SnowBall archive


GE - EF! Action Update number 56


The Action Update is a monthly roundup of ecological direct action news and
forthcoming events in
Feature articles inside:
Local Networking Initiatives.
Conflict Resolution and EF! National Campaign (feedback from Winter Moot)
On the 19th of February a group of 35 activists occupied part of a massive
oil processing 
plant in central Hull for 4 hours, owned by Cargill, a multinational, which
despite being family 
owned, is involved in 60% of the world grain trade. It is also heavily
connected to the biotech 
industry due to undertake joint operations with Monsanto. It deserves to be
better known, seeing 
its name dragged through the mud with Monsanto, Novartis etc. till they all
grind to a halt. 
After a bleary briefing people arrived unhindered on the site at 9am and split
into four groups, 
occupying a silo and a tower, blockading a lorry in the grain loading bay
(meaning no other 
lorries could load up that day) and staging a protest outside the gate.
Mysterious plain clothes 
police ‘negotiators’ turned up to mediate between the different groups of
protestors and 
Cargills ­ they seemed friendly enough, no arrests were made and the
left at 1pm as 
Contact: Hull on Earth. See contacts list.
MANCHESTER: On 4th February 3 Manchester genetics campaigners removed
Geneticaly Modified food 
from Marks & Spencers' shelves. They wrote to the store in advance outlining
their motivations for 
the action; and their plans, explaining that they felt that responsibility had
fallen to them to 
get GMOs out of the public domain. 
One of the campaigners managed to remove crisps and cheese containing GM soya
and tortilla chips 
containing Bt maize and deliver these to the Environmental Health
Department in
the city council. 
After explaining that no, she hadn't paid for them as that would be
legitimising their right to 
exist, she explained that she wanted the products investigated and treated
as a
biohazard. The 
council employee dutifully bagged up the products and started filling in

The other two protesters replaced some GM products with organic alternatives
before being removed 
from the shop by security guards and so joined in the leafleting outside.
was a police 
presence but no arrests. 
Marks & Spencers held a board meeting when they were told about the proposed
action but 
unsurprisingly came up with only a ‘limited and token’ position statement. 
LONDON: A similar action took place in London, at Sainsburies on Camden Road.
Sainsburies were 
picked to highlight the connections between big business and government (David
Sainsbury being a 
government minister) A ‘biohazard waste dump’ was created outside the store
of planks of wood 
and a big plastic bin. One person then entered the store, filled a trolley up
with 96 labelled 
items of GM food, and walked straight out again. He joined others outside and
emptied the food 
into the waste dump, where it remained until the police came along 40 minutes
later and nicked two 
people for theft. 
Lots of shoppers joined in as they passed by, highlighting the huge public
concern about this 
issue at the moment. Contact: 0181 8090739


The 121 centre in Brixton has been squatted since 1981; over the years it has
been used as an
info -shop, cafe and venue, and provided space and resources for a wide range
of anarchist groups,
campaigns and publications. Lambeth Council obtained a possession order for
building over 6
weeks ago. By dawn on February 8th - the first expected date of eviction -
80 masked-up
supporters were outside and prepared to resist the bailiffs. As the first
police-car pulled up,
barricades appeared in the street, to be followed by a sound system and huge
puppets. By lunch
time it had become clear that any plans to evict had been postponed. A smaller
group set off to
storm the town hall, where they soon found themselves in the office of Jim
Dickson (the New Labour
leader of the Council). Police broke in to reach the protesters, handcuffed
threw to the floor
those nearest the door, and cleared everyone from the building before
de-arresting them.
The eviction of 121 is part of a larger attempt by the council and property
developers to gentrify
Brixton, making it "safe" for the middle classes and tourists. Squats have
evicted, while
rents and house prices have rocketed, pushing people out of the area. Local
pubs have been
replaced by yuppie bars. Drinking in the street has been banned. CCTV cameras
push crime away from
the 'town centre' and into local estates and streets.. Many community spaces,
advice centres and
services are facing forced closure, including five libraries and at least
schools. The kind
of Brixton the council want is one where people don't cause trouble as they
pushed out of
their own communities in the name of "development".
The 121 is still barricaded and awaiting the bailiffs: a phone tree has been
set up, and visitors
are welcome. Links are being made with other campaigns against closures: on
Friday 26th activists
joined forces to protest the Queen’s visit to one of the borough’s “flagship”
schools. A number of marches are planned to converge at the council meeting on
Wednesday 3rd
March, with more exciting collaborations due in the future. A weekly
the ‘South London
Stress’, is being produced. Get in touch (SAEs for info): Box Stress, c/o 56a
Info Shop, 56
Crampton St, London SE17.
121 Centre: Tel: 0171 274 6655 or 0171 978 8214.

In the early hours of February 1st, two activists from the Aldermaston Women’s
Group, part of the
Trident Ploughshares 2000 campaign, swam into Barrow Docks, where the navy’s
fourth Trident
submarine, Vengeance, is under construction. The women caused £25000 worth of
damage to the sub,
forcing a delay in its sailing date.
The women swam undetected for an hour and a half before reaching the sub. They
spray painted the
conning tower with various slogans such as “illegal” and “death machine,”
before turning their
attention to what Vickers are calling “testing equipment” attached to the
conning tower. After
smashing it, they hung a banner reading “Women want Peace.” It was only then
that security guards
cottoned on, but they still had time for a wander round inside the sub,
chatting to a worker on
the way. Unable to gain entrance to the main part of the sub, they came out
again and nonchalantly
walked off the sub, leading the open-mouthed ‘guards’ to the security
Two hours after their arrest, three women from the support team were also
arrested “on suspicion
of conspiracy to commit criminal damage” while they were delivering dry
for the swimmers
to the police station. All five women were later charged with the damage.
Magistrates remanded one
of the first two women for a week before releasing her on conditional bail.
of them were given
extremely restrictive conditions including curfews, exclusion zones and
on 3 times a week.
All five women are bailed to appear at Barrow courts on 2nd March. Offers of
cash support are
urgently needed. <>

The Inter-Continental Caravan (500 farmers mostly from the Karnataka State
Farmers Association who
recently burned Monsanto’s cotton crops) is set to travel around Europe doing
actions with local
people in transnational, world governmental and financial centres in the lead
up to June 18th.
The farmers state: 'there are plenty of organisations in the North claiming to
speak on behalf of
'the poor of the South' which are actually more part of the problem than of
solution. We do
not want Western money, technologies or 'experts' to impose their development
model on us.’
About half of the ICC will come to London between 27th and 30th of May.
action ideas are
now beginning to take shape, especially around the issue of genetic
engineering, as well as plans
to visit the the Millennium Dome.
The London group welcomes any participation, Support is called on from
grassroots organisations
and rejected from greenwashed corporations. They also need offers of cash,
leaflet distribution,
accommodation and innovative action ideas. please contact,
phone 07970 896736
or write to 39 Thornhill Square, London N1 1BE.

The "No Tarmac Quarry At Bestwood Campaign" is trying to stop a proposed 32
acre sand quarry in
part of Sherwood Forest on the outskirts of Nottingham.
On February 1st, the day after the EF! Winter Moot, people from the local
campaign joined with
Earth First! activists and shut down a Tarmac Quarry at Devils Elbow near the
city. The day marked
the 1st anniversary of the campaign, and a desire to widen the campaign
The quarry’s gates were d-locked and  a tripod and barricades went up. Work
stopped for the
day and the office was taken over and comprehensively rearranged. The local
surveyor commented:
"this has definitely focused the minds of the managing directors on the
Thankyou from the
campaign to all who took solidarity with them.
On the 1st of March and the 1st of April it is "phone Tarmac day!", please
in a phone
blockade, demanding that Tarmac give up all planning permissions in the area
known as Bestwood.
Phone; Mike Saunders, Director of Tarmac Quarry Products on (01777) 703891;
Bill Bolsover, Chief
Executive of Tarmac Quarry Products on (01902) 353522; & Sir John Banham,
Chairman Tarmac PLC on
(01902) 307407 or (0171) 3791697. Be creative!
For a"Target Tarmac solidarity pack" with campaign information and a list of
sites local to you
call Notts EF! on (0115) 9585666 (packs will be sent automatically to contact
list groups). It is
vital that communities defending themselves against the profiteering of the
multinationals, act in
support and defence of each other!

The construction contract for the Avon Ring Road, due to be signed on February
10th has now been
delayed to March 4th due to pressure being put on the council by local people.
A warehouse, on route, which was squatted 24 hours before it was due to be
demolished, has now
been evicted following a 2 week siege by security guards. Its one occupant was
There is still an off-route camp and more action looks imminent. Contact 0797
999 0389.

Monday 15 February 7am saw over 100 people blockade the gates of Faslane
Nuclear Sub Base as the
workers arrived for the morning shift, effectively closing it down for the
The police,
forewarned, had sent in reinforcements, but the mood remained one of humour.
Activists managed to
chain themselves across the South Gate, causing a huge traffic jam all the way
up to the North
gate where waves of protesters were sitting down in the road and being carted
away by the police.
The atmosphere was maintained by drumming and other live musical
performances.(Police are still
holding one musician’s costume; a gigantic pair of spotted reptilian trousers,
and a drum as
evidence of 'resisting arrest').Chaos reigned for most of the day, with 54
arrests (mostly for
breach of the peace).
Faslane Peace Camp: 01436 820901
STOP PRESS! The arrival of HMS Vengeance, one of the Trident submarines, is
expected imminently.
Contact the camp to get put on the action ‘phone tree.
The council is under renewed pressure from the MOD to evict the camp, as the
MOD wants to sell a
plot of land adjacent to it. The camp has submitted proposals to the council
and is expecting to
hear from them soon.

Inspired by the concept of sustained campaigns, Liverpool EF! has decided to
concentrate on a
popular supermarket in the city centre. The Tescos store in question has
already been the subject
of actions against genetic engineering and now fortnightly actions are planned
on a variety of
On Friday the 12th of February 8 activists blocked aisles with trolleys filled
with genetically
modified food. The trolleys were decorated with placards warning of the danger
of their contents.
At the same time, people dressed as mad scientists chased others dressed as
mutant bananas around
the store to the amusement of shoppers.
More activities are planned for the 26th of February. The campaign against a
new McDonalds on
Smithdown road has recieved vast community support and is reported to be going
very well. Parents
of local school kids are appalled that McDonalds could consider putting a
drive-through opposite
the school. The preliminary date for the council meeting is the 9th of March.
Stuff will happen
outside the council offices that day. Contact Liverpool Earth First!

On the 29th of January 50 Dutch activists squatted two buildings on the route
of the 'Betuwelijn',
a train line under construction. The buildings, a farmhouse and a worker's
house, are being
fortified and treehouses are under construction in nearby trees.
The Betuwelijn is a Trans European Network project connecting Rotterdam with
the Ruhr area with a
freight train line. It is predicted to cost the Dutch Government 4 billion
One activist commented: ‘Construction will ruin some nature, bother people in
the area and is
GroenFront! (+31) (0) 6 50953263 / 22896779.

On the 29th of January 50 Dutch activists squatted two buildings on the route
of the 'Betuwelijn',
a train line under construction. The buildings, a farmhouse and a worker's
house, are being
fortified and treehouses are under construction in nearby trees.
The Betuwelijn is a Trans European Network project connecting Rotterdam with
the Ruhr area with a
freight train line. It is predicted to cost the Dutch Government 4 billion
One activist commented: ‘Construction will ruin some nature, bother people in
the area and is
GroenFront! (+31) (0) 6 50953263 / 22896779.

April 1999 marks 350 years since the diggers rebellion of 1649 and today’s
rights movement is
making plans to not let it slip by unnoticed. "The Diggers Working Week" is
being organised to
sort out all the elements for a Summer of successful land actions and
activities. Between Saturday
20th - Sunday 28th March a venue near Brighton will be used to assemble all
components for a large scale land occupation. It is hoped that this week will
be the springboard
for a summer of land based actions and activities. For a successful week, and
consequently a
kicking Summer, all hands are needed to help out making, preparing and
repairing ­ canvas
structures (there is an industrial sewing machine), portable compost toilets,
kitchen resources,
banners, defences, etc. Whatever your skills are there is something for you to
Then, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the invasion of St. George’s
there will be a
march from Walton-on-Thames to the hill to lay a memorial stone. Meet at
12.30pm, at The Centre,
Hepworth Way. The march will be totally above board but there is additional
advice for direct
activists: “If you are coming to the march bring tents and sleeping bags -
spades, tools, seeds
and things to grow. Make sure there is someone to feed your cat for a few
days...” It’s going to
be an occupation with a big education content (introduction to permaculture,
tree planting and
grafting, planning, woodland skills etc.).
Contact 0961 373 385 or The Land is Ours
Other Diggers 350 activities include an education project 0961 460 002, a
theatre project 0171 359
3847 and long term land occupations 0117 955 6769

The construction company Kvaerner established the company Midland Expressway
Limited (MEL) to
build the Birmingham Northern Relief Road. The local campaign group, Alliance
Against the BNRR,
have already tried and failed to obtain a court ruling preventing work on the
road. Since then
however they have revealed that MEL were involved in a secret ‘concession
agreement’ with the
government which means that if the road was stopped then the government would
have to fork out for
cancellation charges. So, on the 22nd of Feb., the Alliance was back in the
High Court contesting
the go-ahead decision.
On the same day Kvaerner’s offices were visited by 30 activists, spreading
themselves around the
18 storey building causing general office chaos complete with banners and fire
juggling. The
workings of the office were disrupted for several hours. One employee, when
asked if Kvaerner see
the economy as more important than the environment, replied with a very firm
The occupation was held in solidarity with the Alliance’s court appearance,
with activists who
had been imprisoned for resisting eviction from the proposed route of the road
(now released.)

On Wednesday 24th February protesters against the Birmingham Northern Relief
Road (Britain’s first
ever toll road being built by Autostrada and Kvaerner) occupied the Labour
regional headquarters
in Birmingham city centre, dropping banners, leafleting the public and causing
mayhem. The action
was to highlight Labour's U-turn on their pre-election pledges that this road
would not be built.
Camera crews and reporters turned up and eventually the police, at which point
protesters escaped
across several roofs and there were no arrests. The Labour officials seemed
reluctant to involve
the police, perhaps they were scared of bad press?
After several recent evictions (see AU55), a new camp has now been set up at
the Spinney, just up
the road from the old Greenwood site.
The Spinney: 07970 301 978

A house has been squatted in the path of a new motorway in Ireland. The
building is adjacent to
the Broadmeadow estuary, designated a Special Protection Area under European
law and particularly
known for its large flock of wild swans. It’s a beautiful place with a garden
ready for
cultivation, and visitors are welcome. The address is: Seaview Cottage,
Lane, Swords, Co.

On Saturday February 20th 2000 people gathered at Hillgrove farm in one of the
largest demos in
the long running campaign against the only remaining breeder of cats for
vivisection in the UK.
At the start of the day the police imposed an assembly point at the bottom of
the lane, half a
mile from the farm.
One group of activists made it round the back onto the property, Unprepared
the huge numbers
the police could not stop the rest of the crowd moving up to the farm
perimeter. But after about
an hour police horses were brought in to try and force the crowd back down the
Mounted police then proceeded to trample the crowd. One woman is still in
hospital, with hoof
marks covering her body and a fractured leg.
Next national demo April 18th
Save the Hillgrove Cats: 0121 632 6460

On Thursday, February 25th, Railtrack’s storage dump in Oxford was occupied
two hours by
around 40 people. The storage dump, dubbed ‘the quarry’ because of its
similarity in terms of
noise and dust pollution, has been the subject of local dislike for many
and people are now
turning to direct action to address the problem.
The protesters are all local people and most have had no previous
experience of
direct action.
Their intention was to stop the stone being removed from the dump, but as no
removal work was
happening that day they left after 2 hours having ‘generally disrupted its
working’. There was a
police presence but no arrests. Further attempts to stop work look likely in
the future..
Contact: Oxford Community Action

‘”We are a small group based in Northwest London whose focus is a Sunday free
cafι and infoshop
for everybody and anybody. We hope to raise awareness of environmental /
issues in the
local area and also to provide space for meetings, workshops, small gigs and
Having left the magistrates court we were squatting until this month, we're
in an old
community centre, unfortunately due to be demolished shortly! But we'll
move on
(there are loads
of empties round here!) and probably go mobile for the summer.WAHEY!!
It would be great to see more squatting around here and more action in general
(perhaps we will
see a steady migration from the Southern end of London given all the recent
events).So there it
is. We're here. Hello!”
<>http://www.members.t      07931-980-534

The site set up outside Swindon to resist a greenfield housing development by
Beaufort Homes was
evicted on the 27th of January. Thirty police were involved in the
operation to
remove 4 people
from the site, with one man being arrested for Aggravated Trespass. The trees
have now been fenced
off and the ground around them churned up, presumably to dissuade potential
future occupiers.
Work has now started on the site and legal action by the local council, which
could have delayed
work, has been dropped. The council believe that they own part of the land to
be built on but have
given up their claim of ownership in the face of superior corporate financial
clout. After the
eviction 80 local people took part in a protest walk around the site.

The first EF! Winter gathering was held at the end of January in Nottingham
this year with the
intention of working on the strategy and structure of the EF! network.Several
projects have arisen
from this:
? A national campaign. See feature pages.
? A ‘roadshow’ / ‘outreach’ project. The first planning meeting for this is
being held on March
20. The Rainbow Centre, Nottingham. 0115 958 5666.
? Summer gathering planning meeting. March 21. Leeds. 0113 262 9365. Come
to air your
opinions about what it should be like even if you can’t commit to organising
? EF! Action Update weekend. April 10 - 11. Leeds 0113 262 9365. To assess the
role of the EF!AU
in the network. Do you want to see changes? If so what? Come and tell us. The
Action Update
changes hands every year to avoid the build up of hierarchy. It is due to move
on in September
‘99. People thinking of taking it on are especially welcome!


? Top tips on tunnelling. New web page -
<>http:// -If you haven’t
access then send a SAE and 50p to cover costs to Leeds EF!
? Four of those arrested at Whatley Quarry in Dec 95 have sued the police for
false arrest, false
imprisonment and assault, winning out of court settlements of £1500-£2500
Others who want to
do the same contact: Ed Boyce, St John Napier and Co solicitors, Bridgewater,
Somerset. tel: 01278
429944 or Iftikar Manzoor, Irwin Mitchells Solicitors, St. Peters House,
Hartshead, Sheffield.
Tel: 0114 276 7777
? The small fascist group PCN (Parti Communautaire National-Europθen),based in
Belgium and France,
has a cover association called Europe-Ecologie.They claim Europe-Ecologie
to be
part of the Earth
First! network, and to be EF!'s official representative for Europe! You can
check their website
<>          Anti Fascist
? Crown Point Estates, where the anti-genetics crop squat took place last
has announced that
it will not allow GM crops to be grown on its land. Another farm in the North
East has done the
same - and both places have given fear of further crop sabotage as the reason
? Lambeth Council is planning to close its Centre for Integrated Living. In
resistance to this it
has been occupied by activists from the Disabled Action Network and members of
the centre’s staff.
The occupation is on-going and a large demo is being held on Wednesday 3rd of
March concerning not
only this but other council closures too.
? The people in the Genetic Engineering Network Office in London are totally
overworked, so if
anyone has any time to go in and help, that would be most appreciated. 0181
? In the build up to the 18th June mass protest against G8, and the increasing
stranglehold of
global corporations, an assembly is being held in Glasgow to discuss ideas and
action for
effective opposition to the global economy for a declaration of autonomy. It’s
also a follow up to
last year's Bradford Mayday conference. It’s happening on Sat 3rd and Sun 4th
April. Write for
more details to Counter Information (Autonomy)c/o 28 King Street, Glasgow, G1
5PQ or
? Brighton’s Anarchist Teapot Collective haven’t done a squat cafι for a
and are becoming
more of an action kitchen, ready to cater for all your culinary needs with
cheap organic food
wherever the need might arise. Contact them c/o South Downs EF!

Action Diary

10. Arms to Indonesia demo and action outside Liverpool University. Contact
Liverpool EF! for
11. 3rd Doin it in the North action, Theme: GMO. Meet 10am Blackie Community
Centre, Berry St,
Liverpool 0151 7271611
12-14. Peace Camp at Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment. Bring tents and
food. 01235 868319
13. Northern Anarchist Network Conference, Manchester Yellow Brick Cafe, Old
Birley Street,
Hulme. More Info: Dept 99, 255 Wilmslow Rd, Hulme
15. International Day of Protest against Police Brutality. Autonomous actions
the world over.
Contact  COBP c/o La Librairie Alternative, 2035 St-Laurent 2ieme etage
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H2X 2T3 E-Mail: or
20. EF! National Campaign planning meeting, Yorks. 01508 531636
20. EF! Roadshow / Outreach project planning meeting, Nottingham Rainbow
0115 958 5666
21. EF! Gathering planning meeting, Leeds 0113 262 9365
20-21. Spring equinox party and action. Faslane Peace Camp. 01436 820 901
20-28. Diggers Working Week. See article this page.
27. Anniversary Demonstration and Rally for the sacked Tameside care workers.
>From Astley Road,
Stalybridge 0161 3082452
30. Celebration of Charles I execution - starts 11am outside Banqueting Hall,
Whitehall. Contact
MA’M 0956 506946
1 Target Tarmac Day. See “Tarmac Vs. Bestwood” article for details.
3. March to St. George’s Hill, followed by land grab. See Diggers article this
3-4. A June 18 Conference in Glasgow, discussions for action. Contact 28 Kings
St., Glasgow G1
5-10. ASEED, European Activist Gathering, Spain +31 20 6682236
10-11. Action Update Weekend, See box, below
17. Silent Spring - local accountable GE test site trashings. genetiX snowball
0161 834 0295
18. National action at Hillgrove 0121 632 6460
28. British Aerospace AGM action. CAAT:
1. World Cannabis Day Demo in London.
1. Resist Globalisation Action. Birmingham 0961 810356
15. International Climate Action Day. ASEED +31 20 6682236
17. Doing it in the North Action, Sheffield More details next issue.
27-30. Inter-Continental Caravan in Britain see article this issue.
18. is JUNE 18! rise up and revolt day. Actions in financial centres around
world. Contact


The recently-arrested Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Occalan is going to be
executed by the
Turkish state, before the general election in April. The Kurdish people and
revolutionaries urgently need your support, in whatever way you are able to
give it. Contact 5th
of May Group (Kurdish and Turkish Anarchists in exile in Britain) PO Box 2474
London N8 0181 374

Daniel Gomez Velasco and Jose Angel Gomez Velasco. Arrested and tortured
because the state
believes they are Zapatista militants.
La Voz de Cerro Hueco, Cereso #1, Penal de Cerro Hueco, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, Mexico.
You can also write to the Mexican Embassy, 8 Halkin Street, London. SW1X 8QR,
protesting their
internment. Letters from groups which sound official are good.

Leonard Peltier is an indigenous activist who has been inside for 23 years.He
is now very ill and
in excruciating pain having been badly treated by prison hospitals. Write to
him at
USPL, Leonard Peltier, #89637-132, PO Box 1000, Leavenworth, KS 66048, USA.


-experiences from around the country

How do new people find their way into our movement and become empowered enough
to organise
actions? In the past this has happened mainly through protest camps, but
nowadays a wider range of
actions take place, not all of them so public. Also, some Earth First! groups
have decided that
they want to work as closed ‘affinity groups’, for reasons of security and
trust, but see problems
with this approach as it does not involve new people. For these reasons, and
also to network with
those already active on other issues, several ‘networking initiatives’ have
sprung up around the
country. Here’s a profile of three of them -two of them are in the major
activist centres of
Brighton and Manchester, but the third, in Norwich, shows that it may also
in areas without a
large activist base - it’s up to you to decide whether the idea would work in
your area or not.

Activist Network, Manchester
“The ‘Activist Network’ meeting in Manchester was born out of necessity last
summer after EF!
meetings became too large and dominated by announcements. At a Manchester EF!
away weekend, we
devised the Activist Network, to hive off the networking function, and free up
EF! to organise
The idea was to provide a forum for activists working on different issues to
get together in the
same place every month and discuss, debate and share information. We aimed to
branch out beyond
the EF! ghetto a bit and in this respect it’s going OK. We have about 25-40
people there, and a
good mix of generations and types of activist, with people from Groundswell
(anti-JSA), Workers
Power, Socialist Party, long-time anarchists, ISL, animal rights and us
lot. We
also aimed to have
a different issue / topic of debate / speaker/ video/ presentation to focus on
every month, and
that organisation and facilitation of the meeting should rotate. This is
working okay too, with
recent topics including medical research on animals, the Spanish revolution,
and the millennium
bug, although some meetings are more patchy than others. However, one area we
need to work on is
our original aim of moving away from the original meeting structure to include
a socialising
element e.g. drinks, food, games etc. - this aspect is lacking energy to make
it happen currently.
Other criticisms are a slightly inaccessible venue, and that it is not being
used by all
activists in Manchester as a networking tool - we don’t think this is a
with the format
though, which we feel is good - it just needs more time and energy invested in
The Rebel Alliance, Brighton
“The Rebel Alliance is a monthly meeting of non-hierarchical direct action
groups based around
Brighton. The original idea was to improve communication and practical
solidarity between groups,
and to provide an accesible way for new people to get involved. A good
range of
groups have got
involved, including, Brighton hunt sabs, SchNEWS, the Kemptown Network, The
Anarchist Teapot,
Brighton Claimants Action Group, Brighton Animal Rights Coalition, The Student
Autonomist Society,
Brighton Class War, a local street theatre group, a genetics group and
Molescomb Forest Gardening
When the meeting has been well publicised up to a hundred people have turned
up, with old faces
as well as new people attending. The basic format is that each group has a few
minutes to
introduce themselves, provide an update on what they have been up to over the
last month and to
anounce any forthcoming events. The meetings have been conifned to this -
avoiding discussions and
debate - and staying short, sharp and interesting.
After the final announcements have been made the "formal" bit comes to an end
and people are
given an opportunity to chat with people or groups they found interesting, or
to have more in
depth discussions about stuff that came up.
Established groups have picked up new members but - more importantly - people
have begun to form
new groups themselves. For example a Subvertising Collective and a Women's
group, HAG (Hellraising
Anarchist Girls) have already been formed.
By identifying itself as a forum for non-hierarchical direct action groups the
Alliance has so
far avoided any problems with authoritarian parasites - which is nice! Overall
its been a really
positive boost to activities in Brighton.
The next meetings are taking place at 7pm in the Hobgoblin Pub, London Road,
Brighton on Thursday
18 March, Wednesday 28 April, Wednesday 26 May”

Direct Action Forum, Norwich
“Norwich Direct Action Forum is a monthly open meeting for existing and
potential activists to
share ideas and information about direct action, with the aim of broadening
local network of
people involved. The idea was to provide a point of contact for people
interested in getting
involved in direct action and to improve networking between existing local
groups in a place where
anarcho agitation and sub-cultural deviancy are very much minority activities.
It was decided to
focus on direct action rather than any particular issue and this was the focus
of all the
publicity we did. We talked to all the other groups we knew who might be
interested (the hunt
sabs, the sol fed ­ this didn’t take long). We fly posted to fuck, this
cost us
about 25 quid in
photocopying, we also made loads of A6 flyers put them in shops, cajoled big
issue sellers to give
them to likely suspects, handed them round the university.  What we aimed
to do
with the first
meeting on February 4th was create a welcoming space, and so we advertised it
as including a video
showing. Fifty people turned up which was about three times what we expected.
However, that’s only
one meeting and it’s only when those people start getting actively involved
that we’ll know
whether or not it’s a successful idea that warrants replication elsewhere. A
bigger venue has been
sorted out for March. Next Forum, March 4, 8pm, The Plough, St. Benedicts.
along or contact
Norfolk EF! if you want to know more.”


A perennial problem at gatherings, sites, actions etc. is the difficult and
disruptive situations
which arise when there is conflict between individuals, or some people feel
that another’s
behaviour is unacceptable or upsetting. This has happened on numerous
at EF! and similar
events, and many feel it has been dealt with badly, often upsetting many
people, distracting
energy from the political activity that everyone wants to engage in, and still
not necessarily
resulting in a just and decisive outcome. To this end a workshop was held at
the EF! Winter Moot
with the aim of trying to develop a mechanism for dealing fairly with these
situations when they
arise in the future. Because the possible conflicts are varied and
unpredictable, and because the
underlying problems in society  run so deep, no absolute answers were reached,
but hopefully the
following, which represents the outcomes of that workshop, may provide some
sort of guidance for
the future.

If a problem arises at a large event with no mechanism in place to deal with
it, it tends to be
made public, and naturally everyone feels some sort of duty to be involved, or
at least show an
interest. But this often feels like voyeurism; problems are not best solved
when they descend into
being titillating gossip for everyone at the gathering or action. If bringing
their problem to the
whole group is the only option then people are deterred from bringing it up at
all. Small groups
are by far better at offering meaningful support than large ones. Also
important is to minimise
the disruptive effect these conflicts can have on the business of the
gathering, site or action.

People with certain mental illnesses can also have a disruptive effect when
there is a lot of
work to be done, but blowing this out of proportion is not helpful to anyone
involved. One
suggestion is to try to ensure there is a welfare space. Most festivals have a
welfare tent, and
so should our gatherings and large action camps. There is a need for “trained”
or experienced
people who can take on running this space as their main role in the gathering.
But we should also
accept the limits on the movement: dealing with the mentally ill is difficult,
and the busy and
stressed atmosphere at activist events does not allow us to devote the time to
this that it really
deserves. Whilst we recognise that the personal is political, we are not a
therapy group and there
are certain situations where the needs of certain mentally ill people and the
activity in question
are not compatible.

The variety of conflicts is huge, and we shouldn’t expect to be able to deal
with different
situations in the same way. Often they trigger emotional reactions in many
other people because
they are symptomatic of bigger problems in our movement or society. We should
recognise that at
times we are all both the oppressors and the oppressed, and that under the
system we all live in
there will always be unequal power relationships. Not recognising these
oppressions legitimises
and permits them - they are something which we should be continually
challenging in our movement.

The consensus in the workshop was that there will be times when this is
necessary. Allowing
people to be intimidating or abusive puts so many other people off actively
participating that
doing this is far more exclusive than to take the decisive action of ensuring
those causing the
disruption are banned from the event. The difficulties arise in deciding when
this should happen.
Ground rules, consensual decided at the start of a gathering are a good start.
Examples of ground
rules which have previously been adopted have included banning alcohol before
6pm, and banning
racist, sexist or homophobic behaviour. Anyone breaking these ground rules
could clearly and
legitimately be excluded from the rest of the gathering.

But experience has shown that the range of conflicts which require attention
cannot all be
anticipated in advance. Instances will arise where action will have to be
and if it is not
to involve everyone then it must be a small group of people that undertakes
that action. These
people should be motivated by the smooth running of the event and/or
‘victims’ and not
set themselves up as being vigilantes/kangaroo courts.

The problem is how to create a safe environment without requiring people to
expose gory details.
People are often called upon to justify details of the situation, and this can
be both difficult
and undesirable. But there is also a desire to find out the facts, to get both
sides of the story.
All sorts of problems arise when you are trying to deal sensitively and fairly
with difficult
situations, witch hunts do happen, lies are told and so on. There is never
going to be a simple

Those involved in conflict resolution need to be careful. We criticise the
justice system in
mainstream society, we do not want to recreate the same problems ourselves.
work involved can
be very draining, and there is a danger that the group/gathering can abdicate
responsibility onto
a small group of people who ‘deal with situations’. It maybe best to ask
individuals who feel able
to deal with it to do it in each case. Remember that it should never be an
exclusive group that
tackles conflict resolution; anyone who wants to should have the right to

Of course, those trying to resolve disputes should see exclusion as a last
resort. Temporary
exclusion might be mutually recognised as a good way to calm down a situation
in some cases. In a
similar way apologies, recognising problems and agreeing to look at ways of
resolving them may be
seen as a sign of progress.

Whilst not claiming to have the whole of the answer, the workshop felt it
come up with some
generally agreed points based on the discussions and past experience, that
hopefully be
helpful in the future.
? There is a right to exclude
? Ground rules for acceptable behaviour should be drawn up and agreed by
consensus at the start of
each event
? A conflict resolution group should be appointed for each gathering, although
not rigidly
defined - anyone who feels they  should be involved has a right to be. The
people should not
have to do it each time, the rotation of the job means the sharing of skills
? Recognise that some problems are manifestations of problems in our movement,
the particular
gathering or society at large. Something bigger than a small group will be
needed in some
? Local groups should discuss these ideas to see what they can offer to future
gatherings. Groups
and campaigns should consider getting advice from professionals and other
movements (the peace
movement has a good record in this area - contact for example Turning the

An EF! National Campaign

It was decided at the Earth First! Winter Moot 1999 that Earth First! would
on a national
campaign, or series of hits. This is a summary of the discussion that led to
and arose from this
decision, and plans for turning it into reality.
The discussion from which these points are drawn was attended by about 30
people. The main areas
talked about were: what might be the aims of a national campaign? How might it
be structured? It
was generally agreed not to discuss potential targets at this stage,
given time
constraints, though inevitably some ideas on this subject were aired. A
will be held on
March 20th, by which time it is hoped that these ideas will have been
and developed by
local groups, which can then feed back to the meeting, whether through
attendance or directing
correspondence through the Action Update.

There was general agreement that this should not be a one-off action but a
sustained campaign, not
with one static target, but multiple targets with a wide geographical spread.

AIMS: Internal.  To strengthen local, regional and national networks through
regular mobilisation
for action.
   To provide a vehicle for building links with other groups/ communities.
   To provide individuals with a regular point of contact and action
External. To damage/ shut down a company/ activity. Pro. We could get rid off
something we all
have a gripe against. Would show up links between state and industry as police
moved to protect
company. Empowering. Con. Affecting profits is not as easy as we sometimes
think (e.g. Shell had
growth in profits in ’95 year of Brent Spar and Ogoni solidarity actions
UK and Europe). If
we aim to shut down and that doesn’t happen, the campaign would be seen as
failure, which wouldn’t
be fair to ourselves.

Comparison was drawn with the campaign to shut down Hillgrove cat farm by the
animal rights
movement. It is the only place of its kind, a ‘weak link’. There were
disadvantages in this sort
of campaign for EF! Actions are too easily prevented by police if campaign is
too geographically
specific. If we choose a weak company/activity we could be doing the market’s
job, and also not
being effective in a wider sense. Lessons should be drawn from Hillgrove.

Structure. There was support for the idea of kicking off the campaign with a
large national
action, and following it up with monthly regional actions interspersed with
regular (ie. every 3
months) national hits. There was a suggestion that the responsibility for
sorting out these
national hits could rotate around groups/regions. The monthly actions could be
on the same day of
each month to give people grater access to them (as with Critical Mass). There
was acknowledgement
of a need for flexibility and constant analysis.
The Campaign could be a vehicle for breaking down perceived hierarchies and
cliques. We should avoid burdening particular groups/ individuals with what
could be a large
workload (ie. A Road Alert! situation)

Targets: This is probably the most difficult bit. How do we choose one target,
when we are against
a majority of companies, industrial activities, etc? No matter what we choose
one campaign will
not bring down global capitalism. Should we focus on a company or an issue?
What criteria do we use to pick the target? Do we pick something where we can
use our experience
and proven tactics, or something that might take us out of the ‘single issue’
rut and give us an
opportunity to build links with other struggles? Here are some of the
suggestions so far:

Chevron. An oil company with operations in Nigeria. As well as showing
solidarity with struggles
over there, it links in to transport/pollution, globalisation etc. and has
multiple potential

New Deal. Again, multiple targets, links with workforce/unemployed.

Nuclear Industry / Waste Transport. Industry is currently weakened and
discredited in the public
eye. Opportunities for linking with other groups active on the issue.

Tarmac. Construction company involved in road-building (Twyford Down, M65,
Manchester Airport) and
lots of quarrying. There has been a target tarmac campaign, circa 1993. They
didn’t like it.

Genetics. Already a huge focus on this. Possibilities are endless. Could focus
on one company ie.
Monsanto are in a dodgy position in this country. Suggestion that there are a
few smaller
companies underpinning the industry, especially in research and development.

Advertising. An attack on this industry is one that would strike at the heart
of consumer culture?
Billboards, TV, Radio, PR and ad companies provide multiple targets.

None of these suggestions were discussed at any length, and so no doubt there
are many more out
there. All suggestions, along with reasonings behind them, should be conveyed
to the meeting in
March via the Action update.

Meeting on Saturday March 20th, probably in Yorkshire.
Call 01508 531636 for details.


Arun Valley EF!
c/o 1 York Road, Littlehampton, W. Sussex
01903 721615
Bath EF!
c/o PO Box 426, Bath, Somerset BA12ZD
01249 713742
Blackburn EF!
12 Balmoral Road, Darwen, Lancashire BB3 2EW
Bristol EF!
c/o Box 51, Greenleaf Bookshop, 82 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB
0117 939 3093
Cambridge EF!
Box E , 12 Mill Road, Cambridge
Cardiff EF!
c/o Green Group, Glamorgan Uni SU, Pontypridd, Mid-Glamorgan CF37 1DL
Cheltenham EF!
16 Portland Street
Gloucs. GL52 2PB
Exeter Env. Network
PO Box 185, Exeter EX4 4EW
Fife EF!
c/o 91 South Street,  St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9Q
01334 477411
The Flat Oak Society
c/o 3 St Alphege Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2EB.01227 463368
Glasgow EF!
PO Box 180, Glasgow G4 9AB
Guildford EF!
PO Box 217, Guildford GU1 1WS
fax 01483 203212
Gwynedd & Mon EF!
The Greenhouse, 1 Trevelyan Terrace, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1AX. 01248 355821
Hereford EF!
Wern Derys, Michaelchurch Escley, Hereford HR2 0JZ
01981 510659
Hull On Earth
c/o PO Box 43,
Hull HU1 1AA
Box Z, 13 Biddulph St, Leicester LE2 1BH
0116 255 3223
Leeds EF!
c/o Cornerstone Resource Centre, 16 Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds LS7 3HB
0113 262 9365
Liverpool EF!
96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1
Lune EF!
c/o Bookcellar, 9 Meeting House Lane, Lancaster LA1 1TJ.
Manchester EF!
Dept 29, 255 Wilmslow Rd,  Manchester M14 5LW. 0161 2266814
Mid­Somerset EF!
PO Box 23, 5 High St, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9PU
Norfolk EF!
The Greenhouse, 42-46 Bethel Street, Norwich NR2 1NR
Nottingham EF!
c/o The Rainbow Centre, 182 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3HW
0115 958 5666
Oldham EF!
PO Box 127
Oldham OL4 3FE
Oxford Community Action
Box E , 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RQ
Pendle EF!
Klondike Central
Prospect Farm, Lenches Road, Colne, Lancs, BB8 8ET    01282 870 919
Reclaim the Streets
PO Box 9656, London N4 4JY. 0171 281 4621
Reclaim the Valleys
c/o Swansea  Environment Centre,
Pier  Street, Swansea SA1 1RY
Reading Roadbusters
R.I.S. Centre, 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire
0118 954 6430
Sheffield EF!
c/o SheFIN, 54 Upperthorpe Rd, Sheffield, S63EB.
0114 263 4494
Southampton EF!
SUSU Pigeonholes,  Southampton University, University Road,
South Devon EF!
Birdwood House, 44 High Street, Totnes, Devon. 01626 363844
South Downs EF!
PO Box 2971, Brighton BN2 2TT
Swansea People EF!
c/o Green Action, Swansea Uni SU, Swansea, Wales
TAPP (Tyneside Action for People & Planet)
PO Box  ITA,
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1TA
Warwick EF!
c/o Green Society, Warwick Uni SU, Coventry CV4 7AL
Wolves Eco Action
c/o Wolves Hunt Sabs, Wolves Uni SU, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton

York EF!
c/o York LEAF,
PO Box 323, York
Acme Tat Supplies
(protest-tat at cost price)
c/o Leeds EF!


Anarchist Teapot Action Kitchen
Box B, Public House Bookshop, 21 Little Preston Street,
Brighton BN1 2HQ
Corporate Watch
(as for Oxford EF!)
01865 791391
Do or Die (journal)
c/o South Downs EF!
Spirit of Freedom
(Earth Lib. Prisoners)
c/o BM HEAL, London WC1N 3XX
Head State Support Group
72 Park Road, Worthing  BN11 2AN
EF! Action Update
c/o Leeds EF!


c/o POB 2536, Rottingdean Brighton,
Black Flag
BM Hurricane, London
Counter Information
C/O Transmission,
28 Kings St., Glasgow
Genetics Update
Green Line
PO Box 5, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0YT
0870 733 4970
FINs - for a full list of free information networks (and more) send SAE to
London FIN
C/O 99 Torrinio Avenue, London, NW5 2RX
Peace News
5 Caledonian Rd,
London N1 9DY
Smash Hits
BMBOX 5538, London,
0171 5611204


Advisory Service for Squatters
2, St Pauls Road, London N1 2QN
0171 359 8814
ALF Supporters Group
BCM Box 1160, London WC1N 3XX

Anarchist Black Cross
(prisoner support)
c/o PO Box 446, Sheffield S1 1NY
Anarchist Communist Federation
c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX
Anarchist­Primitivist Network
PO Box 252, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 3AY
Anti­Fascist Action
BM Box 1734, London WC1N 3XX
Anti-Quarry Action (AQUA)
Kimberly Mill Park, King's Steignton TQ12 3NR
01626 363844
Campaign Legal Group
43 Swan Meadow Road, Poolstock, Wigan WN3 5BJ. 01942 513792
Disabled Action Network
3 Crawley Road, Wood Green, London N22 6AN
0181 8891361
C/O Leaf
Earth Circus Network
CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol BS1 6XN. 0117 9250505
(env. law & right to protest advice)
Law Centre Federation, Duchess House, 18-19 Warren Street, London W1P 5DB.
07071 225011
Environmental Ploughshares
(affinity group-based NVDA)
Box W, 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RQ
Forest Action Network
(as for Norfolk EF!)
01603 611953
Gandalf Support Campaign
c/o London Greenpeace, Panther House, 38 Mount Pleasant, London WC1X OAP
Genetic Engineering Network (GEN)
(as for RTS)
0181 374 9516
GenetiX Snowball
(open crop removal)
One World Centre, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS
0161-834 0295
Green Anarchist Network
BCM 1715, London WC1N 3XX
Hunt Saboteurs Association
PO Box 2786, Brighton BN2 2AX
01273 622827

Friends of MOVE
PO Box 14129, London W12 8GR
Industrial Workers of the World,
75 Humberstone Gate,
Leicester LE1 1WB
The Land is Ours
(as for Oxford EF!)
01865 722016
Legal Defence & Monitoring Group
BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX
0181 5337116
Making Waves
PO Box 1377, Sheffield S36 4BZ 01226 762359
London GreenPeace & McLibel Support Campaign
5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX
0171 713 1269
No Opencast
190 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7NL
0171 603 1831
Save the Hillgrove Cats
Box CB, 111 Magdelen Rd, Oxford
0121 632 6460
Schnews & Justice?
PO Box 2600, Brighton,  E. Sussex  BN2 2DX
01273 685913
c/o Box E
111 Magdalen Road
Third Battle of Newbury
PO Box 5642, Newbury, RG14 5WG
07000 785 201
Trident Ploughshares 2000
(anti-nuke direct disarmament)
(as for Norfolk EF!)
01603 611953
(greenbelt housing network)
Box HN, 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RQ
01865 721366


Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp (alt w/ends)
33 Heron Road, Bristol BS5 0LT
0117 939 3746 / 01703 554434
Arthur's Wood
Behind Moat House, Atrincham Road, Cheshire. 07931931850
01565 873 551
Ashton Court Quarry
c/o Bristol FoE, 10-12 Picton St, Montpelier, Bristol, BS6 5QA
07970 423 834

Avon Ring Road Protest Camp.
c/o 84 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BB.
0797 999 0389
Birmingham Northern Relief Road Campaign
The Spinney, Turf Pits Lane,
nr Sutton Coldfield,
07970 301978
Crystal Palace (development)
Big Willow Ecovillage, Palace Parade, London SE19. 0181 693 8200
07957 313777
Faslane Peace Camp
Shandon, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland G84 8HT
01436 820901
Friends of Lyminge Forest
c/o 3 Abbott Rd, Folkstone, Kent, CT20 1NG 01303 257046/265 737/0468945595
The Old Village, Great Western Rd, Cheltenham, Worcs, GL50 3QN 0797
1316597/01242 525280
Sellafield Women’s Peace Camp (bimonthly)
Box Z, Cornerstone Resource Centre (see Leeds EF!)
0141 2265066 /0113 2621534
Swindon site,
c/o 49 Holbein Road, Swindon SN5 6DN 01793 783040


Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh
17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA. 0131 557 6242
Citizen Smith
Old Community Centre, 161 College Road, Kensal Green  London, Nw10. 07931
Kebele Community Centre
14 Robertson Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6JY. 0117 939 9469
121 Centre (infoshop +)
121 Railton Road, Brixton London SE24
0171 274 6655
1 in 12 Club
21-23 Albion Street, Bradford BD1 2LY
01274 734160
OKasional Cafe
c/o Manchester EF!
Worthing Anarchist Teapot
PO box 4144, Worthing,
West Sussex, BN14 7NZ


An Talamh Glas
4 Ashgrove, Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Eire
A SEED Europe
PO Box 92066, 1090 AB Amsterdam,Netherlands
+31-20 6682236
Autonomous Green Action
POB 4721, Station E, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5H9, Canada
Action For Social Ecology
Box 34089, 10026 Stockholm, Sweden
Australian EF! AU
PO Box 3163, South Brisbane 4101, Australia
Coast Mountains EF!
1472 Commercial Drive, Box 128, Vancouver  V5L 3X9, Canada
+1-604-708 9660
Czech Republic EF!
Zeme predevsim!
PO Box 237, 16041 Prague 6, Czech Rep.
Earth First! Journal
POB 1415, Eugene OR 97440, USA
+1-541-344 8004
Moskovsky prospekt 120­34236006, Kaliningrad/Koenigsburg, Russia
Finland EF!
Viivinkatu 17 AS 17, 33610 Tampere 61, Finland
Umweltprojektwerkstatt, Yorckstrasse 59 HH, 10965 Berlin, Germany
+49-30 78913144
Groene Front!,
Postbus 85069, 3058 AB Utrecht, Netherlands
Green Action Israel
POB 4611, Tel-Aviv, Zip Code 61046, Israel.
03-516 2349
Pobal An Dulra
242 Sunset Drive, Cartron Point, Sligo, Eire +353 71 44348
Poland EF!
PO Box 40, 43-304 Bielsko-Biala 4, Poland
+48-33 183153
Rainbow Keepers (Ukraine)
PO Box 322, Kiev 252187, Ukraine
Volunteers For Earth Defence
189 San Antonio Ext SFDM, 1105 Quezon City, Philippines

EF! Action Update needs your action reports (~200 words), articles, photos and
Contact us at: EF!AU, Cornerstone Resource Centre, 16 Sholebroke Avenue,
Chapeltown Leeds,
LS7 3HB 0113 262 9365
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Earth First! is not a cohesive group or campaign, but a convenient banner for
people who share
similar philosophies to work under. The general principles behind the name are
organisation and the use of direct action to confront, stop and eventually
reverse the forces that
are responsible for the destruction of the Earth and its inhabitants. The
contacts are
autonomous groups that consider themselves to share these principles.  The
Propaganda section
lists non-EF! publications which we think are worth reading. International
Contacts are entry
points into that country’s own network of groups. Other Contacts are ones
aims and
principles we agree with fully or in part, or groups that we think may be of
use or interest to
people. For groups web addresses visit