Bath Bomb #22 Out Now

THE BATH BOMB

@nti-copyright: copy and distribute!
Issue #22
free/donation
May 09

“Is It Under Your Car?”

Weekend Of Rage

The last weekend of April saw BAN and friends pour out onto the streets of Bath for a (slightly tongue in cheek) weekend of rage – three days, three demos and a modest amount of anger! Proceedings kicked off on the Friday with a demo outside Allen Ford on Lower Bristol Road. The demo was held in solidarity with UK Visteon workers sacked by Ford with no back pay, redundancy package or pensions. Instead of accepting these offensive conditions, the workers occupied their factories and launched a campaign demanding the greedy bosses pay up. The Bath demo was well received, with loads of horn honking and raised fists from passing motorists and pedestrians (see how you can support the Visteon workers at http://www.visteonoccupation.org). Saturday saw a dozen BAN activists head down to London for the ‘World Day for Lab Animals’ demo, focused against infamous vivisectors and animal abusers Huntingdon Life Sciences. The 2,000 strong demo sent a strong message to HLS and all other companies who profit from vivisection – “there’s no excuse for animal abuse.” On Sunday, local activists gathered outside Bath police station to protest the murder of paper seller Ian Tomlinson at the hands of police at the recent G20 protests. The protest highlighted the fact that this was not a one-off, but a continuation of brutal and arrogant police behaviour that the public have been subjected to for years. Possibly realising that repressing an anti-police repression
demo would not go down too well, and that public opinion ain’t too police-friendly nowadays, the local plod hid inside the station, not even coming out when activists began chalking slogans around the front of the police station (the most prominent reading ‘servants NOT masters’). After a few hours, with hundreds of leaflets given out and loads of public support, activists left, eager to plot the next round of protests and action. BAN relies on ideas and energy from the local community, so to suggest a campaign or get involved, send an email to bathactivistnet [at] yahoo.co.uk. To see what they get up to and have planned for the future, check out www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

Jog On, Copper

This year’s Mayday Anti-Militarist Jog in Brighton was another roaring success, despite attempts to spoil the fun by a few foul-tempered individuals. Around 2,000 anti-militarists and a large, perhaps similar, number of police took several hours to complete the gruelling course. In order to prevent the police from cheating by starting
halfway along the track, the first part of the route – taking in several big supporters and investors in the local arms company, many hit by anonymous sabotage that night – was kept a secret by organisers until the very last minute. The second, longer part of the course, running in decreasing circles around the city centre, was made up as
the athletes went along.

One big benefit of this secrecy and confusion was that the police were unable to clear the area first, and were powerless to prevent members of the public from witnessing the demo. Sadly, this opportunity was somewhat wasted as over-excited activists ran past gleefully cheering their right to protest, leaving the public bemused as to what they were actually protesting about. More placards next time would be nice, as
would some better chants.

The other bonus was the inability of the police to implement the brutal tactics that culminated in the murder of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 last month. Unable to pen the mobile and agile protest in or baton charge immobile groups, the police failed to provoke any serious violence. Apart from the odd point when police trapped protesters on a hill and waded in mob-handed with batons flying, the march passed largely without incident, though activist street medics had to treat 40 mostly minor injuries (having to escort more serious cases through to paramedics, despite police interference). Visiting coppers from London’s Met were so disappointed with the lack of bloodshed, that they took to stalking and mocking known activists.

The Jog was part of an ongoing 4 and a half year campaign against local bomb-trigger manufacturers EDO/ITT, without whom explosives recently dropped on Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan would have posed no threat whatsoever. If EDO – who have lost millions and cycled through various over-stressed CEOs – succumbs and collapses, the entire ‘defence’
industry will tremble before the might of popular opinion and direct democracy.

http://www.smashedo.org.uk

Getting Off To A Wobbly Start

Possibly spurred on by recent job losses and worsening conditions at
work, a radical union has started making a huge comeback in the UK. The
IWW (industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies) are an international
union with a reputation for never backing down from a fight with the
bosses, and using solidarity and direct action to get the goods. The
IWW believes that all workers should be united within a single union,
giving us greater strength and bartering power. They believe that we
should be divided not by profession, but by class, and that workers
should unite to confront the greed of the employing class. The IWW is a
fighting union that has already succeeded in preventing layoffs and
getting sacked workers reinstated across the UK. Without the
bureaucratic structure of the traditional unions or reliance on corrupt
union officials, and an emphasis on direct democracy, the IWW is a
union that is growing by the minute as the recession bites. A Bath
branch of the IWW has just been formed, and has already taken part in
workers rights solidarity in the area. They are looking to grow, so if
you are interested in joining, or have any questions, email
rocsec@iww.org.uk and ask to be put in touch with local members. As
times get harder, it’s more and more important to keep in mind the
slogan of the IWW: ‘an injury to one is an injury to all!’

EVENTS

Bath Hunt Saboteurs meetings, 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 8pm, The
Bell, Walcot Street

London Road Food Co-op, Wednesdays, 4-7pm, Riverside Community Centre,
London Road

The Lost Plot workday, Thursdays, 10am-dusk, Bathampton

Bath Stop The War Coalition vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, Bath Abbey
Courtyard

Veggie Pride! In Birmingham, Saturday 16th May, coaching leaving
Bristol 11.30am, £11 waged/£8 unwaged, http://www.veggiepride.org.uk

Remember Gaza march, Saturday 16th May, assemble 12 noon, Malet Street,
London, WC1E 7HY

Bubbling Under, Sunday 17th May, 1-4pm, Porter Cellar, George Street

Friends of Bird's Marsh Welly Walk, Sunday 17th May, meet 10am, car
park of the King Alfred pub, Malmesbury Road, Chippenham SN15 1QA,
www.friendsofbirdsmarsh.com

Recycle Your Sundays, Sunday 17th May, the regular series of sociable,
easy-paced cycle rides. www.rysbath.org.uk/Hazel 01225 469199

Bath Cycling Campaign meeting, Monday 18th May, venue TBC, 7.30pm,
http://www.bathcyclingcampaign.org.uk

Film: Message in the Waves, Thursday 21st May, 7.30pm, upstairs at The
Cork, Westgate Street

Anti-foie gras demo, Friday 22nd May, meet Queen Square 7pm

Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 23rd May, 10am-6pm, Cathays
Community Centre, 36 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff, free entry,
http://southwalesanarchists.org/2009/01/08/cardiff-anar...-2009

Climate Camp gathering, Saturday 23rd May - Sunday 24th May, starts
11am-7pm, Hebden Hey Hostel, Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, West
Yorkshire, HX7 7AW

Transition Bath Picnic in the Park, Monday 25th May, by the pond in
Victoria park, 12-4pm, look for the flag!

Transition Bath Transport & Built Environment Group meeting, Wednesday

27th May, 7pm, 55 New King Street, Bath, www.transitionbath.org.uk

Transition Drinks, Wednesday 27th May, 8pm, upstairs at The Raven

Performance: ‘Roots – A Tale Of Love And Vegetables’, Thursday 28th May
– Sunday 7th June, BOG Lower Common Allotments

Bristol Vegan Fayre, Saturday 30th May – Sunday 31st May, 11am, the
Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square, Harbourside, Bristol,
http://www.bristolveganfayre.co.uk

Recycle Your Sundays, Sunday 31st May, the regular series of sociable,
easy-paced cycle rides, www.rysbath.org.uk/Hazel 01225 469199

Bath Friends of the Earth meeting, Monday 1st June, 8pm, Stillpoint,
Broad Street Place, Broad Street

Talk: Eco Refurbishment of Houses, Monday 1st June, 7.30pm, Grove
Street Church Hall, £2 entry

Bath Animal Action meeting, Wednesday 3rd June, 7.30-8.30pm, backroom
of The Bell, Walcot Street

Greenlight lecture: A Sustainable Food Plan for Britain, Wednesday 3rd
June, doors open 7pm, British Royal Literary & Scientific Institution
16-18 Queen Square, £3 waged/£1.5 unwaged

Bath Activist Network meeting, Thursday 4th June, 7.30-9pm, downstairs
at The Hobgoblin, St James Parade

Cymru Climate Camp gathering, Saturday 6th June, South Wales

Anarchist Movement Conference, Saturday 6th June – Sunday 7th June,
Queen Mary & Westfield College, London, E1 4NS,
http://www.conference09.org.uk

Bath Greenpeace meeting, Monday 8th June, 7.30-9pm, Stillpoint, Broad
Street Place

Transition Open Forum, Tuesday 9th June, 7pm, Widcombe Social Club

Bath Green Drinks, Wednesday 10th June, 8.30pm, the Porter, George
Street

Bath FreeShop, Saturday 13th June, 12-3pm, outside Pump Rooms, Stall
Street

Broadlands Orchardshare Volunteering Day, Saturday 13th June, 12-4pm,

Broadlands Orchard, Box Road, Bathford, email broadlandsorchardshare
[at] googlemail.com or phone 07532 472 256

CoMutiny meeting, Saturday 13th June, 2-7pm, Bristol

Calais No Border Camp, 23rd-29th June, France

Danish Climate Camp, Denmark, Saturday 11th July – Sunday 19th July,
http://camp09.dk

French Climate Camp Monday, Monday 3rd August – Sunday 9th August,
France, http://www.campclimat.org

Belgian/Dutch Climate Action Camp, Monday 3rd August - Sunday 9th
August, near Antwerp, http://www.klimaatactiekamp.org

The Camp for Climate Action in Scotland, Monday 3rd – Tuesday 11th
August, Scotland, http://climatecampscotland.org.uk

Cymru Climate Camp, Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th August 2009, Merthyr
Tydfil, South Wales, http://climatecampcymru.org

Greek No Borders Camp, Tuesday 25th August – Monday 31st August,
Lesvos, Greece, http://lesvos09.antira.info

The Camp for Climate Action 2009, Thursday 27th August and Wednesday
2nd September, London, http://www.climatecamp.org.uk

Bristol Co-Mutiny: Social Change Not Climate Change gathering, Sunday
13th September – Saturday 19th September,
www.westsideclimateaction.wordpress.com

International Day of Climate Action, Saturday 24th October,
http://www.350.org/ oct24

Giving It A Load Of Agro

Back on the afternoon of the17th of April, 13 activists from Action
Against Agrofuels occupied the offices of Blue-NG, a joint venture
between National Grid subsidiary NG Blue Power and 20C. The company,
based at Ralph Allen House on Railway Place, was targeted due to its
building of the UK’s first vegetable oil power plants. The Biased
Chronicle hysterically decried the activists’ supposed own goal at
targeting the brain child of the ‘greenest man in the city’ Andrew
Mercer, former silicon valley exec and founder of Footdown, an
entrepreneur who throws his money at anything he thinks will sell. But
in reality the company, now aiming to build their second plant at a
site in Southall in London, as well at least another 43 plants, are in
the process of exacerbating climate change. They claim to source
indigenous rapeseed oil (even though there’s not enough land or
production to feed current needs), which produces 59-70% more
greenhouse gas emissions than standard diesel due to the nitrous oxide
fumes from fertilizer alone, a gas 300 times more potent than CO2. And
then there is soil erosion from monoculture farming, the loss of
habitat for wildflowers, birds and bees already threatened (maybe
Andrew will rehome them all, too?), air and noise pollution in the
pissed off local community, who also risk lung and heart disease from
fine particle emissions in an area with already one of the highest
asthma rates in the country.

But it’s also worth considering that increased use of rapeseed oil will
push up reliance on other veg oils (which Blue NG won’t rule out the
import of), such as soybean, jatropha (an invasive weed from India) or
the cost-effective palm oil: production of these, particularly the
last, is well known for peatland destruction, rainforest deforestation,
biodiversity loss (slaughtering orang utans), and land theft from
indigenous peoples. But possibly worse, considering a global
agricultural slump of 20-40%, with historic droughts in India, South
America, China and the southern US states, Australia and, to a lesser
extent, Europe (and global food reserves at their lowest in 25 years)
is the threat to food security. Never mind chip-fat cars and carbon
neutral second homes – are we really gonna feed greenwashing companies
whilst people the world over are starving?

http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/files/blue_ng_factsheet1...9.pdf
http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/files/Blue_NG_Open_Lette...r.pdf
http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/news/BREAKING-NEWS-Activist....html

Thanks Allot(ment)

In the last few years, demand for allotments has gone through the roof
with more and more people taking an interest in growing their own veg.
But with a waiting list of up to eight years in some parts of B&NES,
who can blame people for putting the idea on the back burner? But now,
environmental campaigners have launched a scheme which will see people
who can’t manage their gardens sharing them with would-be gardeners
(check out http://www.bathorganicgroup.org for more info). The scheme
is great, and should introduce loads of people to the green,
money-saving and fulfilling world of gardening. However, we shouldn’t
ignore the cause of the allotment shortage – B&NES! The council are
conveniently forgetting their legal obligation to provide everyone who
wants one with a shiny new allotment. To understand why, we need to
travel back to 1908, and plunge into the text of the Smallholdings and
Allotments Act. This legislation, still in force, obliges local
authorities to provide sufficient allotments to meet local demand. This
means, in the words of Geoff Stokes of the National Society of
Allotment and Leisure Gardeners, “exactly what it says, councils have a
legal duty to provide a sufficient number of plots to meet local
demand, and you should not have to wait more than a reasonable amount
of time for one.” The act was introduced as a response to the
increasing urbanization of the rural working class, and as the threat
to green space has continued to rise, so has our need for, and right
to, allotment space.

If you are waiting, or if you simply can’t find a plot, you can use the
law to your advantage. All you need is for six people who are
registered on the electoral roll to get together and put a well-argued
case to the council: explain that the demand for allotments is not
being met and that it’s their legal duty to meet it. Legally, they will
have to respond, preferably by providing more allotments. If this
fails, according to Geoff Stokes, you would be within your rights to
take your council to a judicial review. So there you have it – why not
contact Bath Organic Group to try and share a garden, but if that
fails, don’t let the council off the hook – get together with some
mates and demand a slice of the green pie!

Bath Activist Network are 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, email
bathactivistnet [at] yahoo.co.uk, or see our website:
http://www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

GOT A STORY? WANT TO RECEIVE THE BATH BOMB BY EMAIL? HOPING TO SUE? Contact us by e-mailing bathbombpress [at] yahoo.co.uk. Large print
e-versions available on request.

Nature Doesn’t Do Bailouts

As reported last month, the Camp for Climate Action shut down the
European Carbon Exchange in London for a day. So what is carbon trading
and why did they do it?

It is claimed that carbon trading cuts emissions by limiting the amount
of carbon that is allowed to be emitted, and dividing this amount up
among countries and corporations. They are given ‘carbon credits’ that
basically give them a license to pollute. Credits can be sold by
polluters who have emitted less than their quota, or earned through
projects that claim to save carbon. But there are several major
problems with this. Carbon trading is based on the free market ideology
of continual economic growth, intended to make sustainability
profitable. Yet it’s doomed to fail, because it trusts the exact same
market forces that have caused environmental destruction in the first
place. Because carbon is so cheap, it’s cheaper to buy these abstract
credits than actually investing in renewables or efficient technology.

The most polluting companies have a huge influence over government and
are given allowances free of charge. BP and Shell have made huge
profits by selling these carbon credits, while the NHS had to pay tens
of thousands for theirs. In 2005, the total number of credits given out
by the EU insanely went beyond the overall emissions limit by 10%. It
is almost impossible to properly calculate or monitor these emissions;
some companies apply for credits for emissions-reducing projects that
would have gone ahead anyway, while others exaggerate their savings.
Credits are also often earned through projects that aren’t really green
– such as agrofuel plantations or tree-planting “emissions offset”
projects. And some governments in the global south deliberately impose
poor environmental regulations so that the standard for projects to be
judged against is very low, so that more money can be earned. South
Africa’s Department of Mines and Energy has admitted that companies
lobbied them to lower renewable energy targets, for example. Other
projects, such as agrofuels, have been associated with human rights
abuses, often taking place on stolen communal land. By contrast,
small-scale local projects created by people who really need the money
generally don’t attract credits as they’re considered not to be worth
the paperwork.

Carbon trading is a farce allowing companies to carry on polluting as
usual, while making a tidy profit. The IPCC predicts that, in order to
stop the most devastating effects of climate change, carbon emissions
must reach their peak by 2015 – that’s only 6 years! We don’t have time
for distraction techniques that maintain our reliance on fossil fuels
and divert resources away from real solutions.

http://www.corporatewatch.org
http://www.climatecamp.org.uk
http://climatecampcymru.org

Living With Ill Eagles

After last month’s holiday, the Porter Cellar’s ‘Bubbling Under’ film
series is back on this month on Sunday the 17th May, from 1pm-4pm. The
latest offering will be a film about undocumented immigrants and the
problems they face. Raising important questions about the rights of
individuals to seek a better life free of poverty, uncertainty and war,
this film will be presented by Bristol No Borders: now with added guest
speaker! Be there, or be a tool (of the state).

http://www.noborders.org.uk

Lost The Plot?

A new volunteer-run land project has been set up in Bathampton, and is
opening its gates to all-comers every Thursday, from 10am til dusk, for
their weekly workday. Things are still in their infancy at the moment,
but veg is already in the ground, and orchard restoration and forest
gardening is planned, permaculture stylee. If you want to get your
hands dirty with the Lost Plot crew, then text Rory on 07506 214172 for
more info and directions.

Calais On Camping

The Calais No Border camp, running from the 23rd to the 29th June, is
an exciting joint venture between French activists and the UK No
Borders Network. It aims to highlight the realities of the situation in
Calais and Northern France; to build links with the migrant
communities, and also between migrants support groups; and lastly, but
not least, to challenge the authorities on the ground, to protest
against the increased repression of migrants. For centuries, European
imperial powers have exploited the land, resources and people of the
majority world to become wealthy and powerful, leaving war,
environmental destruction and massive inequality in their wake. Those
who attempt the journey to the UK are challenging this injustice by
their movement.

But at the end of this journey they face another humanitarian crisis –
increasingly repressive immigration policies. This makes the Calais
border an important focal point in the struggle for free movement. But
this camp is not just about Calais: we are calling for the freedom of
movement for all, not just the privileged few, and an end to borders
and all migration controls. We need to build a radical transnational
movement to challenge these racist policies that divide us into
citizens and non-citizens, into the documented and the undocumented.
This will be a place to strengthen this movement, and we need your help
to make it happen. We call on all who want to show solidarity to join
us in Calais. If you want to get involved in helping to organise the
camp, support us with fundraising and publicity, host an event on
Calais and No Borders or offer practical support, please get in touch:
calais@riseup.net. No one is illegal! Freedom of Movement for all!

http://www.london.noborders.org.uk/calais2009
http://www.noborders.org.uk
http://www.calaisnoborder.eu.org

FITted Up

One of the less pleasant developments in political policing in recent years has been the creation and widespread deployment of Forward Intelligence Teams, known generally as FIT. Recruited as civilians in order to avoid having to give them ID numbers, the FIT can be seen at every major protest in the country, hefting several grand’s worth of high-end cameras and flanked by a pair of angry-looking bruisers. Their alleged purpose is surveillance and evidence-gathering; they are there to photo and film any lawbreaking for later submission in court, or to track down the perpetrators. But their activities are far more sinister. They try to gather facial images of as many people as possible, and store these on a database indefinitely; they also take note who speaks to who. Potentially, this would create a vast database allowing the cops to track everyone involved in politics in the UK. In reality, the vast amount of data collected – the photographers claim to be paid per picture – makes this database unlikely to be of use, and in any case, FIT tend to be far away when things do kick off. The surveillance is aimed primarily at intimidating the average demonstrator, in clear violation of the right of assembly and protest.

Occasionally, the FIT are used against protesters identified by other police. However, it is unknown how useful several dozen facial shots are for the subsequent actions of the police, which include following alleged organisers around demos making threatening comments about their mothers, and forcing their way into activists’ homes in the middle of the night to conduct random searches.

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...

For further info on any of our stories see www.thebathbomb.blogspot.com