Think Globally Act Locally!

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emma goldman's cat
Joined: 12-06-04
Jun 12 2004 15:11
Think Globally Act Locally!

Here is the latest issue of the north east's most best loved fee newsletter.

The next issue should be out soon anybody got any news, reports ect for issue 64

e-mail them to

love and peace


:red: black star

Think Globally Act Locally

issue 63 April 2004

Newcastle freed briefly from Money and dullness shock

On Leap Day, people in Newcastle decided to have a day for something different.

A day that challenged the cynicism,resignation and isolation that supports the status quo. A leap for change! We left the idea open, and this is some of the things that came out of it.

We decided that Leapday was a day for doing something different. A day for acting out the world we wanted to live in, not the one that suits those in power.

It was an open idea, left to people to interpret in their own way. This means that I don't know about everything that happened, and it also means that people got involved who don't normally come along to standard protest-y things.

We advertised the idea in 'Act Locally', Then we agreed that all of

us would design leaflets and flyposters - a whole diversity of

styles, from the political to the personal to the just plain weird. After one meeting we split into three groups ( East Newcastle, West Newcastle, and random travellers ), and covered as much of the city as we could.

One group designed a full-scale billboard and pasted it up on one of the main routes into Newcastle. It stayed for several days, right where the buses stop at the traffic lights.

We declared the 29th of February 'Chat to Someone at a Bus-stop Day!' and somebody put up phoney Stagecoach signs saying that bus travel was free if you could prove you'd been chatting at the bus stop.

We decided to do a free paper, which we printed on a silkscreen press. Everyone was invited to submit things, and in the end these included:

- poems

- a map of newcastle with labels saying where riots, squats, victories and defeats had taken place through history

- a dyslexics crossword to express what it feels like to read stuff as a dyslexic

- another, politically tilted crossword

- an introduction to the idea of 'yo mango'

- plus artwork and examples of all the little ways we can take more control over our life

We distributed these on the day, with a 'paper-seller' shouting 'Free Paper' above a big sign. They all went pretty quickly!

We also did a Free Shop at Haymarket,

The first thing to go was a homer simpson clock, to 2 likely lads. Then 32 spider plants, scones, posters, bath stuff, scales. It was just junk to the people who gave it away, but the shop was really popular. The sign said 'NOT FOR SALE - NO PRICES - NO PROMOTION - NO MAILING LISTS - NO RELIGIOUSNESS - NO WASTES INTO LANDFILL' When we were packing up the tables and the final few bits, some youngsters came along and cleared us out of everything that was left! We had great responses, with people telling

us it had made their day. One fella came along, put a fiver on the table and said 'there, have a free fiver!' and walked merrily away!

Individually people also went round town putting arrows directing people to where CCTV cameras were: stickers on various subjects ( including ones on the metro system, which is full of signs saying 'only LOSERS don't buy a ticket', the leapday stickers therefore saying 'You're not a loser, you're ace. Don't let them put you down' ): chalk drawings, and bits of tape covering up words or letters to change the meaning of signs.

Two cinema buffs restored the old billboard of a derelict cinema, with a stencil design. In the Arthurs Hill area of town, somebody flyposted signs with positive messages, saying 'This area is ace. Why not take the day to celebrate it, and celebrate yourselves.' etc..

Then in the afternoon we met up again for a 'mass leapfrog'. We met at the chlorine-soaked 'pond' in eldon square shopping centre. A place dedicated to buying things, and where the

security told us nothing else was allowed. We started leapfrogging, and got several chains of people hopping around the place. When we got out a parachute for a 'parachute game', however, the bamboozled security turned up and we had something of a chat about the nature of public-private space. Enjoying yourself without spending money is certainly not allowed.

When we left, a little boy of maybe 4 years old was left hopping around on his own, imitating our leapfrog.

So all in all, a great day, only 4 years till the next one, so get planning…!!

A young lad said to people putting up a billboard: “here mister, are you sure you’re meant to be doing that. You’re not doing a very good job of it!”

They said “Well we told the boss it wouldn’t go up in this blizzard but he said it had to go up in time for leapday."

Bye Bye GM!

This week was a massive victory for anti-GM campaigners in the UK.

Bayer Cropscience announced that they were withdrawing theirgenetically modified Chardon LL maize, which was the only GM crop that had been licensed for growing commercially in the UK. This

now means that no GM crops will be grown commercially in the UK until at least 2008.

Bayer said that it was "economically non-viable" to grow GM maize due to government restrictions on the planting regime. But Bayer wouldn't concede that it was withdrawing the maize due to public pressure, but it was only public pressure that had forced the government to delay the growing of GM crops, otherwise GM would have been introduced five years ago.

It has taken Bayer years for them to get this close to growing just one crop commercially. The reality is that Chardon LL maize is a bad, out-of-date product, it's out-of-date because of delays

caused by constant pressure and direct action. There has been a concerted campaign of protests, crop trashings, blockades, supermarket pickets and lobbying. It was clear that the public

didn't want GM food and many supermarkets and food producers won't

touch GM food.

Tony Blair and his biotech banker, the Science Minister LordSainsbury must both be gutted as well. Tony Blair has criticized anyone opposed to GM foods as anti-science, but the science has

consistently shown GM crops to be damaging to the environment, the

only way that the GM maize got the go ahead was through flawed


For everyone involved in the fight against GM this is a massive

victory and proof that direct action works. However the fight against GM crops is still not won - GM crops are still imported into the UK and most of these are fed to animals. Bayer says they

"remain highly committed to the further development of plant biotechnologies in the UK." Why don't they realise they've lost and give up?

* Genetic Engineering Network: 0845 456


Save Therese-Laure Bikoukou

Therese-Laure Bikoukou (Laure) is currently detained in Yarl's Wood and faces removal.  She fled Congo Brazzaville in 1999 because her life was at risk. Laure's family had been active members of the opposition group MCDDI. Laure's life had been happy and comfortable until the events that led to her flight from danger.  Laure had 3 children of her own and looked after her nephew,  regarding him as her own child.

The government authorities were searching for Laure's 2 brothers who were political activists. They  came to Laure's home and shot her nephew before her eyes.  Then, taking Laure into custody to interrogate her further about her brother's whereabouts, they  subjected her to the most brutal ill-treatment. A guard eventually helped Laure to escape, then her family paid an agent to arrange for her flight to the UK.

Since arriving in the UK, Laure has built a new life and until the time of her detention was working and supporting herself; making no claim on public funds. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a specialist medical report states that to return her to Brazzaville would have a severely detrimental impact on her mental health.

Laure was not well served by her first legal representative who initially omitted to inform her of an interview and later failed to submit crucial medical reports as evidence in court.  However, when this issue was later raised by a second solicitor,  the Home Office responded that it was Laure's responsibility to ensure that all evidence was presented! Laure's friends are deeply concerned that her life will be at risk if she is returned and ask the Secretary of State to look with compassion on her case and allow her to stay.

What you can do to help:

Fax/write to the Home Secretary requesting that Laure is allowed to stay.  You can use the model letter attached.  Copy/amend/write your ownversion,  feel free to add your own comments.

You can fax David Blunkett on 020 7273 3965, or from outside the UK on +4420 7273 3965

or write direct:

David Blunkett

Home Secretary

Home Office

50 Queen Anne's Gate



Really Crap New Laws

In the rush to get its legislation through Parliament before the end of the last session in November, the government was subjected to lots of scrutiny on some of its proposals, for instance to limit trial by jury and 'foundation' hospitals.  Meanwhile, of course, the various bills were packed with a ragbag of other bits and pieces which slipped through with much less scrutiny.  Here are a few gems from the Anti-social

Behaviour Act 2003 which are now law and will soon be in force.

I get the sense that there are going to be more direct action protests scattered around this year, so don't let any of this put you off...  If you don't want to read much, skip straight to the bit starting 'Aggravated Trespass'.

(1) Dispersal of groups A superintendent can authorise that an area is subject to anti-social

behaviour, and that a member of the public has

been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed by the behaviour of a group of 2 or more people.  The authorisation must be publicised, must have the consent of

the local authority and can last up to 6 months.  Once such an authorisation is made, any PC can order a group (of 2 or more) to disperse, and can escort anyone under 16 back home at nighttime.  This does not apply to a group engaged in a lawful industrial dispute or a procession (march) that is held in accordance with the Public Order Act 1986 (prior notice etc).  The penalty for non-compliance is fairly severe (max 2,500 pounds or 3 months).  In force from 20/1/2004.

(2) Public order and trespass

Some very small wording amendments with potentially big effects, viz:

- in Public Order Act 1986, definition of public assemblies changed (demos that aren't marches, that police can impose conditions on under s.14 as they did at Aldermaston a couple of years ago):  requirement for '20 people'

changed to '2 people'.


extended powers to prevent raves (Criminal Justice and Public OrderAct (CJPOA) 1994, s.63):  numbers reduced from 100 to 20, extended to include raves inside buildings (if trespassing), new offence of going

to a rave within 24 hours of being stopped from going to a previous one.

- AGGRAVATED TRESPASS (CJPOA 1994, ss.68-69):  words 'in the open air' deleted throughout both sections.  The explanatory note points out that 'land' will legally include buildings, and explicitly refers to the use of s.68/69 against activists inside company buildings (think office occupations, supermarket protests etc - but the 'lawfu activity' bit of the charge will stay in place, so it will still be possible to argue that the company is breaking the law by building widgets to go in Trident subs etc...).

These three in force from 20/1/2004.

(3) New powers to remove trespassers with vehicles An extension of CJPOA 1994, s.62.  Will allow removal of trespassers plus vehicles where a group (with at least one vehicle) is involved, at request of occupier of land, subject to availability of alternative pitch(es) for the caravans/vehicles. Definition of 'land' to include roads in this section.  In force from 27/2/2004.

David Blunkett leads the Charge of the Tight Brigade once again.

On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted! The logic is that the innocent man shouldn't have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets. His spokesmen in the Home Office says it's a completely "reasonable course of action" as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren't in prison. The government calls it 'Saved Living Expenses'.

Paying for your "crimes" !

Paddy Hill, of the Birmingham 6, spent 16 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. Paddy has now been presented with a bill for £50,000 for "living expenses" incurred while wrongly convicted. "The establishment hates me and people like me as we proved them wrong," he said. "They either want to ignore us or hurt us."

Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four, wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged £60,000 for the 17 years he spent

in jail. He said: "If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill."


Residents of Cresswell, Northumberland, are stepping up their campaign against the expansion of Golden Sands Caravan Park. People living in Cresswell, a small seaside village near Druridge Bay, part of the Heritage Coast area, are opposing proposals to increase of size of the site by 1,350 static caravans as this would cause great environmental damage to an important coastal area, some of which is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The proposals include the destruction of Cresswell Woods, an ancient woodland area which is home to Great Crested Newts, 4 species of bat, badgers and red squirrels, and also involve building on agricultural land home to barn owls and red deer. Already, sand dunes at Druridge Bay are being eroded, and a huge increase in the numbers of people using the area is likely to cause further damage. So far, residents have been collecting signatures for a petition, and a public meeting is planned. You can help stop the development by sending letters of objection to Hugh Edmondson, Environmental Protection Officer, Castle Morpeth Borough Council, The Kylins, Morpeth, NE61 2EX.

Menwith Hill

On Friday March 19th Peace Campaigners held a mass non-violent blockade at the key US military base Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK. They blocked 3 gates completely causing tailbacks for hours and massively disturbing the shift change-over. Menwith Hill felt compelled to issue a statement which is amazing since they never, ever speak to anyone.

"BLOCK THE BASE" started in freezing driving rain by 5am in the morning with protesters who had stayed in Leeds overnight blockading the base. Many protesters were met by police waiting for them. Yet they managed to block all four gates, many locking into place. Throughout the morning the protest was joined by more people.

The shift change, between 5.30 and 7.30, was a traffic jam. Police had moved pretty fast to try and clear two gates. Reports were they were pretty brutal with dangerous use of cutting equipment. Yorkshire CND said that despite liason some of the police behaved disgracefully and there were definite cases of extreme excessive force and violence. They want as much information and pictures as possible from anyone that was there to collect evidence.

By 7am most of the protesters at gate one had been removed and were waiting wet and cold to be arrested. In all 30 people were arrested. Others gates were still blocked. Protesters were still arriving and demonstrating all around the base. protests continued for most of the day. Many arrestees released without charge.


In the same week as the anniversary of the start of the  war on Iraq, British company Amec won a  £550million blood money contract to rebuild infrastructure in Iraq.

At Amec's Gallowgate site in Newcastle,a giant Amec banner liberated from the site earlier in the year was rehung, altered to read "Bloody Amec - Profiting From War In Iraq". The campaign against Amec's ruthless profiteering continues

Wimpey Towering Eyesore

The latest stage of the proposal for the 32 storey Wimpey tower at the mouth of the Ouseburn is going ahead. There is a public consultation process until March 8.

We need to let the planners know that people do not want this 32 floor building.

The planning number is 2001/2133/01/DET. The documents, if people want to read them, are at the Civic Centre(Customer Service Centre), Central Library and Ouseburn Resource Centre. Suggest there are two issues to raise

1. Short period for  consultation. There is a huge document of an Environment Impact Assessment which very few will read but even to have the time to read the summary would be a lot of work and people, organisations etc need time to consider the issues so a few weeks is inadequate

2. Objections to the building. 32 storey, conflicts with the Tyne. Gorge Study, will block views, ruin the local character of the Ouseburn, Byker etc; be only for the wealth increase social antagonism; conflict with the character of the Ouseburn as a village of mixed use and income; will have over 150 cars so will add to congestion on the road networks which are already expected to reach capacity without the Tower in the next few years, add to accidents, pollution, etc; and so many more issues as well.

Probably send objections to

Tony Flynn, Council Leader

Civic Centre

Barras Bridge

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE99 1RD

(update) Please note Mr Flynn lost his seat and now can be found working selling fries at a Wimpy! the new leader of the council is Peter Arnold (Lib Dem)

Mad Film Night 3 Returns to Newcastle

Most films about mental health portray people as either dangerous or passive victims. That's why some local people who have experienced the mental health system decided to show a different story. As in the previous Mad Film nights the two short films to be shown, Normal and Richart give positive and assertive pictures of people standing up for themselves and making their voice heard. The night is free and everyone is invited to the social afterwards to chat about the films and enjoy each others company.

Tuesday 11 May 6.30 pm Side Cinema (next to Crown Posada pub on Dean Street) Newcastle Quayside

Local opposition to asylum and immigration bill continues

Around 200 people attended a ‘Solidarity Sit-In’ at Stockton Parish Church on Thurs 8 April, organised by the North-East Coalition for Asylum Rights. The event was organised to highlight the inhumanity of the government’s asylum and immigration bill, as well as the media offensive against refugee and asylum seekers.

Recent legislation has resulted in limited access to legal representation for people seeking asylum.Some people fleeing terrible conflict and persecution have been denied support because they failed to claim asylum immediately on arrival.

Others, from countries such as Zimbabwe and Iraq have been refused asylum and had all support withdrawn, yet cannot return because of the dangers they would face. These individuals are homeless and destitute, and it is to our national shame that human beings who need our care and support have been forced to sleep on the streets and denied the means to buy food.

More info from The Refugee Council 020 7820 3085

Green Market

Some worrying news about the Green market, one of the last place in Newcastle not dominated by retail giants. Apparently it is moving to where safeway is now and a big department store is opening in the Green Market.The new premises for the stallholders will be dramatically downsized.

All the stall holders are obviously really upset. Just two years ago they thought they had won the battle to save the Green Market after months of campaigning. Many are now disillusioned about their future. A lot of them dont know whats going on, who is going to the new site and who's being turfed out. Apparently there is a generally feeling of inevitability and few see the point in fighting when the Council are so determined to get rid of them.  Some of the stallholders are giving up after years at the market and are selling up.

Another victory for the big guy brought to you courtesy of Newcastle Council.

Green Woodworking Course Sunday 16 May 2004 10am - 5pm

We can now confirm a one day Green Woodworking Course.  If you would like to join the course please contact us for a booking form.  Please note that we are limited to ten places, so book early to avoid disappointment.


Green woodworking is a traditional craft using unseasoned wood and traditional hand tools.  Course participants will be given a choice of products to work on.  Previously we have made three legged stools and benches for the garden.

 Although there is no official charge, we would appreciate some form of payment as a donation either in pounds or in volunteer hours working in the garden. For guidance we feel that a payment of £30 or a day's work in the garden would be reasonable.  You may, of course, pay in a mixture of time and pounds.

 The tutors for the day will be Matt Whittaker and Ian Benson.


Ken Bradshaw


Scotswood Natural Community Garden

John Marley Centre

Whickham View



NE15 6TT

 Tel: 0845 458 1653  or  0191 200 4706

Bash the Fash

BNP forced to abandon meeting in Gateshead

Far-right extremists were forced to abandon two meetings because of pressure from protesters.

For the second year running, BNP leader, Nick Griffin, received a hostile reaction from the people of the North East when he visited the region.

The group had already been forced to cancel plans to hold a meeting at the Teams Social Club, in Gateshead.But when the extremists turned up at the rearranged venue - the nearby Forresters Arms pub - they were confronted by protesters from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and were forced to move on again. Griffin and his followers were confronted by 70 protesters, including local residents, refugees, trade unionists, faith groups and anti-racist organisations. A spokesman for Tyne Wear Anti Fascist Association said: "The protesters easily outnumbered the BNP supporters."

North Nuclear base is very,very safe. Honestly.

On 16th Feb, some local sorts went to inspect Albemarle barracks near Hexham. This is the place where the nuclear warheads from Trident missiles are stored when they are being conveyed from Aldermaston to Faslane in Scotland.

Appalled at the lax security of this place, the cheeky monkey activists put additional padlocks on the gates of the secure vehicle compound fence (the kinds that cannot easily be cut off) fixed 'closed' notices alongside, and then wrote to the Ministry of Defence Police in Aldermaston to explain what they'd done, and invite them to withdraw the convoys - given that other stop overs like RAF Leeming had been publicly exposed as insecure and Albemarle was now out of action.

The letter they got back from the MDP was a masterpiece, it included gems such as,

"I hope it will be of some reassurance to know that the security measures put in place by the MoD to ensure the safe passage of military convoys are consistently of the highest standards."


"You mention RAF Leeming in your letter, which has indeed been in the news lately.  I am sure you will be pleased to hear that allegations were swiftly investigated. It was found that there was no threat to the convoy there or to anybody in the vicinity. Had any such threat been identified, all those involved were sufficiently trained and skilled to have dealt with the situation as it developed. Appropriate, planned security measures were found to be in place at RAF Leeming.I do hope the above goes some way to allaying your concerns."

There, you can all sleep safely now.


Today two animal rights activicts, Paul Holiday (ex-prisoner) and Pau lLeboutillier, were found guilty of making phone calls to various animal abusers including Covance staff at work and at home, HLS share holders, hunt scum, farmers, agricultural suppliers, shooters and other low life.

Paul Holiday received 18 months.  Paul Leboutillier were sentenced to a highly outragious 5 years.

Please send urgent letters of support to:

    Paul Holliday KA9328

    HMP Hull

    Hedon Road


    HU9 5LS



Paul Le Boutillier KA9326

    HMP Hull

    Hedon Road


    HU9 5LS



On 01/12/03 René Riesel started a 7 month sentence for destroying GM crops

at a farm in Novartis and also for destroying crops in the CIRAD (Centre

International de recherche Agronomique pour le développement) laboratory, in

the south of France, in 1998.


Around the world there have been several massive protests against global

capitalism and its environmental impact.  The following have all been jailed

in connection with the protests.

James Borek LL6803, HMP Wandsworth, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London SW18

3HS, England (54 months

Please spare a moment and a stamp to write to any or all of the above. Remember all letters are likely to be read by prison staff, and that letters must have a sender’s address.

Future Events & Actions

Thurs 22 April

Regular Tyne Bridge Friends of the Earth monthly meeting in Northumberland Arms pub (near M&S). 7:30pm (and future 3rd Thursdays of the month)

Sat 24 April

SchNews Tour. Britains best and funniest weekly direct action newsheet comes to the Toon. 2pm, The Cluny, under Byker Bridhge, Newcastle. Donations welcome. Child-friendly, accessible venue

Mon 26 April

North East Labour History Society "Remembering the Miners Strike 1984. Speakers: Huw Beynon, author of Masters & Servants (Durham Miners' History), and the NUM President, Ian Lavery. 7pm, Mining Institute, Westgate Road,


Tue 27 April

Greenpeace monthly meeting at 8pm in ground floor lounge in Wetherspoons pub, opposite Central station, Newcastle. (and future last Tuesdays of the month).

Wed 28 April

Film showing of "Punishment Park" made at the time of the Vietnam War. Eerily reminiscent of our own post 9/11 world. 7:30pm at the Side Cinema (near the Crown Posada pub on Dean Street), on Newcastle's Quayside.Suggested donation £3.50.


---Sat 1 May---

Newcastle May Day March and Rally.

Assemble 11.30, Times Sq / Centre for Life March at 12noon through town to Exhibition Park for Rally at 1pm Speakers: Jim Cousins MP, Representatives from NUM, TUC, NUS Womens Campaign, Palestince Sol Campaign and Iraqi Trade Union Federation To get involved contact:

1&2 May

Newcastle Community Green Festival in Leazes Park. More info from 0191 2321750 or

Mon 3 May

North East Labour History Society historical River Tyne Cruise.

Tues 4 May

Following the hugely popular showings of two Chomsky films in the last two seasons, "Noam Chomsky - Distorted Morality: America's War on Terror?" . 5:30 & 8pm at the Side Cinema

Thurs 6 May

Artist-activist Gordon Winiemko, on tour from San Francisco, deconstructs and reassembles the cultural landscape. His activist-performances hilariously dismantle the power of Coca-Cola, the consumerism of Christmas and ownership of public space. 7:30pm at the Side Cinema

Tues 11 May

Mad Film Night 3 celebrates positive and assertive portrayals of madness. 6:30pm at the Side Cinema (near the Crown Posada pub on Dean Street), on Newcastle's Quayside. Free.

Weds 12 May

"Undercurrents News Network" is the latest round up of all the essential issues and campaigns from Britain and around the world. 7:30pm at the Side Cinema

19-28 May

"Be Nice to Nettles Week" - which started in Cramlington.

29/30 May

Free Festival in Newcastle. It is a dynamic and multi-cultural creative arts festival, which will raise awareness and money for local, national andinternational campaigns, as well as creating links within and between local, national and international communities. Two stages at Haymarket Green, Newcastle with local musicians satirical poetry, theatre, kids corner, bar,workshops.


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So what is this?

‘Think Globally - Act Locally’ aims to report global social and environmental campaigns, news of local actions, and what people can do to make a difference. It is compiled, every month with little editing (but that depends on the rotating compiler). If there is an issue you want covered, please, please, write about it. Financially we rely on supporters to send in stamps. To subscribe, send some stamps to the address below or email

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“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” – David Friedman

emma goldman's cat
Joined: 12-06-04
Jun 12 2004 15:15

shite er got the wrong address for Think Globally

it is Po Box 1TA Newcastle NE99 ITA