Urgent Action:Stop the hunting Amendment

Our humanity isn’t measured by how we treat other people…Our humanity is measured by how we treat animals.
Chuck Palahniuk

What The Fox E-Action banner 2The government is trying to bring back fox hunting, please contact your MP now!

Tell your MP that you don’t want a  repeal by the back door. Click the link below,  there is a template letter for you to sign.
http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=122&ea.campaign.id=26535 – you may personalise and edit, but if this is not possible please just send it as it is.

Click this link and scroll down for details of other actions you can take including tweeting your MP or David Cameron:
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/hunting/hunting-campaign-update

Please do Tweet Cameron even if you are not a UK citizen

This is an urgent action the vote could take place on Wednesday 26th March so you need to contact your MP immediately and urge him or her to vote against this devious attempt to bring back this hideous cruelty.

The hunting act has been in force for nine years, yet it is in danger of amendment unless we can put a stop to this. Despite the fact that the majority of people here in the UK oppose hunting with hounds,  the devious Tory government, with no regards as usual to democracy, is doing its utmost to bring back this sadistic pastime.

I urge you to contact your MP and get this stopped now!

Hunting with dogs for sport has been illegal in England and Wales since 2004. Since that time those who have nothing better to enhance their lives except the hunting and slaughter of a defenceless animal have ceaselessly campaigned to repeal or overturn the ban.

Not only do the majority of the public support the ban but so do most MPs including Tory MPs making the possibility of  overturning the ban unlikely. As a consequence these desperate hunters are attempting a different route to getting their own way – amending the bill. The concern is that this amendment will have exactly the same effect as repealing the bill, and that is it will bring back hunting

The Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs and the Countryside Alliance are pushing for an amendment to the Hunting Act which would allow a full pack of hounds, rather than just two as allowed at present under an exemption,  to draw out a fox to a waiting gun.

Those in favour of this amendment are selling it to the Government, to MPs, and will ultimately try and sell it to the public, as simply an amendment to ‘help the farmers’. This is far from the truth. The League looked at the argument back in October when the call was first made, and we exposed the myths underpinning the ‘research’ upon. You can read this here.”

Continue reading
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/hunting/hunting-campaign-update

And please contact your MP either by using the links above or by using your own e-mail. To find contact details of your MP click the link below and enter your post code:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/ – Please do e-mail Cameron even if you are not a UK citizen, animal cruelty is the concern of every decent caring  person worldwide.

If you have any doubt about the sickening barbarity of this so called “sport” or that foxes are thinking feeling sentient creatures much like your dog watch this video.

Surely any sane compassionate person would not want to chase this defenceless animal with packs of dogs and watch while the poor creature is torn to pieces. You have to ask what is wrong with people who are so determined to bring back this hideous pastime. What kind of mentality enjoys the brutality, the suffering and death of another living being?

Here is the kind of person who really enjoys this sadistic “sport”

“I have spent all week in a state of complete fury.

Like a man possessed with an advanced case of Tourette syndrome, I have been shouting at traffic and assailing my fellow men (and women).

What has brought on this demented state? The hunting debate

It is difficult to explain why this one issue makes me so furious.

Our Prime Minister of course, leader of the so called “compassionate conservatives“, David Cameron
Read more of this insane rant:

They think it’s all over
Tory MP David Cameron sees red during this week’s hunting debate and looks forward to a fierce battle against the introduction of a ban.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/mar/22/davidcameron.politicalcolumnists

Also see dramatic video of the rescue of a fox:

Fox Rescued from the snapping Jaws of Hounds 

Such is the brutality of fox hunting. What a brave women , thankfully there are still caring people in this word who value the lives of the other animals with whom we share this world. Animals who are sentient creatures, who suffer as we do, who fear death and wish to live.

Related Links

Is David Cameron trying to bring back fox hunting?
http://labourlist.org/2014/03/is-david-cameron-trying-to-bring-back-fox-hunting/

Conservatives Against Fox Hunting:
https://www.facebook.com/bluefoxCAFH

A Tribute to Tony Benn

I know it is rather late now for this, but I am not a professional writer and some things take a lot of research. Besides is it ever too late to pay a tribute to someone who has accomplished so much.

Researching the life of Tony Benn I have learnt so much about this remarkable man who will be sadly missed in these challenging times.

Tony-Benn-CC-copy-332x500

Anthony Neil Wedgwood “Tony” Benn passed away peacefully on March 14th.  He was one of the few genuine socialists of our time here in the UK. A fervent campaigner for democracy and socialism Toney Benn was the longest serving MP in the labour party, he won more elections than any other Labour MP – 16 in all. He was a Member of Parliament between 1950 and 2001 and a Cabinet minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1960s and 1970s. In May 2001 he retired from the House of Commons,“to devote more time to politics.”

Toney Benn was a man of honour, principle and integrity, a passionate campaigner for social justice, genuine democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, trade unionism and compassion towards animals. He was also an advocate for pacifism and a fervent campaigner for the cessation of all wars.

Read more about the life of Tony Benn:
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e115-Tony-Benn-1925-2014#.Uyhvv6h_ua8

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said:

“We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better.”

Video from the people’s Assembly which Tony Benn helped to launch:

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity was launched – by Tony Benn,  Len McCluskey and other trade union leaders – with a call to all those millions of people in Britain who face an impoverished and uncertain year as their wages, jobs, conditions and welfare provision come under renewed attack by the government.

RIP Tony Benn

http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/rip_tony_benn

As a tribute I would like to include a selection of notable quotations from Tony Benn.

On Pacifism

“All war represents a failure of diplomacy.”

“If you can plan for war, why can’t you plan for peace?”

“it would be a total corruption of the whole meaning and spirit of the UN Charter, which was carefully written to make it possible the peaceful settlement of international disputes, to try to present it as offering a blank cheque for war whenever the United States wants one”

“I was born about a quarter of a mile from where we are sitting now and I was here in London during the Blitz. And every night I went down into the shelter. 500 people killed, my brother was killed, my friends were killed. And when the Charter of the UN was read to me, I was a pilot coming home in a troop ship: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.’ That was the pledge my generation gave to the younger generation and you tore it up. And it’s a war crime that’s been committed in Iraq, because there is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons.”
Question Time, 22 March 2007

On equal marriage and the Church of England.

“When you think of the number of men in the world who hate each other, why, when two men love each other, does the church split?”

On the media and government control

“The one thing that is absolutely essential is that there shouldn’t be any governmental control [of the media] directly or indirectly.”

On vegetarianism and compassion towards animals

I never liked meat and my son Hilary, 30 years ago, said: “If the world ate the grain instead of feeding it to animals and killing them, there would be enough food for everybody.” That moment my wife and I became vegetarian and I never touched meat since.

‘The case for animal testing is now being directly challenged by scientists and doctors and their judgement must be taken seriously’.

“I am teetotal and vegetarian, so I do live on tea. I don’t like Earl Grey tea, but it may be a class prejudice against earls.”

“The support [for the bill to ban fox hunting] comes from people young and old–it is not confined to the young, although it is very strong among them–who believe that cruelty to entertain is wrong, and I share that view… As a vegetarian and someone who has always supported animal rights, I feel that we have a duty in a representative assembly to reflect properly the feeling that exists.”

“Madam, if you are so concerned about catching BSE, you should do what I do and turn vegetarian.”

“Having been made aware of the need for it, I have never lost sight of my vegetarianism. Unquestioning brutality like slaughter and capital punishment does corrupt you and is a blot on the civilizing of society. Such positions reflect on the values of a society. I am particularly revolted by religious slaughter but the slaughter of all animals is barbaric.  Why breed animals simply to kill and eat them.  How is it different to killing people?”

Read an interview with Tony Benn:

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn

Tony Wardle talks to Tony Benn – politician, vegetarian, saviour and ‘scarey bogeyman’
http://www.viva.org.uk/what-we-do/celebrity-supporters/tony-benn/extraordinary-adventures-mr-benn

This is a very informative interview, not only about Tony Benn’s vegetarianism, but it reveals a lot about the personality and the world-view of this remarkable politician.

On Parliament

 “Through talk, we tamed kings, restrained tyrants, averted revolution.”  

On power

 “No medieval monarch in the whole of British history ever had such power as every modern British Prime Minister has in his or her hands. Nor does any American President have power approaching this.” 

On Marxism

 “It is wholly wrong to blame Marx for what was done in his name, as it is to blame Jesus for what was done in his.”

“Well I came across Marx rather late in life actually, and when I read him, two things: first of all I realised that he’d come to the conclusion about capitalism which I’d come to much later, and I was a bit angry he’d thought of it first; and secondly, I see Marx who was an old Jew, as the last of the Old Testament Prophets, this old bearded man working in the British Library, studying capitalism, that’s what ‘Das Kapital’ was about, it was an explanation of British capitalism. And I thought to myself, ‘Well anyone could write a book like that, but what infuses, what comes out of his writing, is the passionate hostility to the injustice of capitalism. He was a Prophet, and so I put him in that category as an Old Testament Prophet.”

Interestingly Tony Benn died on exactly the same date as Karl Marx – 101 years later.

On Socialism and Democracy

“Although socialism is widely held by the establishment to be outdated, the things that are most popular in British society today are little pockets of socialism, where areas of life have been excluded from the crude operation of market forces and are protected for the benefit of the community”

“Democracy is not just voting every 5 years and watching Big Brother in between and wondering why nothing happens. Democracy is what we do and say where we live and work”

General quotations

“In 1993 I spoke in Hyde park to a couple of million people…afterwards someone from the BBC said ‘you’re a voice in the wilderness’ and I said ‘well there are two million people in my wilderness, how many are there in yours?’

“It’s the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you’re mad, then dangerous, then there’s a pause and then you can’t find anyone who disagrees with you.”

“I do not share the general view that market forces are the basis of personal liberty”.

“My Great-grandfather was a Congregational Minister and my Mother was a Bible scholar, and I was brought up on the Bible, that the story of the Bible was conflict between the kings who had power, and the prophets who preached righteousness. And I was taught to believe in the prophets, got me into a lot of trouble. And my Dad said to me when I was young, ‘Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to let it (be) known.'”
Interview with John Cleary, 23 February 2003

“[The Labour Party]’s never been a socialist party, but it’s always had socialists in it, just as there are some Christians in the Church, it’s an exact parallel.”

“Simply having nuclear weopens destroys democracy. When a country has them, ministers – of all parties – lie. No minister has ever told the truth about any central question of nuclear policy”

“The word terrorists is a term of abuse used to describe those with whom you disagree. According to Mrs Thatcher the ANC are terrorists”

“I never had any sympathy with the Soviet system and it’s lack of democracy but I never believed the Russians were threatening to invade Western Europe”

Quotations  about Tony Benn

“Tony Benn was the articulate advocate of socialism who inspired my generation. “He gave us all hope of a fair and equal society.”
John McDonnell, chair of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said Mr Benn had fought for his ideals “almost to the last breath of his life.”

“He was a hero to me and to millions more not only because of what he advocated – social justice, democracy and peace – but because of the way he advocated it, with passion, decency and without malice against anyone.”

Comments on Twitter

Really sad to learn Tony Benn has died. A man of integrity who used his voice to stand up for the poor and powerless RIP
A Tweet from Mark Russell @markrusselluk

Read more Twitter tributes:

Tony Benn dead: Twitter tributes serve as moving eulogy to his enduring political legacy
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-benn-dead-twitter-tributes-serve-as-moving-eulogy-to-his-enduring-political-legacy-9191901.html

Blogs with comments and tributes to Tony Benn

The socialism of humanity: A tribute to Tony Benn
http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2014/03/14/the-socialism-of-humanity-a-tribute-to-tony-benn

Tony  Benn Will be Missed
http://blog.peta.org.uk/2014/03/tony-benn-will-be-missed/

Goodbye and Thank You Tony Benn
http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/goodbye-and-thank-you-tony-benn.html

Tony Benn and the Five Essential Questions of Democracy
http://thesecularjurist.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/tony-benn-and-the-five-essential-questions-of-democracy/

The measure of a man: my tribute to Tony Benn
http://newint.org/blog/2014/03/14/tony-benn-tribute/

A Tribute to Tony Benn
http://www.tuc.org.uk/about-tuc/regions/union-issues/tribute-tony-benn

Stop Workfare : Action Week 29th March-6th April

The wealthy have never liked to pay for the labor that enriches them. Ever since slavery was eliminated, they have been trying to keep it as close to slavery as they can without violating the slave laws.
Michael Moore

welcometoworkfare

Would you like to work for thirty hours each week for no pay. No of course not, such an idea is unacceptable. Yet the government are demanding that the unemployed work this number of hours for their benefit. Jobseekers allowance is not a wage, it is paid for one purpose only and that is to support those who are unemployed whilst they look for work. It is not payment for work. If it were the payment would be ridiculously low and therefore unlawful. On the lowest rate of £56.25 per week for those between the ages 16 to 24 it would amount to working for about £1.90 per hour. Not enough for even a single person to live on, let alone anyone with a family – by age twenty-four of course a man or woman could well have a family to support. It is inadequate as a benefit, it is inadequate as a wage.

In reality Workfare schemes are exploitative systems of free labour often undertaken whilst working for some of the biggest retailers in the UK, such as Tessco, ASDA and Boots. Charities have also taken part in these schemes, most notably the Salvation Army who were once the champions of the poor and the downtrodden. Oxfam have decided not to participate in the government’s workfare schemes because it undermines their work with the poor here in the UK. A sign of the changing times: when I worked for Oxfam a couple of decades ago their work did not include poor people here in the UK. There wasn’t the need.

Take Action

Please join Boycott Workfare’s action week to bring an end to forced unpaid labour here in the UK.

Our action can stop companies, charities and councils from exploiting forced unpaid work and make sure this new scheme falls flat on its face. Wherever you are, however you can contribute, take action on 29 March-6 April.

Read more and take action: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3353

Included in the above link are a number of actions you can take, please don’t feel overwhelmed, take as many actions as you can, even if it is to write only one letter or e-mail to participating councils, charities and businesses. Their is something everyone can do from writing letters to picketing retailers such as Peacocks.

This link will take you to a list of companies and organisations known to have used or be using Workfare
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16

Among other actions the next link will provide you with a template letter for you to download which you can adapt to send to companies profiting  from workfare and also a template letter which you may adapt and send to your MP along with their contact details
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=82n  – You can also  download a poster such as the one above to print out or put on your website or blog or share on Facebook.

There are more actions you can take further down

Remember workfare affects us all. If you loose your job and claim Jobseekers allowance you could be required to participate in Workfare. If you are claiming Employment and Support Allowance ESA and have been allocated to the Work Related Activity Group WRAG  you may be sent to Workfare. Workfare is not voluntary. All three political parties consider it right to force people to work for no wages, so nothing will change after the next election. Workfare does not help people to find jobs. Workfare increases the already over inflated profits of big companies and Work programme providers, it gives millions of the tax payers’ money to the one percent while depriving the 99 percent of a decent standard of living and quality of life. In some way or another we are all affected, even if not personally you are likely to know someone who is, maybe a loved one such as a son or daughter,  a sibling, a friend even your granny – if you are of working age you are not exempt.

More about Workfare

Here in the UK Workfare refers to government schemes whereby welfare precipitants must undertake work in return for their benefit payments or risk losing them. For example, people on one Workfare scheme,  Mandatory Work Activity MWA, can be compelled to work without pay for a month or have their benefit cut for up to three years. As already mentioned it is not only unemployed recipients of Job seekers allowance who are forced to take part in Workfare schemes,  but sick and disabled people may also have to join the Workfare programme if they have been assigned to the WRAG of  ESA

Mandatory Work Activity will be replaced by the government’s new Help-to-Work scheme  from April 2014 .

A New scheme “Community Work Placements”launching on 1 April 2014 will force claimants to work for six months without pay. Six months – 780 hours – is more than twice the maximum community service sentence.

More Action for you to take

There are in addition to the above schemes less obvious Workfare programmes such as Traineeships,  a crafty way of introducing workfare for private companies. Unemployed people between the age of 18 and 21 will be forced to attend either a Traineeship, other unpaid work experience position or face a Community Work Placement.

Please read the following from the Void:  Let’s Make Shoezones’s Workfare Scheme Fall Apart Faster Than Their Shoes

Shoezone are in the firing line on social media over their use of unpaid workers after@boycottworkfare tweeted the latest list of companies using Traineeships to avoid paying their staff.

Traineeships are the latest attempt by the Tories to introduce workfare for private companies by stealth.  There is no pretence that Traineeships will lead to a real job with proper wages.  According to the DWP these schemes, which can involve up to six months of unpaid work, are to ‘prepare’ people for becoming Apprentices, at below the minimum wage.

Read more and take the recommended actions:

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/lets-make-shoezoness-workfare-fall-apart/

Traineeships are not apprenticeships. Note the comment in the above article from a representative of Shoe Zone concerning  what “training” young people can expect if they work for free at Shoezone : “greeting customers and assisting them with their purchases, training on the till, dealing with stock replenishment and deliveries, and general tidying and store presentation.”

Does that sound like an apprenticeship to you? Not wishing to demean shop work as I have been employed myself in retail, but no way is this kind of work an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships when I left school were for skilled trades such as a car mechanic or a hairdresser. Apprentices where never paid well but they were paid and apprentices learnt a trade, a skill. Work in retail as a sale assistant is not an apprenticeship. For my first job in retail I received a proper wage, it may have been slightly less than for a more experienced member of staff, but it was a wage nonetheless and after a short time of only a few months I was paid a full wage. I was trained on the job. The above “skills” can be learnt in a couple of weeks or so most likely less, as for deliveries and replenishments these would be specific to shoe Zone and not applicable else where.

Please be sure to click the link above and take action such as : Boycott Shoezone, “tell them what you think on twitter @Shoezone and facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/shoezone “

Workfare in all its guises is an unjust scheme which benefits the rich by providing them with profit as a result of compulsory free labour, it is a means of coercing the poor by threatening them with the removal of their benefits without which they cannot provide food for themselves or their families, or heat their homes or pay rent – not that the meagre benefit adequately covers these costs of course but to find yourself with no money at all is unthinkable.It also means less paid jobs are available for the unemployed and it undermines wages. For example last Christmas ASDA sent home paid staff and replaced them with people forced to work for nothing on the workfare scheme.

Workfare is slave labour, it is unethical, exploitative and not worthy of any modern socially progressive society which considers itself just .

There are a number of workfare schemes
Help to Work Scheme: 2 Minute Guide:
http://www.money.co.uk/article/1009976-help-to-work-scheme-2-minute-guide.htm – provides basic matter-of- fact  information

Read more about Workfare from Boycott Workfare
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=663

It is not only private businesses and charities who take advantage of this pool of free labour, councils across the country have made use of half a million hours of unpaid work as a result of this unfair system. Newport council has used 112 people, mainly in its street cleaning and rubbish collection department for about four weeks at a time. Scarborough council has used 120 people. Bexley borough council in London has taken more than 100 unpaid placements.
Read More
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/02/councils-benefit-half-a-million-hours-unpaid-labour-foi-request

Please help the Workfare Action Week by clicking the following link if you have not already done so and take as much action as you can.
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3353

And please spread the word.

Urgent Action to Prevent Execution

Texas death row

Vigils, Protests, Actions – Mark the Execution Date for Robert Henry – Thursday, March 20th at 6 PM ET. Seth Penalver and Herman Lindsey, Exonerated Florida Death Row Survivors and members of Witness to Innocence, to join protest at Florida State Prison. PETITION

Robert Henry’s family and friends have started a petition to save his life.Please sign and share. It is also available at the FADP website.

“I realize that I cannot standby silently as my government executes its citizens. If I do not speak out and resist, I AM AN ACCOMPLICE”. Sr. Helen Prejean

Please make a donation to FADP if you are able. The all-volunteer statewide coalition to abolish the Death Penalty must have your help to do the work.

Florida continues to increase the premeditated and unnecessary killing of captive prisoners. This is to be Richard Lynn Scott’s fourth killing in three months. He is already the…

View original 2,481 more words- Originally posted on www.HumansinShadow.wordpress.com

Please read the above carefully including the information provided with the petition part of which which states  that

“If Henry’s execution is carried out, he will suffer excruciating pain,” “This is state-sanctioned torture.Injecting a cruel cocktail into Mr. Henry is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and makes a mockery of our democratic system of justice. We cannot allow sadistic new protocols to trump Floridians’ commitment to decency and humane treatment of our fellow citizens.”
Campaign spokesperson Talitha Hazelton.

Since Robert has been on death row, he has served as a counselor and mentor to those struggling with the addiction issues. Mr. Henry knows the horrific toll of untreated addiction – his crack-cocaine addiction led to his condemnation to death, and the death of Ms. Harris and Ms. Thermidor.

I hope as many people as possible will sign the petition and attend the vigils and other actions. And don’t forget to contact Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Clemency to commute Robert Henry’s death sentence. Tell him to suspend ALL executions. Governor Rick Scott: Phone: (850) 488-7146

Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

If you don’t live in the USA you can still sign the petition and send an e-mail to Governor Scott.

I find executions abhorrent, barbaric and inhumane, an anachronism of a bygone age. A punishment that should be consigned to history. As the above article points out “It is not about what those on Death Row may have done, it’s about US and what WE do.”

Also consider that many people innocent people may well have been executed.

Innocent on Death Row
“They’re playing Russian Roulette with our lives. Our lives have no value.”
John Thompson, exonerated after 14 years on death row

Whenever I talk to someone about the death penalty, and my belief that it has no place in society, I’ll come back to innocence a lot. For me, the possibility of executing an innocent person is one of the most compelling reasons to abolish state-sanctioned executions.

In the United States, 142 former death row inmates have been exonerated – found innocent of the crimes they were due to be executed for and released – since 1976. That’s one person released for every ten that have been executed.

Please continue reading.

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/end-death-penalty/innocent-death-row:

Here in the UK the death penalty was abolished decades ago and also through out the EU .

The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty; its abolition is a key objective for the Union’s human rights policy. Abolition is, of course, also a pre-condition for entry into the Union.

Indeed, the EU is the leading institutional actor and largest donor to the fight against the death penalty. This commitment is outlined clearly in the EU Guidelines on the death penalty, the first ever human rights guidelines adopted by Council, in 1998.

Read More:

http://eeas.europa.eu/human_rights/adp/index_en.htm

Read more about Amnesty International’s campaign to end execution:

We campaign for an end to all executions around the world – no matter what the circumstances.

Find out the latest on our work to end the death penalty, the ultimate denial of human rights.

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Death-Penalty?gclid=CKWv6Lyum70CFdShtAodvAEAYA

Please sign the petition concerning the execution of Robert Henry and or write an e-mail to governor Scott if you have not already done so.

https://www.change.org/petitions/governor-rick-scott-stop-the-execution-of-robert-henry-we-say-no-to-this-new-cruel-cocktail-and-inhumane-execution

Contact Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to convene the Board of Clemency to commute Robert Henry’s death sentence. Tell him to suspend ALL executions. Governor Rick Scott: Phone: (850) 488-7146
Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com

If Robert Henry is executed he will become the 84th person executed in Florida since the death penalty was reinstituted in 1976, and the 14th during Scott’s tenure as governor.

Surely it is time for such punishment to stop.

Demonstration To End the Badger Cull

Urgent Action  – if you don’t live in the UK or live too far away from London to attend you could write to David Cameron and or send him a Tweet,  details further down.

Join a demonstration March 13th 2014 to bring and end to the Badger Cull

A House of Commons debate to review the future of the badger cull to be supported by a public demonstration.

800px-Badger-badger

This debate is perhaps the most important badger debate in Parliament, and is absolutely critical in the campaign to stop the badger cull, with the possibility that the Government could announce two new cull zones in early April, initiating the national roll out of the badger cull.

Please also write to your MP, details about this can be found further down.

Lets show this government we mean business,  please attend if you can, but at the least please contact your MP. This is a peaceful demonstration which I hope many will attend

Date & Time

13 March 2014
12.00pm – 2.00pm

Location

Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London

“To coincide with an all-day debate on the badger cull on Thursday 13 March, we are going to be attending an anti badger cull Demo at Old Palace Yard, Westminster between 12-2pm.

League Chief Executive, Joe Duckworth and Wildlife Expert and League Vice President, Bill Oddie will be speaking alongside other high profile anti cull campaigners and MPs.

We are hoping to gather a ‘Badger Army’ to show MPs and the media how opposed the public is to this cruel senseless slaughter of Badgers.”

More details including a map
http://www.league.org.uk/get-involved/calendar-dates/2014/mar/badger-cull-demo

badger cull march 188x20

Click the link above to view and download a larger pdf version of the above which you may use as a poster to display in your window or elsewhere.

Be sure to write to your MP and ask him or her to attend:

https://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=122&ea.campaign.id=26248

There is a similar request and draft letter for you to send from the  IFAW International Fund for Wildlife
http://www.ifaw.org/united-kingdom/get-involved/help-stop-badger-cull?ms=KONDR140319003&cid=701F0000000QwJw&mailid=8113895&af=N7F0OLeUK%2FLnJTRRn1H3gsJ5XKyrjtKX7xs0OHnCIpSIAGVciEsuOZ5n67NHazg9X3n%2F1KkVoDE3Z4ScKTcw

Please try to personalise if possible as individual correspondence gets more notice but if you cannot for some reason please just send either of the above as they are.

You can also use the following link to find your MPs contact details if you prefer to use your own e-mail or write a letter:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Contact David Cameron:
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mr-david-cameron/1467

Cameron’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/david_cameron and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DavidCameronOfficial

The government need to be reminded about the strength of public opinion on the matter. The majority of people do not want the cull. I don’t care for the use of the word cull as it tends to mitigate the fact that this is a massacre of innocent defenceless animals. It is barbaric cruel inhumane and totally unnecessary and not worthy of any country that wishes to be considered as civilised. Badgers are a  protected species, yet when they are deemed an inconvenience by this callous and undemocratic government it seems they can be murdered regardless.

 

Tortured Animals: Help Stop the Horror of Vivisection

“I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t…The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”

Mark Twain

Please take five  simple actions to help bring and end to animal experimentation. Please take as many actions as you can, most petitions require a  only signature and comments are optional though more effective.

703775-1392942312-wide

I agree with Mark Twain that there is no justification whatsoever for vivisection – experiments on live animals. Besides many such experiments are scientifically meaningless , such as the barbaric experiments on baby monkeys at the University of Washington. Also these days many cruel experiments can be done by the use of alternative methods that do not involve cruel animals tests

Please sign the following petition:

Stop the atrocities at the baby monkey lab at the University of Washington and shut it down for good.

The University of Washington performs shockingly cruel experiments on monkeys involving the drilling of holes into the skulls of live monkeys and implanting coils on their eyes – I shudder to contemplate the horror of this. Other routine experiments include inducing convulsions, suffocation and torturing babies while still in their mother’s womb causing deformities. Also psychological cruelty,  such as tearing baby monkeys from their mothers to study the resulting psychological damage.

If after all this sickening abuse the babies survive they are killed at one year of age.

Tax payers in the USA paid these vivisectors $18 million between 2010-2011 and another $12 million to other labs to breed baby monkeys.

Please help stop these atrocities now. This lab and others like it are nothing more than places of torture for defenceless animals.

Please sign the petition and share widely, let’s get this lab shut down and end this appalling treatment of these intelligent sentient creatures.

“Other schools, including Harvard University, have been forced to shut down their live animal experiments — if enough of us speak up, we can get the University of Washington to do the same.”

Read more details and sign the petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/703/775/553/stop-the-atrocities-at-the-baby-monkey-lab-at-the-university-of-washington-and-shut-it-down-for-good/

Experiments on living thinking feeling animals are just so horrendous, so cruel, so inhumane, cold-blooded and callous. One has to ask what kind of person conducts such obviously painful experiments on a living being. These monkeys must scream in agony, there can be no denial surely that animals feel pain. Monkeys are highly intelligent creatures who share 99 percent of our DNA. Even if they were not as intelligent, all animals feel pain and experience fear and consequently suffering. Any creature with a brain and any kind nervous system will suffer pain.

Take Action

Of course monkeys are not the only animals who undergo the agony of vivisection, for example here in the UK over 3118 Beagles were used in over 4693 experiments throughout 2012 and thousands were bred specifically for this purpose.

Please sign the following petition:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/hm-government-uk-abolish-the-breeding-for-use-of-beagles-for-animal-experimentation-in-the-uk

More information:

http://www.buav.org/article/1482/buav-and-run-free-alliance-join-forces-to-end-the-use-of-dogs-in-laboratories

Please read – Baby Animals and Their Nursing Mothers Are Living (and Dying) in Horror at UK Lab

According to the BUAV, some of the many issues the investigation exposed included tests being carried out on puppies as young as four weeks and kittens as young as eight weeks before they were killed and dissected and nursing mothers being senselessly killed after their young were taken away too soon, while some of the other animals who were used were “allowed to suffer the full extent of the symptoms of serious and even deadly diseases.”

One particularly heartbreaking scene shows a tiny beagle puppy who is screaming in distress as a researcher attempts to deliver a lethal injection, but is unable to get a vein because they’ve been so damaged.

Please read more and sign the petition.  If you use the following link to sign the petition rather than the one included in the second link you will be able to add a comment which is more effective.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/367/978/058/stop-uk-labs-puppy-and-kitten-experiments/

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/baby-animals-and-their-nursing-mothers-are-living-and-dying-in-horror-at-uk-lab.html#ixzz2vFvgiAie

Also: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/msd-animal-health-stop-the-testing-and-killing-of-puppies-kittens-and-other-young-animals-born-to-die-in-a-uk-laboratory#share

Please don’t overlook the most abused of all lab animals – rodents, such as rats and mice. Sadly there is less sympathy perhaps for these creatures. In the USA alone over 100 million mice and rats are killed in laboratories every year. There are no laws to protect them from any and every kind of painful abuse
imaginable  – for most sensitive caring people unimaginable.

Warning some people may find the following video upsetting.

Please watch if you can, this may make you think differently about mice and rats who need our help to bring about an end to their torture as much as monkeys, cats or dogs. Ninety-five per cent of animal experiments are performed on rats and mice.

“Mice and rats are affectionate and clever and would risk their own lives to save their friends.”

Who Cares About Mice and Rats?

More information

Mice and Rats in Laboratories

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-laboratories/mice-rats-laboratories/

Take Action:

Please take the following action which is recommended in the above PETA web Page:

You can help make a difference for these vulnerable animals by urging your members of Congress to amend the Animal Welfare Act to include protection for mice and rats.

https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1720 – scroll down to send an online letter. Please personalise if you can, but send as it is if for some reason this is not possible.

I am not sure if only people living in the USA can take part in the above action.

Rats and mice are sentient beings,  they are mammals like monkeys, dogs and humans; they have a brain and a nervous system so feel pain and suffer like you and I or your pet dog. Such treatment of other living creatures is inexcusable, a crime against a sentient being. What right have humans to torture any creature. Animals exist to live out their own lives in their natural environment, they are not here for our benefit for either our use or abuse.

Gandhi once said:

“I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence.”

Links with more information

BUAV – British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection

http://www.buav.org/ – “Our vision. To create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals” Lots of action you can take to bring about and end to vivisection.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society

http://www.navs.org.uk/home/ – The National Anti-Vivisection Society, founded in 1875, is the world’s first body to challenge the use of animals in research and continues to lead the campaign today. Again many opportunities to take action against animal experimentation

Recent Newspaper articles concerning animal experiments at Universities

Durham University

This prestigious university tortures and murders 8,000 animals

Durham University is facing a call to end animal tests, after using 8,000 in labs last year, an increase of seventy per cent

“Such ill treatment of animals does not reflect a civilised society where other species merit respect.

Sophie Kennerley, the AVC’s director of communications,

The Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) claims animals have died, been seriously injured and mistreated in labs at the North’s leading university.

The campaign says documents obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveal rabbits have suffered lacerations, swellings, abscesses, mastitis and obesity, fish have suffered fungal infections and died and vets have expressed concerns over the conditions of rats following surgery.

Read More:
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11049992.Durham_University_facing_call_to_end_animal_tests__after_using_8_000_in_labs_last_year/?ref=var_0

Professor Chris Higgins, the university’s vice-chancellor, said its use of animals in research work is strictly regulated and it strives for the very highest standards of care and wellbeing for all animals.

Torture is still torture regulated or otherwise.

The Anti-Vivisection Coalition

http://www.stopvivisection.org.uk/

AVC Press release:

CAMPAIGNERS SLAM DURHAM UNIVERSITY

OVER SUFFERING AND DEATH OF LABORATORY ANIMALS

http://www.stopvivisection.org.uk/images/press/2014/03-03-14-campaigners-slam-durham-uni-over-suffering-and-death-of-lab-animals.pdf

Also

Durham one of the UK’s least bloodthirsty universities!

Tab research reveals that over 1 million animals are killed by British universities every year.

http://durham.tab.co.uk/2013/11/11/animal-testing-3/

More about Mark Twain and Animal Rights

View the entire letter – the source of  the opening quotation –  to the London Anti-Vivisection Society, May 26, 1899 written by Mark Twain  who strongly opposed Vivisection

http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights_A_History_Mark%20Twain.htm

Bison Butcherers

This is so shocking in the extreme! Is no animal safe from man. What right have human beings got to murder animals whenever they so please. This is not our world to do with as we wish, we share it with myriad species of animals, it is their world too and they have as much right to live as we do.

Indeed it is very similar to the badger cull here in the UK. We will never have a peaceful just world while we mercilessly kill the earth’s other inhabitants. I always thought bison were protected, which of course they should be. But then badgers where protected until the government decided they were an inconvenience and needed to be massacred.

Walking with the Alligators

buffalobh1

A beautiful Bison, still wearing its winter coat, taken many years ago.

As some of you may know, I have recently started another WP Blog named tahtonka.

It was created for two reasons, one to deflect the often intense pain from frequent postings,  (like today’s story) on this Blog and second to reflect my education and passion for Global Culture.

The name tahtonka  has become extremely meaningful to me for several reasons and those reasons for choosing it for the new Blog, were explained on its very first posting:

http://tahtonka.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/tahtonka-in-the-beginning/

Now,  in light of that revelation, you can only imagine how reading the stories in my email today has sickened me.

May I say,  that if you have never been to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, you have  cheated yourself of an unforgettable experience.

One of the many things that make Yellowstone so remarkable,  are its beautiful, wild wildlife.

And, of all of them,  the Bison/Buffalo reigns supreme, at…

View original post 479 more words

Man Dies of Starvation: Yet Another Victim of the Government’s Callous Treatment of Sick and Disabled People

Shocking news: it has recently come to light that a man with Asperger syndrome and a number of mental health conditions has died of starvation – that’s right died of starvation in the sixth richest country in the world.

He died four months after most of his benefits were stopped and he was left with just £40 a week to survive on.

How bad does it have to get before someone does something to stop the onslaught of abuse and the violations of human rights here in the UK. The UN is aware of the situation yet continues to do nothing. Increasingly the public are aware of what is happening yet do very little either not giving a dam about the welfare of their fellow humans beings or they still continue sucking up the insane prattle of the Tories warped ideology disseminated by vile right-wing newspapers propagating the government’s Nazi style propaganda against the sick and disabled.

The government here in the UK are in violation of article 25 of the bill of human Rights which states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

– yet no action is taken.

Why was this allowed to happen? Why has a person starved to death in a country Cameron described recently as “wealthy”, here is what Cameron said after visiting communities affected by the floods:

“My message to the country today is this. Money is no object in this relief effort, whatever money is needed for it will be spent. We will take whatever steps are necessary”. “we are a wealthy country and we have taken good care of our public finances”.

Yet no money for sick and disabled people cut off without adequate means of support, left to die

Atos Healthcare had assessed Mark Wood, 44 as being fit to work though his GP said otherwise.

At the inquest into Mark’s death his GP Dr Ward told the court:

“He was an extremely vulnerable and fragile individual who was coping with life.
“Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”

Furthermore Dr Ward testified that he had not been contacted by ATOS or the DWP regarding Nicolas’s medical history. Had they done so he would have said Mr Wood was not fit for work.

Mark’s employment and support allowance ESA and housing benefit were taken away leaving him with just £40 from his Disability Living Allowance DLA. All he had was £40 to pay his rent, heat his home, buy food and clothing and no doubt he had to pay his council tax as so few are exempt now. All of this would have driven a normal person over the edge let alone someone with severe mental illness. Never forget that mental health problems are serious disabilities.

Mark Wood was another victim of the government’s welfare reforms designed to destroy the welfare system and send the country back to darker days long forgotten.

Mark was a vulnerable man who died of malnutrition weighing just 5 stone 8 pounds. He suffered with Asperger’s Syndrome a type of autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias of food, pollution, paint fumes, and social situations. He also had cognitive behavioural problems.

DWP spokesperson has said:

“A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough assessment and after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist.”

Considering the above testimony by his GP, the DWP statement is a blatant lie.

Read more about this shocking case: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11043378.Man_starved_after_benefits_were_cut/?ref=mr

It is highly likely that a good percentage of those declared fit for work are people who suffer with mental health or a neurological disorders such as Autism. Why? Because this group of people are less able to defend their rights, fight their case or appeal. People with mental health problems are often less likely to cope or find the wherewithal to even understand the complex procedure that is required. Moreover many have no one to help them and the system is ambiguous and complex to fathom, even for a person who does not suffer in this way.

If people with chronic and debilitating physical health conditions and disabilities have been declared fit for work, people with mental health issues are even less likely to get though the WCA or cope with the aftermath of being told they are fit for work. Moreover they’re less likely to gain sympathy or support. Not that physically sick and disabled are getting much in the way of support from the British public either and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety present in the lives of physically ill people as a result of all the worry and stress, consequently adding more misery to already difficult lives.

Where is the public outrage, the sense of social justice? Most people are more interested in what is on TV than what is happening to their neighbour who is sitting in a cold house, facing eviction, hunger and destitution. Sadly TV and sports has become the modern “opiate of the masses”. Though it has to be said that many are facing their own battles as a result of austerity measures and the complex lives we all lead. Even so-called ” hardworking people” if they are low paid may find their housing benefits sanctioned if they cannot show they are looking for a higher paid job .Few people have escaped the onslaught of misery during the past few years except the very well paid and the rich.

Atos is working for the DWP; let’s not forget that, Atos does the government’s dirty work albeit willingly for huge amounts of tax free money, they are nonetheless employed by the DWP to carry out Work Capability Assessments. Therefore whoever replaces them will continue the atrocities against vulnerable people.

Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, said:

“We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Mark Wood.

“Unfortunately this tragic case is not an isolated incident. We hear too often how changes to benefits are negatively impacting vulnerable individuals, who struggle to navigate a complex, and increasingly punitive, system.

“We know the assessment process for those applying for Employment and Support Allowance is very stressful, and too crude to accurately assess the impact a mental health problem has on someone’s ability to work.

“This leads to people not getting the right support and being put under excessive pressure which can make their health worse and push them further from the workplace.

“We urgently need to see a complete overhaul of the system, to ensure nobody else falls through the cracks.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-mark-wood-starved-death-3194250

Shame on the government. Shame on ATOS who for money destroy the lives of vulnerable people. Shame on the Labour government who have barely even spoke out against the abuse of vulnerable people.

Mark was not the first person to die of starvation, an East Grinstead man has also died of starvation as a result of having had his benefits cut.

A terminally ill man from East Grinstead was found dead in his home following a DWP medical assessment by Croydon based medical company ATOS.

The man aged 63 was found dead after ATOS submitted their report to the DWP stating that the 63 year old was fit and able to carry out manual work in which ATOS made recommendations that his benefits should be stopped in November 2012.

Police state that the 63 year old had died of kidney failure and starvation following the assessment.
Read More

http://uk-condemnation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/man-63-dies-of-kidney-failure.html

The government and ATOS needs to be held up to account for crimes against humanity.

Yet who will speak up for the disabled and the chronically sick including the mentally and neurologically ill whose claims for ESA are being rejected by as much as 40% leaving sufferers traumatised, distressed, depressed, suicidal and in poverty. No one it seems speaks out or at least very few with the exception of individual disabled people themselves and groups such as Spartacus and the WOW petition. With few exceptions even charities do not make any real condemnation of the shocking state of affairs concerning what is happening here in the UK. The salvation Army seems to have set aside its Christian values to support the government’s work for nothing workfare scheme which is not only a great injustice to abled bodied people who are unfortunate enough to be unemployed but many sick and disabled people have been forced to take part under threat of losing their benefit, the only income between them and destitution, hunger and homelessness.

The Salvation army are not the only ones, though an excellent charity the National Autistic society did nothing during the run up to the welfare reform bill being passed into law other than negotiate a few clauses with Freud relating to people with autism. Mind even assisted with workfare though has since pulled out of the scheme. There certainly has been no unified serious effort between the charities to end this misery, I wonder if any of them have even contacted the UN.

Most of the right wing gutter press support the draconian scheme of the government to get as many people off benefits and back to work as possible regardless as to whether to not they are fit to do so. Why ? Because the government want to claw back the money lost in the so called financial crisis which whether it exists or not was not the fault of those who are suffering now to pay for it. Though I think the austerity measures supposedly to pay back the deficit are but an excuse to plunge people into poverty and destroy the welfare system.

And what of Labour – other than promise to end the bedroom tax what have Labour done to defend people on welfare? Other than older party members such as Dennis Skinner so called new Labour have barely raised an objection.

I am appalled that Labour have not condemned in any real way the serious attack on benefit claimants. Thousands of people have committed suicide, many live in fear and dread of insecurity and devastating poverty. Lives already marred by illness and disability and by unemployment have suffered further detriment from the Tory government’s welfare reforms and indeed from Labour who introduced some of the changes such as the unfair Work Capability Assessment WCA and a reduction in the amount paid when Employment and Support Allowance ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit. I clearly recall Toney Blair’s “lounging on benefits” comments which some might say launched the drip feed of the negative scrounger propaganda.

It is a sad day when democracy is allowed to die, when an unelected government of millionaires of over privileged sociopaths determines the future of the masses virtually unchallenged in any real sense save for the ineffectual slanging matches in parliament, none of which have remotely addressed the outrage of social injustice perpetrated against the disabled, sick , unemployed and low paid

Action to take

Write to the UN
Why not write to the UN about the shocking treatment of the most vulnerable in our society, the sick and disabled who have seen their lives destroyed as a result of vicious, unfair and unjust welfare reforms which have resulted in many suicides and people dying as consequence of all the extra pressure brought to bear on lives already blighted by disability and ill health.

You might not get a reply but it is still worth writing, the more letters and e-mail received the more someone will take notice. I wrote a long e-mail. I did not receive a reply and did not expect to do so. But do not be deterred, unless we speak out nothing will happen.

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=175

Also see

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150

http://www.un.org/disabilities/

You can also write to:
His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
UN Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
USA
E-­mail: sgcentral@un.org

Do not hesitate, yes there are worse things going on in the world but two wrongs so not make a right and human rights violations are violations regardless of degree.

Write a polite letter to your MP and or David Cameron and express your outrage

Mr David Cameron, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/constituencies/witney

Or contact you constituency MP.
http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/

Write to trade unions – what are they doing about the benefit sanctions of workers and low pay zero hours – not very much as far as I am aware certainly nothing in support of the sick and disabled who were once workers many of whom were trade union members.

TUC

Trades Union Congress
Congress House, Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3LS
Tel: 020 7636 4030
Fax: 020 7636 0632

To email comments or make an enquiry to the TUC, please email info@tuc.org.uk

The TUC is the primary trade union federation for the United Kingdom.

A list of other trade unions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_trade_unions_in_the_United_Kingdom

Unless we all speak out nothing will change

Here is list of those who do speak out in a meaningful way and where you will find the latest information.

The Void
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/

Where’s The Benefit
http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.co.uk/?wref=bif

WOW Petition
http://wowpetition.com/

Dairy of a Benefit Scrounger
http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/?wref=bif

Pride’s Purge ~ an irreverent look at UK politics
http://tompride.wordpress.com/

We are Spartacus
https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSpartacus

Boycott Workfare
http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

There are more no doubt many more including less prominent blogs and websites, such as blogs like this one with few visitors. In the main though the above provide you with up-to-date information. But every voice counts as does every action we take large or small.

Frankly what is needed is a bit of solidarity a united front of the sick and disabled, workers and sympathisers . Too often people are divided such as begrudging money sent aboard and immigrants. Even if no money is sent abroad and no more immigrants allowed into the UK nothing will change, the government are hell-bent on setting the clock back decades and destroying our welfare system.

Related links

Cancer patients ‘forced to work’

http://fermanaghherald.com/2014/02/cancer-patients-forced-to-work/