.
We have learnt that Rushmoor housing department has offered to finance the project, should Pavilion gain planning consent!
The Planning Inquiry will take place at Rushmoor council offices at 10am on 7 October 2003. The Hearing is open to the public. Unlike deliberations by Rushmoor planning committee, the local community can present their case to the Planning Inspector and challenge the lies from Rushmoor and Pavilion.
[BVEJ newsletters #0031 December 2002, #0032 January 2003 & #0033 February 2003]
The next meeting of this biannual armsfest will be July 2004. SBAC, the organisers, need planning permission for their temporary site.
Please make sure Rushmoor receive your objections: impact on local economy, nuisance, safety, impact arms trade has on fuelling conflict etc.
We need to ensure Rushmoor receives a large number of objections.
Keith Holland Head of Planning Rushmoor Farnborough firstname.lastname@example.org planning ref: 03/00368/TMP
Mario Placanica, the police officer that shot dead anti-capitalist protester, Carlo Giuliani, at the protests against the G8 summit in Genoa 2001 (see SchNEWS 314/5) won't face prosecution. Carlo was shot when a group of protesters attacked a Carabinieri (paramilitary police) landrover. The reason the authorities have given for not prosecuting is that the police were acting in self-defence and that Placanica did not aim the gun at Carlo Giuliani, but shot towards the sky to scare the protesters and the bullet was deviated by a rock in its trajectory! This is despite their being photo evidence of the gun being pointed at the protesters.
The driver of the landrover, Officer Filippo Cavataio, who twice drove over Carlo's body will also not face prosecution as this only caused light wounds!
Err, bullets bouncing off rocks and landrovers that cause light wounds when they run you over? Welcome to Italian justice.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire who shares power with the Fascists, is in court accused of bribing a judge to bar the sale of the state-owned food giant SME to Carlo de Benedetti, owner of Buitoni. The trial is expected to last for months. To protect himself, he is introducing legislation for members of parliament to be immune from prosecution. He argues that it would be good for the country - good for him and his cronies more like!
On Fire: The battle of Genoa and the anti-capitalist movement, One-off Press, September 2001
[BVEJ newsletter #0014 July 2001, #0015 August 2001, #0016 September 2001]
For months, government spies have been infiltrating, discretely photographing faces and noting names, observing changes in neighbourhood routines and asking shopkeepers questions about newcomers. Since April 1, the French anti-riot police began patrolling, and recently all campsites within a 30km radius have closed, all unauthorised meetings banned and all construction sites told to down tools. Soon over 20,000 police, gendarmes, riot units and troops, supported by barricades of barbed wire, armoured vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles, helicopters, special forces frogmen and patrol boats will be completing the picture and turning the small French town of Evian and the harbour of Lausanne in Switzerland into a militarised 'exclusion zone'. Hey, it must be time for another meeting of our world's leaders. -- SchNEWS
For us, the only division worth talking about is that between the people of the world and the masters of death and exploitation. The only 'ring-leaders' that need to be exposed, isolated, and removed from their position of menace to society are George Bush, Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi. Our determination to disrupt their yearly feasts of power is matched only by our contempt for that other handful of losers in suits who, instead of fighting for the starving millions of the global South, came to Evian in order to kiss the hands of the torturers. -- Lausanne Solidarity Declaration.
One illusion that needs to be dispelled right now is the ritual separation between 'good' and 'bad' protesters, manufactured yet again by the corporate media. All the blockade actions had the clear objective of obstructing the arrival of G8 delegates. Whether this is done through a sit-in, a street party or symbolic assaults on corporate property we have a common goal. -- protester on the streets
Imagine a bunch of mafia thugs who control the world having a meeting. As we go to press the G8 are meeting in Evian.
In spite of the free movements of people across Europe, protesters were barred from travelling to Evian. Nevertheless many forced their way through. Contrary to the lurid accounts in the mainstream media, it was not all riots and tear gas and police brutality. When 100,000 take to the streets and the locals, in both France and Switzerland, come out and actively support the activists, then something is clearly wrong with the world system as governed by thugs like Blair and Bush, and it is about time these thugs started to listen to world grass roots opinion.
In Geneva police brutality was on a par with that of Genoa, and we are talking Switzerland hear, not fascist Italy. Local French-speakers in Geneva, did not take too kindly to being attacked on their own streets by German troops, drafted in in panic measures.
A British protester, Martin Shaw, was seriously injured during an action blocking a road to the summit. While hanging from a bridge on a rope stretched across the highway police turned up and cut the rope. He fell 20 metres and suffered injuries to his back and legs.
For more info check out in addition to UK Indymedia, IMC Switzerland, IMC Paris, IMC Lille, IMC Nantes, IMC Nice and the multilingual G8 Global IMC reporting site. A video stream is netcasting live. Radiostreams from Geneva and Lausanne are already running. For timelines of events in Spanish see LaHaine.org.
When such rich and powerful people meet up in secret, with military intelligence managing their security, with hardly a whisper escaping of what goes on inside, people are right to be suspicious. -- Tony Gosling, journalist.
The Bilderberg conference is one of the key meetings of the year. The consensus established there is the backdrop against which policy is made worldwide. -- Will Hutton, The Observer
G8 was not the only meeting of a bunch of thugs desiring to control the world.
Welcome to the Bilderberg group, described by one small paper as 'the most secretive organisation in the world'. Despite the world's most powerful people rubbing shoulders, the corporate media hardly give it a mention (perhaps because the world's media is owned by the selfsame people). Taking its name from the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland where it held its first meeting in 1954, they've met every year since behind closed doors, shunning publicity, and keeping very quiet about just what they've been talking about.
This year's shindig was at the exclusive Versailles Trianon Park hotel, surrounded by French riot police and inaccessible to the public. Those arriving in long, black limos, behind police escorts and shrieking sirens included Billionaire Banker David Rockefeller, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Henry Kissinger-of-Death, Ex-Tory Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, US businessman and champion of perpetual war Richard Perle (see last two issues of BVEJ newsletter) and Bob the Bilderberg. [see SchNEWS 399]
So is Bilderberg a secret conspiracy? A bunch of lizards in human form trying to take over the world? The ideology pushed at the Bilderberg conference is that what's good for banking and big business is good for everyone. Tony Gosling, a journalist who has studied the Biderberg group adds 'It's not a 'conspiracy'. The world's leading financiers and foreign policy strategists don't get together at Bilderberg to draw up their 'secret plans for the future'. It's subtler than that. These meetings create an artificial 'consensus' in an attempt to spellbind visiting politicians and other men of influence. Blair has fallen for this hook, line and sinker. It's about reinforcing - often to the very people who are on the edge of condemning Globalisation - the illusion that Globalisation is 'good', 'popular' and that it's inevitable.' Or as one old Labour Chancellor Denis Healey and key Bilderberger explained 'We make a point of getting along younger politicians who are obviously rising, to bring them together with financiers and industrialists who offer them wise words. It increases the chance of having a sensible global policy.' One which continues to put profit and power before anything else.
Robert Eringer, Bilderberg Group - The Global Manipulators, Pentacle Books, 1980
Spain's unpopular Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, who ignored 90% of his country when he joined the US/UK-coalition in the war on Iraq, looks set to introduce new laws that would impress even Franco (the former Spanish dictator).
The proposals include a new law making it an offence to carry out public actions or to publish 'false' information that weakens the morale of the population or provokes disloyalty amongst the Spanish military. The laws would apply not only to actions against Spanish military involvement, but also to actions carried out 'against an Allied power'!
If approved, it could result in the hundreds of thousands who repeatedly protested against the government's backing of the war in Iraq being sanctioned for 'defeatism' by a military court. Their punishment could be one to six years in prison.
The way he's going though, most people predict that it will be Aznar himself who'll be defeated at next year's elections.
Before the local elections, neo-Labour leader Andy Straker resigned. Does anyone care, did anyone know of his existent or know who he was?
Prize prat Keith Dibble has taken over as neo-Labour leader. This is the same prat who suggested parking on pavements should become official council policy!
Useless Tory leader John Marsh narrowly survived a no-confidence vote from his own party. As he barely has the support of his own party, a leader of integrity would resign, but who said Marsh had integrity?
Immediately the elections were over travel concessions to the elderly and disabled were slashed. This was clearly known about before the local elections, something our dishonest councillors kept very quiet about.
Independent councillor Patrick Kirby has once again been removed from the planning committee. After all we can't have someone who goes out and talks to people and occasionally raised embarrassing questions free reign on the committee. It is now packed with yes men who are too stupid to challenge anything put before them by our corrupt planners.
We are sorry to see Peter Sandy did not get elected, but Caroline Culver who did get in is already sending shock waves through the council and we hope she continues to do so.
The Council has monitoring committees. Their job is to monitor the Tory controlled cabinet. The Tories have a majority on each committee, the chair and vice chair of each committee is a Tory.
The public are now allowed to address planning committee meetings. This is a farce, cosmetic window dressing and worse than useless. What we need is the time to present a well argued case, the ability to challenge the liars in the planning department. Anything less is worse than worthless as it gives the false illusion of democratic accountability.
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