Tag Archives: #ICC

#LetsTalk Conversations with new activists #women2gether

Standard
Colorado river reaches sea for first time in decades

Colorado river reaches sea for first time in decades (Image: Sonoran Institute and LightHawk)

 

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

 

Women2gether are attracting supporters. I’ve had wonderful twitter conversations with some of you – you have been a delight to encounter; thank you for your generosity of both self and spirit. Yet, to some extent, we might look as though we were failing at the first hurdle:  it takes some extraordinary event, like no-one at all turning up to our Sunday ‘meeting’, to illustrate it. There’s also the issue of why so few responded to Jane & Debbie’s petition – start putting the ‘gestalt’ together in that way and we might all just as well pack up our efforts and head sadly away. That’s, of course, dependent upon what kind of ‘thinking’ you are using.

 

I wonder if the version that leads you to this kind of mind-set bears any comparison with this?

from Halifax Herald

from Halifax Herald

 

Notice how self-centred and ego-ridden this viewpoint is.  In fact, it’s the same kind of thinking that led me to do this.  If we are going to challenge and confront this thinking then, in order to get a much broader perspective and arrive at more accurate assessment on the reality of where we are, we have to entertain more diverse opinions and viewpoints. “I, for one, am certainly NOT the Queen”, for example, can do wonders in moving outside this lethal box of rich white male cloudcuckooland and into our own reality.

 

One of the things Jayne, Debbie and I were very clear about, from the outset of women2gether, was our own physical and psychological frailty. We knew there would be times like this so, intuitively, we planned ahead with our honesty. When I get ‘news’ that our Sunday meeting was in spirit only, I don’t see this as disaster – I see it as a conversation we’ve not had yet about what we three witches mean when we talk about being ‘activists’.

 

Ase6SaUCAAAYYck

 

A number of folk have commented on the absence of ego in the way we work together. This kind of behaviour – both practical and psychological – is a sign of an experienced activist because, at some point, we all get the ego knocked out of us. It’s based upon a set of assumptions and consequences imposed by our real-life circumstances (my version).

 

The first ‘rule’ of activism is that we leave other folk alone to make their own decisions. This is based on the following assumptions, whoever you are; however you are ‘packaged’; whatever internal psychic structures you use; and everything that defines you as a human being, means;

  • You know how to make up your own free mind
  • The only time you don’t is when your free mind has been tampered with by others.
  • If you want to kill the activist spirit, you tell other folk what to do and try to control their actions.
  • You know an activist by their behaviour – we don’t wait for permission if we see an opportunity to help ‘the people’.
  • Every single one of us started our activist career as absolute beginners!

BnNyD20IUAA3MrW

And we rode on the wings of the tales of older – and more realistic – activists; not because they led us (although sometimes they did if we got lost) but to help us over the pitfalls involved.

 

It took us a week to organise a spontaneous walk-out

Nalgo Conference c 1980’s

 

Even then, speaking from experience, it can take much longer. The difference between followers and activists is followers assume failure and give up very early on in any ‘game’ that is not specifically about them  – activists keep an eye on the ball of ‘all of us’ instead. Also, notice who benefits if the ‘failure assumption’ is held to be real?

 

Can you begin to see how your attitudes may have been tampered with? So, how do we fix this problem? Quite simple really – do a reality check!

 

For example:

As a newbie activist, ask yourself these questions: who is your membership? Be specific. There are activists in all areas – what’s your specialty; who do you prioritize? Mine are women first and then all those impacted by the WCA.

This doesn’t mean I sacrifice my concern for everyone – it simply means I know where my roots are.  Once we know that, we represent the views of that group in our own activist work to ensure our voices are included when we rewrite a  Harperworld Mindset to include us as human under Human Rights law.  The consequences of adversity are as complex as the causative action is simple – we need as many voices as need to speak. There are four million people negatively affected by these undemocratic and forced economic crimes against humanity. It shouldn’t be that hard to prove now, surely?! Where are their voices?

 

When we know our roots – and these change with time, as do we – it’s easy to gauge the mood, especially when your ‘membership’ are restive and nothing seems to be being done about it. This trigger motivates our actions, so whenever inspiration or opportunity arrives, we say Yes to the experience of giving it a try to see if it works. That’s all it is. That’s all we do. Because we’ve said yes on so many occasions we’ve got practical experience but that doesn’t mean we know what we’re doing now, other than catching the mood of our ‘membership’ and acting on it. For example:

It was my own wider WCA membership who triggered my letter to the ICC (still no reply but I found the answers I was looking for: there is a way in). Then came Jayne and Debbie’s new petition – this is their activist spirit at work. They created and I threw my weight behind it because it represented the views of my membership. The surprising lack of numbers is as informative as our Spirit Sunday meeting 😉

 

BntJQPcCAAACcJH

 

The only problem I can see in the situation is a missing conversation with all of you. So that’s what this blog is about. Folk don’t seem to be talking about it much. When they do, the conversation always seems to fall flat, so – fellow activists – we either read our membership wrong or there’s a ‘blockage’ somewhere. So, let’s talk about it what we think it might be – share your experience; blog about it as part of Women2gether, especially the lads. How are you finding it so far? Writing it down actually helps your learning process and helps us understand which areas of our expertise are most useful to you. This isn’t about us; this is about all of us!

 

BnYg3HGCQAAohXY

 

Testing current theories, at this stage, can be also useful. Given the situation is serious enough to create activists out of us…

 

I was thinking about this governments schadenfreude – motivation for the vindictive policies we’ve seen this past 4 years that target the most vulnerable citizens most of all. Some people believe that the policies are a consequence of a redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the wealthy rather than being malicious acts. But the tories laughed on hearing the accounts of suffering of the poor because of the bedroom tax and the food banks in parliament,for all to see.

But entertaining the idea for a moment that the inflicted suffering isn’t a motivation but a consequence, well that would make the bastards indifferent, callous and unremorseful, since they show a supreme lack of concern for the plight of those least able to defend themselves against injustice and inflicted poverty, Either way, I know evil when I see it, and this government ARE evil. The shock and anger at recognising that again just hit me afresh.

We must each be responsible and work to get rid of this evil presence, and taint on our collective history. If we remain silent and indifferent, that makes us complicit in their evil

Sue Jones

 

A balanced judgement weighs all the options first before coming to a decision based upon the evidence. As an activist, I ask myself, if this isn’t enough, how much more to I need? Then I ask:  ‘How serious is it?’ What do others think? Everywhere on the planet, I see women breaking the spell of the various HarperWorlds and finding genocide underneath. I see my own WCA membership heading in the ICC’s direction. Every socially-responsible free-thinking individual on my twitter-feed  seems to be treading similar paths, whatever their political hue. And some of us have tried already – such evidence supports our contention of crimes against humanity occurring in Britain have a grounding in fact.

 

Bn3EkWIIcAEnBJT

 

When a bunch of us activists agree the evidence is in that we are, indeed, living in very dangerous times, we can’t afford to wait on others to decide what needs to be done. We act on our own initiative because the likelihood of HarperWorld trying to control us is extremely high. We can loosen this control on a personal level by self-determining what needs to be done and what contribution we can realistically make.

 

Women2gether – and then men who love us – here are our problems: Jayne, Debbie & me. We can’t tell you what to do because a volunteer is worth fifty conscripts, or so I’ve been told by a man who knew. A volunteer looks around for the places they feel happiest in and offers those – what do you think needs doing? Do you need help doing it? Is  there a particular kind of help you offer ? Do you need to set clear boundaries on what (and how) we pass on in our information and sharing? For example: None of us will tolerate bigotry in any form and particularly any type of xenophobia or misogyny. We are all unique expressions of what it is to be human. Whilst the mindset we are trying to deal with says some have more value than others, the one we are aiming for says quite the opposite and always has done – remember the river at the beginning? Has your river been ‘redirected’? You don’t need to be told what to do because you already know.

 

BnoYlAoIgAEXqas

 

The difference between Harperworld (or what ever other fantasy the ego has power to inflict upon others) and human reality is this: Harperworld has to enforce its dictates and has no problem with the consequences so long as they do well out of it. Seek evidence of compassion and mercy in this mindset; I find none. It’s absence points to the presence of evil, a form of dualistic thinking being applied to the planet itself, let alone all the Peoples dwelling within Her. The presence of dualistic thinking – them and us – points to the existence of the opposite. It has to – that’s the Law in a dualistic world – there is always a balance.

 

Harperworld claims to hold the unbalanced monopoly of thought on our collective reality and, to a greater or lesser extent, we have fallen for it  because it has become the means of survival in the West. To transform and bring balance to the issue suggests we need to ‘become’ everything this polarity is not. That mindset issues orders; we don’t. Neither are we perfect; every one of us is the human expression of a living-artwork-in-progress, created by our histories, intuitions, thoughts, feelings and evidenced in the actions we take; the words we write; and our desire to protect those that we love, on every single level it seems.

 

Bn3MagUIgAEFHtX

 

We are going to make mistakes with each other. Mistakes, especially at the beginning, are learning experiences for all of us because they help us shake off the mindset we’ve been slowly shackled to by the like of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan (another ‘buffoon’ like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and, in his early days, Adolf Hitler).  That kind of mindset is Harperworld and it only ever heads in one direction. This is not the direction we go in. Nevertheless, we also need to be sensitive to the abuses we have all experienced as a result of the social exclusions we have been subjected to. These are unhealed wounds especially among women who have borne the brunt of them. This is why bigotry is forbidden among us – it’s classified as harmful to the complexity of our community. It is permitted to exclude those who disagree with our existence because they exclude themselves by their exclusivity. Simple. This ‘Law’ was established in evidence at the very outset. It also accords with human law.

 

BnhHe3tCIAE7hlQ

There are those who, for whatever reason, choose to remain asleep. These are the people being led. The power to act therefore resides with activists – especially when voting. Getting up to vote is what the likes of UKIP thinkers and provoked sheeple will be doing. Let’s at least ask any activist (voting means you’re active) to register their opinion too, particularly for the disenfranchised amongst us, like the homeless. Let’s encourage hungry women with hungry children to vote too – give their opinion of politicians who think austerity is an excellent thing and we ought to have more of it.

 

 

BnXqzQRCEAAaSQj

Meanwhile, I’m still not well enough to go through the ICC procedures. If our women2gether activists want to go through them, that might be a good idea because they set the standards we have to work to. All the procedures are there. My thoughts, on why our last petition might have ‘failed’ is that it needed to explicitly include everyone – all ‘genders’, all issues. To get through the Prosecutor’s door, we need to do it without exclusivity. Nevertheless, our framework needs to keep everyone happy, like: we’re test-driving this new Gender policy to make sure the ICC listens to women on our terms because, if they can’t hear us, there’s a problem with the ICC.

 

ProTip:

Activists always read procedures at least once because we need to see what we’re going to be measured by. The more we know about the ‘how’, the more we understand about route, standards and evidence gathering.  Their aim is to elicit as much about what fails to achieve this as it does aiming to achieve a criminal standard of evidence from women. As we become more aware of how women’s voices have been silenced at all levels, as well as the depth of the very real consequences, we become more competent as activists. After I learned the ‘sacred’ principles underpinning ‘legal’ written procedures, the ground I stood upon as an activist became much more solid. This is could excellent learning for ‘newbies’ and anyone else interested in this stuff.

 

BnYXRAPIYAAwUN2

Finally, thank you for reading this far. Any ‘confusion’ in this is entirely my responsibility. As new activists, take only what is useful to you – we build our own toolbox because we’re each unique. We also know when to stop – which is why I have to have ‘stopped’. I need to do pay attention to ‘group process’ before I go any further because, as an individual, I’m already stumbling.

 

So I ask of you: where do you think we should go next? Think we should stop now or do we want to carry on? Perhaps this is the conversation we needed that’s been  missing. If it isn’t, what do you think might need to happen now? The harmful are included on any planning because they form the problem, solution and evidence. In fact, like our own, their existence must be included if we are to be at all balanced. We are not like them, remember – our behaviour is different. What we do have is a not-so-successful-it-seems history of ‘managing’ it and we left a few Laws behind the last time we did.

In solidarity

 

Dee

xxx

 

BiuSPG7CIAABwgQ

Advertisements

#LetsTalk: Important New Procedural Information for #Womens Activists #global

Standard

Bk1lmrSCcAA0wnx

 

For all activists working on behalf of women everywhere, this is to share some recent global procedural changes at the International Criminal Court in the Hague in case you haven’t seen them. I suspect they could prove extremely useful to us all.

 

Background:

 

The information came to light as a result of campaigning with #women2gether – a group of British women activists who have emerged as a result of campaigns representing the needs of poor, sick and disabled under austerity.

[For seeking deeper background, the rabbithole is here:

#women2gether began with this post from my colleague, Jayne Linney:

http://jaynelinney.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/lets-talk/]

Seeing another petition to the ICC resulted in our doing this:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/letter-to-the-icc-at-the-hague-re-potentially-criminal-breaches-of-human-rights-in-the-uk

(Please note: the examples referred to in the petition are neither exclusive or exhaustive – they were used only for illustrating the principle issue of  austerity as a crime against humanity)

 

In response, a disability activist colleague – Samuel Miller – posted this about his experiences with the ICC and UN:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s1ldp1

This is my ‘reply’ to his information:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s1llaq

 

It led me to take a further look at the ICC itself and its behaviour/decisions. This is what I found following a brief search:

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/04/24/greeks-seek-austerity-trial-at-the-hague/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17811153

(Please note how the women’s arguments are gaslighted, derailed, distracted, silenced and otherwise victim-blamed by legal and media commentaries.  Note, too,  the general assumption that there is no alternative to austerity).

We are not the only European women with similar opinions who are acting on them:

http://occupynewsnetwork.co.uk/is-austerity-a-crime-against-humanity/

 

 

A9Txm4pCYAAcK6w

 

 

New Information:

 

As a result, I did another brief search of the ICC itself and it is this information particularly that I am aiming to draw to the attention of  global women activists (and the men who support us):

 

Firstly; past behaviour of the court shows clear evidence that its actions and decisions are  systemically and institutionally racist. Take a look at this:

http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/situations%20and%20cases/Pages/situations%20and%20cases.aspx

There is no way anyone can convince me that crimes against humanity on this planet occur only in Africa. So the assumption that all other world governments – especially those led by white men – can be assumed to behave lawfully is clearly unsafe because it’s not supported by evidence. However…

 

Secondly: The ICC has a very interesting new Chief Prosecutor: Mrs Fatou Bensouda, of The Gambia, who took up her appointment on 15 June 2012. It is reasonable to assume that Mrs. Bensouda was not in overall charge of the case management of  Greek austerity, because the case was already up and running when she was appointed.

 

Thirdly:  Since her arrival in office, the ICC has published TWO new protocols – one applied and one in draft:

Code of Conduct for the office of the Prosecutor.pdf  (effective from 5th September 2013)

and

DRAFT Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes, February 2014 – OTP-draft-policy-paper-February2014-Eng.pdf

 

I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know the finer points of all this, but when we apply general Human Rights principles – which the Court exists to uphold – using the measures contained in both the Prosecutors’ Code and the Draft Policy, the problems we know are there become very apparent.

 

Activist Observations:

 

I’ve only perused these briefly as potential working tools for activists but I’m already impressed and see a number of very worthwhile opportunities worth testing. Personally, I would like to see ‘test-runs’ of BOTH procedures to check if they actually work for women.

 

I can also see opportunities to accuse the Court itself of gender crimes against humanity because, in their Greek austerity ruling, the following occurred:

1. The ICC only considered a very limited male view of the economic situation as ‘legitimate’. Women’s experience and evidence was ‘overlooked’ in favour of a very small but extremely wealthy interest-group who have vested interests in the case of austerity’s impact on women remaining unheard, despite incontrovertible evidence that the cumulative  impact is systemically lethal to both us and our children.

2. The ICC failed to address the serious economic inequalities of the presenting protagonists and take these into account. It did nothing to equalize this discrepancy in representation:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k7lk42 < (Women ought to recognise this situation only too well)

The  derogation of  the Court’s duty to ensure equality of resources for the legal representation of women cannot but result in anything other than an unsafe judgement. These were economically-deprived-by-intent non-legal professional women presenting legal arguments against well-trained and richly-rewarded lawyers aiming to excuse the ‘accused’ from their social duties and responsibilities towards women in their political and economic decision-making.  Under Human Rights standards, there is no way this could ever be regarded as a ‘fair’ hearing.

3. In only ‘recognising’ the men’s legal arguments around austerity  – already known to be deeply prejudiced against women in Britain alone – the Court excluded and silenced our voices and experiences, at a time when we can be shown to be carrying the greatest consequences, up to and including the violation of ALL our human rights.

If my interpretation is correct, this then renders the Court culpable in aiding and abetting economic gender-based crimes against humanity. The evidence shouldn’t be hard to find in events since this ruling was made.

4. In doing all of the above, as well as additionally and apparently participating in the gaslighting and legal mockery of the Greek women appellants, the Court took it’s eye off the ball of “Crimes Against Humanity” and colluded with silencing the viewpoint and experience of women,  derailing it into a legal cul-de-sac, where more general lawful principles of whether imposed economic austerity constitutes a crime against the majority of humanity was sidelined and silenced too. These principles – which the Court exists to uphold – appear to have been discounted in favour of legalistic arguments aimed apportioning blame and relieving government officials of their public duties or responsibilities to ALL the nationals they are answerable to. This is particularly the case in Europe, when ECHR lays these requirements down on those national governments forming a part of the EEC.

5. If my activist arguments have any traction, none of the above will accord with the Articles of Rome, which intends for women to have an equal voice in what constitutes crimes against humanity. Again, if my assessment is at all accurate, we ought to have tangible legal evidence pouring out of every orifice!

As both a woman and an activist, my own response is that can fuck off back wherever it came from, together with the corruption it rode in on.

 

smallbodyofpeople_n-640x478

 

From my own perspective, I can see any number of possible new opportunities for women in these developments, not just locally but globally. Additionally, it seems as though the ICC prosecutor is seeing exactly the same issues. Whilst us Brits will pursue our own activities, since this is a global problem we’re all experiencing, I believe it’s vital to share this.

 

When 90 percent of Iceland’s women went on strike in 1975

When 90 percent of Iceland’s women went on strike in 1975

 

Final thought:

 

One small thought about how the global women’s  situation might be resolved…

 

In the case of economic austerity, there does seem to be one simple solution in redressing the crimes against women and children. It particularly appeals to me because I can just imagine the reaction from the very small minority affected by it:

Economic inequality is very well recorded; the difference between the wealth of, literally, a handful of men and most women – globally – is so great as to be hard to actually conceive, even in the face of the evidence.

 

BnafXmCIYAAJI_u

 

If we can prove there are gender crimes against humanity and have this ruled in the ICC, we’d have to consider arguments as to how it could be resolved. Taking a look at existing evidence, I’d say fifty-percent of  all humanity’s global wealth presently in the control of private interests was stolen from women… and we want it back. If men want to play hierarchies with their part of economy that’s their business – impoverished women have our own, very different, priorities that urgently need tending to.

If the ICC ruled in favour of women’s equality of resources, even just for legal preparation and investigations, it would begin the process of returning women’s economic resources to equal standards and enable us to begin undoing the lethal and cruel damage this entire system has crushed down upon women, and our children, everywhere…

And if these obscenely-rich and mainly white men refuse? That ought to be fascinating to watch… and record!

 

Whether any of this has any traction is for you to decide – I’ve simply see a realistic opportunity for all of us that’s worth sharing.

 

BgUvdYzCQAADJqe

The UK Human Rights Petition #UKHRpetition

Standard

 

 

BiuSPG7CIAABwgQ

 

This is post is for those folk who have encountered the petition calling for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, to provide us with the formal procedures that need completing in order to formally open an investigation into multiple breaches of Human Rights law in the UK. You can find the petition here:

Letter to the ICC at the Hague re potentially criminal breaches of Human Rights in the UK

This post is designed to explain the thought processes behind the request and provide background information for those who are interested in learning more.

 

Bl--KS2CIAAb5UzThis is not the only petition of its kind – I ‘borrowed’ the idea from another initiative and I would urge you to sign this petition too:

Letter to the ICC at the Hague re Mistreatment of the Disabled and Sick

Our own seeks to complement, not compete with, the efforts of other UK activists. In the case of the mistreatment of sick and disabled people, we share the belief that there is clear prima facie evidence that crimes against humanity ARE being committed by the UK government. If the petition on behalf of the sick/disabled is successful at the ICC, our petition – Jayne Linney’s & mine – aims to draw attention to the fact that this is NOT a single issue. The problem appears to extend right across our society with regard to the UK government’s treatment of the British people and seems to impact mostly upon those who fail to meet current ‘standards of social acceptance’. This ‘standard’, in practice, seems to ensure that only the interests of predominately financially-wealthy, white-skinned men carry power and influence in social decision-making, regardless of the consequences to those outside it. Certainly, the present front-bench of UK government and our mainstream media reflects this practice in real terms.

 

Please note my careful use of language here. There is a reason for this. If our claim that multiple breaches of Human Rights are systemically occurring in the UK is not to be dismissed as mere conjecture, the judgement has to come from a properly formed and recognised ‘body’ – the International Criminal Court meets this criteria. Additionally, it is for those with recognised social responsibility in the matter to present any evidence for judgement: Mrs Bensouda meets this requirement. Finally, any judgement, if it is to meet Human Rights standards itself, MUST come about as the result of a fair trial. This is the Law. In my long experience as an activist, it simply does not ‘do’ to challenge criminal breaches of the Law by breaking the law ourselves… unless and until all proper and recognised legal processes have been fully exhausted and have failed to correct the problem. With regard to potential government breaches of Human Rights law in the UK, we have yet to exhaust all lawful avenues to resolution and it therefore falls to activists to ensure that we remain lawful in our opposition to suspected criminal behaviour. We have to pass the test of ‘reasonableness’.

 

BjhaBDKIQAA0u_ZPolitical discourse in the UK, and led by government, appears to have manifested a furious intolerance of people ‘othered’ by current British social processes and this is being reflected within our mainstream media. It is not just the sick and disabled who are affected: women, people of colour, poor people, jobless, prisoners… the list is huge! I simply cannot to justice to all those affected in one blog-post. Nor is it humanly possible for two women to represent these issues for everyone affected by what is occurring.

 

It is this last point that informs our petition. Each and every group or individual affected by the current political climate in Britain knows their case far better than anyone else. We know the detail how we are impacted and affected. I believe that if we can persuade the ICC prosecutor to consider that fundamental and criminal breaches to British peoples’ Human Rights may be occurring and is worthy of a full investigation, our aim is to make it possible for each affected group to submit their evidence directly rather than having it funneled through processes that might exclude vital details from already misunderstood and silenced people.

 

Whether this is possible or practical, I don’t know, but I believe it is vital to make the attempt because thousands of people have already died and are still dying. I count myself as one who has been ‘marked’ for death, so I have a personal interest in this petition’s success. So do many other people – I know I am not alone.

 

Both Jayne and I will keep you updated on our progress. In the meantime, if you believe that our initiative could be truly effective, please sign BOTH petitions above and share them with those you know are already impacted by present UK government policies.

 

Thank you for any help and support you are willing to share.

 

Bj5VeM8CYAEyvFT

 

Related posts

Let’s Talk – Challenging Oppression through Honesty

Let’s Talk: Challenging Oppression with Evidence (with tweets)

Let’s Talk – Challenging Oppression through Law

 

Today is my 2nd WordPress birthday

Standard

 

ChCjJ

A problem the size of Jupiter. Artist’s impression of Jupiter at same distance as Moon. In fact, the planet would fill our skies completely.

 

WordPress sent me birthday congratulations, otherwise I wouldn’t have known.

 

I’ve decided to celebrate by creating my first ever petition:

Letter to the ICC at the Hague Re Potential Criminal breaches of Human Rights in the UK.

I’m hoping if enough British people who share my concerns sign this, the ICC may find it hard not to take notice.

 

It links directly to today’s earlier post.

 

Tomorrow is Star Wars Day #MayTheFourthBWithUs

 

I don’t suppose UK Jedi might lend their assistance tomorrow in getting the message out?