RIGHT TO PROTEST CONFERENCE 2013, the voice of the magnificently brave (and patient..)
UNITED FAMILIES & FRIENDS CAMPAIGN (UFFC) PROCESSION ON SATURDAY 26TH OCTOBER 2013
The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who are killed in immigration detention and secure psychiatric hospitals.
Speeches in Whitehall, outside Downing Street.
DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2013
THE RIGHT TO PROTEST (RtP) CONFERENCE: the voice of the magnificently brave (and patient..)
“GET UP, STAND UP, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS” Bob Marley RIP
Maybe, if I had known the RtP conference was going to be so painful, I’d have chosen not to help Obi with the live-streaming….
It was funking heart-breaking listening to the many testimonies of family after family who had been separated from their loved ones (or maybe separated,as in Trent Oldfield from wife Deepa and Sunir,their baby).
Some had been murdered in custody following DAs (or not) exercising their democratic right to protest and assemble, some are languishing in prison, as innocent as the day is long
It seems that the paranoia of US/UK governments are such that their response to mere suspicion is completely disproportional. The fall of the World Trade Centres, 9/11, was the excuse that these governments needed to implement the Patriot Act in the USA and similar in the UK, e.g. the 2003 Extradition Act. Take the case of Talha Ahsan, being held in Solitary Confinement, at least 22 hrs/day in a Connecticut US high security jail. His “crime?” Having been vaguely associated with alleged terrorists..You can watch beautiful moving short video about him here: http://www.extraditionfilm.com I found it very hard not to get up and hug Hamja (his brother) who is leading the campaign to get his brother freed,
and also (Trent Oldfields wife) Deepa as they shared their stories.
Talha was merely associated with alleged terrorists and that is how he came to be dragged out of his bed a decade ago and has now spent years and years in prison.(More below)
Our government say that those of us in the OCCUPY Movement are Domestic Terrorists, or extremists: mmmh. Reminds me of Niemoller’s
“First they came for the communists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.Then they came for the socialists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me”
So I am speaking out…
1) a mother whose 24 year old son was gunned down while sitting in the back of a car (judicial inquiry that was stymied for 8 years found no lawful justification for the shooting)
2) The aunt of an unarmed 29 year old who was shot by multiple officers and whose entire family has suffered character assassination in the wake of his murder,
3) A young man and a middle aged woman both beaten brutally by the police for attending peaceful protests (the young man almost died, and the woman is still in a wheel chair recovering from a badly broken leg, kicked viciously by a police officer at an anti-fascist protest this past summer),
NOT ONE POLICE OFFICER HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO ACCOUNT SINCE 1969
4) The case of Talha Ahsan, recounted by his brother, Hamja Ahsan. Talha was imprisoned six years with no charge in the UK, then extradited over a year ago to the U.S. where he is currently languishing in a Supermax facility in Connecticut, though he is a British citizen who has never been to the United States, and has never been implicated in any act of violence. On the contrary, Talha is a gifted scholar and poet who uses words to challenge injustice. Talha has still not had a trial, and any trial should be held in his home country.
At the final plenary Owen Jones remembered to acknowledge the exceptional courage and effort all these different families are making , seeking justice. If you are reading this, you are likely to be already-active in resisting these kinds of injustices or you have already suffered one yourself: Owen also pointed out that all our different struggles need to be brought together as much as is practical so that we have a powerful resistance movement that WILL be successful in these dark times…
But I want to give the last word to a fellow Mother from South London. (I am the mother of a girl of six, going on 15…) Sarah Tomlinson’s (Lambeth; National Union of Teachers/NUT) teenage daughter was kettled Dec 2012,for over eight hours, without water, food or access to loos, along with many others.. Sarah believes that IF the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had supported the kids that day in Downing street DEMONSTRATING against the problems of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the media-furore caused could have stopped its progression. The fact that our children are hurting enough – concerned enough – to gather in Downing street is a statement in itself.
It is imperative that all the larger funded organisations like the TUC, get behind helping us to end the destruction of the welfare state and NHS to name but two, and that is why I wanted to give the last word to this bold brilliant Mum from South London. May we all be as bold as her, challenging the TUC and reaching out to us to do the same
May the Force be with her AND ALL OF US fighting back..
London/UK Oct 28th 2013
LEGAL AID CUTS:
CHANGING FACE OF POLICING:
ORGANISING ONLINE:WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO.
READING THE RIOTS: THEN AND NOW.
POLITICS OF PRISONS.