Bath Bomb #12 Out Now

The Bath Bomb
Issue #12
free/donation
July 08
@nti-copyright: copy and distribute!
Non-addictive Humour Substitute

Digging In Around Coal

The deadline is drawing ever nearer for this August's Camp for Climate Action (see www.climatecamp.org.uk), and it's not just the ice caps that are hotting up. Whilst last month saw a high profile coal train heist up north on the railway line to Drax Power station, the planned open-cast coal mine at Lodge Farm in Derbyshire has had plans scuppered by squatters! They took the site on the 18th June under the banner 'Leave it in the Ground', with full support of the owner and local population, and have just had their eviction kicked out of court until 18th July. And now campers have just entered into dialogue with the coal miner's union NUM, in an attempt to break the traditional wedge between environmentalists and workers.

Despite the lies spread by the Government-sponsored UK Coal Forum, coal is neither the cheapest option for our energy future (with coal prices doubling in the last 2 years), nor the most reliable (this May saw the biggest brownouts in Britain since 1987 from conventional power failure), nor will it make Britain independent from foreign import (70% of our coal being imported from Russia). With Thatcher's destruction of the steel and engineering industries, neither do we now have the infrastructure for coal power.

So, in Green Park Station on Saturday the 12th July, from 2 til 5, Bath Activist Network held a 'Roots of Change' day of stalls and info on how better to spend the £1.7 billion that EON will waste at Kingsnorth's new supercritical coal units, as well as demonstrating better, greener, more practical ways of living - and we're joined by Transition Town Bath, the London Road Food Co-op, and the Camp for Climate Action photo exhibition!

http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/sources/coal/forum/page37276.html
http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/energymarketsoutlook/page41839.html
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/utilitie...
http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKL3081324220080130
http://www.leaveitintheground.org.uk
http://www.squatter.org.uk
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/07/403585.html (for a write up of the roots of change day, with pictures!)

Fuck Off Tesco

This week on TescoWatch, the Bath Bomb can regrettably inform you that the Tesco infestation just gets worse and worse. With a potential Tesco Metro sniffing around Keynsham, a Tesco Express patiently sitting on the old petrol station on Englishcombe Lane, and the new one at Bathwick Hill due to open in the next two months, the future for independent retail and real food looks bleak. On the plus side, the Tesco Express and Tesco housing trying to get in at Upper Bristol Road have just had their planning application refused. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, 5 minutes away on Lower Bristol Road, Tesco are being coy about their superstore plans for the old Bath Press site. Built at the end of the 19th Century, this is a little nugget of Bath's industrial history, the home of Pitman Shorthand. Snapped up by Tesco front group St James Finance for a bargain basement £52 million (or a more conservative £20 mil, depending on who you talk to), it'll soon probably be crawling with strip lights and chronically overworked and underpaid shelf-stackers. The increased traffic load will no doubt prove no threat whatsoever for pupils of the nearby infant school, and will be totally conducive to the £75 million council funding dedicated to ridding Bath of HGVs. That's joined up thinking for you.

Councillor David Dixon and his Facebook cronies (what are you, 12?) is probably creaming himself right now.

Hands Off My Wrinkles You Sexist Shit

A current TV advert promotes its beauty product by opening with the line, 'for women who aren't yet ready for plastic surgery.' Just another ploy to make females shell out more money on vanity products, or is there more to it than that? If someone's not yet ready for something, it's implied that, at some point, they will be. What message does this put across, watched by millions of women? The reality is that there's so much wrong with that short and seemingly harmless statement. It differentiates based on gender, implies, or perhaps even dictates, that it's expected that women should have the marks that life has left them with altered or taken away through invasive processes. Beyond this, the statement insinuates, that even younger females who 'aren't yet ready' should be taking steps to ensure that signs of living don't show through. The reality is that discrimination based on gender comes in many guises and in all walks of life and affects us all. Sometimes it's malicious and sometimes just a subconscious by-product of the society we live in. So next time you see an advert, think about what's implied, or what you're being told and ask yourself, is that really okay?

Get The Pigs Off Our Streets!

We've all seen them littered around the streets of Bath: hundreds of ceramic pigs, forming an exhibition celebrating our city's heritage. But we are now being swamped with a new kind of pig - less useful, and definitely less welcome on our streets - the city marshal. Joining the deluge of uniformed human oddities: cops, community ('don't make me call a real cop') support officers, security guards, taxi marshals and street marshals, these guys are another example of the growing surveillance we are subjected to on a daily basis by the watchful eyes of our friendly and non-voyeuristic state (capturing each of us nearly 400 times a day on a variety of CCTV and monitoring equipment). Without any real powers, there's legally not much city marshals can do to you that an ordinary shopper couldn't, but armed with walkie-talkies, swish uniforms and a failed police entrance exam paper - these guys are out to get you! How many cameras (87 at the last count, costing us around £300,000 a year), cops, fake cops and even faker cops do we need before we decide 'enough is enough' - that we are capable of controlling our own lives and filling our time without the state watching our every move? So, try not to be nervous, you know they can smell fear. But don't worry, you've got nothing to hide, dear reader… Or do you?

Farmer Cull Imminent As Badgers Spared

On Saturday the 28th June, members of Bath Activist Network travelled to Cardiff Bay to join the Viva! badger cull demo outside the Welsh Assembly. Welsh politicians announced in April that it proposes the mass murder of badgers in order to appease farmers. Badgers are being used as scapegoats by dairy farmers as being the main culprits in the spread of bovine TB. However, the real culprit is the barbaric practice of dairy farming: as well as having their calves murdered, dairy cows are so intensively farmed and exploited (not to mention being forcibly impregnated every year, far more often than they would be naturally), that they face numerous infections and rarely survive beyond 5 years old, which is a fraction of their normal lifespan. Ireland has been culling badgers since 2002, yet this has not affected their TB problem - even after the brutal culling of 30% of the indigenous population of 200,000, the disease has still failed to diminish.

Around 300 people stood in front of a gargoyle of Margaret Thatcher (which for some reason is plastered to the front of the building, next to a carving of Nye Bevan) waving placards and badger masks for a photo shoot and chanting for about an hour. After speeches and declarations of support from absent celebrities, the group went off to a hotel for stalls, more speeches and workshops.

However, on the way back, 35 dodgy-looking characters slipped of from the Viva! procession, shunning the promised free vegan food back at the hotel and made their way to the nearest foie gras restaurant. During a previous visit to Cardiff, a BAN member had noticed the disgusting stuff being sold in the city, so had smuggled banners and leaflets over the border, planning to demo them after the badgers had been saved. The first restaurant, Woods Brasserie, was quickly surrounded with shouting, banner-waving protesters, and even locking the door and drawing the blinds didn't prevent a stream of leaflets and angry words flying through the letterbox. Following protestors from the badger cull demo, the cops soon got shitty, pushing people around and imposing a confused Section 14 notice to force the protest from the area, roundly ignored by protesters. As more cops, including the head of the National Extremist Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) arrived, activists split off into small groups to reassemble 10 minutes later outside Garcon, another restaurant, with some activists managing to sneak inside, leaflet and generally make nuisances of themselves. Being on private property, the protest was soon forced to disband by cops, who curiously ordered protesters to disperse in the same direction, which they did - straight back to Woods! After 10 more minutes' demoing and pushy-shovey from the cops, the owner re-printed his menus, minus the foie gras.

And what of the badgers? English Parliament has voted to repeal the slaughter (enraging the bloodthirsty National Farmers Union, who are lodging an appeal), possibly remembering the smashed traps and publicity disasters of the last cull. Welsh badgers however are not so lucky, and the cull is to resume across the border. But Wales is only a short train trip away, and there's nothing more satisfying than decommissioning tools of brutality such as badger traps. If you have info to help bodge the badger cull, check out http://www.badger-killers.co.uk/

Free Normality Testing

To CELEBRATE Mad pride Day on Monday 14th July, the MAD HATTERS OF BATH are offering free normality testing to the general public and tourists in Bath City Centre from 12 noon onwards. Concerns over the growing numbers of non-normal people have meant the British Government has had to introduce many new laws. These include anti-terrorist legislation, which does not just affect 'traditional terrorists' but also the new breed of 'dangerous demonstrative environmental activist'. The criminal justice legislation is renowned for its restrictions on travellers, making living in a vehicle or caravan not just 'not normal', but also illegal. ASBO's are used to keep teenagers under control. The changes to the mental health act means forcible medication of people living in the community is easier than it ever has been. Publicity campaigns funded by the Government and administered by MIND, RETHINK and Mental Health Media all contrast mental well being (normal) and mental illness (deviant). There are far too many mentally ill, or as we prefer to say 'non-normal' people in Britain today and we must, as a matter of national urgency, help find and normalise these ill people as soon as possible.
We do not like labelling people but it is imperative that we find those who are normal and hopefully their normality can be diagnosed and stored and maybe we will be able to teach 'normality' self-management techniques to those who are outside the normality spectrum. We are expecting this radical new technique to immediately reduce any extreme of mood or ideas, and the general public will know they are safe as their views are filtered down to the lowest common denominator of normality. We expect this to mean: a life time of moaning, persistent vegetative TV viewing, Saturday night drinking for the under 30's, shopping, shopping and more shopping, life enhancing removal of body hair, total disregard of the exploitation of the planet or people on it.

ALTERNATIVELY come down to Abbey Churchyard Bath and celebrate your right to be different. Music, theatre, dance, comedy and performance are all welcome at THE GRAND 'NOT NORMAL' CELEBRATION.

The White Rabbit of Bath Madhatters, is also presenting free online poetry on www.homegrownart.co.uk where there are links to donate to NSPCC and MIND

Contact us on: bathmadhatters@hotmail.co.uk

www.mindfreedom.org

Finally just to share the news about Bonkersfest Saturday 19th July 12-9pm Camberwell Green, London: a brilliant mad festival; website www.creative-routes.org
and www.bonkersfest.com

Also, the next edition of the Great Escape is now on sale at secret locations, as usual. we have had to increase the price to £2 but it is certainly worth it.

Balls To Car Culture

Our blushing journalist took part in this year's World Naked Bike Ride in London, on the 14th June, with over 1,000 mostly naked cyclists, in a protest against oil dependency, in favour of curbing car culture, and a celebration of body freedom. By riding nude, protesters demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the streets (such as Marie Vesco, an activist killed on her bike on the 3rd June by a careless and callous driver). It also feels good! The World Naked Bike Ride is an international event, and this year there were rides in Brighton on the 7th June, Cardiff (for the first time), Edinburgh, York, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton, as well as Barcelona and elsewhere. Spectators lined the whole route in London, which stretched from Hyde Park, past the Houses of Parliament (the best bit), central London and back to Marble Arch. Many cyclists were body painted, the sun was shining, and it was a great day all round. They even had a police escort, though clothed - it's probably for the best. We here at the Bath Bomb look eagerly forward to next June for more of the same!

Newsbite: Bigging Up Japan

As we go to press, protesters will be kicking off in Hokkaido, Japan, against the 2008 G8 Summit. The G8 leaders of the world's eight most industrialised nations meet every year to discuss how to pretend to save the poor masses from themselves, whilst fences are rattled and protesters are battered on the streets outside. This year won't be any different - so far, journalists have already been denied at the border, and known local activists are being fitted up on suspect charges. But things are changing, and our noble leaders are getting nervous - with the military growth of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (the who?), and the political sous of South America and Asia, the rich, white west may soon be getting a taste of its own medicine. Yep, interesting times…

Theory Corner - Are All Cops Bastards?

'All Coppers are Bastards', we've heard it yelled on demos, but how much have we thought about what it means? Are they all bad people, hellbent on defending oppression and exploitation? Let's look at the facts and find out! While getting turfed out of a temporary squatted social centre last year (which had been opened in Bath centre to provide a FreeShop and Xmas card-making workshops for locals during the festive season), the cop doing most of the evicting was falling over himself to come across as a good guy, apologising and making excuses, almost ashamed of what he was doing - and there are many like him. While most cops seem to be genuinely violent, unintelligent and obnoxious individuals, attracted to the abusable power and weaponry that come with the job, a small number do seem to be, well, almost human. So what of these nice people who have mysteriously ended up in uniform, do they also fall into the bastard category? I think the answer has to be no, many are bastards, but that is only one of the reasons we should view cops with contempt. While many an officer has delighted crowds of activists with macho violence and bigotry above and beyond the call of duty, even the 'nice' ones are bound to carry out orders they may disagree with. On numerous occasions, cops have been seen carrying out duties on the brink of tears, clearly horrified by what they are having to do - it is this, more than any other unpleasant tendency of the average cop that makes them so pathetic and dangerous. Let us not forget that many cops are bastards - nasty people in every sense of the word - but this cannot be true of them all. The problem is that they have all let themselves be bought by bigger, more violent bastards, the government. They are whores to the will of the state and must unquestioningly do its bidding, no matter how morally repugnant the task, and it is this, rather than the personality of the individual that means that, until they take off the uniform, cops - like so many others throughout history who have 'just followed orders' - will always be the enemies of freedom, justice and equality.

IOM: Good Guys, Really

On Thursday the 19th June, activists from Bristol No Borders and BAN once again continued their assault on the credibility of those sinister cartoon bad guys, the International Organisation for Migration; the Bath Bomb again sent some newshounds to get the scoop.

Being Refugee Week, the Pierian Centre near Stokes Croft had been holding a week of workshops and talks on the positive impacts that refugees and immigrants had made on British society, and Thursday’s invitation to the IOM was intended to be no different. It was only after the 8 Bristol No Borders folks set up the all day picket outside however, full of info about the IOM’s callous agenda, their deportation agency and PR work, and their management of monstrous concentration camps, like the detainment centres off the coast of Australia, that the event organisers soon realised in horror how they’d been duped. The IOM may set itself up as the friendly face of the border regime, but after a three-hour debate with the IOM rep, it was only a matter of time before he admitted that he saw humans as economic units to be exploited rather than living creatures. Lizard.

But free trade people trafficking is big business now, with offices open in Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, and soon in Peterborough. Though in the office of the IOM in Damak, Nepal, on the 30th June, folks angry about the sell-off of 60,000 Bhutanese refugees to the west as cheap labour levelled the place with a double whammy bombing, but no injuries. That’s the spirit!

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200807011521.htm
http://www.iom.int/jahia/jsp/index.jsp
http://www.noborder.org/iom/index.php
http://bristonoborders.wordpress.com

EVENTS

Monday nights - Bath Hunt Sabs Meeting, 8pm, Bell
Wednesdays 4-7pm - London Rd Food Co-op, Riverside Community Centre
Saturdays 11.30-12.30 - Bath Stop The War Vigil, Abbey Courtyard
Weds 16th July, 8.15am - Greenwash Guerillas protest at the Guardian Climate Change Summit, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper St, London
Wed 16th July, 8pm - Bristol Anarchist Bookfair benefit punk gig, the Croft, Bristol, £5
Thurs 17th July - anti-Tescos meeting, Hobgoblin, 7.30
Fri 18th July - Leftism, The Crown, Bathwick, 9-1am
Fri 18th-Sun 20th July - Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, in a field, Tolpuddle
http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/index.cfm?mins=414&minors=75
Sat 19th July - Bath Animal Action street collection 1-5
Sun 3rd-Mon 11th Aug - Camp for Climate Action www.climatecamp.org.uk
Weds 6th Aug 7.30-8.30 - Bath Animal Action meeting, back room of Bell
Thurs 7th Aug 7.30-9 - Bath Activist Network meeting, Hobgoblin, 7.30-9

For further info on any of our stories see www.myspace.com/bathbomb

Q: Who Are Bath Activist Network? A: A local umbrella group campaigning on issues as diverse as development, environmentalism, anti-war, animal rights, workers' rights and more. Helping to produce The Bath Bomb, we are open to anyone, and our members range from trade unionists to anarchists, liberals to greens, and people who just want to change Bath for the better. For details on meetings, demos, or just to get in touch, ring us on 07949 611912, email bathactivistnet@yahoo.co.uk, or see our website: www.myspace.com/bathactivistnetwork

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And now, to the disclaimer: As anyone is free to contribute, the opinions expressed in each article are not necessarily reflective of each contributor. Naturally, any right-wing or corporate bullshit will be binned and spat on. Needless to say, the opinions of the author of this disclaimer does not necessarily represent the views of any other contributor...