Saturday, 24 September 2011

Gary McKinnon petition on 'We The People' at . 5,000 signatures needed by October 23rd 2011

"find some way to pardon Gary McKinnon NOW please - Let Gary's family get

on with normal life again. 10 years is too long Gary McKinnon just needs to get on with life - his family need to get on with their lives. Using The USA UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, which was designed for terrorism, to 'get' a man from Bonnybridge in Scotland because he believed in flying saucers like most of the country he comes from. Please look into who left the unpassworded computers there so that an amateur like Gary could get in. Why did no one reply to all his left messages about security breaches by him? If it was a sting to catch foreign governments and you caught Gary - let him go - he is a minnow compared to the people you want. You have been threatening a man with Asperger's for nearly 10 years. Call off the hunt. He's a wounded human. Let him have space. Freedom from your pressure. TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF HIS HEAD please?"

Thank you for creating a petition on We the People! You now have 30 days to get 5,000 signatures in order for your petition to be reviewed by the White House. Until your petition has 150 signatures, it will only be available from the following URL: Here are a few tips to help you promote your petition and get to 5,000 signatures: 1. Email: Email your petition to your friends, family and others who care about this issue. Below is a sample email you can forward to your friends right now. 2. Facebook: Post your petition to your Facebook wall to let folks know about it. Here’s a sample message you can cut and paste into your Facebook status: I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, We the People. Will you sign it? 3. Twitter: Tweet about your petition. Here’s a sample tweet you can use: I just started a petition on the White House Petitions site, We the People. Will you sign it? ------------------------------------------------ Hit forward and then delete the text above to let your friends know about your petition! ------------------------------------------------ Dear friends, I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 5,000 signatures by October 23, 2011, the White House will review it and respond! We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response. You can view and sign the petition here: Here's some more information about this petition: find some way to pardon Gary McKinnon NOW please - Let Gary's family get on with normal life again. 10 years is too long Gary McKinnon just needs to get on with life - his family need to get on with their lives. Using The USA UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, which was designed for terrorism, to 'get' a man from Bonnybridge in Scotland because he believed in flying saucers like most of the country he comes from. Please look into who left the unpassworded computers there so that an amateur like Gary could get in. Why did no one reply to all his left messages about security breaches by him? If it was a sting to catch foreign governments and you caught Gary - let him go - he is a minnow compared to the people you want. You have been threatening a man with Asperger's for nearly 10 years. Call off the hunt. He's a wounded human. Let him have space. Freedom from your pressure. TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF HIS HEAD please? - Call for a motion of no confidence in Tony Balls, Head of Basildon Council

TOPIC: Petition Call for a motion of no confidence in Tony Balls, Head of Basildon Council

Petition Call for a motion of no confidence in Tony Balls, Head of Basildon Council 59 minutes ago #618

  • John Houghton
  • Administrator
  • Owner Of Council Watch UK
  • Posts: 566
  • Karma: 8
Call for a motion of no confidence in Tony Balls, Head of Basildon Council

The Petition

Tony Balls’ irrational and persistent behaviour towards the situation at Dale Farm will cost the tax payer at least £18 million. Basildon has seen huge cuts in services for the disabled and to benefits affecting the elderly and the young as well as the selling off of local park lands including Gloucester Park, the oldest and largest park in Basildon . This burden on the taxpayer and the loss of public services and amenity could have been avoided if Mr Balls had chosen to pursue a more cost effective and humanitarian route such as the offer by the Homes and Communities Agency to provide ‘land and investment’ to resettle the Dale Farm residents. Mr Balls’ chosen route will undoubtedly have a long term negative impact on public services in Basildon, a situation that will affect all residents in the area. Mr Balls appears to be either unable or unwilling to accept this. Consequently, we the undersigned request that members of Basildon Council table a motion of no confidence in Mr Balls.

Create A Petition | The White House

Please fill out the form below to register for a account. After you fill out this form, an email will be sent to you. You must click on the link in that email in order to verify your account and continue.!/petition/find-some-way-pardon-gary-mckinnon-now-please-let-garys-family-get-normal-life-again-10-years-too/Qj860ZCs

22,829 signatures in less than 24hrs? Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. | The White House

we petition the obama administration to:

Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.

We the people want to know when we can have our "perfectly legitimate" discussion on marijuana legalization. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965, countless lives ruined and hundreds of billions of tax dollars squandered and yet this policy has still failed to achieve its stated goals of lowering use rates, limiting the drug's access, and creating safer communities.

Isn't it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol? If not, please explain why you feel that the continued criminalization of cannabis will achieve the results in the future that it has never achieved in the past?

Created: Sep 22, 2011

March to support Hungarian Romani Gypsies/Gigany

24 October · 09:00 - 12:00

The Hungarian Embassy or Hungarian Consulate nearest you. If you don't live near one of these places, we have addresses you can write to.

Created by:
More info
The week of September 16, a Romani village in Hungary was attacked by Neo Nazis who are the core of the Hungarian poltical party known as Jobbik. Houses belonging to Romani (Gypsy) people or families were set on fire and as Romani people ran out from the fires, the Nazis shot them. Over 600 women and children had to be evacuted for safety. There are several other examples of Romani people being attacked. Neo Nazis patrol Romani... neighborhoods at night, if someone is found outside, for any reason, they are either raped or murdered. Here is a link to a website that further discusses the situation in Hungary.

Please note, Romani people are not from Romania. Romani people are ethinc Gypsies. Originally Romani people were kidnapped out of India and sold into slavery. Hitler had 1.5 million Romani's murdered during WWII. Most people don't know that the same documents used to address Hitler's "solution" to eliminating Jews, also contained directions on how to eliminate Gypsies. The Romani are being targeted again, by Neo Nazis.

We are asking all people who support basic Human Rights, regardless of nationality, to help the Romani people of Hungary. There are several ways to help. We ask those who live in close proximity to a Hungarian Embassy or Consulate to march to the respective site, on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9 a.m., your time. Here are addresses to help in locating the approriate site:

Washington D.C. embassy
3910 Shoemaker St. N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008
telephone 1 202-362-6730

Los Angeles 11766 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 410 Los Angeles Ca 90025
1 310-473-9344

New York 223 E. 52 St.
New York, N.Y. 10011

Two websites that list worldwide Hungarian Embassies and Consulates

If you can not visit an Embassy, you can write to U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton. She is a supporter of Romani people, her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton is Romani. Here is a form letter you can send her with address,
PA/PL, Rm. 2206
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary Clinton,

I know you are a proud supporter of the Romani Gypsy/Cigany people. I wanted to let you know that the Hungarian Romani people are facing growing violence from Neo Nazis. Nazis often patrol Romani neighborhoods at night. If a Romani is found outside, they are often raped, murdered or both. Last week in a Romani village, several Romani homes were set on fire. When the Roma people ran out of the buildings on fire, Neo Nazis shot them. Hungary is in danger of repeating the history of Germany during WWII and the millions of deaths at places like Auzwich.

I have read reports of Romani people commiting crimes such as theft. When people are not allowed to work or earn a living wage, they turn to subsistance crimes. The Romani have turned to these crimes to provide food for their children and elders. Romani people are like any other group of people, who are proud of who they are and love their families. I implore you to look into this situation and work to protect the Romani people of Hungary. The Romani people look to you as an advocate, a protector. I know you won't want to miss this opportunity to continue your work on behalf of the Romani people.

Please see these two websites that support what I write.


Here is a form letter you us to write to the Prime Minister of Hungary. You can cut and paste the letter, to email you can send the letter to,

The letter is written in both English and Hungarian. It is probably best to include both the English and Hungarian versions of the letter so your intent can be clearly understood. Our translation may not be perfect.

Viktor Orban
Prime minister of Hungary
Dear sir,
I am a concerned individual when it comes to the treatment of Romany Gypsys or the Cigany population within your country. The Romany people are a very proud and strong race. When given a choice any Roma would choose to work a good job and live in peace . They are not a lazy people. Due to the attitude and hostility toward the Roma within your borders they do not have the chance to seek jobs and be productive citizens. I hear many reports coming from your country talking of the roma situation and the high crime rates within the Roma population. Sir,I ask you, if you were faced with no other option to feed your family, but crime, would you not choose it? Would you allow your children to starve because you had no money to buy food and no jobs were available to you, that would enable you to earn a honest wages. It defies simple logic that a person would allow their race or ethnicity to stop them from providing for their family.

When people, such as the Romani commit such crimes, they are known as subsistance crimes. I see news footage of Neo Nazi groups, setting fires to Roma houses. I hear and see news reports where hundreds of women and children have had to be evacuated from various towns because of Neo Nazi attacks and threats. I know that you have control over the actions of the Neo Nazis when you make it a priority. The Neo Nazis could not be patrolling the streets, attacking people, and making life for Romani/Gigany people unsafe if you did not allow them to. Perhaps they feel they are above the law. Hungary is turning into a modern Auchwitz.

I urge you to create changes to help better the lives of the Cigany Roma there by creating laws to protect their safety and enforcing laws that will help them prosper. They are human, beings not animals . The eyes of the world are on you watching to see what will be done to correct this situation. I am positive you would not want your name to go down in history as another Hitler.


Orbán Viktor
Magyarország miniszterelnöke

Tisztelt uram,
Én vagyok az érintett személy, amikor a kezelés a Romani Gypsys vagy a cigány lakosság belül az országot. A Roma emberek nagyon büszke és erős verseny. Ha adott a választás minden Roma azt választaná, hogy a munka jó munkát, és békében éljenek. Nem lusta. Mivel a hozzáállás és ellenséges felé romák a határát nincs esélye, hogy munkát keresni, és produktív polgárai. Hallom, számos jelentés érkezett az ország beszél a Romani helyzet és a magas bűnözési ráta a lakosság körében is kérem ezt, ha kellett szembenézniük nincs más lehetőség a takarmány a család, de a bűnözés kíván nem választhatja meg? Szeretne hogy a gyerekek éheznek, mert nem volt pénze az élelmiszer és nem munkahely állt rendelkezésre, hogy keresni egy tisztességes béreket, mert romák voltak, vagy Cigány? Látom felvételek on-line a Neo Náci csoportok felgyújtja Roma házak és hallani és látni hírek, ahol több száz nő és gyermek kell evakuálni városok miatt neo náci támadások és fenyegetések. Nem akarom hallani, hogy nem tudja ellenőrizni, hogy mivel ez hazugság. A Neo Náci nem járőröznek az utcákon támadó embereket, és hogy életüket nyomorult, ha nem volt szabad megtenni, és úgy érezte, ők a törvény felett. Magyarország fordult egy modern Auchwitz.

Arra kérem, hogy hozzanak létre változásokat HEP jobban él a Cigány Roma van azáltal törvények védelme érdekében biztonsági és érvényesítése törvények, amelyek segítik őket boldogulni. Ezek az emberek nem állatok. A szem a világ rád néz, hogy mi fog történni a helyzet javítása érdekében. Biztos vagyok benne, amit nem szeretné, hogy a nevét, hogy menjen be a történelembe, és meg kell hívni egy másik Hitler.


Essex Police to review tweets

Essex Police to review tweets

Essex Police is reviewing a number of tweets which have been brought to our attention.

While people may find some comments made by people on social networking sites regarding travellers and Dale Farm offensive, officers have to consider these comments against a criminal threshold.

Any which meet this threshold will be investigated.

We appreciate people’s right to freedom of speech, however we urge people not to make offensive remarks about any particular group.

Should anyone witness any comments which are offensive they should report these to police in the usual manner, via 101 or 0300 333 4444, rather than on the Essex Police Twitter account.

BBC News - SAS war diary: The SAS secret hidden since World War II

The SAS secret hidden since World War II

The SAS War Diary

A secret World War II diary of the British special forces unit, the SAS, has been kept hidden since it was created in 1946. Now it's being published for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of the regiment. The BBC has exclusive access to the remarkable piece of history.

It was 1946; World War II was over and so was the Special Air Service, better known as the SAS.

Set up in 1941 by David Stirling, a lieutenant in the Scots Guards at the time, it had changed the way wars were fought, dispensing with standard military tactics and making up its own. But in the new post-war world those in charge no longer saw a need for the regiment. It had been disbanded and there were no plans to revive it.

But for one former SAS soldier it wasn't over. Determined that the regiment's story wouldn't fade away and become a footnote in history, he made it his job to find and preserve whatever documents and photographs he could before they were lost forever. It was his final SAS mission.

The PoW and the Nazi general

Captain Tonkin

Major J Tonkin was captured in France on 3 October 1943. He filed this report after escaping:

At about 1100 hours a corporal brought me water to wash in and said that General Heidrich wanted to see me and that it was his custom to entertain all British paratroop officers whom he captured.

Heidrich was a man of medium size, rather chubby, with light hair and pale eyes of indeterminate colour. He was inclined to be bald, and although pleasant enough, gave one the impression that he could be ruthless.

Topics of conversation were obviously going to be tricky, but he started off with a formal invitation to lunch, and would I like chicken or pork? He added that it was immaterial which one I chose, as it was "borrowed" from the Italians, and of course I would think it looting. Being hungry I hastened to assure him that I called it "living off the land" when I partook of the deed. So chicken it was!

The last subject he talked about was what a beautiful stroke the Termoli landing had been. It had inconvenienced them a great deal and was perfectly timed. Then the German corps commander came in and I was taken away.

The next day I escaped while being moved.

As it turned out the elite force's expertise was still needed and it was resurrected just a year later in 1947. And by then the soldier's personal mission had resulted in something unique - a diary of the SAS in WWII.

Unorthodox from the start, the SAS was conceived as a commando force to operate behind enemy lines in North Africa, where the British were fighting Field Marshall Rommel's highly-skilled Afrika Korps. Their orders were to attack enemy airfields and harass the Germans in any way possible. Over months they repeatedly went into the desert and destroyed German planes, sometimes with bare hands when their bombs ran out.

After the end of the North African campaign, the SAS then served in Italy. It was at the forefront of the action with the Normandy landings in June 1944, again going behind enemy lines in jeeps assisting the French Resistance and providing crucial intelligence for allied forces.

The SAS continued to be at the forefront of operations through Belgium, Holland and Germany until the end of the war in Europe.

Documents in the diary include the top secret order authorising the first SAS operation and rare photographs of the team which carried it out, naming those who died. It also had highly-confidential briefing instructions to kill Rommel in France. He was injured and sent back to Germany before a team of four SAS men reached him. There was confidential correspondence from Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the future of the regiment and the order assigning it regimental status.

It was a huge tome. The soldier had bound everything in a single, leather-clad book which totalled 500 pages. It measured 17in (43cm) by 12in and weighed over 25lb (11.3kg).

But having created something unique, he then stored it away at his home for more than half a century and told no-one about its existence. Coming from a regiment where discretion was part of its ethos, and belonging to a generation of men who were reticent to talk about their war experiences, it would have been the natural thing to do.

Military historian Gordon Stevens takes Robert Hall through the diary

It was only in the late 1990s, shortly before his death, that he took it to the SAS Regimental Association and handed it over. It was then put in the regiment's highly-confidential archives for years, where only a handful of people knew about it.

Its existence was only revealed outside the SAS when documentary maker and writer Gordon Stevens stumbled across it. He had worked closely with the association on several projects and asked to look at photos from its archives. The diary was brought out and it took him just seconds to realise how important it was.

Start Quote

Mike Sadler

I would have done the same thing as that man and put the diary away in a cupboard, I still would today”

End Quote Mike Sadler SAS veteran

"As soon as I saw it I knew it was an incredible document," he says. "The records in it don't exist anywhere else. From its contents to how it was pieced together, it was astonishing."

After two years of negotiation it's now being reproduced and published for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of the SAS. Limited numbers will go on sale at £975 each, with most of the proceeds going to the association.

Months of work have been put in to include material not available to the soldier in 1946, and now held in the association's archives. The pages have been ordered chronologically and reports, maps and photographs have been added to complete the picture and tell the full story of the wartime SAS.

"The diary is a unique document and going through it is a very humbling experience," says the executive vice-president of the SAS Regimental Association, Col John Crosland, 64. He worked on the project and was one of the few people who knew about the diary's existence at the association.

"It shows how extraordinary these men were. Their deeds were astonishing but they are so matter of fact in their reports. What they did with the little kit they had was phenomenal. Their radios probably weren't very exact and medical recovery would have been non-existent."

Paddy Mayne and his dog Paddy Mayne led 1 SAS after Stirling was captured

Much about the diary still remains a mystery. The regiment is not naming the soldier who put it together and little is known about how he got hold of so much important information. Some have speculated that SAS founder Stirling may have encouraged his men to contribute, but those alive today think it is unlikely.

"I had no idea someone was putting the diary together," says 91-year-old Mike Sadler, who was 21 when he became a member of 1 SAS and Stirling's navigator.

"When the regiment was disbanded after World War II we all went our different ways. Anyway, we never spoke about what we did. We just didn't think that way and still don't.

"I would have done the same thing as that man and put the diary away in a cupboard, I still would today. The thought of publishing the diary would not have crossed our minds."

Its publication is very significant, says military historian Antony Beevor, the author of many books including D-Day: The Battle for Normandy. He says up until now there has been very little material about the birth of the SAS.

SAS founder Colonel David Stirling, speaking in 1985 about the men who served under him in the early days

"That generation of men just didn't talk about their experiences so there is very little information around. They had a huge respect for things like the Official Secrets Act and the SAS were even more security conscious than most.

"The regiment has always fascinated people. It is the most extreme form of military life imaginable."

So why publish it now? Despite the interest in the SAS, talking publicly still doesn't come naturally to those involved with it - past and present. The diary is about celebrating the regiment's 70th anniversary, says Col Crosland. But it is also about educating people - including those in the forces.

"Even within the military, people are ignorant of the part played by the fledgling SAS in World War II. Nearly every allied operation was led by the SAS or the SBS (Special Boat Service). These men were sometimes dropping 500 miles behind enemy lines."

The early SAS

SAS men
  • The SAS began life in 1941, the unorthodox idea of Scots Guards Lieutenant David Stirling
  • In September 1942 it was officially designated 1st SAS Regiment
  • Stirling was captured in January 1943 during SAS operations in southern Tunisia
  • After escaping several times he ended up as a prisoner in Colditz Castle
  • For his distinguished actions while a prisoner he was made an OBE
  • In May 1943, his brother Lieutenant Colonel William Stirling raised a 2nd SAS Regiment
  • Both were disbanded in October 1945
  • The SAS was reformed in July 1947

Source: SAS Regimental Association

There is also an increasing awareness that time is slipping away, with SAS veterans from WWII getting older. According to the association, 143 are still alive today, including veterans from the SBS and other small units that came under the SAS at the time.

"We thought about publishing the diary for the regiment's 75th anniversary, but knew even fewer veterans would be alive," says Col Crosland.

The association's own archivists have been working closely with older members to extract their stories. But even then the accounts are kept very much as private regimental mementos.

For former SAS members like Sadler, this is the right thing to do.

"Even today I think twice when it comes to speaking about my experiences," he says.

But what the regiment does hope is that the diary may prompt other people with documents or photographs to come forward. These can then be added to its archive.

"This will always be a work in progress," says Col Crosland.

And the soldier who started it all?

"Ultimately, the story of the SAS in World War II is about more than just one man," says Stevens. "I think he would have agreed with the decision not to name him."

Bodyguard for the brain: Researchers identify mechanism that seems to protect brain from aging

Bodyguard for the Brain: Researchers Identify Mechanism That Seems to Protect Brain from Aging

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011) — Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Mainz have discovered a mechanism that seems to protect the brain from aging. In experiments with mice, they switched off the cannabinoid-1 receptor. As a consequence, the animals showed signs of degeneration -- as seen in people with dementia -- much faster.

The research results are presented in a current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Humans are getting older and older, and the number of people with dementia is increasing. The factors controlling degeneration of the brain are still mostly unknown. However, researchers assume that factors such as stress, accumulation of toxic waste products as well as inflammation accelerate aging. But, vice versa, there are also mechanisms that can -- like a bodyguard -- protect the brain from degenerating, or repair defective structures.

Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Mainz have now discovered a hitherto unknown function of the cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1). A receptor is a protein that can bind to other substances, triggering a chain of signals. Cannabinoids such as THC -- the active agent in cannabis sativa -- and endocannabinoids formed by the body bind to the CB1 receptors. The existence of this receptor is also the reason for the intoxicating effect of hashish and marijuana.

Not only does the CB1 receptor have an addictive potential, but it also plays a role in the degeneration of the brain. "If we switch off the receptor using gene technology, mouse brains age much faster," said Önder Albayram, principal author of the publication and a doctoral student on the team of Professor Dr. Andreas Zimmer from the Institut für Molekulare Psychiatrie at the University of Bonn. "This means that the CB1 signal system has a protective effect for nerve cells."

Mice prove their brain power in a pool

The researchers studied mice in different age categories -- young six week old animals, middle-aged ones at five months, and those of an advanced age at 12 months. The animals had to master various tasks -- first, they had to find a submerged platform in the pool. Once the mice knew its location, the platform was moved, and the animals had to find it again. This was how the researchers tested how well the rodents learned and remembered.

The animals in which the CB1 receptor had been switched off (the knock-out mice) clearly differed from their kind. "The knock-out mice showed clearly diminished learning and memory capacity," said Privatdozent Dr. Andras Bilkei-Gorzo from Professor Zimmer's team, who led the study. So, animals that did not have the receptor were less successful in their search for the platform. "In addition, they showed a clear loss of nerve cells in the hippocampus," he explained further. This part of the brain is the central area for forming and storing information. In addition, the researchers found inflammation processes in the brain. As the mice advanced in age, the degenerative processes became increasingly noticeable.

Amazing parallels with the human brain

The animals with the intact CB1 receptor, to the contrary, did clearly better with regard to their learning and memory capabilities, as well as the health of their nerve cells. "The root cause of aging is one of the secrets of life," commented Albayram. This study has begun to open the door to solving this enigma. The processes in the mouse brains have a surprising number of parallels with age-related changes in human brains. So, the endocannabinoid system may also present a protective mechanism in the aging of the human brain.

The principal author cautioned, "This will require additional research." The scientists would like to better understand the mechanism by which CB1 receptors protect the brain from inflammation processes. And based on these signal chains, it might then be possible to develop substances for new therapies.

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BBC News - Dale Farm: Who are the UK's travellers?

Dale Farm: Who are the UK's travellers?

Children of Dale Farm travellers site hold pictures of themselves at the gate to the illegal travellers site in Cray's Hill, Essex Children of Dale Farm travellers site held pictures of themselves at the gate to the illegal travellers site

Related Stories

The eviction of some 400 people from the UK's largest illegal travellers' site, Dale Farm in Essex, has once again brought to the forefront Britain's traveller community.

Not to be confused with Romany Gypsies, who are the largest traveller group in the world with some 12 million members according to the Gypsy Council, the families who live at the site are Irish Travellers.

"A lot of Romany Gypsies are very angry at Irish Travellers in terms of the way our two identities are confused," says Jake Bowers, a Romany Gypsy journalist who writes for the Travellers' Times.

"We're two separate ethnic groups. Whilst there is some conflict because people inhabit the same social and physical space, there is some kind of harmony; some inter-marry and live alongside each other."

Both Irish Travellers and Romany Gypsies are recognised as distinct ethnic minority groups in English law because they are communities which share a history stretching back hundreds of years.

In a guide to Gypsies and travellers, Mr Bowers writes that from the 16th Century to the present day, "no ethnic groups in Britain have aroused as much curiosity, romance, hatred and fear as Gypsies and travellers".

The law and gypsies

  • Romany Gypsies have been in Britain since at least 1515 after migrating from continental Europe
  • The 1554 "Egyptians Act" banned gypsies from entering England and imposed the death penalty on those that remained in the country for more than a month
  • From 1597, the Vagrancy Act reduced the death penalty to expelling anyone who led that "roguish kind of life"
  • Britain's attitude towards Gypsies relaxed over the years; in 1968 the Caravan Sites Act ordered local authorities to provide sites for all Gypsies living or moving to their areas
  • This was the first time that the state had recognised responsibility to provide secure, legal stopping places for Gypsies
  • This changed in the 1990s when the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act removed the legal obligation to provide these sites and gave police eviction powers
  • Currently it is up to Gypsies to find their own sites; however, councils have to provide options for them

Irish Travellers mainly came to England after the potato famine in the 1850s and then after World War II, when men came over to build motorways and work as labourers.

Many travellers, including those from Dale Farm, describe Rathkeale in County Limerick as their spiritual home, says BBC Look East correspondent Sally Chidzoy, who visited the Irish town earlier this month.

She said many Irish Travellers moved between the town and other traveller sites in eastern England.

Many Irish Travellers in the UK have been born in Britain and some now speak with British regional accents, says Grace O'Malley from the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain charity.

Nomadic way

The term traveller refers to anyone who has a nomadic way of life. It can not only refer to Irish Travellers or Romany Gypsies, but also those who live on the road for economic reasons such as New Travellers or Showmen.

Having said that, about half of all Gypsies and travellers nowadays live in houses, the other half live in caravans on private caravan sites, public caravan sites and on unauthorised encampments, says Mr Bowers.

Many Gypsy sites have been built near rubbish dumps, sewer works or industrial sites.

"There isn't one Gypsy and traveller culture, just as there isn't one single Gypsy and traveller community," says Mr Bowers.

However, the way of life of living on the road means that there are "certain cultural things in common", he added.

Irish Travellers share some of the same cultural values as Romany Gypsies, such as a preference for self-employment, but there are also big differences - for example most Irish Travellers are Catholic whereas Romany Gypsies are Church of England, says Joseph G Jones from the Gypsy Council.

Irish Travellers speak a language called Gammon or Cant, a language which mixes Gaelic words with English.

"Broadly speaking it's basically the same community," says Ms O'Malley.

"There are different groups, but there are no huge defining differences other than accent and religion. They live together on council sites."

Big costs

Gypsy culture is built on strict codes of cleanliness, says Mr Bowers. Concepts such as mokadi and mahrime place strict guidelines on what objects can be washed in what bowls.

A Gypsy caravan at an encampment near Latimer Road, Notting Hill, London, circa 1877 A Gypsy caravan at an encampment near Notting Hill, London, circa 1877

Gypsies view gorgias (non-Gypsies) as unclean because of the way they live. For example, Gypsies and travellers rarely let animals inside their homes because they believe them to be carriers of disease, according to Mr Bowers.

They often value visible signs of wealth.

"Travellers having big cars can be summarised by the fact that they don't have mortgages, so they don't have the same cash outlay month by month (as the settled community)," says O'Malley.

"They don't have the same costs, and big costs (such as cars) are normally hire purchases."

Ms O'Malley added that communities also lent money amongst themselves, so people who appeared poor could spend a lot of money on a wedding because the community had given it to them.

'Settled base'

The term traveller can also be misleading.

"It's the biggest misconception - you don't have to be a traveller to be a traveller," says Ms O'Malley.

"People are settling - the mother will settle in one place, while the father will travel around Europe working."

And Mr Jones agrees, saying: "They don't travel aimlessly; they go from place to place for a reason."

"Gypsies want a settled base from which to travel and where they can get access to education and healthcare for their families," adds Mr Bowers.

Legal and illegal sites

  • There are 18,383 traveller caravans in the UK on both legal and illegal sites
  • About 83% of travellers and Gypsy caravans are on legal sites
  • Local authorities in London and in the North East of England have the fewest caravans in their areas
  • Across England a total of 3,109 Gypsy and traveller caravans were on unauthorised sites, a reduction of 510 from 2010
  • Illegal sites can be common land or beside the road

Historically, Gypsies and travellers do not attend schools as they see them as places where children will be bullied for their way of life.

"Gypsy and traveller pupils have the worst school attendance record of any minority ethnic group," says Ms O'Malley.

Girls are often expected to help at home caring for their younger siblings, whereas boys are often expected to be working with their fathers receiving, in effect, an apprenticeship in how to earn a living, says Mr Bowers.

Travellers or Gypsies can have difficulty in Britain doing the jobs they used to do because they have either been replaced by a cheaper alternative, such as eastern Europeans undertaking agricultural work, or machines which have replaced what they used to do, according to Ms O'Malley.

"Much of their lifestyle has been made illegal as it now no longer possible to knock on front doors and ask people if they need any construction work, resurfacing or trees cut down," she adds.

As many do not have any education (although in recent years this is changing and more travellers and Gypsies are going to school according to the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain) they cannot apply for licences to be able to do these jobs as they only have basic reading skills, so instead they go to France, Germany or the Netherlands to earn a living.

Although different in many aspects, the fortunes of both groups are inheritantly intertwined in the public's mind.

As Mr Bowers, says: "The Romany Gypsy community will be reaping the whirlwind of whatever happens at Dale Farm."

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Support for Dale Farm from The United Nations Habitat Group on Forced Evictions Sept22nd 2011

The Gypsy Council posted this today on Facebook



Just a quick update for people on the Council of Europe Summit, Strasbourg yesterday. Important statements in support of Dale Farm from the key main speakers including Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Important because they are now part of an official record of a high level Council of Europe meeting and as such *will* be recognised at UK government level and I do believe they will affect decisions taken in the coming days.

Tech Today: H-P: Apotheker Out, Whitman In - Digits - WSJ

By Tom Loftus

Charles Platiau/Reuters

H-P: Apotheker Out, Whitman In: Questions surround the whirlwind elevation of former Meg Whitman to H-P’s top slot with analysts wondering if the board was a bit too hasty in their decision. The Wall Street Journal notes that while Whitman grew eBay into a multimillion company during her stint as CEO, it was, in the words of one high-tech recruiter, “an Internet services company that manufactured nothing.”

Ray Lane, the company’s executive chairman, says that its review process is solid, stating that the board revisited the results done before hiring Apotheker just one year ago. The WSJ profiles Lane and his history of supporting and then “sharply revising his opinions” of high-profile friends in the tech world.

In AllThingsD, Whitman lays out some plans, starting with meeting Wall Street expectations, integrating Apotherker’s controversial $10 billion buy of Autonomy int H-P and making a decision on whether to keep or spin off its PC business.

Meanwhile, H-P’s CFO says that the company may see another tough quarterly earnings report. [H-P, WSJ, AllThingsD, New York Times, Forbes]

Facebook Wants Your Life: At its developer conference yesterday, Facebook announced partnerships with music service Spotify and video streamer Netflix and unveiled a profile page refresh that organizes user activity into a timeline-like format. Beneath all this, an update to Facebook’s “open graph,” a system that allows outside applications to tap into Facebook user’s data.

AllThingsD calls recent updates “a giant leap forward in the media cosmos.” At the conference, Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated the new Facebook in action by showing how Spotify’s integration into Facebook allowed him to not only see what his friend’s were listening to, but actually listen in as well.

Everyone mulls over the significance of a network that records everything that users do. “Facebook will be its own not-so-little internet,” writes Wired. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo hates it, saying the whole sharing activities without actively sharing activities–what Facebook calls “frictionless” engagement–will kill taste as we know it.  [Wired, WSJ, Facebook, GigaOm, Slate, AdAge]

Amazon Buys Some Air Conditioners: The retail giant announced that it spent $2.4 million installing air conditioning at four warehouses. One warehouse to benefit, the Allentown, Pa. location that sparked a story in the Allentown Morning Call over unsafe working conditions. Heat last summer sent several workers there to the hospital. [AllThingsD, Allentown Morning Call]

FBI Arrests Suspect in Sony Hack: An alleged member of LulzSec, a hacker group believed to be responsible for a number of high profile hacks last spring and summer, was arrested in Arizona. Cody Andrew Kretsinger, is suspected in taking part in the this year’s denial of service attacks against Sony’s servers. [Wired, ArsTechnica]

iPhone: From My Cold Dead Hands: A survey by UBS reveals that when it comes to deciding whether to keep or switch phones, Apple has an 89% retention rate. HTC is number two with 39%. And Research in Motion? 33%. [AllThingsD]

THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: The Mutual Evasion Report


THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: The Mutual Evasion Report - Schapelle Corby

The Mutual Evasion Report

"Forensic Testing Of Schapelle Corby's Boogie-Board Bag And the Marijuana Found Within"

This report examines Schapelle Corby's unceasing efforts to have her boogie-board bag, and its contents, forensically tested.

It reveals how she was failed by a number of parties, including DFAT and the Australian Federal Police, to whom she turned for help.

It exposes duplicity, the conflicting stories of the different agencies, and how the Australian government ultimately misrepresented both Schapelle Corby herself, and the overall situation.

THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: The Library - Schapelle Corby

The Library

A collection of official papers, documents and reports which are directly relevant to the Schapelle Corby case. Further documents will be added as the project unfolds.


PDF1. THE WHEELER REPORT 2005 (Ref: Airport Security)
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PDF6. THE FITZGERALD REPORT 1989 (Ref: Police Corruption)
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PDF9. A NATION UNPREPARED 2005 (Ref: Airport Security)
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PDF30. THE COBALT REPORT 2005 (Ref: NSW Police Corruption)
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PDF10. THE WOODS REPORT 1996 (Ref: NSW Police Corruption)
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PDF32. TRENDS IN POLICE CORRUPTION 2002 (Ref: MSW Police Corruption)
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PDF13. THE WHISTLE: JANUARY 2004 (Ref: The Gary Lee-Rogers Case)
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PDF14. THE WHISTLE: JULY 2004 (Ref: The Gary Lee-Rogers Case)
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PDF15. THE WHISTLE: AUGUST 2005 (Ref: The Gary Lee-Rogers Case)
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PDF31. UN WORLD DRUG REPORT 2007 (Ref: Comparative Marijuana Prices)
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THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: Case - Schapelle Corby

Case Exhibits

The case exhibits include emails, cables and correspondence, which provide insight into the disturbing position and actions of the Australian government, in perpetrating the political sacrifice of an innocent citizen.


The Law Council & AFP Commissioner Keelty

Amended Letter On Boogie-Board Bag Scanning

A Carefully Crafted Position

The Kessing Referral Letter

Preparing The Script

Kevin Rudd Letter To Alexander Downer

The Queensland Police Certificates

Christopher Ellison's Template Response

Schapelle Corby - The Hot Potato

SET 2.... Coming Soon

Irish pensioner 'died of spontaneous human combustion' - Telegraph

There have been 200,000 reported cases of death by spontaneous human combustion around the world over the last 300 years, although few have been properly assessed by experts.

The inquest on Thursday heard how investigators were baffled as to the cause of death, the Irish Independent reported.

Forensic experts found that a fire in the fireplace of the sitting room where the man's badly burned body was found had not been the cause of the blaze.

The court was told that no trace of an accelerant had been found and there had been nothing to suggest foul play. The coroner said he was satisfied nobody had entered or left the house that night.

The fire which killed Mr Faherty was confined to the sitting room. The only damage was to the body, which was totally burned, the ceiling above him and the floor underneath him.

Pathologist Professor Grace Callagy noted in her post-mortem findings that Mr Faherty had suffered from Type 2 diabetes and hypertension but she concluded he had not died from heart failure.

Dr McLoughlin said he had consulted medical textbooks and carried out other research in an attempt to find an explanation.

He said he referred to a book written by forensic pathologist on spontaneous combustion and noted that such reported cases were almost always near an open fireplace or chimney.

"This fire was thoroughly investigated and I'm left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion, for which there is no adequate explanation," he said.

Blog : FrontlineSMS

THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: Introduction - Schapelle Corby


A 27 year old Australian woman, Schapelle Corby, was sentenced to 20 years in an Indonesian prison in May 2005, after 4.2 kg of marijuana had been found in her boogie-board bag on arrival in Bali. However, her fate had been determined not in Bali, but in Canberra.


The Schapelle Corby case appeared on the political horizon late in 2004. Even at this early stage answers were lacking to an increasing number of questions, questions which were becoming persistent and which were increasingly being put to Australian politicians.

The case itself could hardly have been more contentious. The following extract from a 2009 research paper illustrates some of the reasons for this:

Political commentary and involvement escalated as the case gradually unfolded, and the above perspective was compounded further by a number of the features of the Bali trial itself, as illustrated by this 2008 video script:

Given this, the unprecedented 20 year sentence, and the extensive media coverage, the reaction of the Australian public was perhaps predictable. However, even superficially, the position and response of Australian government was increasingly curious and contradictory.

What emerged, given even the most cursory of investigations, was disturbing in the extreme.

The political dimension was evident even prior to the wide scale involvement of the Australian media, whose reporting had an increasing influence on the case itself.

The high profile reporting of such a tenuous drug case soon began to have an effect upon the already tense relationship between Australia and Indonesia. Indeed, this aspect was widely reported in the media at the time.

Further, bearing in mind that Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims, Australia's geographic proximity made the relationship strategic to the west as a whole.

This was exacerbated further by the potential threat to Australian investments within Indonesia, a market which was also viewed as strategic by the Australian establishment. Total Australian investment in Indonesia had reached A$2.6 billion at end December 2005, with annual bilateral trade worth about A$10.4 billion.

Thus, given the strategic importance of this relationship to Australia, and the political imperative of maintaining it, the pressure upon Australian politicians created by the case was intense.

However, this was not the only political pressure in play.

In 2005, just three years post 9-11, airport security was a high profile matter, not only with the domestic public, but internationally. Australia's airport security was woefully lacking. This was evident not only through whistleblowers, who were generally marginalized, but through a number of official reports and documents (see The Library on this website).

The Australian government had failed to act on these, or at the very least, had failed to act sufficiently. In 2004 it is absolutely clear that the security at Sydney and other Australian airports remained severely and dangerously compromised.

For the Australian government the Schapelle Corby case raised the prospect that this situation may be reported across the world. The threat that other nations may realize the risks posed to their own security via these exposures was stark and real. Without question, the consequences of this would have been damaging to Australia, and of course, politically damaging to the government itself.

The Australian government would have been well aware of this. They would have been well aware that had Schapelle Corby returned to Australia as an innocent woman, or perceived to be innocent, focus would, inevitably, have turned towards the airports. From the Australian government's perspective, this scenario had to be avoided if possible.

The potential for international and domestic political damage caused by focus upon the lack of security at Australia's airports was not the only political risk to emerge. The role and status of the Australian Federal Police was equally problematic.

Over a number of years many reports had documented systemic corruption within Australian polices agencies, particularly in Sydney. As shown in the Expendable film, whistleblower after whistleblower had spoken out, only to be ignored or worse. As with airport insecurity, nothing of substance had been done to address this. It had, in effect, been brushed under the carpet.

The political situation with respect to Schapelle Corby was exacerbated by the demonstrable fact that AFP corruption actually extended to drug syndication, and worse still, drug syndication through both Sydney airports.

So, not only were the airports wholly lacking from a security perspective, but police officers, including senior officers, were involved in the smuggling of drugs through them.

The political implications of this were substantial, and had it been linked to the Schapelle Corby case, a domestic political crisis could easily have ensued. Public confidence in the police could have collapsed, and the reputation of the Australian government, both at home and abroad, may well have been seriously damaged in the short and medium terms.

Thus, the pressure on Australian politicians posed by the Schapelle Corby case was intense. At risk was not only a vital and strategic international relationship, but exposure of chronic airport insecurity and systemic police corruption.

Accordingly, two broad axes of interest emerged within Australia’s Howard administration: the Howard/Downer interest, and the Ellison/Keelty interest. The former’s prime concern related to the stability of the relationship with Indonesia, whilst the latter's main concern related to the impact of domestic institutional corruption

Weighed against this, was the welfare of a single citizen.

From an exclusively political viewpoint the balance of interests driving decision making could hardly have been more one sided.

The cold reality, as demonstrated by The Expendable Project, is that from the moment that this complex political equation became apparent, a political imperative drove the actions of the government and subsequently its organs of state.

The Australian government, directly, and through its departments and agencies, acted against Schapelle Corby's interests with increasing vigour. The degree of orchestration of government departments was unprecedented.

The Expendable Project presents the complex political background to the Schapelle Corby case, and documents how the Australian government deployed its departments and agencies against her.

It examines the central role of the AFP from an operational perspective, the use of the ABC to manage public opinion, and the actions of a number of other government departments in directly and deliberately undermining Schapelle Corby's position and that of her family.

It identifies a multitude of corrupt acts, including the wilful withholding of vital evidence from the Bali court, and a premeditated web of lies presented to the Australian Parliament and media.

It exposes a government sacrificing the life and human rights of an innocent citizen, for political expediency and self interest.

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THE EXPENDABLE PROJECT: Index - Schapelle Corby


On release of the project this page will provide a detailed Table Of Contents (sitemap) of the Expendable website, including all sections and appendices. It will enable simple navigation to primary evidence and key elements of the project.

1. Introduction

2. The Transit Report

3. Exhibit Set 1

4. The Absence Of Motive

5. The Mutual Evasion Report

6. The Insider Interview (Coming Soon)

7. The Complicity Report (Coming Soon)

Flickr - projectbrainsaver
projectbrainsaver's A Point of View photoset projectbrainsaver's A Point of View photoset