London protest against changing women’s museum to Jack the Ripper museum


This video from London, England says about itself:

Jack the Ripper museum: an insult to women?

30 July 2015

The announcement of a new Jack the Ripper Museum caused consternation among East London residents who expected it to be dedicated to the achievements of women in the area.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Protest at new Ripper museum

Tuesday 4th August 2015

SUFFRAGETTES” and equal-pay fighters will picket the opening of London’s newest attraction today — a planned women’s history museum which turned out to be a Jack the Ripper-themed venue.

The all-women fancy-dress protest has been called after more than 2,500 people signed a petition against the new museum in Cable Street.

Organisers said the afternoon picket would highlight how women’s history has far more to tell us about than simply being the victims of murder and sexual violence.

Campaigner Jemima Broadbridge told the Star: “We are protesting this evening outside the Jack the Ripper Museum because local residents, London historians and women’s groups from across London are outraged that they have been misled about the original purpose of this museum.

“The protest is being supported by representatives from different groups including East London Suffragettes and the Green Party.

“We have encouraged them to join the demonstration dressed as historic figures from the East End who represent its true social history — for example Elizabeth Fry, Doctor Barnardo and the Pankhursts.

“We also feel that there is a real need for a proper, serious museum charting the social history of the contribution made by women from east London.

“We’re calling on Tower Hamlets Council and the Arts Council to help us fund and establish a museum somewhere in the East End, in the future.”

The project, headed by former Google diversity chief Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, was labelled “grotesque” and denigrating.

British Prime Minister Heath, child abuser?


This video from England says about itself:

Sir Edward Heath named in child sex abuse investigation

3 August 2015

Wiltshire Police appeals for anyone who believes they may have been victim of former Prime Minister as IPCC announces inquiry into handling of claims.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Edward Heath ‘child sex abuse‘ allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be conducting the investigation

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Monday 03 August 2015

The police watchdog is to investigate Wiltshire police’s handling of a child sex abuse claim allegedly made against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath in the 1990s.

The force is to be probed after allegations made by a retired senior officer were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

An IPCC spokesman said it is to investigate “allegations concerning Wiltshire Police’s handling of an alleged claim of child sexual abuse made in the 1990s”.

He added: “It is alleged that a criminal prosecution was not pursued, when a person threatened to expose that Sir Edward Heath may have been involved in offences concerning children.

“In addition to this allegation, the IPCC will examine whether Wiltshire Police subsequently took any steps to investigate these claims.”

Heath, a Conservative, was prime minister between 1970 and 1974 and had a home in Wiltshire county. He died in 2005.

Read more:

Edward Heath ‘child sex abuse claims': Full statement by the IPCC
Edward Health ‘child sex claims': Wiltshire Police statement in full

Wiltshire Police said it is carrying out enquiries to identify if there are any witnesses or victims who support the allegations of child sex abuse.

A police spokesperson said: “On becoming aware of the information, Wiltshire Police informed the IPCC and later made a mandatory referral. The IPCC investigation will specifically consider how the force responded to allegations when they were received in the 1990s.

“Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many y[e]ars and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.”

“We take all reports of child abuse, either current or that occurred in the past very seriously. Victims will receive support throughout any investigation and associated judicial process.

“If there is evidence of offences having been committed we will ensure that, if possible, those responsible are held to account through a thorough and detailed investigation. This includes any other parties who are identified as having been involved in child sex abuse.”

Wiltshire Police stressed that it is working with the NSPCC to ensure that any victims are appropriately supported and urged people to contact the force and not to suffer in silence.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said his office has monitored the process of the investigation “at every stage,” adding that he will be “watching closely to see if any evidence of corruption or poor practice is uncovered”.

“My priority as Commissioner is to put the interests of victims at the heart of everything we do, as well as holding the Force to account for its performance,” he said.

Read more:

Lord Janner allegations to be investigated by child sex abuse inquiry
6 things you need to know about the historic child sex abuse inquiry
Child sex abuse inquiry: The five areas to be investigated

“We have often seen from high profile national cases that victims, who have not spoken of their abuse for many years, find their voice and speak out. I want any victims of child sex abuse, whether current or historic, to know they can have confidence in the service they will receive from Wiltshire Police.”

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said it is important that those who believe they may have been the victims of abuse have the confidence to speak up.

“Whether abuse happened in the past, or is occurring today, whether those being accused are authority figures or not, allegations of crimes against children must be investigated thoroughly.

“While some people wait years before speaking out we would urge them to act quickly so they can get help as soon as possible. Our trained helpline counsellors are always on duty round the clock to listen and provide assistance.”

Ted Heath: police appeal for victims to come forward over child abuse claims. Metropolitan police detectives have spoken to a man who came forward more than two years ago and claims he was a victim of Heath when he was a teenager: here.

See also here.

Police investigator fired for not covering up killings in Chicago, USA


Lorenzo Davis, a former Supervising Investigator who was fired from his position at the Independent Police Review Authority poses for a portrait at his home in Chicago, Illinois July 21, 2015. Davis was terminated from his job after his employer said he refused to change his findings in Chicago police officers involved in cases on excessive force and officer involved shootings. (Photo: Joshua Lott for The Daily Beast)

By George Gallanis in the USA:

Chicago police investigator fired for not covering up police killings

3 August 2015

On July 19, Lorenzo Davis, a former supervisor for Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), was fired for failing to falsely exonerate three officers who had killed innocent civilians.

Davis, a former Chicago police officer for 23 years and retired in 2004, was hired to work at IPRA in 2008. Two years later, he was promoted to supervising investigator and led a team of five. According to its web site, Davis served on a review board that “is directly responsible for conducting investigations into allegations of the use of excessive force, police shootings where an officer discharges his/her weapon and strikes someone, deaths in custody, domestic violence, verbal abuse including bias and coercion. IPRA also investigates allegations of off-duty misconduct relating to excessive force and weapon discharge incidents.”

The Chicago Reader reported that during his seven years at IPRA, Davis and his team found six shootings to be unjustified out of a total of 13 investigations. In three of those cases, Davis’ supervisor and IPRA’s chief administrator, Scott V. Ando, ordered Davis to exonerate the officers, despite Davis’ findings. When he refused to falsify the outcome of his investigation, Davis was sacked.

The firing reveals the true character of police investigations that follow killings by officers. Far from offering an independent investigation, the standard operating procedure for these police inquiries is to cover up for police murder.

Davis’s firing came just two weeks after he received a performance review in which he was accused of having a “clear bias against the police” and for being “the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS,” or officer-involved shootings.

In other words, Davis was the only employee who refused to go along with the police department’s efforts to whitewash repeated police killings and protect the perpetrators.

Davis has since openly criticized the CPD and IPRA, stating, “I did not like the direction the police department had taken.”

He continued: “It appeared that officers were doing whatever they wanted to do. The discipline was no longer there.” Moreover, he said, “to me they have a hidden agenda, one that I don’t know about, to decide that virtually all police shootings are justified. That logically cannot be.”

Since the creation of IPRA in 2007, Chicago police have shot nearly 400 civilians. However, only one of these killings has been deemed “unjustified” enough to call for the firing of a police officer by IPRA.

The sole “unjustified” shooting, which took place in 2011, was by an off-duty officer who fired 16 rounds into a car after a drive-by shooting. The driver of the car was an innocent bystander and not involved with the drive-by shooting. IPRA found the off-duty officer guilty of lying to investigators after claiming he fired at the driver of the car responsible for the shooting. Video evidence showed this to be false, and so the review board was forced to act.

IPRA’s investigative results are filled with accounts of officers using violence in one way or another against civilians, yet officers are rarely punished.

In fact, IPRA’s record shows that police terrorize the population with virtual impunity. In its most recent quarterly report, IPRA concluded that only 37 out of 385 investigations required some sort of disciplinary action.

One complaint from 2011 that was recently reviewed includes the following description:

“In an incident involving four on duty CPD [Chicago Police Department] officers (A, B, C, and D), an unknown on-duty CPD officer (E) and five Complainants (1,2,3,4 and 5), Officers A and D were alleged to have directed profanities at the Complainants, knocked Complainant 1’s head on a table, pushed Complainant 1 against a fence several times, punched Complainant 1 several times about the face and body, banged Complainant 1’s head several times against the back window of a police vehicle, entered Complainant 1’s residence without justification, handcuffed Complainant 1 too tightly, punched Complainant 1 in the face and groin several times, and failed to complete a Tactical Response Report.” The report goes to state that the officers allegedly continued punching, kicking and even using objects against the Complainants, all the while using racial slurs.

In spite of this overwhelming evidence, the only allegations which IPRA claims were “supported by sufficient evidence to justify disciplinary action” were the allegations that the officers used profanities against the complainants and that they failed to file a Tactical Response Report. All of the other allegations were either considered unfounded, or were deemed “not supported by sufficient evidence which could be used to prove or disprove the allegation.”

Police review boards across the country—including the IPRA—were created for the purpose of fostering the illusion that the police are in some way held accountable for repeated acts of brutality.

But the situation in Chicago is emblematic of the extent to which the police brutalize the population with near complete impunity.

As the World Socialist Web Site reported in May, the Chicago Police operate a torture chamber at the Homan Square “black site,” where “Chicagoans were held for hours and sometimes days in fetid conditions, denied access to lawyers, and physically abused or threatened until they agreed to police demands. In some instances, individuals were forced to participate in petty drug stings or supply the police with off-the-books firearms.”

This revelation came in the wake of the creation of a $5.5 million reparation fund set in place for victims of police carried out over the course of 20 years by former police commander Jon Burge. One of Burge’s victims had a shotgun placed into his mouth, with police pretending to load it and pull the trigger. Police also used a cattle prod to shock one victim’s genitals.

Davis’s firing is a further indication that the American ruling class will tolerate no criticism of its increasingly violent and depraved tactics of repression. More and more, the police treatment of the population domestically mirrors the brutal treatment of the populations of countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Indeed, 15 years after the start of the “war on terror,” no aspect of social, political, or cultural life in the United States is immune from the domestic repercussions of the permanent state of war abroad.

See also here. And here.

Twitter Demands To Know What Happened To Sandra Bland. A black woman died in police custody just days before the anniversary of Eric Garner‘s death: here.

16-year-old Israeli girl murdered by ultra-religious homophobe


Shira Banki, 16-year-old Israeli girl before she was murdered by an ultra-religious homophobe

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

16 Year Old Stabbed in Jerusalem Pride Parade Succumbs to Wounds

Shira Banki was critically wounded in an attack by an ultra-Orthodox man on Thursday; Netanyahu: She died for bravely supporting everyone’s right to live in dignity.

Also from Haaretz: Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow

See also here.

Yaniv Kubovich Aug 02, 2015 6:16 PM

Three days after being critically wounded by an ultra-Orthodox man that went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Police confirmed that the suspected stabber is Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence.

Banki was a high-school student from Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University High School. She took part in Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs.

In a statement issued Sunday, her family said: “Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.” The family requests the public respect their privacy as they grieve.

As of Sunday afternoon two of those wounded in the attack alongside Banki were still in serious condition and remained hospitalized, though medical officials said their condition was improving. Three of the other people wounded in the attack were released home after suffering lighter injuries.

Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) also issued a statement, saying Banki was a victim of “Jewish terror”. “I cry for Shira… she is the age of my children. We will not tolerate violence, racism or LGBT-phobia of any kind,” he said, reiterating his demand that the prime minister outlaw extreme right-wing groups which he said “incite hatred” in Israel.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said in a statement: “It’s a dark day for Israel… in which a high school girl is murdered for her opinions and positions.” “There is no principle in the world worth the life of a young girl,” said Bennett, who was supposed to address an LGBT rally Saturday evening, but canceled after refusing to sign a commitment to act on behalf of the gay community. This is “a day in which we became darkness unto the nations instead of a being light unto the nations,” he added.

On Saturday, thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the stabbing as well as a deadly arson attack in the West Bank that saw a Palestinian infant killed.  “Flames have engulfed our country,” President Reuven Rivlin said at the rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square. “Flames of violence, flames of hatred, flames of false, distorted and twisted beliefs.”

An estimated 10,000 people turned up for a rally in Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir, which was already planned to mark six years since two people were killed in a shooting at Barnoar, a Tel Aviv gay youth center. …

The attacker, Schlissel, was sentenced for 12 years in prison for the 2005 attack after his conviction on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault. However, in 2007, following an appeal, the Supreme Court mitigated his sentence to 10 years. He was deemed sane and fit to face trial on Friday.

After his release, Schlissel returned to his hometown, where residents said that he distributed hand-written pamphlets in which he called on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the sake of preventing the parade.

Right-wing MK: Jerusalem pride parade is an ‘abomination’. Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker Betzalel Smotrich calls anti-violence protest held in wake of stabbing a ‘witch hunt’ against those opposing LGBT rights: here.

Israel Police to probe failure to monitor Jerusalem gay pride parade assailant. Yishai Schlissel, who served 10 years for 2005 parade stabbing attack, urged self-sacrifice against ‘abomination parade’ following his recent release: here.

Homophobic knife attack on Jerusalem Pride marchers


This video from Israel says about itself:

30 July 2015

Six people stabbed at Jerusalem gay pride march ‘by ultra-Orthodox Jew released from jail three weeks ago for identical attack in 2005′.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Participants at Gay Pride Jerusalem stabbed

Today, 18:38

At the Gay Pride march in Jerusalem six participants have been stabbed. Two of them are seriously injured, Israeli emergency services say.

On pictures one can see that the alleged offender, an ultra-orthodox Jew, is arrested. He is the man who ten years ago at the Gay Pride in the Israeli capital conducted a similar attack. Then, four people were injured. The man was convicted to twelve years in prison and was released three weeks ago.

Struggle

“We heard people screaming, everyone tried to get themselves to safety. Bloodied people lying on the ground,” says a witness.

Despite the stabbing, the march continued. “Our struggle for equality will only get stronger because of this,” said the organization.

Ultra-Orthodox man stabs six people at gay pride march in Jerusalem. Yishai Schlissel had recently been released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing three people at a gay pride parade in 2005, police said: here.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat acknowledged Thursday that “something went wrong” in the failure of police to monitor Schlissel, who while in prison had repeatedly used ultra-Orthodox social media to promote attacks on gays and describe his knifing spree as a “mission from God”. … “The writing was on the wall,” commented Israel’s Channel 2 reporter Moshe Nussbaum. “Everybody knew, except the police…about Schlissel’s intentions”: here.

‘Feminist’ London museum revealed as Jack the Ripper sensationalism


This video from England is called East London Women Singing in Xhosa.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Women’s Museum actually the Ripper

Thursday 30th July 2015

Celebration of East End women replaced with murderer

THE hoardings were removed from a museum meant to honour the women of London’s East End yesterday to reveal a gimmicky exhibition about Jack the Ripper and his misogynistic murders.

Women’s rights campaigners and local residents were up in arms as they found out about the “crass and ill thought-out” project about to open on historic Cable Street.

The founder of the Jack the Ripper Museum, Global Diversity List chief executive Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, said the venue was a “serious examination” of the serial killer.

The museum will “tell the story from the perspective of the women who were his victims for the first time,” his statement claimed.

The owners originally applied to Tower Hamlets Council to convert the disused shop into a “Museum of Women’s History [that] will retell the history of the East End through the eyes, voices and experiences of the women that shaped [it].”

The application even criticised most history of the area being “told from the perspective of poverty, crime and social unrest.”

The original Women's Museum application

It was backed by sample exhibits with pictures of Suffragettes, anti-racism campaigns and female trade unionists.

Campaigner Jemima Broadbridge told the Star she raised the alarm after one of her friends living on Cable Street told her about his shock as the site’s scaffolding came down.

She said Mr Palmer-Edgecombe had “cynically” suggested a popular theme for the site in order to dodge opposition.

“It doesn’t look good, it’s unfeeling and crass and ill thought-out,” Ms Broadbridge said.

The English Collective of Prostitutes complained that the museum would trivialise violence against sex workers.

Collective member Alia said: “The murder of women shouldn’t be fetishised into an intriguing murder mystery.”

The museum tried to placate complaints by arguing it would donate “a proportion of our profits” to women’s charity Eaves.

Eaves said it had not known about the museum or heard of its plans to make the charity a beneficiary.

Tower Hamlets Council said it had granted planing permission in October 2014 on the basis that the premises would be used as a women’s museum but “ultimately has no control in planning terms of the nature of the museum.”

A spokesman said the council was investigating whether any unauthorised works had been carried out.

Protesters plan to target the museum on August 5.

Announcement of protest against Jack the Ripper Museum

See also here. And here.

More photos included in the Women's Museum application

From daily The Independent in Britain about this:

Community campaigner Jemima Broadbridge told the East London Advertiser that she felt “offended by this museum of the macabre”.

“Cable Street had nothing to do with Jack the Ripper—that was in Whitechapel, not here. It’s misleading to tourists,” she said.

She told the newspaper that the street had “a glorious history about resisting Mosley’s fascists in 1936” which the community did not want “muddled up by Ripper mythology”.

Bloody glass, sold at Jack the Ripper Museum

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Jemima Broadbridge, an east London campaigner and community organiser, said that local residents were not told about the change. “We haven’t had anything through our doors,” she said. “Fair enough he’s a businessman, but we object to him not being honest with the council and residents. Don’t pretend to build a museum about women – and this is a prime area for that, we have a lot of philanthropists around here – and then choose to do this.”

She added that Cable Street was “known for Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens, not Jack the Ripper”.

East End women