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Subject: SchNEWS 396, Friday 14th March, 2003
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 22:40:14 -0000

news from Fairford - 13 March 2003


Last Saturday the whole of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire were put on high alert and the police were given powers for 28 days under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search anyone - without even needing to make up an excuse to do so.

SchNEWS has learnt that in Fairford, Gloucestershire, planes carrying weapons of mass destruction are being prepared for use on civilians. People from all over the country have been heading there to try and stop this happening - these very same people who are trying to stop people being killed are being treated like terrorists!

According to Liberty, this is the first time Section 44 has been used and the first lucky recipients were... people at a Picnic for Peace at Fairford! Brandishing his big Section 60 Criminal Justice Act (1994) to look for weapons, one copper demanded to search someone's lunchbox. The bemused protestor told SchNEWS, "They opened up the sandwiches to see what was in them - no razor blades, but some rather tasty houmous and vegan pate." Funny that! No weapons of mass destruction in his sandwich, but quite a few B-52's across the razor wire in the airbase, weapons which will take part in the "Shock and Awe" tactic bombing of Bagdhad, causing massive and wide-spread destruction "like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks, but minutes."


While the police are keen to know what peaceniks at Fairford are eating this time of year, they seem less keen to act when US military personnel forcibly evict and intimidate residents of the peace camp.

On Monday afternoon US soldiers ripped down banners on the fence and started constructing an extension to the Gate 10 perimeter fence on Gloucestershire County Council Land without planning permission, forcing the peace camp to move a few feet around the corner. The police just looked on and did nothing. However the camp is getting lots of support from locals, with one camp resident, Jill Chadwick, commenting, "In a way I'm surprised at the amount of support, given my experience at Greenham Common and the vigilante attacks we experienced there."

The Peace camp and bomber watch need more support, people, tarps, water and a chemical toilet if anyone has one. Tel 07754 064146 or 07736 964653.

An Oxford student told SchNEWS about getting into Fairford "If lazy students like me and my mates who spend most of our time getting drunk can get in, anyone can. And if lots do we can stop the planes." Last Saturday about 20 people got onto the runway.

Disobedience are holding a series of workshops in Hackney, London this Saturday (15) in preparation for the big day of action at Fairford. Workshops will include legal advice and group self-defence. For details email

Gathering of Grannies at Fairford on Monday (17) 11am main gate.

Info on women's actions at

Next Saturday (22nd) is the Fairford Free Festival with Rinky-Dink and Lardy-Dar Cycle Powered Sound Systems for The Party At The End Of The Runway. SchNEWS hopes that The Collateral Damage Orchestra and Friendly Fire Quartet will also be there. This is followed by a party at the Axe & Compass Pub, Kempsford 8pm - late. Free camping in the pub garden/peace camp.

If you've been searched on spurious grounds, unlawfully arrested, detained without reason, or even assaulted at Fairford, get in touch with Berkshire Citizens Inspection Agency. They can't offer legal advice, but are collating all incidents of harassment.

If you are going to demos it may be worth getting clued up about your rights if you get arrested, check out

other anti-war news


On Tuesday, Trident Ploughshare activist Ulla Roder managed to get into a hangar at RAF Leuchars in Fife and do some serious damage to a Tornado plane that had been left unguarded. Ulla later said, "I took my hammer to the nose-cone, the cockpit, the fuselage, the wings, the tailplane and other parts of the plane which it was safe to damage. I don't see it flying again". She's currently on remand until her next court appearance on the 20th March.
Write to: Ulla Roder, HMP Corton Vale, Stirling, FK9 5NY.


5 kids from Blatchington Mill School, Hove, were baffled when they got suspended for joining nationwide student demos against the war on Iraq last Friday. The head said they were very naughty children for disobeying teachers and leaving school without permission. But the kids (15 - 16) were under the misapprehension that recent government initiatives promoting citizenship meant taking an active interest in our so-called democracy. Other kids have been telling SchNEWS about their walkouts, with one 14 year-old girl in Birmingham saying, "We were accused of truanting but we were standing up for our political views about the world we're growing up in." More than 1000 in Leicester took part in what one local councillor described as the "most effective anti-war demo to date". As one 16 year-old demonstrator put it, "Tony Blair has only succeeded in one thing as far as we're concerned - politicising a whole generation." Nice one!

road protests 2003   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links