Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NAC website is vandalised

Since Saturday, the NAC website has been vandalised: with the exception of the pages I uploaded on Sunday evening – mainly, the homepage, a new article “Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?”, and an updated presentation of another article “Catholic Doctrine and Reproductive Health: Why the Church can’t change” – pages take an awful long time to load (about 30 seconds per page). We have also received an email from somebody in the US advising that he could get the homepage right away, but the others are not loading.



As I was trying to figure out if I could identify the source of the malfunction, I realised that the transferring of data is done through IP 94.247.2.195 (see here for a larger graphic; the IP number is at the very bottom of the left-hand corner), which a straightforward Google search reveals is located in ... Latvia! I also ran a virus check on my copy of NAC; not a problem (see here for a larger graphic of the confirmation).

I find this quite shocking. As I announced in a blog of 5 February “New NAC website re-launched in paid space”, this new website is sponsored by James Fetzer, an honorary associate of NAC, who is Distinguished McKnight University Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Prof. Fetzer has bought the domain name and web hosting with SiteGround of New York, rated the best web hosting company for 2007 and 2008.

Hardware issues? Well, according to SiteGround, these happen very rarely, and in such cases they will always do anything within their reach to bring all services back online and restore the client’s website functionality. Software issues? Nothing is 100% sure or accurate, they say, adding that their system administrators are notified immediately when a software issue is detected by the monitoring systems and start working on resolving the case in order to prevent or minimise any possible downtime.

I would email SiteGround Technical Support to report a hosting issue except that I am still unable to log in to my account due to my username and password not being recognised, and this despite that since launching on 4 February I have been uploading with a program and the same username and password. I suppose I may mention here that the NAC website has been twice removed from the internet (see “About us”).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Facebook disables FB friend Dan Abshear’s account

Yesterday morning Facebook friend Dan Abshear had to email his public relations contact for FB, Elliot Schrage, eschrage@facebook.com, after FB disabled his account for the second time within weeks for unknown reasons presented to him. He has lost his wall, which contained hundreds of links to articles relating to health care, plus over 800 friends. It is particularly concerning because FB seem quite determined to stop him from networking again. (Dan is not the only one to loose his account. A few days ago I discovered that another FB friend no longer has his account. And I very much doubt he went voluntarily.)

A couple of weeks ago, after I received one of several FB warnings and blocks for doing no more than sending a few friend requests (see, for example, blog of 9 April “Facebook warnings continue unabated”), FB friend Jussi Niemelä commented on my wall: “Shit, then FB account of a Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen of the liberal right-wing Coalition party was deleted a couple of weeks ago. They gave her no arguments, just deleted it. I myself am a member of the Green League, but a mere member of the ranks, so probably they’ll leave me alone. Please give me the link to your blog in case they delete your account here …” Jussi didn’t mind at all me quoting him on my wall yesterday, so I am sure it’s OK to do so again now.

Among other things, Dan is a staff author at www.Brainblogger.com (his articles are here). Dan’s profile in Brainblogger reads:

Mr. Abshear recently divorced himself from ‘big pharma’ after working for three of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world for over a decade. He continues to write primarily opinion pieces regarding what may be little known facts about the health care system - particularly the pharmaceutical industry, and his writings also include responses to the related writings of others as well on various internet sites. Before his pharmaceutical career, he was a patient caregiver for over a decade, which included being a medic (hospital corpsman) in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Dan also has a blog “Informaproject......Because Ignorance Sucks”, which is well respected. Dr Mark Meaney, CEO of The National Institute For Patient Rights, comments in respect of Dan’s writings: “Everyone should check out Dan Abshear’s post under the discussion board on patient/caregivers rights … and I mean everyone, i.e., patients, advocates, providers, reps, etc. It’s one of the most concise pieces on the topic I’ve ever read, born of experience.” Dan is also a supporter of embryonic stem cell research (see, for example, his blog dated 28 March “The Amazing Medical Benefits Of Stem Cell Therapy”).

For Dan it’s more the issue of blocking accounts here than the loss of his own. He points out that he is not a FB addict, but he will insist that those who run FB do not take an authoritarian stance in such a manner. This is the email Dan sent to Schrage yesterday (it will also appear in the group that has been set up to stop FB banning me “Support Lola Heavey - Stop Facebook Banning Her” at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=93406430870):

Subject: Censorship

Elliot,

For the second time within weeks, Facebook has disabled my account with your site for unknown reasons presented to me.

The simple lack of response from Facebook when asked about this should be of concern to you. These events have allowed me to consider seeking the public opinion of others regarding this matter, and your infantile communication skills you are demonstrating being a social network site. The article I will compose regarding this situation will be most interesting to the readers.

Since no etiology has been stated by facebook for disabling my account on facebook, I can speculate that this is a form of internet censorship - limiting my right to free speech. If so, you are violating my human rights.

You will reactivate my facebook account within 24 hours of the sending this message to you. This would be in your best interest. You will email me once this is done,

Daniel Abshear
Phone: ------------
Email: ------------

Monday, April 13, 2009

Letter to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

In the blog of 3 April “Still blocked by Facebook”, I published an email Declan received from Detective Paul De-Krestser of Limehouse Police Station suggesting that he calls police immediately when he next makes sight of the homeless guy against whom he has three crime references numbers so that he can be arrested; the Dellow Day Centre of the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Providence Row Charity is not divulging the identity of this guy to police even though they know his details. Well, this morning in the Catholic Manna Day Centre Declan saw him. In fact, the guy seemed quite pleased to be seen, Declan kept bumping into him here and there. So Declan decided to take the five-minute walk to the local police station.

Of course, the police officer couldn’t assure Declan that he wouldn’t get himself barred for bringing the police to the Manna Centre – “we don’t run the place,” PC 396MD told him – so he decided to skip Det. De-Krestser’s advice and update instead the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, in his capacity as Archbishop of the Diocese of Westminster, to which the Dellow Centre belongs. (Our concern to be barred from one or both of these day centres is not unfounded: on 18 June 2007 we were barred from the Methodist Church Whitechapel Mission by the minister’s wife due to concerns about our safety after I was assaulted in an unprovoked attack by a homeless woman in the canteen.) For the record, this is Declan’s email this afternoon to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor:

Subject: Providence Row Charity

His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster.

Your Eminence,

I refer further to the email of acknowledgement of 25 June 2008 that I received from your Personal Secretary, Sister Damian McGrath, stating: "I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email concerning Providence Row Charity. The Cardinal is out of the country at the present time but he will see your email on his return next week."

I wish to bring to your attention that I continue to wash in the street as a result of harassment and intimidation by homeless people in the Dellow Day Centre of the Sisters of Mercy Providence Row Charity and the Catholic Manna Day Centre (whose building is provided rent-free by the Archdiocese of Southwark), which I have been doing every weekday morning since 10 April last year; and my wife has been doing since 27 February.

In order to avoid being barred through no fault of my own, I do not venture into the washroom in the Dellow Centre and this morning thought it best to leave the Manna Centre, having been stalked both inside and outside the centre by the homeless man against whom I have three crime reference numbers (see (2), (4) and (7) below) – the breakfast provided by the Dellow Centre is the only food available to my wife for the entire day Monday-Friday; I walk a two-hour round trip virtually every weekday to the Manna Centre to avail of the free lunch provided to homeless people.

Since my initial letter of complaint to you of 21 April 2008 (almost two weeks after I took to washing in the street), I reconfirm the occurrence of the following incidents:

(1) on 28 April 2008, I submitted a written complaint to the Chief Executive of the Providence Row Charity, Ms Jo Ansell, against a homeless man for verbal abuse in the canteen of the Dellow Centre;
(2) on 16 May 2008, I reported a homeless man to the Metropolitan Police for racially aggravated harassment in the Dellow Centre's men's washroom (crime reference no. 4212667/08);
(3) on 18 June 2008, I was robbed in the canteen of the Dellow Centre of all my and my wife's money and documents (crime reference no. 4215697/08); on 24 June, I was informed at Bow Street police station that the case had been struck out due to the police being unable to obtain any CCTV footage whatsoever from the Providence Row Charity;
(4) on 19 June 2008, the day after the robbery of all our money and documents in the Dellow Centre, I reported the same homeless man referred to in (2) above to the Metropolitan Police for assault while queuing for food in the Manna Centre (crime reference no. 3021917/08);
(5) on 30 June 2008, I submitted a written complaint to Ms Ansell against a homeless woman for verbal abuse in the canteen of the Dellow Centre;
(6) on 6 November 2008, I submitted a written complaint to Ms Ansell against the same homeless woman referred to in (5) above for verbal abuse from the reception desk of the Dellow Centre;
(7) On 24 February 2009, I reported the same homeless man referred to in (2) and (4) above to the Metropolitan Police for assault in the canteen of the Dellow Centre (crime reference no. 4204029/09); on 25 March, I received an email from Detective Paul De-Krestser of Limehouse Police Station stating that the case had been struck out due to the police being unable to obtain the identity of the suspect from the Providence Row Charity “even though they do know his details” (see attachment). (Detective De-Krestser suggests that I call police immediately when I next make sight of the suspect so that he can be arrested.)

This morning I was informed at Southwark police station that if the suspect referred to in (2), (4) and (7) above was arrested at the Manna Centre, the police could not prevent me from being barred from the premises. On 18 June 2007, my wife and I were barred from the Methodist Church Whitechapel Mission by the minister's wife due to concerns about our safety following an unprovoked assault on my wife (crime reference no. 4217341/07). Despite that the Whitechapel Mission's website states that homeless people are not barred or excluded and that I wrote by registered post to the minister himself and to the head of the Methodist Church in the UK, Rev Graham Carter, neither my wife nor I were readmitted.

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Facebook warnings continue unabated

I just wanted to quickly update my Facebook situation. I have now received several emails of warning from Facebook; yesterday I received one after I sent three friend requests, today after I sent one. And it doesn’t seem to matter if we have 27 mutual friends or 139! A FB friend put it very succinctly yesterday: “Stranger still, just now Facebook posted an item that boasted how they are 200 million strong, how did they get those numbers without friends being able to ‘add’ each other?”

Anyway, a group has been formed “Support Lola Heavey - Stop Facebook Banning Her”, which can be accessed here. I think that if these warnings are to continue they will inevitably result in my account being disabled – I will lose my friends and my wall. It is not like this is foreign to me: the NAC website, for example, has been twice removed from the internet (see “About us”). I just emailed Facebook at warning@facebook.com:

Subject: Warning: My Facebook Account

Hi,

I refer to your email of warning just now after I added one friend. You state:


Hi,

Our systems indicate that you've been misusing certain features on the site. This email serves as a warning. Misuse of Facebook's features or violating Facebook's terms of use may result in your account being disabled. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions, please contact warning@facebook.com from your login email address.

The Facebook Team


Once again, and for the second day in a row, I respectfully request that someone for and on behalf of the Facebook team at warning@facebook.com please advise what policy am I failing to follow? What rule am I violating? If there are limits I need to adhere to (time lapses or whatever), what are they? If Facebook issues me a "warning", surely I should be told what I am doing wrong.

Yours sincerely,
Lola Heavey

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Facebook issues me another warning



Facebook’s warnings keep coming. And I don’t know with what logic: this time I was using the search facility because I was looking for a specific person who turned out to have a FB page and 27 friends in common. How can that be deemed engaging in abusive behavior? Perhaps it can be explained by some sort of software malfunction, but I have also lost at least one FB friend. I spotted he was missing because I had some correspondence with him and couldn’t access his wall. I found it difficult to believe he would have removed me as a friend: well, he didn’t; and now we are friends again. Anyway, a FB group has now been formed "Support Lola Heavey - Stop Facebook Banning Her", which can be accessed here.

I do all my work on computers in my local council-run library, Idea Store Whitechapel (the borough’s flagship library, learning and information service), which is not easy at all in the three free hours we get on each of our membership cards and frequently we run into difficulties. Yesterday, for example, my internet connection slowed down to such an extent that I had to leave the library and go to the local internet café; Declan manned the computer for an hour and a half and says that he was not aware of the lodgement with a member of staff of a complaint by any of the other 23 computer users on the floor. This is Declan’s email this evening to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Councillor Lutfur Rahman:


Subject: Idea Store Whitechapel

Dear Cllr. Rahman,

I refer to your email of acknowledgement of 13 February 2009 from Ms. Rekha Ruparelia, stating:


The Leader is in receipt of your letter dated 10th February 2009 and he is sorry to learn of the problems you encountered in getting hold of Idea staff at Whitechapel branch. He has asked Stephen Halsey to look into this matter and he will contact you direct.


I can confirm that I have yet to hear from Mr. Halsey or anyone else for and on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council in respect of the difficulties I have had getting through by email to Ms. Lisa Randall, Acting Manager, Idea Store Whitechapel, concerning internet access on both my wife's card (card no. D000350314) and my card (card no. D000355837).

I attach copy of my email of even date to Ms. Randall on our on-going difficulties with internet access and reconfirm that since my original complaint of 21 January 2008 to the former Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Cllr. Denise Jones, my wife and I have not only experienced repeated loss of computer bookings and internet access, but several other problems to boot. Please reconsider:

(1) On 1 February 2008, the Principal Idea Store Manager, Mr Sergio Dogliani, wrote to me advising that the restriction by Idea Store Whitechapel of both my wife and I to a 3-hour maximum free computer use per day as from 29 January stood, despite that for several months previous we were given "additional time" subject to computer availability and in accordance with the Council's then and current "Idea Stores PC Usage Policy";

(2) On 24 June 2008 at 12.30pm, a member of staff threatened my wife with security if she did not give her computer up to another card holder, despite that thirty minutes earlier a member of staff had confirmed in writing that my wife had booked the computer from 11.30am to 2.30pm;

(3) On 3 August 2008, both of the computers my wife and I had booked the previous day contained an identical virus which spread to the two USB drives we were using. This rendered my wife's portable programs inoperable. It also corrupted some of my most valuable data, namely, a Word document containing a categorized list of over 150 British signatories of a petition of mine to the United Nations on therapeutic cloning (SCNT) and a related database containing the names, email addresses and contact information for over 3,000 scientists and academics from around the world;

(4) On 6 August 2008 at 2.45pm, MIMEsweeper blocked access to my Google Mail account due to "Porn Detected". Following the restoration of my access to the account at 3.10pm, the IT technician informed me that "it may happen again for any length of time".

As I mentioned in my initial letter of complaint to you of 4 August 2008 following (3) above, my petition to the United Nations on SCNT has been signed by recognized authorities from the world's leading universities and research institutes, now numbering 590 scientists and academics, including 24 Nobel Laureates. Of late, my wife has been using as much of her computer time as she can to develop her wall on Facebook in accordance with our website at
http://religionandmorality.net; so far she has 617 FB friends, including several distinguished scientists and academics from around the world.

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Declan seriously threatened in the Catholic Manna Centre

This morning at 9.15am, while in the Catholic Manna Day Centre, Declan was seriously threatened by a homeless guy. One moment he is sitting down reading a book as he waits for a shower cubicle to come free, the next a Pole is spitting Polish into his face with a clenched fist within a foot of his left cheek – pretty menacing. Somehow Declan managed to get out from under this guy and left the washroom. He put in a complaint with a member of staff but we still left, Declan without as much as a bite to eat. I didn’t get a chance to shower either, which was unfortunate because the women’s washroom at the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre has been closed for a few weeks now.

Of course, there is nothing new about Declan being threatened by homeless, even assaulted, in these two day centres - in the previous blog “Still blocked by Facebook”, I publish a letter from Detective Paul De-Krestser stating that the Dellow Centre won’t divulge the identity of a guy, who assaulted Declan in their canteen, to police even though they know his details. Nevertheless, we remain concerned we may be barred from either or both of these centres through no fault of own (we have already been barred from the Methodist Church Whitechapel Mission due to concerns about our safety). Hence, the following email this afternoon from Declan to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, in his capacity as Archbishop of the Diocese of Westminster, to which the Dellow Centre of the Providence Row Charity belongs.

Subject: Providence Row Charity

His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster.

Your Eminence,

I refer further to the email of acknowledgement of 25 June 2008 that I received from your Personal Secretary, Sister Damian McGrath, stating: "I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email concerning Providence Row Charity. The Cardinal is out of the country at the present time but he will see your email on his return next week."

I wish to bring to your attention that I continue to wash in the street as a result of harassment and intimidation by homeless people in the Dellow Day Centre of the Sisters of Mercy Providence Row Charity and the Catholic Manna Day Centre (whose building is provided rent-free by the Archdiocese of Southwark), which I have been doing every weekday morning since 10 April last year. In order to avoid being barred through no fault of my own, I do not venture into the washroom in the Dellow Centre and this morning (Sunday) thought it best to leave the Manna Centre without so much as a bite to eat, having been seriously threatened by a homeless man in the men's washroom – the breakfast provided by the Dellow Centre is the only food available to my wife for the entire day Monday-Friday; I walk a two-hour round trip virtually every weekday to the Manna Centre to avail of the free lunch provided to homeless people.

I reconfirm the following since my initial email letter to you of 21 April 2008:

(1) on 28 April 2008, I submitted a written complaint to the Chief Executive of the Providence Row Charity, Ms Jo Ansell, against a homeless man for verbal abuse in the canteen of the Dellow Centre;
(2) on 16 May 2008, I reported a homeless man to the Metropolitan Police for racially aggravated harassment in the Dellow Centre's men's washroom (crime reference no. 4212667/08);
(3) on 18 June 2008, I was robbed in the canteen of the Dellow Centre of all my and my wife's money and documents (crime reference no. 4215697/08); on 24 June 2008, I was informed at Bow Street Police Station that the case had been struck out due to the police being unable to obtain any CCTV footage whatsoever from the Providence Row Charity;
(4) on 19 June 2008, the day after the robbery of all our money and documents in the Dellow Centre, I reported the same homeless man referred to in (2) above to the Metropolitan Police for assault while queuing for food in the Manna Centre (crime reference no. 3021917/08);
(5) on 30 June 2008, I submitted a written complaint to Ms Ansell against a homeless woman for verbal abuse in the canteen of the Dellow Centre;
(6) on 6 November 2008, I submitted a written complaint to Ms Ansell against the same homeless woman referred to in (5) above for verbal abuse from the reception desk of the Dellow Centre.

On 24 February 2009, I reported the same homeless man referred to in (2) and (4) above to the Metropolitan Police for assault in the Dellow Centre's canteen (crime reference no. 4204029/09); on 25 March 2009, I was informed in an email from Detective Paul De-Krestser of Limehouse Police Station that the case has been struck out due to the police being unable to obtain the identity of the suspect from Providence Row Charity “even though they do know his details” (see attachment). (Detective De-Krestser suggests that I call police immediately when I next make sight of the suspect so that he can be arrested.)

I should again point out that my wife and I were barred from the Methodist Church Whitechapel Mission on 18 June 2007 by the minister's wife due to concerns about our safety following an unprovoked assault on my wife by a homeless woman in the canteen of the premises (crime reference no. 4217341/07). Despite that the Whitechapel Mission's website states that homeless people are not barred or excluded and that I wrote by registered post to the minister himself and to the head of the Methodist Church in the UK, Rev Graham Carter, neither my wife nor I were readmitted.

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

Friday, April 03, 2009

Still blocked by Facebook

I just wanted to update my Facebook situation which basically is exactly the same as yesterday (see previous blog), getting a warning and then I am blocked from adding folks from the people you know tool – this time I was stopped after 16. Actually, a FB group has now been formed "Support Lola Heavey - Stop Facebook Banning Her", which can be accessed here. The point of the matter is that I do value my FB account a great deal. For example, as a result of comments that FB friends have left on my wall regarding articles and videos I have posted, the NAC website now includes a new section in “What we do” called “Oppose fundamentalism and extremism” for all three of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Muhammadanism (Islam)) and Hinduism. My FB friends have a tremendous amount of talent (and humour) and Declan and I would very much like to bring what we can of it to NAC. I don’t think I should be penalised for this! A quotation from Carl Sagan, which a FB friend just posted on his wall, says it all:

Fundamental changes in society are sometimes labeled impractical or contrary to human nature: as if nuclear war were practical or as if there were only one human nature. But fundamental changes can clearly be made. We are surrounded by them. In the last two centuries abject slavery, which was with us for thousands of years, has almost entirely been eliminated in a stirring world wide revolution.

Anyway, this morning was my first time back begging in the local train station (see previous blog). It is actually illegal in the UK to ask people for some change, so as soon as I have a couple of pounds I am gone: we don’t spend any money, except on a few toiletries and the occasional £3 for seven hours in the local internet café (I only get three hours on my membership card in the local library). Of course, I am quite familiar with this begging thing (see, for example, blog of 5 April 2008 “Declan narrowly escapes being assaulted”).

Declan has received an email from Limehouse Police Violent Crime Unit suggesting that he calls police immediately when he next makes sight of the homeless guy against whom he has three crime references numbers so that he can be arrested (see blog of 24 February Declan threatened with assault); the Dellow Day Centre of the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Providence Row Charity is not divulging the identity of this guy to police even though they do know his details. Declan has been washing in the street since 10 April of last year due to harassment and intimidation by other homeless, particularly in the Dellow (see blog of 8 February “Letter to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor”), and it sure looks as if he won’t be seeing the Dellow’s washroom for a while yet. For the record, this is the email Declan received from Detective Constable Paul De-Krestser:

Re: Crime Reference Number 4204029/09

Dear Sir,

I am sending this letter by way of e-mail since I do not have a permanent residence to write to you. I hope that you are well.

With regard to your complaint of being assaulted, the circumstances of it make it very hard for the police to progress it effectively.

Firstly, even though you have had three unfortunate events involving the same suspect you do not know the identity of this suspect. Without knowing whom the suspect is it becomes impossible to arrest him.

Secondly, The Dellow Centre due to their professional considerations is not divulging the identity of the suspect to police even though they do know his details. The police service is not in a position to demand that the Day centre release the details of the suspect to us. Many of these organisations have their own confidentiality policies.

Thirdly, there are no witnesses to this event.

The only way, we can progress this investigation is if you can find out the name of the suspect and thereby identify who he is.

What I can suggest to you is that you call police immediately when you next make sight of the suspect so that he can be arrested and this matter can be investigated. You must maintain your safety.

Until such time this crime report will have to be closed.

Please reply to me with your thoughts.

Yours sincerely,

Paul De-Krestser DC

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Facebook has issued me another warning



Facebook has just issued me with another warning. And in the same manner as on 21 March (see previous blog “Facebook no longer permits me to add friends”): as I was adding like-minded people - other atheists, humanists, etc - as FB friends. In fact, I had only done four or five when the warning popped up. I now have 506 friends and many have well over 1,000 of their own. Indeed, it would appear that there is no limit to the number of FB friends you can have; PZ Myers, for example, a favourite of mine, has 4,994 friends.

Just in case I am taken down this evening (as the warning threatens I will be), I have an up-to-the-minute snag of my wall, FB friends, including the contact information for the US and British journalists and bloggers who have befriended me, and all emails I have sent and received through my FB account. I find it quite outrageous that FB can seemly terminate accounts at will, without explanation or clarification, especially since I have worked quite hard, putting articles and videos on my wall which may be of interest to the community; they frequently get good response too, particularly of late. But it sure looks like my FB account is heading the same direction as the original NAC website and Declan’s petition to the UN in support of therapeutic cloning, which has been signed by 24 Nobel Laureates (see “About us”).

Changing the subject, yesterday Declan was ticketed by a police officer for sitting in the local train station, which the officer deemed “loitering” (a first), and tomorrow I am back begging in the same station, subject to arrest as begging is illegal in the UK (the last time I had to ask people for some change was last Easter). Should I be arrested tomorrow morning, I will insist that the following email letter from Declan yesterday evening to the Chair of The Big Issue Foundation Steven Round, together with its attachments, be used in my defense by the solicitor appointed to me - and on appeal, if necessary (The Big Issue is a magazine sold by homeless people on registered pitches throughout the UK; we have been selling it since December 2006):

Subject: The Big Issue

Dear Mr. Round,

Previous correspondence refers. In the light of the seriousness of the situation my wife finds herself in, I wish to bring to your attention as chair of The Big Issue Foundation my email and attachment of even date to The Big Issue Company (please see attachments).

Should my wife in fact be arrested for begging in the local train station this week, and assuming you have no objection, she will present this email and attachments to you to the solicitor appointed to her case.

I can confirm that this evening I received an email of reply on behalf of The Big Issue Company from Outreach and Distribution Manager for London, Mr. Paul Joseph, stating:


Provided you move on when the registered vendor arrives you are entitled to work the pitch. Can you confirm that it is vendor 1739 who you have spoken to and we can speak to him.


I replied: "I can so confirm, the same vendor 1739 against whom I lodged a formal complaint with The Big Issue Company on 24 July 2008 for harassment and intimidation on my (then) pitch at McDonald's on Liverpool Street"; I received Mr. Joseph's "Out of Office AutoReply".

In the event of error in transmission, please note that the order of attachments is as follows:

The-Big-Issue 1.4.doc 27kb
The-Big-Issue-Foundation 23.2.htm 12kb

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

For the record, this is the first attachment, Declan’s email to Outreach and Distribution Manager for London Paul Joseph yesterday (the second attachment, Declan’s letter of complaint to Round on 23 February, is presented here):

Subject: The Big Issue

Dear Mr. Paul Joseph,

I re-transmit for your attention as the Big Issue outreach and distribution manager for London my email of 31 March regarding The Big Issue, presented below, to which I received your "Out of Office AutoReply" yesterday afternoon.

I attach copy of my most recent email of 23 February to the Chair of The Big Issue Foundation, Mr Steven Round, on the subject of, inter alia, the making available by The Big Issue of my pitch at McDonald's on Liverpool Street to other vendors to register as from 18 November 2008.

I am hoping that my wife (badge no. 1170) will not have to resort to begging in the local train station this coming Friday morning.

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Best regards,
Declan Heavey
Big Issue badge no. 1163

------------------------------

Subject: The Big Issue

Dear Mr Paul Joseph,

I would be much obliged to you if you could please have the vendor to whom McDonald's on Liverpool Street has been allocated informed that when he is not on this pitch I am fully entitled to be on it.

It has got to the stage now that to buy two Big Issues my wife and I have to scavenge in bins at night and go hungry for days on end.

Surely this vendor's repeated insistence that I go get my own pitch (most recently this lunch time) is unnecessary and discourteous, if not deemed by the Big Issue Company to be in flagrant breach of codes of conduct?

Best regards,
Declan Heavey
Big Issue badge no. 1163