SchNEWS is a must read radical almost weekly newssheet published in Brighton by Justice?, Brighton's Direct Action Collective.

The format of SchNEWS is a two-sided A4 sheet. Distribution figures for SchNEWS are not known due to the nature of distribution. SchNEWS is distributed as the A4 newssheet, you can ask for a 'clean' copy, and then run off copies and distribute yourself, you can also do the same with the pdf file for each issue, and each issue is available as a web page.

SchNEWS is always informative and well informed. It is usually published on a Friday, but if the guys have better things to do, it doesn't appear.

No event or demo is worthy of its name, if copies of SchNEWS are not somewhere around.

SchNEWS was born in a squatted Courthouse in Brighton in 1994 as part of Brighton's campaign against the Criminal Justice Act when a few bright sparks decided to start reading out the news. Some of those bright sparks then decided to put some of it on paper, well over a decade later, and SchNEWS is still going strong.

SchNEWS also publishes the SchNEWS Annual, or did. This was a collection of the last year's issues, plus pictures, plus cartoons and additional commentary. A Tenth Anniversary edition was published in 2004 which looked at the issues and events covered by SchNEWS over the last ten years, then for 2005 nothing. Publication was usually timed to coincide with the Anarchist Bookfair in London in the Autumn. [see SchNEWS Annuals]

In recent years SchNEWS has branched out into producing movies. At festivals around the country, SchNEWS has been showing their movies, also available on CD and DVD. [see SchMOVIES]

The only time SchNEWS has come in for any real criticism was when it promoted an ad hoc music festival in the southwest which resulted in a nature reserve being trashed.

SchNEWS is a not-for-profit loose collection of activists and relies entirely on the support of its readers and supporters. For some time SchNEWS had free office space thanks to the group The Levellers, but that support is now at an end.

SchNEWS is published in the public domain and is @nti copyright (also known as copyleft), ie not only are you free to run off copies and pass them around, you are actively encouraged to do so.

The success of SchNEWS is due in part, that like Indymedia (which it predates), its source for much of the news is those directly involved. SchNEWS were the first to champion the cause of Simon Jones, and expose the consequences of cheap, casualised labour.

Apart from the newssheet itself, SchNEWS also produces a very good guide to what's on.

January 2007, SchNEWS quit the Metway, the Leveller's building, and moved into Brighton's autonomous social centre, the Cowley Club.

SchNEWS gave a big vote of thanks to the Levellers, who back in 1994 gave Justice? (Brighton’s anti-Criminal Justice Act collective) an office to base their myriad of activities - from direct action to community squats to the SchNEWS weekly newsletter. The band probably thought the raggle-taggle Justice? crew wouldn’t need the office for very long – and indeed Justice? ran its natural course after several years - but they ended up giving the office to SchNEWS for free for eight years, providing a solid base for SchNEWS to go on to produce nearly 600 issues in their twelve years there.

What eventually took SchNEWS away from the Metway was the opportunity to be at Brighton's social centre, and closer to the hub of libertarian activity there.

The Cowley Club was opened as a co-op in 2003, and likewise has its roots in the local direct action milieu, and the string of squatted street-front cafés often under the Anarchist Teapot banner. The Cowley Club is a café cum bookshop by day, a pub and gig venue at night, and is the centre of a whirl of countless groups, meetings, screenings, open days, jumble sales and gatherings.

Just as SchNEWS is run entirely by an unpaid (and possibly unemployable) crew, all roles at the Cowley Club, from cooking, cleaning, bar and administration, are undertaken by volunteers.

Both ventures show what people can do when they cooperate, and put the building of a better community - and a sustainable world - as a higher priority than doing the sort of jobs which only reward you with new cars, flat-screen TVs, and the latest designer gear from the sweatshops of China.

Simon Jones was forced to work in the docks else have his benefit stopped. He was killed on his first day of work.

The Levellers are a Brighton-based, folk-rock group with strong green-anarchist credentials. Mainly ignored by the mainstream, they maintain a hard-core following and always prove popular. Summer 2008, the Levellers headlined Guilfest 2008 in Stoke Park, Guildford, now one of the major festival events.

The Cowley Club is social centre on the busy London Road in Brighton. It houses a café and bookshop during the day, a private members bar during the evenings, and is a base for a variety of other activities. It is now home to Brighton's radical, direct action newssheet, SchNEWS.

SchNEWS is not the only radical newssheet published in Brighton. There is also the monthly Rough Music.

Sussex ~ Brighton ~ Rough Music
(c) Keith Parkins 2006-2008 -- September 2008 rev 3