April 2004


The SchNEWS at Ten Tour passed through Nottingham on Thursday 29th April, I have just taken the opportunity to put work up, on this issue, and can be seen now at:

Nottingham Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX 8.30pm Tel. 0845 458 9595

For info about the tour at large:

http://www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm

&

For a sneek preview of my interests here, check my pages at:

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_10.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/watched1.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_mday1.htm

all will give a ‘flavour’ of what I’m about here …….

more about it all on my blog at:

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2004_04_18_tash_lodge_archive.html#108284111864191979

and my Fotopages at:

http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=97625

May bank holiday the anti-globalisation campaigners aren’t marching in London.

Away from the TV headlines will their cause wither and die? A combination of the post Iraq war domination of the news agenda and a change of strategy by the campaigners has caused them to give it London a miss this year.

So how much damage will the campaigners disappearance from the bulletins do to their cause?

Some are saying it’s actually helped them. They’re glad to get rid of those negative images of violence by their more extreme supporters and they are now using alternative media to further their cause.

They say by focussing on conflict and violence the news bulletins failing to report on what is actually happening with international campaigning groups.

Program website at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/themessage.shtml

You can hear the show again [it in the second part] at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/rams/themessage_current.ram

for the next 7 days. [real player required]

http://www.dissent.org.uk

The Dissent! network is made up of groups and individuals planning actions against the 2005 G8 summit. Dissent! is committed to taking direct action against the G8 and what it represents. Nobody owns the network and it has no leaders. Anyone who claims to speak on behalf of the network is lying.

We aim to disrupt the G8 and prevent their summit circus from taking place as planned. We still have a lot of time before June 2005: time to reflect on our struggles, to dream, and to create new ideas.

This is a call to participate, to use our networks and our experiences and our strength to build for summer 2005

Have introduced this work to you, over the last few days. But the main event, is tomorrow, so, if in the area, get down there.

Because SchNEWS at Ten Tour is passing through Nottingham on Thursday 29th April, I have just taken the opportunity to put work up, on this issue, and can be seen now at:

Nottingham Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX 8.30pm Tel. 0845 458 9595

More work to be seen at:

http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=95894

also, earlier on my blog at:

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2004_04_18_tash_lodge_archive.html#108276208611419918

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2004_04_18_tash_lodge_archive.html#108284111864191979

Just took a look at this chaps exhibition at the Lakeside Galleries of the University of Nottingham. I think it is a splendid set of ‘photo-documentary’, and I commend it to you all. Do go and take a look …… He is a fellow student of Nottingham Trent University, where he to studied photography .

Wallner Gallery, D H Lawrence Pavilion, Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham

event: One Couple One Child: Gang Zhao

Recent documentary photography of Chinese society.

times: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm (performance eves 11am-11pm),ends May 2 2004

cost: free

[BJP Entry] http://db.riskwaters.com/public/showPage.html?page=101463

gang zhao [photogang2003@yahoo.com.cn]

I put a set of pictures I took at the exhibition, so you could see what you’re missing, check out at:

http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=95334

White Paper with Identity Card Bill (pdf, 554k)

see: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/apr/uk-ID-card-Bill.pdf

Identity Card Bill (pdf, 300k)

see: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/apr/uk-ID-card-Bill2.pdf

The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, has announced that a Bill to introduce ID cards will be published in the next few weeks – which will include powers to make them compulsory without further legislation. Last week the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said there was no longer a civil liberties objection to the introduction of ID cards (see: Prime Minister says there is “no longer a civil liberties objection” to ID cards: Report and background) The only time in British history that there have been ID cards was during the Second World War – they were finally withdrawn in 1952, see: Statewatch: The history of ID cards in the UK

There has allegedly been some disagreement in the Cabinet but only over the issue of making ID cards compulsory. Cabinet Ministers like Patricia Hewitt, Department of Trade and Industry, has reservations about compulsory cards but supports the introduction of biometric passports and biometric driving licences which would, in time, cover 80% of the population.

Lots of different dates have been bandied about in the press but it appears to be the government intention to get the Bill through parliament in 2005 and introduce the scheme in 2007 – people renewing their passports and driving licences will be issued with combined cards with biometric data (probably fingerprints and facial scans).

At the moment passports have to be renewed every ten years – though there are plans in the pipeline in the UK and EU – to reduce this to five years so as to incorporate regular updates to the biometrics and other personal data on the card. Every year in the UK five million passports are issued (including replacements for lost or stolen passports). If a rolling programme is introduced it will probably take at least 10 years for every passport to be replaced.

The replacement of driving licences is even more problematic. In the UK licenses are issued from the time of passing the driving test (usually between the ages of 17-25) up until the age of 70. There are EU plans for the “harmonised” renewal of licences every 10 years but the draft legislation was rejected by the European Parliament last week and a new proposal is unlikely before 2005. The only people at the moment for whom the scheme could be introduced are for young people passing the test for the first time, for stolen or lost licences, and for that most dangerous category of all – the over 70’s. The great majority of driving licence-holders will have no need for a new one for decades.

It is therefore likely that it will be passport renewals that will drive this scheme which is unlikely to be complete before 2017.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“At the moment most passport renewals involve getting a picture taken in a photo-booth, filling in a form and sending both off with a cheque.

What is not realised is that this new scheme will require around five million people a year presenting themselves at “enrolment centres”, bringing with them documents to prove they are who they are, checks will be carried out on an unspecified number of state and commercial databases, their fingerprints will be taken and then they will have to pose for a facial scan. The biometric data will then be added to the contactless micro-chip together with personal data.

The likelihood is that by the time this scheme is in full swing the same passport-ID card will contain a person’s NHS health records and convictions for any offence and also be their bank and credit card. It is likely too that access to the data held on the card will be given to all law enforcement agencies, many state agencies (eg: welfare payments, tax and customs), employers, insurance companies, credit agencies and banks.

The only protection against the misuse and abuse of this mountain of personal data is the Data Protection Act which quite simply does not work because it lacks resources and real powers of enforcement – even the European Commission’s belated review admits this.

This proposal has little or nothing to do with combating terrorism. The government is cynically exploiting public sentiment and fears to introduce a measure which has no place in a democratic society”

http://www.statewatch.org/news

* * * * * *

ID card trials to start next week: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3654621.stm

Testing the biometric facts: BBC News Online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3659255.stm

ID cards: an iCan briefing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ican/A2319176

Just like a couple of days ago, weather wonderful, so took me and my feet on a wander about in the area, taking these pictures. Hope you enjoy …….

A detailed map of the area in question:

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=418500&y=388500&z=3&sv=418500,388500&st=4&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=741

More pictures on Fotopages at:

http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=93709

Because SchNEWS at Ten Tour is passing through Nottingham on Thursday 29th April, I have just taken the opportunity to put work up, on this issue, and can be seen now at:

Nottingham Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX 8.30pm Tel. 0845 458 9595

For a sneek preview of my interests here, check my pages at:

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_10.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/watched1.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_mday1.htm

all will give a ‘flavour’ of what I’m about here …….

For info about the tour at large:

http://www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm

* * * * * *

Crap Arrest of the Week

For feeding the homeless…

In Tampa, Florida police arrested three people from Food Not Bombs who were handing out free food to the homeless, they were arrested as they didn’t have a permit to hand out food. The police and city say that it is for health reasons, but a homeless person whom had been fed commented “I think I know what’s healthy for my body, and going hungry isn’t healthy. The city isn’t out to protect anyone’s health. They just want to pretend we are not here.” Another said “If there’s a law about feeding the homeless and going to jail, this is a backward world.”

www.foodnotbombs.net

**********

What’s On? Check out out Party and Protest guide at www.schnews.org.uk/pap/guide.htm – it’s updated every week, has sections on regular events, local events, protest camps and more…

The SchNEWS at Ten Tour plans are being updated regularly as well. Check them at www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm

As part of their 10th birthday celebrations some of the SchNEWS crew are hitting the road again! Does anyone remember the SchLIVE tour of 1996? (See www.schnews.org.uk/archive/round-schlive-tour.htm)

It’ll be nothing like that anyway…

After a hugely inspiring night in Southampton in February we’ve decided to go all out and do a 21 stop tour! We’ll be showing some short films, talking about SchNEWS and getting your message across, about the G8 coming to Britain next year (preferrably with someone from a local Dissent! network associated group), and giving local groups a forum to talk about what they’re up to. We’ll be starting with Bath on the 10th of April and ending in Ipswich on May Day

http://www.schnews.org.uk/extras/tour.htm

The whole gig, is passing through Nottingham on Thursday 29th April

Nottingham Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX 8.30pm Tel. 0845 458 9595

Not sure what I’m doing yet, but think it may be a photo exhibition of my surveillance work.

For a sneek preview, check my pages at:

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_10.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/watched1.htm

http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_mday1.htm

all will give a ‘flavour’ of what I’m about here …….

We’ve made some contact with someone in each of the towns, but we need more people to get involved with sorting out venues, publicity and somewhere for us to sleep. We’ve got all the equipment we need, projector and stuff, we just need somewhere to do it, and people to turn up… Southampton worked so well because there was a group or people really up for making the night a success. Are you up for doing the same in your home town?

If you’re interested in sorting any of this out, or if you’re part of a Dissent! group in, or near any of those places and are up for talking then please mail us at tour@schnews.org.uk including the name of your town in the subject. Now that we’re on the road it will be easier to contact us on the mobile – 07989 972738

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 2DX, England

Phone/Fax: +44 (0)1273 685913

email: schnews@brighton.co.uk

Lovely day today. Just wandered about on the open coutry, 12 -15 miles.

Here is a map of the area:

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=425500&y=381500&z=3&sv=425500,381500&st=4&ar=Y&dn=739

More pictures on my CamPhone Blog at:

http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=92294

http://www.backfire.dk/EMPIRENORTH/newsite/products_en001.htm

What is the ID SNIPERTM rifle?

It is used to implant a GPS-microchip in the body of a human being, using a high powered sniper rifle as the long distance injector. The microchip will enter the body and stay there, causing no internal damage, and only a very small amount of physical pain to the target. It will feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second. At the same time a digital camcorder with a zoom-lense fitted within the scope will take a high-resolution picture of the target. This picture will be stored on a memory card for later image-analysis.

Why use the ID SNIPERTM rifle?

As the urban battlefield grows more complex and intense, new ways of managing and controlling crowds are needed. The attention of the media changes the rules of the game. Sometimes it is difficult to engage the enemy in the streets without causing damage to the all important image of the state. Instead EMPIRE NORTH suggests to mark and identify a suspicious subject on a safe distance, enabeling the national law enforcement agency to keep track on the target through a satellite in the weeks to come.

Five years after it ceased production, Undercurrents is back. Paul Kingsnorth reports on the rebirth of the video activists

Wednesday April 21, 2004

The Guardian

http://society.guardian.co.uk/societyguardian/story/0,7843,1195847,00.html

Just over 10 years ago, when affordable camcorders were still a novelty, a small group of people – describing themselves as “a couple of frustrated TV producers and a handful of environmental activists” – set up an experimental media project from a bedroom in north London. Calling themselves Small World Media, they wanted to use their film skills to capture stories they believed mainstream media was missing.

To do so, they began to “embed” film-makers among Britain’s burgeoning direct action scene. Back came coverage of the campaigns to prevent the building of the M11 link road and the Salisbury bypass, including footage of evictions and illegal arrests. Other reports covered the opposition to the criminal justice bill, police clampdowns on open-air raves, and villagers trying to stop their common land being turned into a golf course.

From 1993 to 1999, Small World produced 10 video compilations, which they called “Undercurrents”. The project was born out of a frustration that, despite a huge upswelling of direct action and radical politics in Britain throughout the 1990s, very little of it seemed to be covered adequately on television news or in the press.

Undercurrents created a network of camcorder activists, providing support and media training, setting up a “grassroots protest video archive” with more than 1,000 hours of footage, printing its own “video activist handbook”, and releasing video after video of alternative news. Within a few years of its inception, it was getting glowing reviews in the very mainstream press it scorned, winning international awards for its videos and blazing a trail for alternative news reporting that continues to this day.

In 1999, Small World stopped production of its compilation videos and concentrated instead on its website, media training, community projects and producing specialist documentaries. Now, though, its alternative news video is back, in the form of the newly-founded Undercurrents News Network (UNN), which was launched at the beginning of this month.

With political dissent and accompanying protest more widespread now than at any time since Undercurrents’ heyday in the mid-1990s, it seems a timely relaunch. Zoe Broughton, one of UNN’s co-producers, says: “There are a huge number of little video activist cells and alternative film-makers out there, many of them doing a very professional job. The quality of film is stunning, but the problem is the distribution of it. That’s where we come in.”

The media world into which UNN arrives is very different from that of a decade ago. A plethora of “alternative” news sources has sprung up, prompted by the growth of the internet. The most widespread is Indymedia, an international network of almost 100 websites that showcases the kind of activist writing, filming and reporting pioneered by Undercurrents. In other words, the marketplace for “alternative news” is a crowded one.

Perhaps this is one reason why the revamped Undercurrents looks much slicker than it used to. Gone are the shaky cameras, poor sound quality and dubious editing; instead, the new Undercurrents is a slick mix of news reportage, short films, cartoons and even songs. From The Meatrix, an anti-factory farming cartoon, to the story of how Harvard students ran a successful campaign of direct action against their own university to force it to increase the wages paid to its cleaning staff, Undercurrents seems to have lost none of its verve for telling stories that you won’t see on TV. It is also clear that, as before, this is partisan journalism, with its head held high.

Undercurrents plans to produce three video compilations a year and show them at a rolling programme of public screenings, as well as selling videos directly through its website. Ninety per cent of the material on the first video has been made and sent in by film collectives around the world – outfits as varied as a Croatian feminist collective and an American student body – and this is the way its creators intend it to continue. How successful the project is now will depend on how much of an appetite there is out there for alternative news.

· For more information, see www.undercurrents.org/unn. Paul Kingsnorth’s book, One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance Movement, is now published in paperback by Free Press (£7.99). Details at: www.paulkingsnorth.net

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/apr/06uk-special-branch.htm

The government has published new Guidelines for the Special Branch. Each review shows a shift in emphasis of the work of the Special Branch and the latest is that their main role is to assist MI5 (the internal Security Service) in combating terrorism.

Special Branch officers are drawn from the ranks of the regular police force, they operate in plainclothes and have powers of arrest (which MI5 do not).

The Special Branch still maintain its public order role, that is, to keep under surveillance all known political and trade union groups and “leading” individuals. The Guidelines say that: “A wide range of threats to public order emanate from various sources” – which is under the heading “Security context”.

The heading of “Subversion” in the 1984 and 1995 Guidelines has disappeared. In the Cold War era this referred to “fellow travellers”, “agent-of-influence” (eg: journalists and academics), trade unionists and demonstrators. Subversion was defined as: “Subversive activities are those which threaten the safety or well being of the State, and which are intended to undermine or overthrow parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means.” These new Guidelines simply state: “There is currently little potential for any group to undermine or overthrow parliamentary democracy”.

Since the 1995 Guidelines protestors, trade unionists and political groups have been defined out of the category of “subversion” and their activities viewed as criminal where they demonstrate or carry out direct actions. Now under the heading of “Counter Extremism” the Special Branch gathers “intelligence on those threats to public order” motivated by “political conviction” (and “racial hatred”).

Under the same “Counter Extremism” heading the Guidelines says that the Special Branch:

“gather intelligence on political and animal rights extremist activity, anti-globalisation and environmental extremism and seek to prevent criminal acts on persons and property targeted by such extremists”

Under EU plans to counter cross-border protests the Special Branch (and MI5) will supply the names of groups and so-called “leaders” with details to other EU police forces, they will travel undercover with the protestors and work with local agencies to single out “ring-leaders”: see Observatory below.

This public order work is coordinated by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) and the National Football Intelligence Unit.

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/apr/06uk-id.htm

The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, has announced that a Bill to introduce ID cards will be published in the next few weeks – which will include powers to make them compulsory without further legislation. Last week the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said there was no longer a civil liberties objection to the introduction of ID cards (see: Prime Minister says there is “no longer a civil liberties objection” to ID cards: Report and background) The only time in British history that there have been ID cards was during the Second World War – they were finally withdrawn in 1952, see: Statewatch: The history of ID cards in the UK

There has allegedly been some disagreement in the Cabinet but only over the issue of making ID cards compulsory. Cabinet Ministers like Patricia Hewitt, Department of Trade and Industry, has reservations about compulsory cards but supports the introduction of biometric passports and biometric driving licences which would, in time, cover 80% of the population.

Lots of different dates have been bandied about in the press but it appears to be the government intention to get the Bill through parliament in 2005 and introduce the scheme in 2007 – people renewing their passports and driving licences will be issued with combined cards with biometric data (probably fingerprints and facial scans).

At the moment passports have to be renewed every ten years – though there are plans in the pipeline in the UK and EU – to reduce this to five years so as to incorporate regular updates to the biometrics and other personal data on the card. Every year in the UK five million passports are issued (including replacements for lost or stolen passports). If a rolling programme is introduced it will probably take at least 10 years for every passport to be replaced.

The replacement of driving licences is even more problematic. In the UK licenses are issued from the time of passing the driving test (usually between the ages of 17-25) up until the age of 70. There are EU plans for the “harmonised” renewal of licences every 10 years but the draft legislation was rejected by the European Parliament last week and a new proposal is unlikely before 2005. The only people at the moment for whom the scheme could be introduced are for young people passing the test for the first time, for stolen or lost licences, and for that most dangerous category of all – the over 70’s. The great majority of driving licence-holders will have no need for a new one for decades.

It is therefore likely that it will be passport renewals that will drive this scheme which is unlikely to be complete before 2017.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“At the moment most passport renewals involve getting a picture taken in a photo-booth, filling in a form and sending both off with a cheque.

What is not realised is that this new scheme will require around five million people a year presenting themselves at “enrolment centres”, bringing with them documents to prove they are who they are, checks will be carried out on an unspecified number of state and commercial databases, their fingerprints will be taken and then they will have to pose for a facial scan. The biometric data will then be added to the contactless micro-chip together with personal data.

The likelihood is that by the time this scheme is in full swing the same passport-ID card will contain a person’s NHS health records and convictions for any offence and also be their bank and credit card. It is likely too that access to the data held on the card will be given to all law enforcement agencies, many state agencies (eg: welfare payments, tax and customs), employers, insurance companies, credit agencies and banks.

The only protection against the misuse and abuse of this mountain of personal data is the Data Protection Act which quite simply does not work because it lacks resources and real powers of enforcement – even the European Commission’s belated review admits this.

This proposal has little or nothing to do with combating terrorism. The government is cynically exploiting public sentiment and fears to introduce a measure which has no place in a democratic society”

just checking

check check ….!

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