Press Release: ‘Lift protest ban,’ Human Rights students tell University of London


10th December 2013 (Human Rights Day)
Embargoed until 12:00pm


LONDON, 12:00pm – Human Rights Students from UCL (University College London) have written an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer of the University of London to request they take action to revoke a court order against student protests on University of London grounds.

Last week, the University of London obtained a court order that bans all “occupational protests” on areas of its campus until June 2014. Anyone who breaches the order can be charged with contempt of court.

On 10 December, which is internationally recognised as Human Rights Day, the signatories of the open letter ask that the University of London consider the impact of its decision on the democratic rights of its students (such as the rights to ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of assembly and association’ that are included in…

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Day One

Harry Ferguson

Well, that’s the first day over. Constant pain from stomach cramps and for some reason my energy level dropped to zero mid-afternoon. I could barely lift myself out of the chair at one point, but at least that passed. All this only serves to remind me of what Shaker and the other prisoners are going through. I have my family, especially my children, to support me (and occasionally taunt me with crisps in a good-natured way). Shaker has four children and he has been separated from them for more than ten years. All those missed birthdays, all those missed memories. How is it possible to withstand that kind of pain, never knowing when or even if it will ever end? And all this for a man who has never even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. What happened to our supposed standards of justice in the Western world?…

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Signal boosts: Racial profiling and racist raids–don’t look away

Another angry woman

The Home Office Twitter account has been gloating of late, after having rounded up a lot of “immigration offenders”, who it looks increasingly likely were racially profiled. The raids have, unsurprisingly, not been received well in local areas. This is in conjunction with the Home Office’s other immigration project, where it looks like they believed they were blowing a dogwhistle, but actually ended up reaching for a bassoon and playing a jaunty, racist melody.

The raids are nothing new. I urge you all to read and share this story from SandiaElectrica from three years ago, where the same causes for concern have been happening. It happened to her family again, only a few days ago.

This is Britain now, and it is a Britain which many white people will remain unaware of. A Britain steeped in racism, a fascist Britain where state bullies harass and intimidate…

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Egypt – that place between a rock and a hard place, the frying pan and the fire.

So, in a few minutes, Morsilini the sheeple’s dictator is set to be stood down after defying an army ultimatum by our old friends SCAF and inevitably, there will be another military coup d’etat. These would be saviours are being cheered on by so many – but let’s not forget the last time we had a military dictatorship!

Whilst Morsi & the Brotherhood are calling for death, blood and martyrdom to protect a revolution they didn’t even participate in, that other organised gang, the army are polishing their weapons. These bunches of willy-wagglers will not be content until they bring down Egypt with them.

Dangerous days ahead.


Sexual Harassment Smoothie

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Ya Muzza


Let me tell you the story of the sexual harassment smoothie. It was strawberry.

It arrived in a glass on a tray full of awkward beverages and sat between me and four managers of Cilantro.

I didn’t order it but took two obligated sips anyway because apparently giving a free beverage to someone who was groped in their coffee shop makes managers feel magnanimous.

I do believe this icy pink drink was imposed on me with the best of intentions, but it came to be part of the problem.

A day earlier I stopped in the 26th July Street branch of the coffee chain Cilantro. Waiting for my coffee, I felt a bump and a quick hand brush against my ass. I got an equally quick jolt of adrenaline, or whatever it is that makes your muscles tense and your face go hot, before chalking it up to a clumsy…

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Article on Femen in Le Monde

Fantastic analysis here on Femen’s fucked up ‘feminism’ by the rather brilliant Sara Salem.

Postcolonialism and its Discontents

An article I wrote about Femen was published in Le Monde. Here is the English version:

Femen are a group of Ukrainian-based feminists who have become well-known over the past few years for their provocative tactics and confrontational strategies. Most notable among these is the tactic of protesting topless, in an effort to reclaim their bodies as their own rather than as instruments of patriarchy. Because women’s bodies are constantly instrumentalized by men and the media, their protests act as a way of re-appropriating the female body as a symbol of resistance against patriarchy. Stripping is therefore a means by which women can “take back our bodies” in the broader fight against patriarchy.

While this logic is accepted by some feminist circles, it is not my aim in this article to discuss feminist tactics. Rather I want to focus on Femen’s tendency to universalize their brand of feminism that…

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It’s heresy I know. But not all men are actually rapists

“The faintest suggestion that women’s bodies aren’t their toys (such as patiently explaining the differences between a vagina and a laptop, for example), and, hello, out come the little grabby-grabby hands. You can practically see their chocolate-smeared mouths wailing: “Mine! Mine! I don’t want it to be up to her whether I can look at them or touch them! It’s not fair! I should be able to buy access to women, or at least exchange it for Being A Nice Guy!””

This x million.

I don’t understand why we are having the same conversations over & over again about rape and consent. How many more decades of pointing out the same things do we need before attitudes will change.

Have to say, am deeply suspicious of those propagating these ‘defences’ (read victim-blaming). What have the men (&sometimes women) who propogate this rape apologism got to hide? Is it about their own behaviour? Is that what he was thinking about some of the victims of crime while he was on Crimewatch.

In pushing these victim blaming narratives, it’s not so much that Ross is complicit with rapists. By giving rapists excuses and absolving them of responsibilities, he’s acting as an accomplice to them & to rape culture.

Jo Bloggs

It’s heresy I know. But not all men are actually rapists.

Friendly womansplainer is here to help you, Nick Ross. 

Despite several thousand years of masculinism, and perhaps partly because of it, men are still mostly portrayed as weak and helpless when it comes to sexual offenses. Why?

So many portrayals of men in popular culture make out that men are incapable of taking responsibility for where they put their penises, and that not only does this give women the power to ‘give’ or ‘withhold’ sex, but that this imagined power is actually meaningful.

It is plainly objectionable to assume that most men are rapists. Whether you’re a comedian making jokes which imply your audience will empathise with rapists and have a good old chuckle at survivors, or whether you’re warning women not to dress a certain way in case they provoke men to rape them, we have to ask:…

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G4S running rape support. Fuck that shit.

Rape as a commodity to be privatised and exploited. I despair. I just….

So now victims of rape/sexual assault are seen as nothing more than a potential for profit extraction?


Another angry woman

Content note: This post discusses rape and the aftermath

I have written before about why I never reported my rape to the police, and reams about the trail of disgusting fuck-ups the police have displayed in handling of rape. I know that many feel the same way, unable to trust this violent, patriarchal institution to help healing and justice. Yet some do, or at least see going to the police is the best option available. And for some, the police really are helpful. For the rest of us, we look at the police and plot revolution, plot for a day when they are the best option for none as we deal with the entrenched societal problem with rape and let go of models of retributive justice, doing away with this coercive arm of the state.

Getting rid of the police and their role in dealing with the aftermath of…

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