Has the world not had enough of outrage?

–  Awareness on rising anti-Muslim bigotry in Europe and prejudice –

Aren’t we all asking ourselves this same question after more atrocities in so many countries last week and the previous ones? Those performed worldwide by radical extremist Islamist fundamentalists creating more outrage and, parallel to that, we are continuing to see loud protests over a cartoon? Like the one last Sunday, on the 8th of February where about 1,000 Muslims protested in London over a magazine cover of the Prophet Muhammad that was published on the 14th of January in millions of copies.

Having an open mind would be healthier and would help alleviate the rage.

The worse battle quote

Bringing forward a point, an argument or a perspective from a society or a community doesn’t make you straight away belong to them. It is opening our mind to different views and taking into account their viewpoint that helps us all to go forward. We may not agree with every aspect of different viewpoints or may not be ready to hear them. Yet, to try to be open to take those other views into considerations, to absorb one’s meaning is to listen to each other for a better entente.

Isn’t there a huge risk in mixing up all Muslims?

I am still hearing and reading too often the disambiguation over the term Muslim and I believe this is part of the chore of the tumult that the world is facing. It strongly appears that too many people still haven’t dissociated Muslim’s ideas of theology with the ideals of radical Islamist extremist fundamentalists, as they are not the same! And the idea that they are all the same, leads to more bigotry and racism which the world really does not need right now. In short, not all Muslims are Islamist extremists like the Jihadists (who are committing awful crimes) – in simpler term: not all Muslims are ‘fanatic-terrorists’ with whom the majority of Muslim do not collude with. How many times have we heard a Muslim’s voice crying out, “Not in Islam’s name!” in reference to atrocities committed?

Muslim should be used to describe all people of the Islamic faith but not the faith itself. Islam and Muslim are both words used to describe the religion revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. Islam or Islamic should describe the religion and its subsequent cultural concepts whereas Muslim should only describe the followers of the religion of Islam. (Part of Wikipedia’s explanation).

“Islam, like any religion, is neither solely good nor bad but it is what its followers make of it” reminded us James Brandon in his article: Our false narrative on Islamist terror helps nobody.

Some, perhaps more vulnerable than others are easily led to follow an unhealthy radical movement, which is driven by hate and violence, and controlled by extremism ideals. Some are easily influenced and have the need to follow in order to fit in.

And what to make of radical opinions and how to discern the victims?

Kundnani writes that the “official narrative on the causes of terrorism… is not based on solid evidence but rests upon the assumption that ‘extremist’ speech and beliefs are the most significant factors in causing terrorism. The term extremism is used selectively and inconsistently to construct Muslims as a suspect community and to discourage the expression of radical opinions”.

I think that the expression of radical opinions is discouraged simply because people in general are scared of it and don’t know what to make of it. Radical opinions imply to reject or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice. On ‘The Moral Maze’ on BBC radio 4, Melanie Phillipps raised the issue that the refusal from the West to accept religious fanaticism is part of the problem. It was a very interesting debate but I sense that we are still lacking answers.

Kundnani has got a point in how wrongly Muslim can be portrayed and I hope that Muslim (victims in particular) can understand that it is ever so hard for non-Muslims to simply know which term to use in describing them. There is no doubt that racist people in particular would construct Muslims as a suspect community; and that shouldn’t be the case.

If something is designed to incite racial or religious hatred, that isn’t permitted in the law of the UK democratically elected Parliaments.

Let’s bear in mind that there are many sub-groups within the term Muslim

N.B. Those ‘Muslim titles’ in Italic are figure of speech and are not meant to offend. I thought using them to be clearer for the indigenous population in order to transmit the message that there are many different types of Muslim (only citing a few here) just like there are among Catholics for example.

  • Some practice the Muslim religion devotedly – those Authentic Muslims would be more likely to be genuinely offended by the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Some originate from a Muslim family and are not practicing; they may, or not, eat pork for example – those Modern Muslims would be more likely to be less sensitive of the cartoon but among them, some would be influenced to follow the ‘we are very offended path’ and others wouldn’t be bothered.
  • Some might just use the ‘we are very offended path’ just to stir, and use it as an excuse for discord or revenge. – those Muslims with a hooligan tendency could be saying that they are offended by the cartoon just for the sake of arguing but might not be genuinely offended.
  • Some, much more extreme would use any mean to enforce their principal or ideology and it may not be in a very human way as we’ve seen from recent further barbaric actions – those Islamist extremists – Jihadists, Wahhabis – may just be using the cartoon for the purpose to create chaos and terror. Following orders blindly (a sort of fatwa) and/or are completely brainwashed.

~All those different sub-groups are intricate and the list could go on…~

Hatred motivated specifically to target Muslims must be condemned…”rightly said -Maajid Nawaz in his more in-depth article On Blasphemy – And he continues with, pressing that “ignoring Islamist extremism in the name of respect for difference will only fuel racism more by feeding the Far Right’s victimhood narrative.”

French Prime Minister (Manuel Valls) says: “I refuse to use the term ‘Islamophobia’ as it’s used to invalidate any criticism of Islamist ideology…”

Hillary Clinton (Fmr U.S. Secretary of State) reminds us that  “we can’t close our eyes to the fact that at this time in our world history, there is a distorted and dangerous strain of extremism within the Muslim world that continues to spread”.

 “How did we reach these extremes? Yasmina Khadra on radio 4 is asking. And “Why is the world gradually losing its bearing? How do their killings come to form an integral part of political debate and an escapable part of the same ideology?”

Things can only be changed if we, individually and each party, make the steps towards questioning ourselves and listening attentively to each other’s perspective in order to achieve a more harmonious society. For sure it is not that simple and one has to feel ready.

Perception of Charlie Hebdo being racist overlooked?

I still hear this question frequently asked: “How come Charlie Hebdo claims to be anti-racist when there was that cartoon of Taubira as a monkey?” Again let’s see it in context. Here is an explanation by John Sargeant from his letter to Medhi Hasan: “A particular cartoon of Christiane Taubira, a black politician, as a monkey is where the misunderstanding of Charlie Hebdo comes in. The context and satire is aimed at lampooning the far right by parodying them to leave no doubt supporting Le Pen means supporting racism. Lack of knowledge of French politics makes all this lost in translation.

Translation

“RACIST BLUE UNION” – It is showing that supporting Le Pen (Front National) is to endorse racism.

Symbols

The font chosen (serif) is reminiscent of traditional right-wing political posters. Left-wing and communist posters in France usually use a sans-serif font. This is the first hint that the cartoon is mocking a right-wing element. The blue and red flame logo on the bottom-left is the logo of the Front National, a far-right political party in France.

The person depicted is Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, drawn as a monkey. This is referencing various occasions of far-right activists depicting Taubira as a monkey.

The title is a play on words of Marine Le Pen’s slogan “Rassemblement Bleu Marine” (Navy blue Union).

Satire

The cartoon was published after a National Front politician Facebook-shared a photoshop of Justice Taubira, drawn as a monkey, and then said on French television that she should be “in a tree swinging from the branches rather than in government” [Le Monde] (she was later sentenced to 9 months of prison). The cartoon is styled as a political poster, calling on all far-right “Marine” racists to unify, under this racist imagery they have chosen. Ultimately, the cartoon is criticising the far-right’s appeal to racism to gain supporters.

Understanding the context shows the cartoon is more than a black politician depicted as a monkey. It is showing that supporting Le Pen (Front National) is to endorse racism”. Explains in details John Sargeant.

And among others Leigh Phillips, in his article, reiterated the same message concluding with:

“It is obvious to any French person familiar with the political context that the cartoon is mocking the racism of the Front National and indeed Taubira herself, in the wake of the massacre, has mounted repeated defences of Charlie Hebdo.”

Being offended doesn’t make Charlie Hebdo racist. And some cartoons are more offensive than others so we can’t make a generality on the whole magazine.

“Racism must not excuse fundamentalism. And fundamentalism must not excuse racism. We have to unceasingly fight both at the same time”. (From the article – In the aftermath of atrocity is this the New face of Europe?)

Prejudice can perpetuate bigotry & racism – judging hold us back

We have to be on guard against prejudice reminded us Taubira in her recent interview.

“We have to get personal and do the hard work of reconciliation by starting with the darkness inside. We have to root out that darkness in ourselves and work on developing empathy and compassion. We have to recognize our shared humanity.” Tells us Rachel Pieh Jones (full version goo.gl/Y614Ps)

Drawing by Christo Dagorov - freedom of speech

Photo caption: Drawing by Christo Dago

“Freedom of speech wasn’t won by being nice, it has been won by struggle with religion” proclaimed David Starkey, historian and NSS honorary associate.

Violence should not be used to defeat free speech. However, like I was challenging in my last two posts, many feel that a cartoon’s visual impact should not have the effect of falling into a trap of making a massive assumption about the general interpretation of its meaning.  In the light of how much offence the cartoon of Muhammad created we have to consider this: It is how it appears to indigenous people that become their reality that is at risk of dangerous misinterpretations outside its context… especially to those who are not at all familiar with it outside France and in particular outside Europe.

Explaining the history of Satire and comparing other satire magazines with Charlie Hebdo’s one, here is an article by Adam Gopnik from The New Yorker where he also points out that the magazine was offensive to everybody equally whether it was from a political party or a religion or a movement or a social status.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/19/satire-lives

Adding to this it is important to take into account that lots of people don’t find Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons to be offensive because they chose to let it rise over their head; they chose to not be offended by tolerating it in their satire context.

Europe on high alert

The vast amount of ignorance is alarming but we must welcome discord as long as it doesn’t perpetuate violence. Talking about ignorance in this context doesn’t imply that some people lack intelligence just because they are not in the known and are not informed on a particular matter. And I certainly am not in the known of everything.

As I tried to demonstrate in my last post (Part 2 of this topic) on division awareness (goo.gl/t7SknZ), I don’t think those labels ‘je suis Charlie’ or ‘je ne suis pas Charlie’ work anymore. Because they are too often misinterpreted worldwide for what they stand, as well as the high saturation of those labels, both could be an important factor of the cause to the rise in anti-Muslim and racism that we are seeing so strongly in Europe. Could the bearers of those badges ‘I am Charlie’ and ‘we are all Charlie’ in particular, however much they are attached to them, acknowledge this? This is not in any way erasing its meaning, as described in my last article, because their values behind those badges remain ever so important.

Our governments tell us to remain vigilant. Defensiveness is running high – We have to be so careful with what we say; so much can be deformed and taken to the exact opposite of what one wants to convey. And when people are defensive they are less likely to be receptive.

What are the causes of this kind of barbaric behaviour? And how can people be convinced that Islam is a peaceful religion when there are so many atrocities performed by Islamist extremists?

I can’t answer in depth those two questions but it is much of a factor to acknowledge the importance of context when the listener/reader takes things out of context which lead to prejudice, hatred and racism. It is much of a factor too that lots of people are confusing religion with race and mixing up all Muslims together who follow the religion of Islam. There are different types of Muslim as noted above; a Muslim following the religion of Islam doesn’t make him an Islamist extremist automatically. Some people know that and some don’t. You can’t blame Islam for actions of a small percentage.

I think it’s so important to try to see things from other perspective than your own for a better understanding of the situation and alleviate rage. Of course not “All is forgiven” by many people, sadly and not yet…and it won’t happen overnight. This message was delivered from Charlie Hebdo (in a satirical context) to their attackers conveying that Charlie Hebdo forgive them for the hurt they have caused them, understanding that they are not on the same wave length of thinking .The element of ‘black humour’, irony and sarcasm to be taken in consideration, we are still facing up to the consequences because so much was taken the wrong way and blew out of proportion.

So many prejudices have travelled across the net, and on the street, based on a gut feeling reaction of outrage (powerful emotion) which turned into a scandal worldwide without fully understanding the contexts and different perspectives across the world.

Was the Muslim’s protest in London a good idea?

They had the right to protest and a lot of them may have had the need to do so.  However it could be argued that the protest against the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad could no longer be a ‘knee jerk reaction’ since it happened so many weeks after the publication of that cartoon. What happened during that lapse of time from the 14th of January to the 8th of February? Shock, confusion, outrage, more horrendous events and trauma can lead to so many things under the influence of others and what the press – as well as political figures (both under huge pressure) – are leading us to believe. And can we comprehend that some Muslim community leaders even claimed to have protested –not burning to death al-Kasasbah in Islam’s name, but cartoons? Are we, Westerners non-Muslim and moderate Muslims finding the concept hard or impossible to grasp that some protesters claimed to be more offended by a cartoon than the rape and murder of children? I hope and dare not doubt that many Muslim do not share that view. As noted above, there are many different types of Muslims.

A petition was also signed by more than 100,000 British Muslims to land at the door of UK’s Prime Minister.

Of course, this sort of protest takes a while to be organised, however because of its timing following the atrocities of last week, it might have been perceived by some to be a bit misplaced. For those supporting the Muslim communities, I included who support the moderate Muslim; could this protest have jeopardised support to the Muslims by some people? Muslim supporters must not be discouraged and racism must continue to be discouraged. Let’s remember too that some Muslims are persecuted by the Islamic State (IS) and forces linked to the extremist group Islamist State (also known as ISIS).

How free is the world press?  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7d6pteCYAAneti.jpg:large

It is often said that depicting the Prophet is forbidden by Islam – and fundamentalists take it as a grave offence – but it turns out that Muhammed has been depicted in various Islamic texts over the centuries:  http://goo.gl/N0EWy5

“Criticizing the paper is the wrong conversation” as Marjane Satrapi pointed out.

In France,  64 suburbs have been identified as breeding grounds for Islamic extremism.

 “Bridging the gaps between cultures is one of the most challenging tasks we face today” rightly said Dr Widad Akrawi.

The issue of integration in France have a part to play in this anti-Muslim rise and racism, where 10% of the population are Muslims. The huge dilemmas happening in suburbs forming ghettos, where no non-Muslims dare entering nor the police, needs to be taken into consideration because of considerable social problems and inequality. And those issues are familiar all across Europe too.

“We need to breathe life into the principle of equality” said Taubira, Minister of Justice.

“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom. But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven’s name pack your bag and leave.” Proclaimed Mayor Aboutaleb told Dutch news programme Nieuwsuur on (News Hour). That’s very well to say but what about those outside Europe where the strong offence have travelled worldwide and on which I questioned their freedom of choice in my last article.

Awareness on prejudice through ignorance:

  • jumping into conclusion (without knowing and understanding the full context)
  • making generalisations on religions and groups of people
  • wrongly categorising people sharing the same religion or following the same religion
  • making derogatory statements and taking a bigot attitude (with or without knowing)
  • overriding powerful emotions driven by outrage or/and hate
  • ignorance generating prejudice and prejudice generating violence
  • making assumptions based on what you know
  • not looking at the other perspective or/and blowing things out of proportion
  • Influencing negative and/or untrue statements and ideas as well as manipulating vulnerable people, being driven by hate and spite and/or driven by a self-beneficial agenda
  • defamation, denaturing and exaggerating the reality seen by individual’s eyes of their own truth

Twist Between what you know and what you feel 004

Photo caption – Twisted – reality/ interpretation/ truth

In the recent Open letter to the World’s Governments in the wake of attack on Charlie Hebdo, a call is sent on our political world leaders to uphold international human rights. To not undermine human rights and to stand up for the importance of security, one of the call launched is to defend a free and open society where human rights are not only protected, but celebrated, and where diverse viewpoints, including the satirical perspectives embraced by Charlie Hebdo, can be expressed online and offline. Full version of the letter submitted on the 29th of January: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/open-letter-to-the-world-s-governments-in-the-wake-of-attack-on-charlie-hebdo

In his recent report, Kenneth Roth (executive director of Human Rights Watch) says that “meeting security challenges demands not only containing certain dangerous individuals but also rebuilding a moral fabric that underpins the social and political order”.

Call for working together, being aware of prejudice, listen to other perspectives and the usual…more tolerance to each other’s differences.

We can’t apologize for what we feel; it is like saying sorry for being real. But we can take responsibility in being more aware of prejudice and not jump to conclusion.

This quote is very true: “Don’t try to understand everything because sometimes it’s not meant to be understood but to be accepted”. Depending on what it is I’d like to add. Certain things need to be understood to be accepted; others need to be let go off, because yes we can’t possibly understand everything in complex issues and in humanity.

Laure Ollivier-Minns

Clash over Cultures and Values – Part 3 – 13.02.15

Updated  (20.02.15) – Changed the term ‘Islamophobia’ to anti-Muslim bigotry. Also added a say from the French Prime Minister and a say from the Fmr U.S. Secretary of State.

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EU Referendum – A tragic farce, not a solution to austerity

14th of July 2016

My letter to the European Union – A gathering of evidence –

 

Dear EU compatriots
I am writing to you what I have been brewing and what I feel urged to convey to you so imperatively. Not only from my own perspective but also to carry out the voice to you that I hear from hundreds of groups and FB pages (including our ‘Norwich and Norfolk Stays’ group), despairing and crying out that ‘We want UK to REMAIN IN EU’.
We need your help. So many of us believe that Brexit can still be challenged since UK remains a member of the EU with all Rights and obligations as a Member State and since EU law continues to apply to the full to the UK and in the UK until it is no longer a member. Since this also means that until this moment has come, British citizens and UK residents continue to enjoy the rights of EU citizenship, please let us enjoy this privileged fully and help us out.
“After an election or a Referendum, even if we lose the vote, we are entitled to go on and make an argument” reminded us Ian Hislop.

Leave campaign based on fear and lies

Our country is in chaos, torn in half, divided with too many people poorly informed, all facing the future’s uncertainty and many are despairing. This is not only bad for the economy but a despicable example of what is happening represented to our children, who after all, are the ones who will be affected by all this the most. The Youth spoke the loudest with 75% remain vote, yet it was an ill informed slim majority that ‘won’ the fraudulent vote to leave the EU. We are seeing a 57% rise in hate crime in the last few weeks across the country which is very alarming.
It appears that half of the UK citizen seems to realise the full benefits of being part of EU. It was 48% Remain voters to begin with but it is actually a majority now I believe that are waking up to the coerced Leave campaign well documented in the right places.
We are so many to believe that being part of the EU represents enormous benefits to our nations of 28 countries and that the EU is one of the most progressive, forward thinking and humane organisations in the world. Such complex organisation is not perfect and need time to work on negotiations but wouldn’t you agree that LEAVING THE EU IS NOT A SOLUTION TO AUSTERITY and that it wouldn’t be regaining control at all; it would be very detrimental to our nation?
Millions of voices have appeared across the social media and official media (less apparent). All united to express our outrage. Can you accept that, NO the people of UK have not spoken? A scarce majority vote based on misinformation and lies is not a clear mandate, it is a tragic farce. The Leave campaign was based on lies and fear.
As you know this EU referendum is a shamble, a farce even, that shouldn’t have taken place in the first place and that wasn’t taken seriously but it became serious and it makes so many people suffer as we watch our country torn apart and divided with so many illusions, deluded promises and rise in xenophobia. The country is slowly waking up to the lies of the Leave Campaign that have fooled so many Leave voters. Our system and our main stream media is so corrupt, the lack of education on Politics and what is really happening makes it flagrant. The outrage is flagrant. The outrage continues. The outrage is growing. The next March for Europe will be even bigger. More and more demonstrations, rallies, protests are happening and being organised across the country.
Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have behaved despicably in the Leave campaign; again, well documented in the right places (https://goo.gl/Bqec74). And David Cameron is responsible for putting us in this mess having called for a referendum. The unexpected result was a shock to us all and carries dreadful consequences. (Business Insider UK’s article on economic and political destruction): http://goo.gl/PxO6F4 – needless to mention the social destruction all this has caused too –
Some highly knowledgeable Professors in EU matters have been trying to wake up our country with their full report – squashed by some politician advising to not listen to the experts…(Gove’s style). Professor Michael Dougan and Professor A. C. Grayling have been very clear in their messages that this Referendum is non-binding and only advisory based on a campaign of lies and fear. Professor A.C. Grayling, who urged our 650 MPs to not support a motion to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, made this clear – given the following factors:
– “The non-binding Referendum, its circumstances, and its slim majority achieved in those circumstances, is not an adequate ground for the UK to leave the EU.
– That the majority for Brexit was small (3.8%)
– That there are major questions about the circumstances of the respective Remain and especially Leave campaigns regarding probity of information claims and promises made to voters.
– That a serious risk of break-up of the UK impends upon a ‘Brexit’.
– That the economy consequences of a ‘Brexit’ are not in the UK’s best favour.
– That a ‘Brexit’ would damage our neighbours and partners in Europe.
– And that the future of the young of our country is focally implicated in the decision.
For all these reasons and more, there is a powerful case for Parliament to use its discretion to determine that it is not in the UK’s interests to leave the EU”. Professor Grayling’s full letter: https://goo.gl/9C7z78
One of the UK’s Leading EU law experts, Professor Michael Dougan, reported in great details in several of his videos that the Referendum is non-binding and advisory (https://goo.gl/5cxDlX ). His message is clear; the dishonesty was on an industrial scale! He states that “the entire UK legal system will be subject to a very sharp review (as mentioned by Jeremy Corbyn). There will have to be a comprehensive review of the UK legal system. It will have to be done very quickly and it will not be done through Parliament.” https://goo.gl/3fdYks ~ True Democracy begins with honesty~
Furthermore, over three million voiceless (EU members UK residents, UK citizen living abroad, 16 to 18 years old) were not eligible to vote in this Referendum, plus hundreds and hundreds of British Expats postal votes went missing or were sent to the wrong places. Is this, with everything else, a representation of a fair democracy?
Some petitions do carry their weight and help to make a difference and some are too slow to be efficient in making their way to obtain a new bill in Parliament after debate. Over four millions signed a petition to stop article 50 to be triggered. And many more would follow if they are better informed, inclined to be more proactive and if they have the means to sign a petition. The Committee from the House of Common has decided that the huge number of people signing this petition means that it should be debated by MPS. Article – ‘Second EU Referendum petition to be debated in Parliament after receiving more than 4 million signatures’: http://goo.gl/UIAoYT
Isn’t it remarkable that the result of the Referendum was so grossly wrong, so fraudulent and outrageous that a Youth movement has been created to challenge the result taking some major legal steps? I applaud their audacity. Groups of lawyers also and #BrexitJustice have pledged to pursue legal action with crowdfunding and prosecute dishonest Brexit politicians and bring integrity back to British politics. Isn’t it time to make politicians accountable for their deceiving actions? (Article – ‘result not legally binding’: http://goo.gl/rWziW7 – BrexitJustice: http://goo.gl/j3qK7h – Letter from 1,000 lawyers to David Cameron over the EU Referendum: http://goo.gl/aPpfY8 – Article 50, our letter to the Government: https://goo.gl/rlbQPW).

Britain’s leader – Austerity – Human Rights – Rise in racism & xenophobia

Britain’s leader, Theresa May, who just happens to become Prime Minister yesterday when we didn’t even vote for her, brings to question what our Parliament’s true meaning of Democracy is.
How can we trust our new Prime Minister to explain that the illusion they were promised – all the EU’s benefits with none of its obligations – does not exist? As Business Insider UK pointed out.
Isn’t it a worrying sign that Theresa May who repeatedly scapegoats immigrants, in her statement on the debate over immigration, that she only hopes that a deal can be struck that will allow EU Nationals the right to remain in UK? A petition had to be launched to prevent such insensitive declaration creating more fear amongst families. Andy Burnham (Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary) was quick to point out that EU nationals deserve much better than being used by the Government as bargaining chips. His wife being Dutch, Burnham had to pass on the message to Theresa May that he would quite like to tell his children that their mum is going to stay in UK if that’s all right with May. These discussion taking place in this day and age in our Parliament are aberrant! Rightly so she wasn’t backed up by the cabinet.
“Clearly British humour has no borders”, Guy Verhofstadt says on learning that Boris Johnson had been made Foreign Secretary today. How humiliating, ridiculous and dangerous!
At least we are seeing today a good clean up of bad apples in the cabinet. Like sacking George Osborne who has overseen a complete failure to tackle austerity and was the most ruthless Chancellor in UK history, not only for the UK economy but also failed in human terms. As well as sacking self-serving Michael Gove who has despicably let down the country http://goo.gl/744N9S. So, a healthier clean up continues. See updates in full: http://goo.gl/OxEy7V . George Osborne, after six years of punishing the poor and rewarding the rich prompted the referendum revolt: https://goo.gl/m7y5uk
But is it wise that Philip Hammond, our new Chancellor, wants to take us out of the single market? http://goo.gl/5wu2Hx
David Cameron, who has overseen a catastrophic failure in Government, in his speech of resignation yesterday on ‘we must continue to succeed’, shows a derisive statement trying to fool our nation when the UN reported such cause for concerns in UK. Please see report by the UNITED NATIONS: http://goo.gl/ZAAGdl
Our country suffers an immense Human Rights issue and inequality issue and an alarming rise in racism and xenophobia not only in UK but all over Europe. What can you do about it if not do your up-most best to help with UK’s crisis by putting pressure and strongly encouraging a stop for UK to leave the EU? Human Rights watch: http://goo.gl/f9OehG https://goo.gl/lKFtcu https://goo.gl/KJlU8f
What a joke to call it a ‘success regime’ regarding our NHS, as David Cameron claimed when it has been nothing but! Since privatization and since the cuts in some fundamental organisations such as the NHS and many invaluable charities, there is unavoidable struggle. As one of the result, our NHS’s staffs are testing their limits and many patients succumb to insufficient care and despair. As another result, our country depends on charity organisations and on reliable news providers to readjust the balance. Charities organisations not funded by the Government of course and heavily relying on volunteers and donations. More than ever our EU friends are needed in the NHS yet they are pushed to leave. https://goo.gl/xMjWVK
Not only the NHS will not see a penny of the £350m promised by the Leave campaign but Brexit will leave the NHS £19bn poorer according to the President of the Royal College of physicians Jane Dacre.
How indignant that UK owes more than ever, the rich are richer than ever, some children are starving, food banks are up, depression and even suicide (including amongst doctors), is increasing. The austerity up north has been so awful that people’s children are killing themselves because there is so much despair. These are not just isolated incidents. This is happening now and needs to be dealt with accordingly.
What a gross misinterpretation, regarding adequate help from the Government, when the DWP (Department of Welfare and Pension) was able to create ATOS which led so many people to death.
What is it like to not be part of the EU? And what has Europe ever done for us? See how UK is perceived to be spoilt by outsiders: http://goo.gl/QUVkr4

Who are the victims?

As usual; the most vulnerable, the most disadvantages, the migrants, the refugees, the sick and the poorest, are the ones to suffer the most. And the lack of awareness on the fact that it is not the fault of the migrants and refugees (contrarily to what so many people have been manipulated to believe) brings cause for huge concern and breaks my heart.
Frances Ryan in her article reminds us that: Austerity policies breech the UK’s Human Rights obligations; child poverty has spiked; delayed state pension for hundreds of thousands of women; children with mental health problems are being denied treatment; the DWP is delaying the release of benefit death report, (again). Full article: https://goo.gl/vtpNiK
Wouldn’t you agree that leaving the EU is not a solution to austerity? The young generation are the ones to be affected the most if we leave the EU.
Like Ian McEwan in his article points out, “only a fool would want to invoke the dread article too soon and that meanwhile, the economy is in decline. Racists and xenophobes are gripped with an elated sense of entitlement”. I hope that Ian McEwan is right, that in fact, we never left, it was all a bad dream and that this summer of contempt will be soon forgotten. I doubt that this crisis of an industrial scale will ever be forgotten.
Is my slim proportional representation still representing Democracy? Should true Democracy be redefined too?
We are all migrants. We are all refugees. I have been living in UK for 30 years and I wasn’t eligible to vote in the EU Referendum. I wasn’t allowed a voice. My children and husband are British. I am not. I am European and embrace diversity.
We cannot accept the legitimacy of this Referendum and we cannot stand for an advisory, merely an opinion based on false and insufficient information, to leave the EU. Millions of Britons are physically exhausted after spending several weeks arguing with people who do not understand anything http://goo.gl/SejYhX.
UK suffers the oppression of insanely rich Media who deform the reality and influence the nation wrongly and illegally by brainwashing blatant lies. Please don’t leave us to this corrupt regime.
A future of hope can’t be built on hatred, lies, bullying and fear. Our children deserve better and it is our duty to give hope to the next generation.
As part of the European Union, as a French national, as a European, as a mother, as a compassionate for the more vulnerable and the more disadvantaged, as a campaigner for a fairer society, I am imploring you to help us put a stop to this grotesque and outrageous process that would activate article 50. This must not happen for the best interest of all concerned.
Thank you for listening.
Laure Om

Solidarity with Norwich Migrants

An excellent sum up by Tony Allen on such a terrific display of solidarity and reminding us what each of those wonderful speakers have said.

Tony's Page!

On Tuesday 12th July 2016, just five days after the well-attended rally Norwich Stays, hundreds of people gathered once again in front of the steps of Norwich’s City Hall to show solidarity with migrants in the city and call for the acceptance of refugees.

The overwhelming mood of the rally, similarly to that of the previous Thursday’s, was one of togetherness, and the subject of Solidarity with Norwich Migrants was to affirm unity and support all Norwich residents. As with the Norwich Stays rally, there were a variety of different aims and focuses of the individual speakers and attendees.

Under one of City Hall’s famous bronze lions, a banner read “Refugees Welcome/Let Them In” and several people brought along posters showing their support for migration. One demonstrator brought a large model of a safety pin, an image which has come to symbolise support for migrants in the wake of the rise…

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Article 50. Our Letter to the Government.

Listen up to what the lawyers have to say!

Waiting for Godot

Earlier today I tweeted out the text of an email I’d sent to those who had helped fund this Crowd Justice campaign.

I promised to name the legal team you had funded and reproduce a copy of our letter to the Government.

Our legal team (in alphabetical order) is as follows (with further names to be added).

Paul Bowen QCGerry Facenna QCBen Jaffey, John HalfordTim JohnstonHelen Mountfield QC and Jack Williams (who will soon practice from here).

The letter reads as follows.

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Norwich Stays: A Review

Excellent. Many thanks Tony for your thorough account of this historical day. True Democracy begins with honesty. I also wrote a review (with less details and more based on impressions).
MY REVIEW ON THE RALLY PRO-EU IN NORWICH ON THE 7.07.16
The mood was somber, the atmosphere heavy, lightened up by some humorous placards that spoke volume on this farce of the very regrettable EU Referendum which should have never taken place in the first place.
I applaud the remarkable work that Tom Johnson and Emily Cutler have undertaken by creating the Norwich Stays movement and as soon as the day after, they continue the movement changing its name to Norwich and Norfolk Stays. It’s heart warming that there are such active inspirational youth taking charge of their future following their vision of a fairer society. Their organisational skills and their resilience are owe inspiring.
We had some great speakers. I specially admired the powerful speech from Katy Jon Went who is very knowledgeable and a passionate campaigner. Thank you also for the very supportive speech by our Norwich Counselor Alan Waters. The team effort and coordination among those involved was energizing.
We had a fantastic turn out of around 1,500 people. The press recorded the event on T.V. BBC news and in the EDP 24.
Norwich Stays changed its name to Norwich and Norfolk Stays. We are growing and spreading nationally.
Is the attitude towards politic changing? Is there a shift being infiltrated into our society? Ask yourself, are you going to remain cynical about the whole thing? Are you going to accept the letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office? Are you going to try to reach a deeper level of understanding or just get on with your routine and just leave it to some fraudulent politicians at the top to deal with it?
We should never give up hope. Whatever route we’ve taken, whatever route we take we should have a choice.
Is my slim ‘proportional representation’ still representing democracy? Should True democracy be redefined too?
True Democracy begins with honesty.
I’ve read somewhere that it is not the politicians, it’s the believers who made all the difference in history.

Tony's Page!

On Thursday 7th July 2016, it has been reported that over a thousand residents of Norwich and its surrounding areas gathered to listen to a range of eight pro-EU speakers in front of City Hall.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing was that the event, entitled Norwich Stays, had been organised by two young people, Emily Cutler and Tom Johnston, who had expected a “couple of hundred” attendees at most when they first decided on the need for a rally.

IMG_9210 (1).JPGMy View
Amidst all of the buzzing online discussion I wanted to describe my own experience of attending the event. Perched on the raised concrete to the side of City Hall’s famous steps, I had a good view of the assembled crowd, many of whom were resplendent with painted faces, flags and placards.

What united us was no more complicated or nuanced than a common love of Europe, be it for…

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Are we OK, you and I, after you voted to destroy my dreams?

Sharing your thoughts Andrew. There is a chance to keep UK in EU. https://www.change.org/p/last-and-only-option-left-to-keep-the-uk-in-eu-stop-article-50-from-being-invoked  #remaininEU #remain #article 50

Andrew Reid Wildman, artist, photographer, writer, teacher

I feel like someone has taken something dear to me, my identity, my connection to my continent, and they have killed it. If you voted Leave, I hope you are prepared to take responsibility for what you have done, and that you do not regret it. It is over to you now, to sort out. Some friends view my reaction as an affront. That I am ‘dissing” them. It is not. It is just that you have killed something that was precious to me. You have created a country around me that I do not recognise, which feels broken and insular. That was your right to do that, you voted the way you thought was best. And you won and I lost. But in so doing you destroyed something. Many of you are now regretting your vote. Save your tears, I do not want to hear them lest I scream…

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the day after the night before – jumping in (again)

Not Writing But Blogging

Lots of people I know are tired, upset and worried today.
Some people I know are furious.
Some people are resigned.
And yes, I even know a few people who are very happy indeed.

Personally, this is not the election result I wanted.
Mind you, even a Labour landslide would have had me worried – and I say that as a Labour voter. I’m tired of adversarial politics. Of politics and politicians that do not reflect the diverse world in which we live. I do support parliamentary democracy (ie, I don’t know of any revolutions, even non-violent ones, that have worked for all of the people all of the time), but I think what really matters now is what we do next, what we EACH do next.

Here’s what I’m going to do now :
– keep working on, promoting, sharing, and developingFun Palaces. Fun Palaces are about…

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