UK Health Newswire Archive
29-06-2011 15:39Join us for a mass rally against ongoing blight-resistant GM potato trials.
Gather for organic chips before travelling by bike, tractor or coach to the John Innes Research Centre to deliver to them our tried and tested non-GM blight-resistant spuds. Meet 12 noon, The Forum, Norwich, Saturday
23rd July 2011. email@example.com or to book coach seats / accommodation ring 07595506673.
It's a 65 minute documentary about a pregnant woman's battle to keep her unborn baby against the wishes of a hostile medical profession, in Kazakhstan.
21-06-2011 12:35Wed 22 June at 4:50pm Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford.
Labour councillors have again tried to shut down public views/democracy by preventing public speaking at City Executive Board meetings. At 5pm (prompt)on Wednesday 22 June at the Town Hall, 128 public questions which have been submitted, will be asked!
Brian Haw, the protester whose dogged presence outside of parliament turned him into a cause célèbre, has died of lung cancer. Mr Haw was a divisive figure, with often unorthodox opinions, whose determination to camp outside parliament became a matter of considerable political debate on the right to protest. In recent years Mr Haw’s supporters dwindled to a hardcore group with fringe opinions. They have let him down badly.
When I was a child, I read the Guinness Book of Records, and marvelled at the stories of the people who, in ancient times, removed themselves from everyday reality, like Saint Simeon Stylites, a Christian ascetic who lived on a tiny platform on top of a pillar in Aleppo, Syria for 37 years in the 5th century AD.
19-06-2011 09:43*Norwich, noon, 23rd July 2011.*
British trials of genetically modified blight resistant spuds have been failing for the last ten years. But a conventionally bred variety of blight resistant potatoes has been available for 3 years. So why are we
still paying for their dangerous experiment?
14-06-2011 18:45Netherlands... expected to ban slaughter without anesthesia or stunning
Korean activists protest fur show
S Africa village stones monkey to death
organisers estimated 3000 people took part in yesterday's 'slutwalk' anti-rape protest yesterday in central london. the crowd filled trafalgar square to hear from a wide variety of speakers, and the event was seen by them as a success. it has certainly opened up a debate about attitudes to women, rape, dress, and misogyny, although not all agree with the premise of the march.
click on image for larger version. all images are 'some rights reserved' - free for credited non-commercial use, otherwise contact author for permission
as the crowd assembled outside the 'hard rock cafe' at the west end of picadilly, it became clear this was going to be much bigger than most people had imagined. the london slutwalk, follows similar uk marches in edinburgh, newcastle, cardiff and glasgow, and these in turn were part of an emergence of currently more than 70 similar events around the globe.
it all began in toronto, after an ill-judged, and later reprimanded, comment by a toronto cop, michael sanguinetti, in a rape case. he was quoted as saying that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised". there have been similar comments in british courts from ill-witted judges, and rape victims are routinely asked what they were wearing at the time. so the 'slutwalk' response is that women should be free to wear whatever they wish, and that rape is thus never invited or 'asked for'. infact, one particularly incisive banner at yesterday's protest simply pointed out that "by definition, you cannot ASK to be raped".
some feminists have opined that the protest doesn't address deeper concerns over the commercial sexualisation of the female in society, and that the word 'slut' is not one worth reclaiming. on a side note, etymologically, 'slut' doesn't originally appear to suggest any sexual connotation, rather being associated with dirt, and applied to women, often servants, who didn't clean properly.
all controversy aside, the trafalgar square speeches, from organisers and invitees, kept returning to a simple single-issue point to be made, and 'slutwalk' might be strongest and least divisive if it continues to be clear about that one issue.
i thought it was best summed up by one speaker who invited us to imagine the case of a man appearing in the witness stand after being the victim of a rape where some penis-like object had been shoved up his arse. the first question he is asked by the sympathetic judge is "can you describe what you were wearing at the time?". the farcical unlikeliness of this scenario brought laughter and a huge cheer from the crowd. and yet female rape victims are routinely asked this question.
a young muslim woman pointed out that her religious dress is under fire for too much coverage, while rape victims are under fire for too little dress. why does (patriarchal) authority believe it should interfere in this area at all? 'slutwalk' invited people to come dressed in any way they wished, and although many took up the challenge to dress 'provocatively' (isn't that word in itself a sign of how deep this problem is entrenched?), others rose to the call in other ways.
a trans-gender speaker spoke of her previous life as a man, never experiencing any sexual abuse, but that since dressing as a woman, she receives anything ranging from stupid comments to serious threats on a shockingly regular basis. sex workers spoke of their experiences at the hands of the police - claims of abuse or rape are routinely met with indifference because of the nature of their work, and the level of protection is minimal, non-existent or indeed negative. she told how she was currently fighting a conviction for 'running a brothel', when her only motive was to work in a flat communally with a couple of friends for safety after being brutally attacked herself (without any subsequent justice) when she previously worked on her own.
other speakers did of course make connections to wider women's issues, such as the use of rape as a weapon in war, the plight of women in AIDS ravaged countries, and the rights of women globally. one particularly eloquent speaker on global issues was crystal from 'global women's strike'.
but ultimately and simply 'slutwalk' is about challenging the arbitrary and ill-conceived connection between dress or appearance and the crime of rape. it is about fighting the perception among, mostly male, police, prosecuters, and judges, that rape can be invited by signals and implied consent. it is about raising these issues publicly and in the press, and pushing it into the judicial agenda.
it certainly seems to have captured the imagination of a wide cross-section of the public, and yesterday's london march and rally had men and women in all states of dress and undress, in unexpectedly large numbers, with a serious aim and as part of a global phenomenon.
quite by chance, yesterday's event coincided with the yearly 'world naked bike ride', and as the speeches were drawing to a close, hundreds and more hundreds of naked men and women rode past the square as part of that event, not one of them inviting rape - a delicious synchronicity on a sunny afternoon.
11-06-2011 15:34Food hygiene regulations are being almost universally ignored by vendors of take-away foods. This could lead to an outbreak of highly contagious and lethal diseases.
05-06-2011 05:13Since the ARK charity's fundraiser is on June 9th (Ark has global influence), which will be Prince William's and Kate Middleton's first official engagement since their wedding (receiving global publicity) and the Bilderber Conference also commences on June 9th (and getting marketed by the main stream media), is it the case that the Bildergerber Conference is a distraction from what is going on with ARK?
04-06-2011 03:44Recently the World Health Organization has blamed ecoli on vegetables, in an attempt to shield the animal flesh industry.
01-06-2011 14:54A Lesbian, with mental health problems, attending one of the Atos medicals claims the so-called doctor indulged in a homophobic rant during the assessment.
31-05-2011 08:12The campaign against the government's plans for the NHS is at a crossroads. Overwhelming opposition, from ordinary people, the BMA, the NHS Federation, the RCN, the unions and even the Liberal Democrat spring conference has forced them onto the back foot.
24-05-2011 09:40A workshop in how to build new identities.
Last week saw a flurry of activity in opposition to the planned “reforms” of the NHS in Nottinghamshire. There were protests at the two “listening” events held in the county and a well received stall in the Market Square on Saturday. In Worksop, campaigners dressed as Robin Hood distributed leaflets in the town centre inviting people to the listening exercise there on Friday. Another Notts Uncut action, this time focusing on the NHS, is planned for next weekend.
Upcoming event: Notts Uncut Emergency Operation, Saturday May 28th, 12 noon, outside Boots, Parliament St, Nottingham.
On the newswire: Worksop NHS protest | Notts ‘Save Our NHS’ campaigning stall | Reports on NHS “listening” events in Notts | Picket of NHS ‘Listening Exercise’ evening | Picket of NHS “listening” event
Previous feature: Nottingham Mobilises to Save NHS
Edwinstowe, Tuesday 17th May
There were two “listening” events held in Nottinghamshire, one in the city and the other, for those in the north of the county, in Edwinstone. There was a protest outside organised by the Bassetlaw anti-cuts group who gave out leaflet: Save Our NHS From Lansley (doc) wearing their Robin Hood hats with “Robin Hood says Keep our NHS public” and “Robin Hood says the NHS belongs to the people not big business”.
About 100 people attended the listening event, mainly older people. There was considerable opposition to the Bill proposals particularly to the privatisation of the NHS. It was quite heated and people were keen to ask questions from the floor. The meeting was fronted by Zoe, the PCT Public Involvement Manager who was asked difficult questions and took the flack – apparently no one from the Future Forum had been able to attend.
There was a presentation on what’s happening (with much interupting by questions) and then group work (based on the 4 topics in the Listening exercise) and feedback to the whole group. Responses will be collated and fed into the Department of Health. There were no GPs or MPs present, as far as this reporter was aware. It was round table stuff – but every table reporting back made it quite clear privatisation was not an option and the reorganisation should be shelved.
Note: Bassetlaw is not part of NHS County – it is joining up with Doncaster and Rotherham.
Nottingham, Wednesday 18th May
About 20 of Notts SOS turned out on 18th May to picket the NHS listening event held at the Belgrave Rooms in the city. Placards and notices saying Kill the Bill, Bin the Bill, Hands Off Our NHS, Sickness is Not a Profit Making Industry, made our point clear. Many people arriving for the event stopped to look at our stall, pick up information and newsletters and talk, and passing vehicles hooted their support. The new Notts SOS printed waterproof banner with our name and logo on was ready for the event, and tied to the front of the stall. Some campaigners then went inside to join the exercise when it began at 6pm, but a presence was kept outside throughout and interested members of the public continued to stop and ask what it was all about.
The listening exercise was run jointly by Nottingham City and Nottingham County PCTs (Primary Care Trusts). Present were PCT staff, and Vicky Bailey who is a member of the government’s NHS Future Forum and chief officer of an existing GP consortium (Principia). The chair of the Future Forum, Prof. Steve Field, said earlier this week that the proposed NHS reforms were unworkable. The Nottingham meeting was overwhelmingly opposed to competition in the NHS and the use of private contractors. But the impression gained by the audience of about a hundred, was that the exercise was only concerned with making cosmetic changes to the underlying plan, and leaving the marketisation of the NHS untouched. Those present who left their names and addresses were promised that they would be sent a copy of the summary of opinion that will be forwarded to the Future Forum. No-one who attended could be left in any doubt that the public are overwhelmingly opposed to this government plan.
Nottingham, Saturday 21st May
On Saturday, Notts SOS held a stall in the Market Square to distribute leaflets zbout the government’s plans for the NHS and get people to sign a petition. Some campaigners wore white coats emblazoned with slogans criticising the Health and Social Care Bill.
The stall was well received with people almost universally opposed to the marketisation of the NHS and eager to sign the petition. Aroun 1,000 leaflets were given out in less than two hours.
Worksop, Saturday 21st May
Robin Hood and his band of helpers descended on Bridge Street, Worksop, last Saturday to tell the folk of Worksop that they had been missed out of the Government’s NHS “Listening Exercise”. Meetings had been held in Edwinstowe and Nottingham by NHS Nottinghamshire and the South Yorkshire PCT had held a meeting at Doncaster, last Monday that was attended by three people. Bassetlaw’s MP had not been told about the meeting and Bassetlaw people had not been invited to take part.
The group have asked John Mann to organise Bassetlaw’s own Listening Exercise and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and a representative from Future Forum, the group appointed by the Government to Listen to the People, will be invited to speak at a Public Meeting to be held at Worksop Town Hall, on Friday 27th May, at 7.00 pm.
The Bassetlaw Protecting our People and Services Group gave out leaflets and collected 622 signatures, in just over 2 hours, on a petition to Keep our NHS Public. Barry Donlan, a spokesperson for the group said Robin Hood would approve of the group using his name to defend the National Health Service for the people. He said that, “The Government’s proposals include turning the National Health Service into a National health market with profits for private providers funded through taxpayers’ money. Private companies would ‘cherry pick’ the simpler procedures to deliver and leave the more costly procedures for the taxpayer to fund”. Councillor David Potts said that Government advisers had said that future reforms would “show no mercy to the NHS and offer a big opportunity to the for profit sector”.
Robin Hood’s helpers gave out invitations to the Public Meeting and urged everyone to attend.