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MAYBE MAYFAIR MAYHEM
Report from SchNEWS 26th April 2002
Two weeks ago the Radical Dairy, a squatted social centre in Stoke Newington, was raided by the cops on the pretext that drugs and electricity were being used illegally. No arrests were made but two computers were taken as 'evidence' that electricity was being smoked, and just for good measure the leccy board then dug up the road and removed the centre from the National Grid!
This sort of over-the-top activity can only mean one thing - May Day will soon be upon us. It's that time of year again - when anarchists climb out of their winter gutters and threaten the very fabric of our society.
The raid on the London centre follows increased activity from the cops, which has been steadily building over the past few months.
The Met Police threatened to raid any internet servers who dared host the website for this year's 'Mayday Festival of Alternatives' while at MayDay meetings and fundraisers cops hang around outside like a bad smell snapping pictures and putting pressure on landlords of any venues that are being used.
Meanwhile the corporate media have talked about the most violent May Day for decades and running battles with the cops.
Throwing a Wombly
Seven WOMBLES (whose dress sense makes the police break out into hot sweats and reach for their truncheons) are up in court at the beginning of next week after being nicked on Hallowe'en. They were arrested while walking down Oxford Street on their way to a party, many wearing white overalls to symbolise ghosts (the original context of the white overall movement in Italy) and Halloween masks.
The cops involved were part of "Operation Calm", an anti-terrorist response to September 11th who calmly started pushing people up against shop windows, arresting them for complaining then holding them for up to 19 hours.
By some amazing co-incidence the trial will be going on during May Day and it looks like the judge will be Roger Davies who was in charge of all last years Mayday trials.
This is the man who sent down someone for three months for throwing a crumpled up piece of paper at a cop and told a Romanian woman that he'd put their children into care if they were caught begging again. Last summer the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG) uncovered secret Mayday Sentencing Guidelines that instruct Judges to hand down heavy sentences to those arrested during May Day actions.
The document titled "Mayhem" first came to the attention of the LDMG at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court. The defence barrister asked to look at the document, but the court refused this on the grounds that it was secret!
As for the Radical Dairy – well the centre is still running thanks to generators, candles and a lot of local goodwill. The centre has proved very popular with local residents who have seen Hackney Council shut down and sell off community assets in order to try to pay off its debts.
One local resident said, "The people here have been nothing but good for the local community. This place was empty for three years, that's bad for everybody: it was unsafe and it was unhealthy. It is now clean, occupied, safe. It's used for socially constructive purposes." One local 15-year-old girl added "I think the Radical Dairy is a good place for the community.
It's a better place for us kids to go because we can play on the decks and also learn new things like yoga and shiatsu which are fun …the police should not be bothering the people in The Radical Dairy when there is so much criminal activity happening on the streets of Hackney. We can use the computers here to do school work and use the Internet free for research."
So, while the police are no doubt scanning the computers for links between the anti-capitalist movement and Al-Qaeda, a few local pissed off kids are wondering when they will get their homework back.
* The Wombles Trial is from 29 April - 3 May at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court, SW1. Demo outside everyday wear a white overall/white armband in solidarity.
Details: 07960 973847 firstname.lastname@example.org and www.wombles.org.uk
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