April 2014

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CULTURAL CAPITAL & WHITE PRIVILEGE 

We presented over 500 pages of evidence. We had three expert witnesses; Professor Danny Dorling who spoke on inequality and elitism in contemporary Britain; Professor Jeremy Till who spoke about our work with This Is Not A Gateway and Myrdle Court Press along with his own experience of rowing at Cambridge. Professor David Mead, unable to attend, submitted a barnstorming 9-page treatise on the role of protest for democracy (MCP hope to publish it as a pamphlet soon). These witnesses for some reason went almost entirely unreported.
 
Included in our bundle were press clippings from our work since 2001; book and festival reviews; and over 100 character references - kindly written by wonderful people and we are immensely grateful!  A selection of these letters are on this website designed by Karolin Schnoor and Tom Flynn.
 
10, 000+ people signed four different petitions – which were presented to the judge in the bundle. In just three days over 250 Oxford and Cambridge academics signed a letter saying ‘deportation shouldn’t go ahead – and certainly not in their name’. We were interviewed in a number of national papers and websites in the days before the tribunal. Defend the Right to Protest got the General Secretaries of 6 major unions and a number of MP's and numerous academics to sign a letter in support of us. The day after the tribunal there was a huge photograph of us on the cover on the Independent newspaper.
 
We know that all of this was possible because of our privileged position - because of where we studied, who our friends are, what we have chosen to work on - because of our social networks and our cultural capital. Another crucially important reason why we could do all of this is due to Trenton’s ‘whiteness’. There is a willingness to help, to support him and us. The short documentary film below highlights in a very simple though powerful insight on how white privilege works.
 

 
 
 
According to Migration Observatory over 41,000 people are removed/deported from Britain each year.  The overwhelming majority are from former colonies; Asia (55%), followed by Africa (20%), the Americas (10%), and Europe (8%). Middle Eastern nationals constitute 7% of the total number. These figures speak for themselves – this isn’t something that happens with any regularity to ‘white people’. As we said in this video taken moments after the tribunal verdict; people who are black overwhelmingly populated the courtrooms in Taylor House.
 
 

 
 

 

RACISM AND CHURNALISM 

A 'GOOD STORY' FLOWS THROUGH THE SYSTEM'S VIENS...UNCHECKED


"A previous suggestion that the judge ruled in favour of Trenton Oldfield due to racism in Australia may have been misleading. We are happy to clarify that the judge cited Mr Oldfield's value to UK society in making his decision, as stated in this piece”  Independent
 
By the afternoon on Monday 9th December news agencies across the globe had come up with some rather dramatic headlines to explain the judge’s comments. For example the Evening Standard; “Trenton Oldfield wins appeal to stay in UK - after claiming Australia is racist” or this one from Business Standard online “Landmark British racist ruling allows Oz protestor to stay” This comment piece was written for Murdoch’s Australian Saturday papers by someone who “peripherally knew” Trenton.
 
Very happy to have provoked yet another(!) much needed debate in ‘Australia’ about it’s everyday and constitutional racism (how anyone could attempt to argue a European settlement on indigenous land isn’t racist is beyond us) though it was very peculiar to see 3 lines from over 2 hours of questioning that had nothing to do with the judge’s decision get used and abused by media agencies – out of agenda or pure laziness; churnalism. As Nick Davies said to us is “…horribly familiar - a 'good story' will flow through the veins of the news system without ever stopping to have its truth checked.”
 
Churalists/churnalism as defined by Nick Davies in Flat Earth News (p.59): “Journalists who are no longer gathering news but are reduced instead to passive processors of whatever material comes their way, churning out stories, whether real event or PR artifice, important or trivial, true or false”Watch Nick Davies rail against churnalism here.
 
Unfortunately this misinformation has provided the ‘cultural space’ for people like Michael Ellis MP to ask a Home Office committee to consider appealing against the decision. So unfortunately we remain without any certainty. We should know by the end of December.
 
BTW this is an interesting article on passive aggressive 'water cooler racism' in Australia – interviews Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane


And here is a classic example the type of casual racism experienced by people of colour day in and day out in Australia – same person – two examples 1) Australian Cricket Board tweet picture 2) Cricket ground announcer sacked (notice journalists refuse to take a position also – saying ‘alleged’ when clearly there were thousands of witnesses.
 

THIS IS NOT A GATEWAY & MCP

BACK TO WORK! 

Today we get back to work editing Critical Cities Volume 4! This time next week we will start re-planning the 5th (and final?) edition of the This Is Not A Gateway Festival. We will also be adding a new chapter to 'The Queen vs. Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary' – so now is a good time to get a signed copy of the first edition!

In the New Year we will be looking at ways for Myrdle Court Press to run more books off the presses and ‘go global’.

If you would like to assist with any of these endeavours we are open to developing partnerships; critical, with patience and integrity, please do get in touch/reach out.
 

THANK YOU 

 !!! THANK YOU !!!

It is difficult to explain our gratitude for your support and solidarity; material and emotional over these months!! After the tribunal verdict we expressed a sense of relief – its fair to say we also felt a sense of ire at Teresa May for taking so much of your time and resources too! Thank you for being there.  

As we said to the media outside the tribunal we need to ‘delete’ the idea of deportation/removal – and hope we can work on this together! There are so very many cases that need our urgent attention. In the next few days for example Isa Muazu (hunger striker on his death bed) is expected to once again be deported again - call for actionAs Nadine El-Enany argues in this Guardian article - hopefully this defeat of Teresa May was a 'win' for all of us! 
 
SOLIDARITY / LOTS OF LOVE
D, T and S 

PS: SOCIAL MEDIA

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