You can’t take our Human Rights you bunch of thieving human rights abusers

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The government is likely to include the repeal of the Human Rights Act (HRA) – which covers such basic rights and freedoms as freedom from torture and the right to a fair trial – in the Queen’s Speech. This has to be stopped and whether you agree with participating in things of the state or not this is one we need to stop. Please take the following steps to urge your MP to argue and vote against repealing it.

1. Write to your MP via: https://www.writetothem.com/ – put in your postcode and use the draft letter below or write your own message urging your MP to argue and vote against the repeal of the HRA. Send your message.

2. Share this action by email and on FaceBook and Twitter.
Page you can share by email: http://occupylondon.org.uk/act-now-to-save-the-human-rights-act-by-joe-mobbs/
FaceBook event you can share: https://www.facebook.com/events/1432917260360297/
Tweet you can use: Act Now to Save the Human Rights Act! http://occupylondon.org.uk/act-now-to-save-the-human-rights-act-by-joe-mobbs/ #HRA #HRAMP

3. Follow up your message a few days later with a phone call, you can find the telephone number to call with your postcode here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ – Politely enquire whether your message has been received and remind them that this is important.

4. The Great British Right Off!- Protest for the Human Rights Act
https://www.facebook.com/events/688712754608602/
http://occupylondon.org.uk/events/the-great-british-right-off-protest-for-the-human-rights-act/

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********* Draft Letter *************

Dear _____ _____ MP,

Like many people, I was shocked to learn of the Conservative government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA). I understand the proposed repeal of the HRA is in the Queen’s Speech; I would like you to argue and vote against this proposal in the House of Commons.

The European Convention on Human Rights, on which the HRA is based, was inspired by the Conservative politician, Sir Winston Churchill, and drafted in 1950 by the newly formed Council of Europe under the guidance of another Conservative, David Maxwell-Fyfe (later Lord Chancellor Kilmuir) with the threats of totalitarianism and fascism still fresh in European minds. There are now 47 European countries which are signatories including Turkey and Russia. It makes no sense that a Conservative government wants to undo one of their own greatest achievements.

Regrettably, even in Britain there have been a number of cases where the HRA has not been enforced: Tony Blair’s deportation of Islamic militants to be tortured by the CIA in Guantanamo Bay, David Cameron’s forced labour through Workfare or NSA and GCHQ invasion of privacy. Given that these abuses have been possible even with the Act in place, it is clear that a ‘British Bill of Rights’ which gives British people different rights to foreign nationals will be a poor substitue to ensure current protections remain in place and could well be the start of an international ‘race to the bottom’.

As a nation, I believe we should be proud of our record on human rights and that we should continue to stand firm as an example and encourage other countries to move to enshrine these fundamental rights and freedoms in law.

I sincerely hope you agree and will use your position to defend the Human Rights Act in Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

The Hampstead Mum

Peoples Assembly you nearly had my attention there.

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So the bullshit elections are over and we can get back on with our daily lives away from the bread and circuses of reactionary and popular politics with a royal baby thrown in for good measure. We can get back to dealing with the politics of daily survival in this slave economy, the housing crisis amongst our families, the destruction of our communities, the mental health crisis effecting our population…….. The “A” word Austerity which is the black dog so many of us have to deal with.

So as expected the reactionary protest flared and arrests ensued. The police behaved as normal and agitated, attacked and arrested innocent people. Rumour has it some “man” spray painted some statue or another. Uproar and outrage were the response. The next interesting thing that happened was the Radical Left General Assembly hosted by the Brick lane Debates. Some good groups coming together lets keep an eye on them and then the Peoples Assembly machine managed to ride the wave and created a National Demonstration to end Austerity and the invite now has 58k. Impressive.

So you’ve caught my eye for a number of reasons the march was billed to go from the Bank of England  to Hackney – different, they must have something planned other than the usual speeches, and the number of different blocks I have been invited to some of them not the normal run of the mill unions, and a few radical groups that do not normally do the A – B. Any way for what ever reasons I actually had a little hope in this being a little different. So much so I made some stencils.

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But no it wasn’t to last for long Peoples Assembly have changed the destination of the demo. What the Fuck? What the fuckity fuck ?

Why do we always have to march to Parliament. To go to the power house and beg (sorry demand) change. Peoples Assembly want us to march from the Bank of England to parliament on a Saturday and listen to some “amazing” speeches and then go home. Ok so the majority of people will do just that. But why not use this amazing opportunity to take the people to a place that they are needed. Why go to a place that has systems ready to control the way we move using police lines, the way we behave with Agent provocateurs/Agitators ,the cameras to record every face that was there, the forward intelligence teams to record known activists when no crimes are being committed by innocent protesters.

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Why not take the march to a place where the young and angry will not be provoked into unrest by provocative, and aggressive police tactics creating opportunities to arrest innocents. Why not take us to a place we can highlight what is a real issue at the moment the critical housing crisis for example. We could hold our speeches and our assembly in the belly of the beast. In one of the many areas being gentrified, we could take it to a specific place to highlight one of the many issues that is threatening the working class the real politics of life and survival.

So why not? Why not make the march an action? Why not give people the taste of the power they hold? Why not ? Is it because actually you really don’t give a shit that you are taking people into one of the most highly secure areas in London and you know that to get the coverage you want the arrests. Are you secretly hoping that a blac bloc will run amok and smash a few windows of companies that don’t pay their tax or spray paint some slogans that provide cheap journalism an easy story. Are you willing to sacrifice the people you can’t engage?

So why don’t you take it somewhere else? Why not ? Why not take it where they don’t know how to facilitate your demo and have an assembly that is inclusive and progressive. Because right now all your doing is giving the state another opportunity to criminalise any dissent and alienate the disengaged further. I will not be promoting another fawnification of bullshit parading where no solidarity is being shown to the people that most need it.

Fucking waste of time oh yeah and I heard they wanted to raise £60,000 for that privilege. I want my stencils back !!

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Hampstead mum

Love it or Hate it…… Lets make some Glitter bombs

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So there is a service on the net allowing you to glitter your enemy anonymously. Funny stuff glitter people of all ages love it and as many people seem to hate it.

I must say I’m not normally a fan of glitter, it gets everywhere. In every nook and cranny and seems to take forever to go away. No surprises why glitteryourenemy.com has become such a hit. But in Glitters defence I went to an electric circus recently and they were throwing around glitter bombs and by the end of the night there wasn’t a person left untouched and it looked amazing. So when I came across a shit load of glitter at a car boot sale on Sunday I couldn’t resist the idea of making some. So here is how I did it. Take an egg

1) Take an egg and pierce a little hole in each end. This should be done with a needle. You can wiggle the needle until there is a big enough hole to blow the egg through. After you have blown the eggs hold the empty eggs under a running tap to give them a little rinse and then leave them dry out for a couple of days

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2) Once they have dried seal over one end of the egg and make a funnel out of a piece of paper. (I used a cover of a programme from the British Museum as you can see).

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3) Now fill the eggs with glitter, lots of glitter, lots of different colours lots of glitter..

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till there is none left

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5) Finally seal the remaining hole.

You now have Glitter bombs at the ready. You should always have some Glitter bombs at the ready, you never know when you will want to glitter someone, your enemy or not.

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Just for fun

Hampstead Mum

 

What have we done with death ?

00-Sting-GRADE_04-0_00_09_14-e1402056110209 Having just come back from what I can only say was the best funeral I have ever been to has made me look at the state of death in our society.

The phone call came at 3.00am on Monday that Nana had passed into the other room. This wasn’t a shock as we had been waiting for the news following a fall 2 weeks before. The family made their arrangements, flights booked from all over Europe. The gathering of the clan had begun. The wake was to be held at Nana’s house for all her friends and family to come and say their farewells and tell their stories over a tipple or a cup of tea. The scene was set by the tradition of our ancestors.

Never having been to a wake before I was apprehensive of the unknown, would I be able to keep it together? would I make a fool of myself? would it be scary? I just didn’t know what to expect and grief is such a selfish emotion it’s all about the “I”. “I’m going to miss them so much” “What will I do with out them? ” and the big one was could I handle seeing Nana dead? At my age I had never seen a dead body. My children went to visit Nana after her fall being told they didn’t know how long she would last, and I had also worried about that too, would if be too much for them? would it be a shock? Is it the best for them? should I let them go? or should I let them remember her as her former self?

What happened was the exact opposite of all my fears. When they returned from visiting, of course they told of the initial grief and upset of seeing their Nana so poorly and the reality of her fate. But what really came out of the visit where wonderful stories of closure. Pictures of my daughter holding her hand whilst the family were sat round chatting, my son kissing her forehead and stroking her cheek. The special time they had on their own with her or just time to come to terms with the reality of impending passing. The funny stories told by family and friends and relayed to others that had not heard them before, the personal experiences of relationships with a woman who was so important to each and every one of us. I came to the conclusion that in fact my children had been very fortunate to experience the opportunity to say their farewells in such a way that many of us never get.

The wake took place in a house I have been visiting for over 25 years and was now looking like a time capsule. In the centre of the room the coffin open was Nana. My ex sister-in-law took my hand and said doesn’t she look tiny? and explained how they had changed her lipstick because it wasn’t a colour that Nana would have worn and how her hairdresser was coming round because Nana always had large hair which now it definitely wasn’t. I cried but at the same time I smiled. I smiled at the belonging that was still there in the physical sense even though she was definitely not there any more. The fact that the people around her knew what she would have wanted and how she would have wanted to be seen. Simple but important things like the colour of her lip stick. The fact that her grandchildren  had not thought twice about changing the undertakers makeup, the fact that they had ownership of this ritual and it was a proud and moving transition taking place.

You may have gathered by now that this was an Irish funeral and may seem all very personal to you but this is my point. I understand other countries traditions are similar but here I don’t know many people who have experienced death properly, everyone I know knows somebody that died a relative, a friend, a colleague but when talking about it all seem very detached from it. There seem to be lots of reasons for this detachment. It seems with modern medicine we are all surviving a lot more and living a lot longer and healthier which can only be a good thing. We are living out our lives in semi sheltered homes, nursing homes, using carers and generally becoming more isolated from the family unit.

We get phone calls from the hospitals or the care homes to tell us of a departure and before we know it the cogs of the Capitalist funeral system starts to roll. They come they tell us how they are “experts” in “taking care of the body” “cleansing” and “preparing”. They tell us how they will give their “best service” to your “loved ones”. You hear the words respect and peaceful. They give us the impression that we are not to be “trusted” as they are. So before you have even got chance to process the idea that you loved one has died, before the relatives have all been informed the body has been “removed” to the Funeral parlour where the “Experts” will do what we have been doing for thousands of years. Preparing our dead. They take them telling you that they will make this difficult time as easy as possible because they are in the business. As sympathetically as possible they will show you the caskets, the linings, the soft furnishings, along with the price ranges. They will tune you in to the slick and smooth machine of laying your dead to rest. So from the last time we see them or speak to them and sometimes the point of death they are taken away and we never see them again.

The machine seems to have stolen death from us. Wonder why death is so sensationalised in the press, in films and in the news the wars, beheaded hostages, accidents and murders. This is because we really don’t know what death is anymore. We have lost a very important part of the human story. I remember reading an article a while ago about a person that had died alone and thinking that it is so wrong to have to die alone, unless of course we chose it. But to die with nobody by your side or holding your hand. But that is another issue. The issue here is about saying our goodbyes about seeing the fulfilment of a life by finishing with a death. An ending that is about the person, the memories and the send off.

I think we need to reclaim death. It is healthy and natural to grieve to feel loss to share that with others that feel the same. It is important to celebrate the life and impact of the deceased upon your lives. This is about you and what we need to do to process and accept death. We have somehow lost sight of that and allowed this important ritual to be stolen from us. We need to remember how important death is and not fear the unknown and familiarise ourselves with our eventuality. Death is as important as birth if not more if only so we appreciate the time we have left.

A grieving Hampstead mum

There’s no justice just court costs

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Being an activist usually means at some point in your activist career you will be committing some form of disobedience, be it civil or criminal. Ranging from trespassing in buildings highlighting tax avoiding corporations, locking on to lorries carrying chemicals into fracking sites, or obstructing entrances to highlight the sale of illegal torture equipment in our Capital city. What ever or how ever we protest we will be and should be working outside the establishment rules otherwise what’s the point ?

It’s a costly affair protest, from getting arrested, to having to attend bail dates, trips to the solicitors, then to court cases, delayed hearings, and fines. The thing about being arrested for an action and the following legal proceedings is that we will always plead not guilty because this isn’t about the law, this is about morals and ethics. We are doing this because we believe that our actions are valid. So the new “Criminal court charge” that was introduced through the back door this week is another attack on our right to protest.

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These costs are not means tested and are across the board for whatever your “crime”  We are all too aware of what a profitable business crime is for the establishment and you as a protester will be given the same court costs as a person that has violently attacked somebody. So for an activist that has somehow crossed the line i.e. entered the Arms Fair and refuses to leave protesting about the illegal sale of torture equipment by an exhibitor, may then finds themselves in a magistrates court for aggravated trespass. Of course goes “Not Guilty” but subsequently found guilty, you will be expected to pay your fines of around £200 -£300 and also pay court costs of £520

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So what’s going to happen? Will it be only rich people can protest? Are we going to see protesters unable to carry on protesting because they are in debt bondage to the courts. “Sorry I can’t come to stop the Arms dealers till I pay off my debt to the courts” Are orders going to be made against earnings, benefits, possessions? Is this going to put people off protesting?  Are people going to be pushed to pleading guilty so as to not incur such high costs. Pleading guilty at a magistrates only costs you a mere £150 a snip of the cost.

So with cuts in legal aid and now court costs we seem to have one legal system for them and one for us. The rich versus the poor. And it’s not going to get any easier. So what can we do? We could create a legal aid type funding system through the help of benefactors, philanthropists, and funding. Or we could just up our game become more militant and make sure we don’t get “court” .

To quote Netpol………..

The potential impact of the new Criminal Court Charge is one more reason why campaign organisers need to ensure they ask for legal observer support at their protests – and why, if you can help, we need more people to train and volunteer to carry out this important supporting role.

Contact GBC Legal at gbclegal@riseup.net for further details about future legal observer training.
Hampstead Mum

https://netpol.org/2015/04/13/criminal-court-charge/

https://www.caat.org.uk/

I ♡ Hampstead Heath

In recent weeks during my daily walk across the heath I have noticed red hearts appearing. You can see them through the undergrowth, from the paths and across the dell. There are lots of broken hearts all over the Heath and they look amazing. There seems to be a theme here as all the broken hearts are sprayed on the exposed internal rings of recently cut down trees. So I can only assume that these hearts are to do with the destruction of 166 trees on the Heath.

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I have nearly always been impressed with the management of Hampstead Heath and seeing The City of London’s approach to be sympathetic to the needs of the people and the wild life until now, altogether 166 trees are in the process of being chopped down to make way for work on the Hampstead dam systems. Some stunning oaks and London planes are being lost during this work, work that a lot of people are questioning if essential at all. What ever the arguments I find the destruction of so many trees heart breaking and it looks like someone else thinks so too.

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I use the heath every day and all of a sudden there are big swathes of the heath being cleared and trees felled. It looks like a war zone. I can’t explain how upsetting it is to see so many trees lying on the ground. But to see the hearts appearing is a fitting tribute to the loss of these great trees.  Well done that person they are beautiful.

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Thank you,

Hampstead Mum

https://www.flickr.com/photos/accidentalanarchist/sets/72157649138638123/

Stop NATO Stop and Search

Harassment from the state is part of the territory if your an activist. It shouldn’t be because all we are doing is exercising our right to protest and that’s what you can do in a free and democratic society. Let me say that again a Free and democratic society. But labelled as domestic extremists there is nothing free or democratic about the way we are being treated.

Last September demonstrators and Legal observers were being bussed from the Stop Nato peace camp in Tredegar Park to the Anti war demonstration taking place in Newport, where the No to Nato group joined, among others, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to march on to Celtic Manor resort which was hosting the summit itself.

Shortly after leaving the peace camp the bus was pulled over by police using section 1 of P.A.C.E. The main power used on a daily basis by police. It allows police officers to stop and search a person or vehicle for stolen or prohibited articles. The power can only be exercised if the officer has “reasonable grounds” for suspicion. Stop and Search and Stop and Account are always being abused by the police to gain information and intelligence. Here is a prime example of that abuse of power.

 

 

The demo’s at stop NATO were peaceful and quite small.  Never at any point was the summit under any threat from these peaceful protests. The summit protected by gun ships, with a police and military operation puffing up it’s chest for the world to see. A ring of steel  which disrupted anybody going about their normal business and shops shut down for security or from fear mongering. The police and state over exaggerated the risks from the demonstrations and the numbers of protesters expected, creating an atmosphere of fear. Fear a tool of control.

At what cost ? to the community ? for our freedoms? to protect the war mongers?

Not in my name

Hampstead mum

 

Further information on Stop and Search https://theaccidentalacnarchist.wordpress.com/stop-and-search-stop-and-account/

https://greenandblackcross.org/

http://www.netpol.org/

Anti war information:

https://www.caat.org.uk/

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

http://www.stopnato.org.uk/