Some good news at long last. Just got a call from The Herald editor, Fr Lawrence Andrew.
The Herald has received the approval letter for its new annual publishing permit – without any condition! Nothing mentioned about the use of the word “Allah”; and no order for it to drop its Malay-language section.
The approval letter for the new permit was hand-delivered to The Herald’s office today, on a Sunday. Imagine, a government dept working on a Sunday. 🙂
So that’s great news that good sense has prevailed. Better sense would be to abolish – for good! and for the good of the people – the requirement for publishers to apply for an annual publication permit. Yes, it’s time to scrap the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
Hopefully, such good sense will extend to other areas of public life.
Good sense is certainly a commodity in short supply around the world these days, as this disturbing development in the UK suggests:
Scott Maria Albrecht, Fr, Martin Newell and Sr. Susan Clarkson remain in custody at Watford Police station after being arrested at Northwood Military HQ at 9.00am this morning (28 Dec). Their anti-war witness involved the Northwood Headquarters sign being covered with red paint symbolising blood spilt in Iraq and Afghanistan by the daily grind of Northwood HQ. A respectful and dignified liturgy then unfolded as both soldiers/police and Catholic Workers listened to the names of the dead British military, Afghani and Iraq civilians, how old they were,when they died, when and how they died. The refrain “We remember you!” was sung after every name was read. Both resisters, military and soldiers acted with dignity throughout the proceedings.
At approx 5pm the Catholic Worker farmhouse containing London Catholic Workers Ciaron and Chris, three of the Albrecht children and a number of refugee guests was raided by 6 police officers. The plainclothes detectives, wearing anti-stab vests, appeared very sophisticated, highly educated etc. The search was extensive and concentrated on the master bedroom and study. The search was very thorough.
I attempted to engage two of the officers positioned in the kitchen in discussion pointing out that this seemed to bean exercise in overkill and waste of police resources in relation to minor charges of criminal damage. I suggested that surely they had enough evidence at the scene this morning to pursue their charges. After one officer offered examples of follow up investigations into the patterns of recividist shoplifters. I suggested this looked like a conspiracy fishing expedition. I got a reluctant nod from one of them.
The criminalisation of dissent, the misuse of conspiracy laws and the hyping up of nonviolent direct action into something sinister gathers apace in Britain. The war escalates in Iraq and Afghanistan and expands into Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon. Civil liberties shrink and many who marched in 03 have disengaged. Where is this leading? We await the Maria Scott, Fr. Martin and Sr. Susan and the deliverance of us all from this madness.
London Catholic Worker
16 De Beauvoir Rd,
De Beauvoir Town
London N1 5SU