Saturday 19 July 2008

The Free Speech Two - the fall out

It will have been noted by many people the total mainstream media blackout on the case of the Free Speech Two who are now claiming political asylum in the US.

This is for the following reasons ;

1) The fact that they will be able to claim asylum in the US on the grounds of political persecution is evidence that the Public Order Act 1986 is a POLITICAL instrument not a legal instrument. We have been saying for years that the aim of the Race Relations ACts and the Public Order Act were not to arrest /criminalise people based on criminal acts, but rather to arrest them for political heresies. The fact that British citizens are claiming political asylum in the US will embarass the government and the media.

2) The British Army are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan supposedly to bring 'freedom' to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, but at the same time the British government and the British courts are sending British citizens to prison for political ideas, whilst the closest allie of the British government in the War On Terror is also granting asylum to British people fleeing political persecution in Britain.

The fact that the United States Constitution and the US courts laws have already stated that the 'offences' that the Free Speech Two were charged with are not criminal and extraditable offences in the US, means that this means the British laws are in violation of fundamental human rights that our closest allie guarantees for its own citizens. How hypocritical is that of the British state - whilst we are sending British troops to die for freedom abroad, even our closest allie has to recognise that Britain is not a free society where free speech and basic human rights are protected.

3) The granting of aslum status also has massive implications for the status of other prisoners in the UK prison system. Those convicted of offences such as the Free Speech two if done in the name of political campaigning must now be classified as Political Prisoners. The fact that US asylum laws apply directly to those suffering from Political Persecution on the grounds of political opinion, means those arrested and imprisoned in the UK must be accorded the same rights as political prisoners.

The IRA were declared as political prisoners by the US government and now Nationalists convicted of political offences under the POA 1986 must also now be declared as political prisoners in Britain.

Amnesty International cannot evade their responsibility to prisoners held on the grounds of political opinion - just because they despise their views does not alter their legal and political status as political prisoners.

The so called 'moral opt out' of Amnesty where they exclude those convicted of offences relating to political opinion as 'racists who incite hatred' cannot be sustained when Nelson Mandela refused to renounce violence ( and this was why he was held so long in prison) and Mandela was also involved in violence. Amnesty must now reconsider its stance on those all who are imprisoned for political opinion in the UK.

Whilst Amnesty sheds bucket loads of crocodile tears for Islamic terrorists in UK prisons held because of their intent to kill and maim in pursuit of religious violence, Amnesty will not assist or help those in the UK jails who have never been involved in terrorism, violence, never incited violence or caused violence - the people jailed under the farsical Public Order Act Laws merely have to have been found gulty of inciting hatred ( how do you incite hatred and also measure hatred to see if hatred was generated as a result of a statement ? ) or guilty of likely to have incited hatred ( in other words no hate need be demonstrated as existing, merely that it was likely that some kind of hatred existed at some point or may exist at some point - in other words that something that cannot be measured and which cannot be proved to have ever existed is regarded as having actually existed or will exist at some indeterminate point in the future). WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS !

These idiotic laws brought in by the Tories are not 'laws', they are abuses of power. Their aim was to terrify people into staying silent about racial problems and mass immigration by the threat of prison.

In other words they were designed for a political purpose - to stop political dissent. At the same time as the law denied people the right to speak about racial problems and mass immigration freely, the governments of the last fifty years denied the people the right to vote on the issue.

Both were attacks upon the people and our democratic rights.

The fact that US courts will have to recognise that the Free Speech Two were prosecuted in the UK for their political opinions is evidenced by the convictions themselves and the evidence the CPS introduced to get the conviction. The material the CPS submitted to the jury was primarily political material.

US law states here ;

Political asylum is granted by the U.S. government to people who can prove that they are afraid to return to their home country because they have a "well-founded fear of persecution." People may also be granted political asylum if they left their home country because they were persecuted in the past. If you win political asylum, you can apply for your "green card" (permanent residence). To win asylum because you are afraid of returning to your home country, you must appear at an initial hearing before a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officer, usually at a USCIS district office. If you application for asylum is denied, you may appeal to an immigration judge, and will have another opportunity to prove that your fear is "well-founded."

You must convince the asylum officer or immigration judge that you truly believe you are in danger, that you have good reasons for this belief, and that someone else in your position would also be afraid. You must generally present independent, verifiable documentary evidence that shows you fear persecution in your home country or that you have been persecuted in the past. Persecution can mean that you have been, or may be, hurt, kidnapped, detained, jailed, tortured, threatened, killed, or beaten, or that your freedom was or will be taken away in any other way.

The people who persecuted you or whom you're afraid will persecute you if you return to your home country can be the government (army, police, soldiers, elected officials, death squads, or others), the guerrillas, another opposition group, the civil patrol, or any other group that the government cannot or will not control. The people who persecuted you or whom you think will persecute you if you return to your home country must be persecuting you based on one of the following five reasons:

The most common reason for being persecuted is because of your political opinion. It doesn't matter whether you support or oppose the government. People who have been persecuted because of their political opinions and have won their asylum cases have included: people who demonstrate as students, are active in labor unions, or are members of political parties or the government. Sometimes, even if you don't have a political opinion, the persecutor may think you have a certain political opinion. He may persecute you because he thinks you have a political opinion due to things you do, groups you belong to, or your family's background.

Unlike some drunken thug in a pub who calls someone a racial epithet, like Steve Blake did for example, the Free Speech Two were not arrested for causing 'harm' to a specific individual who had made a formal complaint against them - they were arrested for their political activities.

Their 'crimes' involve political material related to their political beliefs. Their convictions were based on political material espousing their political views. The evidence provided by the CPS would have been political material.


The primary fact is this - shouting at an individual in the street and racially abusing them and causing them distress is a proper prosecution under the legislation - arresting political dissidents who are involved in politics where no IMMEDIATE VICTIM LODGES A COMPLAINT and thereby noone does not gives evidence of the harm caused by their actions, is an abuse of the law and an attack on free speech.

The Public Order Act 1986 should only be being applied in cases of individual harm where evidence can be given by a victim of the harm that has been directly caused, all other offences where the material is of a political nature and where no evidence from any victim can be given to the court demonstrating a DIRECT linkage between the material and any harm being created, have to be stopped.

How can any court measure 'hatred', how can it test objectively whether 'hatred' has been created or 'likely' to have been created ?

or even that an 'intent' to create 'hatred' was present in the minds of the person -if we cannot measure hatred then how can we even be sure it can be 'created' in society ?

In the case of the injured individual we can demonstrate both harm and intent - the accused abused an individual thereby causing them distress and from their words and action we can assess whether their actions were deliberate or not. We can even objectively assess whether hatred was created or likely to have been created from the reaction of the people around that event by asking them under oath whether watching the events generated hatred in them towards the victim.

As we can ask the witnesses to give evidence as to whether what the accused said made them feel 'hateful' towards the victim, the jury can assess whether any hate was created.

In the case of political crimes in order to satisfy the evidental burden of proving the offence beyond reasonable doubt, then society as a whole must be asked for their views on whether they were driven to hate by the words, or in the event of a speech at a meeting then the audience must be brought as witnesses and asked whether hatred was generated in them.

The role of the juror in the trial process is to objectively assess the evidence before them, not to allow themselves to assess the evidence in relation to their own opinions or moral or political standpoints. If no objective evidence exists as to whether individuals or society became more 'hateful' as a result of the words or literature - then the offence is simply not proven.


Therefore we must ;

Organise to get Nationalist political prisoners recognised as political prisoners as the Loyalists and Republicans were classified in Northern Ireland. The IRA were allowed to claim asylum in the US for acts defined as 'criminal' acts by the British government and not as political acts, so the fact the acts will be described as 'criminal' by the present British government does not mean they are also not political.

A de facto defintion is provided by the human rights organisation Amnesty International: "Any prisoner whose case has a significant political element: whether the motivation of the prisoner's acts, the acts themselves, or the motivation of the authorities."

The demands of all British political prisoners should be ;

1) The right not to be placed in any prisons where their immediate safety may be at risk from hostile prisoners, hostile racial and religious groups, from hostile prison groups or gangs and also hostile prison staff. That political prisoners be housed in specific political prisons, or prisons with specific political wings, with free association between the prisoners.

2) The right to free association with fellow political prisoners including the right to organise in prison to create elected representative bodies and individual spokespeople who will be tasked to represent their collective interests as political prisoners within the prison system

3) The right as political prisoners not to do forced prison work

4) The right to organize their own educational, cultural and recreational facilities

5) The right to one weekly visit, letter and parcel and the right to meet outside political and legal representatives

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice write up, Barnesy.

The flight of the heretical two rather than some spur of the moment decision, was obviously pre-planned, and well executed, as if they knew exactly what the outcome would be, and therefore what their next move would be.

With its potential for massive embarrassment, it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.