Thursday, July 29, 2010

delightful police officer

I just met a delightful police officer (happened to be of Asian descent although clearly born here) . He recognised me and said he really liked the videos. He said he saw himself as a public servant and recognises that some of his colleagues had forgotten that, but that there are also many police officers like himself. I could tell he really 'got' what the films were saying. He asked to be kept up to date on any new films. I think its important to put out these experiences - even more important than the films which alert us to some of those not so enlightened yet !

Friday, July 23, 2010

Interviewing MPs

I have an idea. I would like to interview any MPs from any party and ask them unusual questions without them having a chance to plan their answers.

The best way to attempt this is for me to write to every MP and request an interview.

I have been playing with how to word an email. Perhaps along the lines of ...

'Dear ...

I am an independent film maker/commentator. The unusual aspect of what I do is that it is not for money at all. The intention is that it is for the good of humanity or dare I say all life forms on this planet.

I was hanging around Parliament during and after the elections and I noticed what a circus the media has become. We have all these highly intelligent journalists who are unfortunately restrained heavily in what they can ask. They desperately try and get interviews with MPs, especially cabinet members and because they dont want to 'burn their bridges' they try not to ask anything that might be really challenging for that MP to answer. So the reporting turns into a game which is either meaningless or worse, deeply manipulative.

I am seeking out brave and honest MPs who would be up for a challenge and would be prepared to do an interview , perhaps 30-45 mins long with someone like myself. I will be asking very different questions from the ones normally asked but I hope it will be a very satisfying and useful exercise for you and for the viewers rather than just watching MPs put on an act.

Please let me know if you would be prepared to participate.

yours sincerely
Danny Shine

I intend to send this to my local MP but dont have the time or will to send it to all MPS but perhaps some of you readers could adjust the letter and send it to your local MP ?

Let me know your thoughts.

What is terrorism ?

A few weeks ago I met an interesting guy in Parliament Square. On him he had a copy of the UK legal definition of terrorism as can be found here

His claim was that the War in Afghanistan is terrorism under this definition on many counts and that paying your taxes is funding terrorism.

I am aware that the law is worded carefully as to remain rather ambiguous but I dont understand how anyone can refute his claims based on what I have read.

I challenge anybody to do so especially the lawyers amongst you (Edward Levey et al)

Have fun

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The courts, the system & concioussness = part 3

I invited a few select people to come and her the case. I arrived 10 minutes early and in the waiting area were seated 3 PCSOs waiting to give evidence int he case. I said hello and asked if they remembered me jokingly. It was all in very good humour. A few friends turned up and then Charlie turned up and said 'Is this the trial for Danny Shine and the 20 Kilos of Cocaine ?' Again all good humour.
Then the prosecutor - a woman in her thirties - called me. Just as we were going into court she said 'We are going to lay a new charge on you - Section 5 of the public order. I was totally shocked. I had prepared so diligently for this byelaw - and now she was changing the charge ? How could this be permissible ? BUt it was. I went into the court room - which was just like a normal room - not even a dock. She handed me the wording of the charge. I was so shocked that I didn't even read it. I told the magistrates that I could not possibly defend myself because I hadn't prepared for this.
The problem for them was that there were FIVE police people there and a whole day in court set aside for this. To adjourn would be crazy cost wise. They made it clear to her that they were not impressed with what she had done. When a person represents themselves, I must say that the magistrates and clerk do go out of their way to help.
I told them i needed more time and they went out of the room and when they returned , they said they couldn't give me the time. I could have 10 minutes but thats all. I was still in a state of fluster but one thing I didn't do was to go into victim mode. This was what was happening and this was meant to be.
For some reason, this CPS prosecutor was determined to get me. On the way up in the lift, Charlie had discovered that she was actually an ex police woman ! So it could be that she had seen the films and was not impressed and that is why. or alternatively she had seen the case only that morning and realised that she had no chance of winning. You see the reason she changed it to a section 5 is that for almost all laws, the CPS need evidence. in my case there were no witnesses. But for section 5, all the police need to say is that 'someone' complained. They dont need to say who. Then , if they ask you to leave and you refuse, they can charge you with section 5. (more about that later)
i went outside and tried to stay calm. My wife and sister - both very wise, suggested that it would not be wise to get the case adjourned because these magistrates were already sympathetic and that might not be the case in another court.
In the previous weeks, both a lawyer and a clerk friend had mentioned that there was something called being 'bound over to keep the peace.' This is a deal whereby the prosecution agree to drop the charges and I would agree that for a certain sum of money for a fixed period, if I breached the peace, I would be fined that sum. The strange thing about this legal fiction (its all fiction of course) is that it can only be applied if there is a real chance that i WOULD breach the peace again !! I decided to ask for the bind over. At first we couldn't believe that the prosecutor would agree but with hindsight, she obviously realised that the magistrates were already against her so it may be her best bet.
The prosecutor askled the Mags if they would agree to the bind over. They said that they wanted to hear a bit about the case. The prosecutor then read out a statement which was so skewed, it made me sound like a monster. She added a critical lie at the end which I am sure the police would have backed up even though it wasnt in any of their 5 statements. She said that people had complained and that they had asked me to leave and I refused. This was a blatant lie. The prosecutor then recommended that I be given the longest bind over.
I then gave my said of the case, explaining about the dont panic sign being inspired by teh hitchhikers guide and that I am a performance artist etc.
After retiring for a few minutes , the Mags returned and gave the prosecutor a good old telling off. They said that this country prides itself on freedom of expression and that I hadn't even been on the railway and that they were clearly not impressed. They gave me the shortest bind over possible - 3 months- at the smallest amount of £50.
I have had mixed feelings about the whole thing since but it certainly feels like a weight off my shoulders. the whole process is so intimidating and confusing and it feels rather out of balance to me to put it mildly.
When I saw the officer who arrested me, I apologised to him for getting into a dispute and he seemed to appreciate that apology.
The main learning point from the court day was that i went there with a mindset of compassion towards all who were there even including the prosecutor. She has her life and is stuck in the system. She came in with fear energy for whatever reason and I came with love energy. And it seemed to work out for me in the end.
I was disappointed that I didn't get to make my speech and ask all the carefully thought out questions but part of me thinks that this was a good thing because it meant that I didn't have to fight the system. My feeling is that fighting the system will ultimately fail because it has been in place for a very long time. But love , it is said, is the answer to all questions.
For those who are really keen, let me have your email and I will email you a copy lof the the police statements and my questions and speech.
Question for Edward the lawyer - I presume it is not possible to appeal or challenge what happened given her unethical behaviour changing the charge at the last minute ?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The courts, the system & concioussness = part 2

I spent the next months talking with many people from within the law and a few people who are not within but instead see the law very differently. They see it as full of deception and inequity.

I have bumped into so many fascinating people since doing these videos, its almost impossible to remember them all. Included amongst them was a man who spent all his waking hours gazing into the sun, another man who is a gardener. The gardener surprised and challenged me deeply. His manner was most unusual and direct challenging me to the hilt whilst gently helping me see things from a different perspective. (which lead to removing the youtube videos. I even travelled to France for an opportunity to spend more time with him and his wife talking about many issues in my life that were on my mind at the time.

So I was bombarded with opinions and ideas and I slowly started my crash course ion the law learning from within and without the system.

One of the pivotal points in this journey was when I attended the court hearing of an Irish guy I met at Inspiral lounge in Camden - If you havent been there and you can get there, please go. It is a fab place. there are very few places in London where the food is made with good ingredients and more importantly with love.

I met him there and he informed me of this bizarre case against him. I wont go into the details but he represented himself and that in itself was an education. I was watching the case with astonishment. it was one of the first few times I had witnessed a court in action adn I couldnt believe that the judge was so condescending. At one stage she shouted 'This is not a theatre' to my friend !! Well if that wasnt theatre, I dont know what is.

Anyway, I was standing outside the court and my friends witness came out, I said 'What a farce.' He said 'No. Its whatever you make it.; And that was a great reminder. To those who work in the system, its actually a way of preventing havoc. To those on the wrong end of the system its a farce. Who is right ? Neither and both I would say ?

So I learned about the system. I quizzed judges, barristers, lawyers as well as the 'freemen' people (if you havent already seen this, google 'john harris its an illusion') Two days before my case, I went to the court in which my case was being held. It was an important day for my education. The court was rather plush, with ushers being dressed up in strange clothes etc. I spent the day watching cases and speaking to as many clerks and lawyers that I could. I had been 'advised' to change my plea to 'guilty conditional on the CPS proving the facts.'

Two significant things happened that day. Firstly as I left the court, I met a lawyer. I had watched this guy in a case where a foreign mini cab driver was up for touting for business and was trying to appeal to get his licence back. He was sitting in court with his wife and 5 year old kid. Of course that made very little difference to the magistrates and prosecutor. It seems to me that these guys are necessarily programmed to lose their compassion otherwise they might be too lenient. So the prosecutor was explaining eloquently why the defendant should not regain his license and it was just a big show. It was obvious that he didn't actually believe what he was saying. He was just ACTING on behalf of his clients - the licensing agency. So this lawyer I caught was actually the defence lawyer in the case. I asked him about magistrates courts and he replied 'terrible places - 97% conviction rate!' - I was devastated. He told me he was the defence lawyer and I asked him why he didnt even say anything in court. He replied that there was no point - his client was bound to lose.
I returned to the court and asked which room my case was to be held in and made my way to court 4. There was a clerk and usher in there and I told them what the lawyer had said about the 97% conviction. They replied 'Funny. i have no idea where he got that figure from. We were just saying how high the acquittal rate was here ! you'll get a very fair trial here!'
So I walked away realising that so much depends on how I see things. The lawyer had completely given up because of his belief. (Even if his rate idea was accurate, different courts have different rates.) But these women had given me a reminder about how important it was to check my thoughts and choose helpful ones. So I spent some time the next couple of days visualising a good result and positivity towards those who worked there.

Part 3 to follow

Monday, July 05, 2010

The courts, the system & concioussness = part 1

So as you can read, the story of my arrest is detailed below in the article 'evidence'

Let me preface this article with an important point. Anton Robert Wilson attempted to avoid using the word 'is' for some time. I am going to do that here to the best of my ability. This could be because nothing 'is' any particular way. it all depends on how you see it. I must apologise because it makes things a bit more long winded but it also makes my brain hurt a bit. I will allow myself to use the word occasionally but not in the sense of X is Y as you will see...

Here goes.

The arrest was in February and the court case was on 18th June. That period could be seen as one of great challenge, growth and learning for me as well as change.

I met some more amazing people who were offering all sorts of support and all kind of advice (advice = ADD VICE)

I went to court to plead and I had been speaking at length to Vince in ireland. He builds houses for a living and has real expertise in the law and has had many successes playing them at their own game. But it did not work out to be that easy for me. If you are planning to take on the law , you had better be very well prepared and really have a deep and full understanding of what you are doing AND OF WHAT THEIR REACTION IS LIKELY TO BE ! Some say that the whole system could be designed to intimidate you and you will encounter lots of surprises if my experience is anything to go by.

At the last minute, I took on a barrister for my pleading. He insisted that he do the talking of course rendering me non compos mentis. I had a trick up my sleeve. When I was asked what I pleaded, I was planning to say 'I am not able to make a legal determination on this.' BUt the barrister refused to represent me and allow me to say this.

I had been charged with breaking a railway byelaw - the wording of which was 'molesting or wllfully interfering with the comfort of persons on the railway.' I didn't even know what a charge was until I was charged. I came to realise that many things going on in courts can be seen as intimidating tactics and trickery - some would even call it black magic.

The First trick may be the insistence that a person swears or attest to tell 'the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth.' Imagine if SOCRATES was in the witness box having been arrested for standing with a balaclava and a dont panic sign, and he was asked to promise to tell the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth.' Do you think he would ? For me this seems like perjury. It could be suggested that this could be deliberate cognitive dissonance - everyone knows deep down that its simply impossible to tell the whole truth about anything. Try it. Test it. Best way to test it may be to ask a young person - say 10-15 years old. They may be likely to find fault in your attempt.

The next trick could be the 'plea!' (Why is it called a 'plea?') How on earth can I say whether I am guilty or not guilty ? FOr a start what on earth does 'guilty' mean ? Secondly, would i not have to fully understand each word to make such a plea ? So then they would say 'Ask a lawyer!' BUt I asked several lawyers, barristers and even a couple of judges and they all had different ideas. Because the words seem to me to be ambiguous !!

But the barrister ended up claiming that he could definitely get me off because there was no evidence and because i have freedom of expression etc. (He didnt bother telling me that whatever arguments he had, the prosecution would argue the opposite !)

So i pleaded not guilty and the court date was fixed.

A few days after the arrest , I closed my facebook account and pulled the videos off my youtube channel. That was a major relief but it also came with sadness. I missed all the amazing messages people had been sending me/us.

To be continued....