Sunday, June 28, 2009

Declan assaulted in the local internet café

Yesterday evening Declan once again took a trip to a police station, this time to Limehouse PS which is the nearest one to our local internet café off Whitechapel Road.

He went in the middle of one of these summer storms and had to wait for almost an hour to talk with an officer, but he wasn’t deterred: the internet café in question is the only place around in which I can install a program so I can upload pages to the NAC website – I should be able to log in to my SiteGround account with my username and password but I am blocked from doing so (see blog of 9 May “SiteGround confirms our website has been hacked”).

This particular bloke is well known to Declan, and we are pretty sure from his drinking on computers that he is a resident of the Salvation Army’s Booth House hostel for homeless men, located around the corner from the internet café (and across the road from the huge East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre). Declan has also submitted a written complaint to the manager of the internet café against the guy for racially aggravated harassment just hours before we had a major run in with police at our sleeping pitch (see blog of 17 June “More police intimidation at the place we sleep, Salters”; for two Google map photos of where we sleep see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight”).

As Declan told the officer who took the report, he is sick and tired of homeless who seem to think that when it comes to us they have some sort of carte blanche to say and do pretty much what they like: Declan has been assaulted in the middle of the night in a winter shelter run by the West London Churches, crime reference no. 6002035-07 (see here); we have both been assaulted in the Methodist Church-run Whitechapel Mission (see here for Declan, crime reference no. 4204886/07; and for me here, crime reference no. 4217341/07); we have been robbed of all our money and documents in the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre, crime reference no. 4215697/08 (see here); Declan has been further assaulted in the Catholic Manna Day Centre, crime reference no. 3021917/08 (see here) and the Dellow Centre, crime reference no. 4204029/09 (see here); and Declan has even had a homeless arrested for a threat to kill, crime reference no. 7221/07 (see blog of 8 September 2007 “Application to the European Court of Human Rights” para. 30).

Not one of these cases has resulted in a prosecution. And it’s not just because there never seems to be any witnesses. The robbery of all our money and documents, for example, was struck out due to the police being unable to obtain any CCTV footage whatsoever from the Dellow Centre (see here). Then there is Declan’s case against one homeless man, against whom he has three crime reference numbers, which was struck out due to the police being unable to obtain the identity of the suspect from the Dellow Centre even though they do know his details (see here). In fact, since 10 April last year, Declan has been washing in the street as a result of harassment and intimidation by homeless people in the Dellow Centre and Manna Centre, the only two day centres available to us since our barring two years ago from the Whitechapel Mission due to concerns about our safety (see blog of 14 May of “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).

So now Declan has yet another crime reference number to add to his bourgeoning collection, 4215223/09 for common assault (caught on CCTV). This is the chronology Declan handed to police last night:

CHRONOLOGY

(1) 16 JUNE | 4.30-4.45pm the customer of the Internet cafe ("the customer") is continually abusive towards me, seemingly drunk; I am the only other person on an upstairs computer and regrettably did not write down actual words shouted across the floor at me. | 4.45pm I report the abuse to a member of staff downstairs who then requests of the customer where he sits that he quieten down. | 4.45-4.50pm the customer continues his tirade in abusive outbursts ("you have no fuckin' manners", "you are an Irish grass", etc). I do not know how the customer knows that I am Irish, but I suspect he is homeless and resides in the Salvation Army Booth House, a hostel for homeless people across the road. | 4.50-5.10pm I sit downstairs waiting for a computer to come free - impossible to work upstairs in the sole company of the customer. The member of staff requests from me a written complaint that he will present to the Manager. The member of staff informs me that the customer has already been barred for drunken behaviour, but was readmitted by the manager following his plea and promise of good behaviour. | 5.10pm I leave the internet cafe, no computer having come free. I read to the member of staff my "Chronology (1)" before leaving and inform him that I will drop a copy to him on my return. | 6.00pm I hand the member of staff "Chronology (1)", as requested.

(2) 27 JUNE | 5.05pm the customer vacates his computer at the same time as I make my way downstairs to pay for an extra three hours. As soon as I turn to go back upstairs, he proceeds to come down. Sensing trouble, I wait for him to pass. Rather than walk straight out the door or around me to the counter (which would have been no trouble at all), he comes straight at me, hitting my right shoulder with his right shoulder to move me out of the way of his chosen direct route to the counter. He makes some quick comment to the member of staff and leaves. I comment to the member of staff that this guy has just assaulted me with a shoulder charge, to which the member of staff replies that he has no idea what this guy's problem is. | 5.30pm I hand the member of staff a copy of "Chronology (2)", as previously requested. I ask for the address of the local police station, to drop them a copy of this chronology.

[5.45pm on leaving the internet café, the member of staff presents me with a business card for Limehouse police station, and confirms that the assault would have been caught on CCTV.]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Declan appeals to the Independent Police Complaints Commission

As I stated in yesterday’s blog, things are very much on the boil, particularly at our sleeping pitch, Salters’ Hall (see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” for two Google map photos of the sleeping pitch). Last night around midnight we were harassed by three workers from the homeless organisation Broadway. It was of course two workers from the same organisation who visited us with two police officers on the night of 28 May in what turned out an encounter of surreal proportions (see blog “Last night something surreal happened”). Declan and I did all our talking that night and had no interest in pointless conversation, but these three guys did not seem too happy about it.

“We’re reading your blog and just wonder if you would be willing to air your views to two of our mental health workers that I have here with me,” one of them blurted on being ignored, like all of a sudden we were sleeping not in Britain, but in Russia! (Declan has actually been to the police already about one of these workers for harassment and intimidation; he retains a With Compliments slip dated 29 April from Bishopsgate police station wherein PC Thomas, 409CP, registers his name against front office clerk Claire Stevenson’s description of the guy’s behaviour as “intrusive” and “inappropriate”.)

Well, if they are reading my blog, they shouldn’t bother coming back any time soon: as I have written in previous blogs, I was told recently in the canteen of Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre that I should “lap dance for donations” (for more on the Dellow in particular, see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).



Tonight the BBC is showing “Famous, Rich and Homeless” about five celebrities who undertook ten days of sleeping rough, soup runs and hostels in a bid to put homelessness in the spotlight. Bruce Jones told The Sun how he lost control of his emotions when he walked through the front door of his luxury home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, to be reunited with wife Sandra. He says: “She gathered me in her arms and I’m not ashamed to say that I broke down and wept like a baby.” I suppose our survival of sleeping rough for over two and a half years is pretty amazing. Add to that that I am maintaining a blog, developing a website and we have a petition to the UN on therapeutic cloning that has been already signed by 24 Nobel laureates, and I would say it is probably unique. Not to mention that we have also been through the High Court (see here), Court of Appeal (see here), and European Court of Human Rights (see here).

To add insult to injury, it seems that Declan’s complaint last Thursday to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate against two City of London police officers, having been further issued with false records in relation to their encounter with him and me at our sleeping pitch two nights previous, has now been dismissed. Apparently DC Nigel Anderson, in the Directorate, still hasn’t the first clue what Declan is complaining about (see previous blog). Well, this is Declan’s appeal this afternoon to the Independent Police Complaints Commission - an automated generated acknowledgement confirmed they have received the email:

Subject: Complaint

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to the attached copy of my email and attachment of 22 June to DC Nigel Anderson, in the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate, regarding the behaviour of two City of London police officers on the night of 16 June at Salters' Hall, St. Alphage Highwalk, Fore Street, Moorgate, London (CAD 10903).

I wish to appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission on the grounds that, in the absence of hearing further from the Professional Standards Directorate, I have not been given enough information about what the investigation has found.

My wife and I are of no fixed abode and have been sleeping rough in the City of London since 3 November 2006. (We slept in the same porch until a trellis gate was installed on 4 September 2008; as from 12 September, our sleeping pitch has been located at Salters' Hall.)

Please would you acknowledge receipt by return email.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Declan responds to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate

It very much seems that Declan's complaint last Thursday to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate against two City of London police officers, having been further issued with false records in relation to their encounter with him and me at our sleeping pitch two nights previous, has fallen on deaf ears. Yesterday Declan received three emails from DC Nigel Anderson, in the Directorate, and in every single one the detective makes out that he hasn't the first clue what Declan is complaining about.

Things in fact are very much on the boil, particularly at our sleeping pitch, Salters' Hall (see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” for two Google map photos of the sleeping pitch). The Salters’ Company describes itself as a Great City Livery Company very largely devoted to charity; it also plays an important part in the system of local government in the City of London, reflecting its historical roots. The company not only fund raises for science education (Declan's petition to the United Nations on research cloning of embryos and stem cells has now been signed by 591 scientists and academics, who include recognised authorities from the world’s leading universities and research institutes, as well as 24 Nobel laureates, and this despite several months of serious spamming), but runs a project for the homeless.

This is the third email Declan received yesterday from DC Anderson:

Subject: Complaint

Mr Heavey

Thank you for your response but I am still none the wiser.

I need to know exactly what it is that the officers did or didn't do that you disagree with. Did they make specific comments to you or your wife, or was it something else?

I also need to know what false records were you issued with and can i have a copy, please?

Thank you

Nigel Anderson

And this was Declan's response, to which he has yet to receive a reply of any description - it was written very much with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in mind:

Subject: Complaint

Dear DC Anderson,

I understand from the attached copy of your third email to me of even date regarding my complaint to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate that you still have no idea what I am complaining about: in your second email you wrote: "Having read the correspondence that I have I need to establish exactly what it is you are complaining about"; and in this third email: "Thank you for your response but I am still none the wiser".

I again regret that, with respect to what I am complaining about, I have nothing to add to the first paragraph of my email to Commissioner Bowron of 18 June, which states the following:


Thank you for your email of even date signed by Darren Pulman, Staff Officer to the Commissioner, acknowledging receipt of my email of 17 June regarding stop at Salters' Hall (CAD 10903 of 16/06/09). I wish to make a complaint against the officers' behaviour: this morning at Bishopsgate police station I was further issued with false records in relation to said stop.


This email to Commissioner Bowron goes on to reconfirm the details of the stop on the night of 16 June when two City of London police officers from Bishopsgate police station, PC 208CP and PC 671CP, were summoned by two security guards to the sleeping pitch I share with my wife at Salters' Hall, St. Alphage Highwalk, Fore Street, Moorgate. You write: "I need to know exactly what it is that the officers did or didn't do that you disagree with. Did they make specific comments to you or your wife, or was it something else?" I further regret that I have nothing to add to the third and fourth paragraphs of the aforementioned email to Commissioner Bowron, which provide as follows:


I reconfirm that at 10.00pm on the night of 16 June two City of London police officers from Bishopsgate police station, PC 208CP and PC 671CP, were summoned to our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall by two security guards from the company Guarding UK who were patrolling (a derelict) St. Alphage Highwalk. PC 208CP informed my wife that he was not in need of a court order and that she had to vacate the porch, and highwalk, immediately. My wife refused as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, the upshot being that the two police officers and two security guards left, PC 208CP informing me on leaving that if I wanted our copies of the record of the stop to which we were entitled I should call into the police station in the morning to collect them.

On both my wife's 386 and my 386, PC 208CP writes that this stop occurred on "St. Alphage Highwalk"; as I brought to his attention at the time of the stop, in the porch and over my wife's head there was a notice which reads: “CCTV Surveillance. Salters’ Hall. Images are being monitored and recorded for the purposes of crime prevention and public safety. The scheme is controlled by the Salters’ Company.” PC 208CP also writes on both 386s that the outcome of this stop was that "persons moved on"; neither my wife nor I moved on: we slept at Salters' Hall on the night of 16 June, last night, and will do so again tonight as a result of having nowhere else to sleep.


You asked in your second email what I am seeking to achieve from making this complaint ("I would also like to establish what it is you are seeking to achieve from making the complaint"). I beg to again point out that, at the very least, I now have an "Exhibit B" titled "Complaint dated 18 June 2009 to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate" with appendices for the solicitor appointed to my wife in the event of the arrest she been repeatedly threatened with pursuant to Operation Poncho II. My wife will further request of this solicitor that he/she defend her case under the Human Rights Act 1998 with reference to said complaint and, if necessary, appeal accordingly.

You ask me for a copy of the false records I was issued ("I also need to know what false records were you issued with and can I have a copy, please?"). I would be happy to send you a copy of the two 386s in question by post. Could you please provide me with the postal address to which these 386s should be sent?

As I stated in my previous email, I would very much like to receive by email the literature to which you referred in your second email this afternoon ("Have you had the opportunity to read any leaflets issued by the IPCC about the complaints procedure. If not I can supply them either in hard copy or by email!"). Perhaps you would be so kind as to also provide me with this information by return email.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yet more police intimidation at the place we sleep, Salters

This morning Declan again wrote to City of London Police Commissioner Michael Bowron – his letter to him yesterday was copied to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate, one step off the Independent Police Complaints Commission (see previous blog).

Last night at 1.00am we were woken rudely by a female police officer, PC 111CP from Snow Hill police station, who said that pursuant to Operation Poncho II we must move ourselves and our things away so that the two City of London Corporation street cleaners that were with her could wash and disinfect the porch floor – located ... on a derelict highwalk! In his email to Commissioner Bowron, presented below, Declan also takes issue with this police officer on her record of the stop. (See blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” for two Google map photos of the sleeping pitch.).

Normally on a Friday Declan takes a round trip walk of two hours to the Catholic Manna Day Centre for a bite to eat for lunch – something he decided was wise to skip this morning. For more on the Manna, see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”; essentially this letter covers harassment and intimidation, and robbery, in the RC Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre, but in it Declan also refers to being assaulted in the Manna and our barring from the Methodist Church-run Whitechapel Mission due to concerns about our safety after I was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in the canteen of the premises two years ago, almost to the day.

This is Declan’s email to the Commissioner, just acknowledged safely received by his PA, Sara Coker, who says there will be a response forthwith:

Subject: My complaint against the City of London Police

Dear Commissioner Bowron,

I refer to your email of 18 June signed by Darren Pulman, Staff Officer to the Commissioner, acknowledging receipt of my email to you of 17 June regarding stop at Salters' Hall (CAD 10903 of 16/06/09).

I attach copy of my email of complaint to you of 18 June (and attachments) against the City of London Police, having been further issued on the morning of 18 June with false records in relation to said stop. This email was copied to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate.

As you are aware, my wife and I are of no fixed abode and have been sleeping rough in the City of London since 3 November 2006. (We slept in the same porch until a trellis gate was installed on 4 September 2008; as from 12 September, our sleeping pitch has been located at Salters' Hall, Fore Street, Moorgate.)

I wish to confirm that at 1.00am last night PC 111CP from Snow Hill police station insisted pursuant to Operation Poncho II that my wife and I move out of our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall to allow two City of London Corporation street cleaners to wash and disinfect the porch floor - located at (derelict) St. Alphage Highwalk, Fore Street. When my wife requested a court order to which she is entitled, PC 111CP informed her that she knew nothing about court orders but my wife needed to vacate the porch nonetheless. My wife refused to move as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, the upshot being that PC 111CP left with the two street cleaners; the street cleaners did not wash and disinfect the porch floor, and my wife and I went back to sleep in the porch.

Before PC 111CP left I took issue with her on the location cited on the copies of the record of the stop we were issued: PC 111CP insisted on "St. Alphage Highwalk, Salters Hall", arguing that she was standing on St. Alphage Highwalk; in fact, the location of the stop was "Salters' Hall, St. Alphage Highwalk, Fore Street", as evident from the CCTV notice I drew to the police officer's attention above my wife's head, stating: “CCTV Surveillance. Salters’ Hall. Images are being monitored and recorded for the purposes of crime prevention and public safety. The scheme is controlled by the Salters’ Company.”

I beg to again point out that Salters’ Company describes itself as a Great City Livery Company very largely devoted to charity; it also plays an important part in the system of local government in the City of London, reflecting its historical roots. The company not only fund raises for science education (my petition to the United Nations on research cloning of embryos and stem cells has now been signed by 591 scientists and academics, who include recognised authorities from the world’s leading universities and research institutes, as well as 24 Nobel laureates, and this despite several months of serious spamming), but runs a project for the homeless.

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

bowron(18.6.09).htm
bowron(17.6.09).htm
cussen(13.6.09).htm
cussen(12.9.08).htm
cussen(10.6.08).htm
broadway(15.6.09).htm

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely
Declan Heavey

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Letter of complaint to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate

This afternoon Declan again wrote to City of London Police Commissioner Michael Bowron, this time complaining about the behaviour of two of his police officers, having been further issued this morning with false records in relation to their encounter with Declan and me the night before last where we sleep, Salters' Hall (see previous blog; for two Google map photos of the sleeping pitch, see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight”). He also copied this email to the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate, one step off the Independent Police Complaints Commission:

Subject: CAD 10903 (16/06/09)

Dear Commissioner Bowron,

Thank you for your email of even date signed by Darren Pulman, Staff Officer to the Commissioner, acknowledging receipt of my email of 17 June regarding stop at Salters' Hall (CAD 10903 of 16/06/09). I wish to make a complaint against the officers' behaviour: this morning at Bishopsgate police station I was further issued with false records in relation to said stop.

As you are aware, my wife and I are of no fixed abode and have been sleeping rough in the City of London since 3 November 2006. (We slept in the same porch until a trellis gate was installed on 4 September 2008, and as from 12 September our sleeping pitch has been located at Salters' Hall, Fore Street.)

I reconfirm that at 10.00pm on the night of 16 June two City of London police officers from Bishopsgate police station, PC 208CP and PC 671CP, were summoned to our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall by two security guards from the company Guarding UK who were patrolling (a derelict) St. Alphage Highwalk. PC 208CP informed my wife that he was not in need of a court order and that she had to vacate the porch, and highwalk, immediately. My wife refused as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, the upshot being that the two police officers and two security guards left, PC 208CP informing me on leaving that if I wanted our copies of the record of the stop to which we were entitled I should call into the police station in the morning to collect them.

On both my wife's 386 and my 386, PC 208CP writes that this stop occurred on "St. Alphage Highwalk"; as I brought to his attention at the time of the stop, in the porch and over my wife's head there was a notice which reads: “CCTV Surveillance. Salters’ Hall. Images are being monitored and recorded for the purposes of crime prevention and public safety. The scheme is controlled by the Salters’ Company.” PC 208CP also writes on both 386s that the outcome of this stop was that "persons moved on"; neither my wife nor I moved on: we slept at Salters' Hall on the night of 16 June, last night, and will do so again tonight as a result of having nowhere else to sleep.

I beg to again point out that Salters’ Company describes itself as a Great City Livery Company very largely devoted to charity; it also plays an important part in the system of local government in the City of London, reflecting its historical roots. The company not only fund raises for science education (my petition to the United Nations on research cloning of embryos and stem cells has now been signed by 591 scientists and academics, who include recognised authorities from the world’s leading universities and research institutes, as well as 24 Nobel laureates, and this despite several months of serious spamming), but runs a project for the homeless.

I attach a copy of aforementioned email to you 17 June (and attachments) for the reference of the City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate. In the event of error in transmission, please note that the order of attachments is as follows:

bowron(17.6.09).htm
cussen(13.6.09).htm
cussen(12.9.08).htm
cussen(10.6.08).htm
broadway(15.6.09).htm

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely
Declan Heavey

cc City of London Police Professional Standards Directorate

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More police intimidation at the place we sleep, Salters

Last night I was lucky enough to avoid being escorted by two police officers to a police van at the place we sleep – the back of Salters' Hall, a porch located on a derelict highwalk (see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” for two Google map photos of the pitch).

At around 10.00pm – Declan is about to nod off to sleep in his sleeping bag and I am reading a book – two security guards from the company Guarding UK approach us. They flash their lights into my face and as bluntly as possible one of them tells me that they are patrolling the highwalk and they want us off it, right away. I point out that we have been sleeping at Salters’ Hall since last September, on the highwalk since January, and the porch is owned by the Salters’ Company over which they have no jurisdiction. All falls on deaf ears, and within ten or so minutes two police officers are on the scene (incident no. 10903).

By now Declan has all our stuff out of the porch and is separating things for what we believe will surely be my arrest – last September I was arrested by four police officers for a breach of the peace because I refused to move on as a result of having nowhere else to sleep (see blog of 11 September “I am arrested for ‘breach of the peace’”); last Friday night I was also threatened with arrest by another police officer who wanted us to move ourselves and our things away so that two City of London Corporation street cleaners could wash and disinfect the porch floor (this skulduggery is carried out under what the City of London police call Operation Poncho II, see previous blog).

PC 208CP and PC 671CP from Bishopsgate police station are adamant that we have no option but to leave the highwalk, and no, PC 208CP says, the police don’t need a court order to force us to vacate the highwalk! Anyway, I refuse to move and we very much repeat the things we said on the night of the 28 May when two police officers from Snow Hill police station and two workers from the homeless organisation Broadway visited us (see blog “Last night something surreal happened”) - Declan made a couple of hilarious comments, as usual, particularly relating to his washing on the street since 10 April of last year because of harassment and intimidation by other homeless at the RC Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre and the Catholic Manna Day Centre (see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).

PC 208CP informs us on leaving with the two security guards that if we want our copies of the record of the encounter/stop (called 386s) to which we are entitled, Declan should call into the police station in the morning to collect them because he doesn’t have any with him! The police station had nothing for him this morning, though.

This visit from the police just happened to come on top of an afternoon of variety for Declan. First, he had to email Asab Ali, the manager of our local council’s Idea Store Whitechapel library – located only a few minutes from the huge East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre – regarding the library’s MIMEsweeper software blocking access to his Google Mail account due to “Porn Detected”. (Only a few weeks ago I was bullied by two security guards into vacating the computer I had booked the previous day, which I refused to do, see blog of 13 May “Letter to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council”.)

Then he had to submit a written complaint to the manager of the local internet café against a homeless man from the Salvation Army’s Booth House hostel for homeless men across the road, such was the extent of the unprovoked and loud verbal abuse he was subjected to sitting among the upstairs computers – “you have no f*ckin’ manners”, “you are an Irish grass”, etc.; of course, Declan has no idea how this guy knows he is Irish!

For the record, this is the email Declan sent this afternoon to City of London Police Commissioner Michael Bowron on the incident last night:

Subject: CAD 10903 (16/06/09)

Dear Commissioner Bowron,

I refer to the attached copy of my email to you of 13 June (and attachments) regarding Operation Poncho II and wish to confirm that I retain a stamped With Compliments slip dated today from Bishopsgate police station, stating:


On wed 17/06/09 at 08.00 Mr Declan Heavey attended Bishopsgate police station to collect 386 in relation to stop at Salters Hall (CAD 10903 of 16/06/09). Copy not found. Mr Heavey intends to return on 18/06/09 in the hope of collecting said 386.


As you are aware, my wife and I are of no fixed abode and have been sleeping rough in the City of London since 3 November 2006. (We slept in the same porch until a trellis gate was installed on 4 September 2008, and as from 12 September our sleeping pitch has been located at Salters' Hall, Fore Street.)

I can confirm that at 10.00pm last night two City of London police officers from Bishopsgate police station, PC 208CP and PC 671CP, were summoned to our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall by two security guards from the company Guarding UK who were patrolling (a derelict) St. Alphage Highwalk. PC 208CP informed my wife that he was not in need of a court order and that she had to vacate the highwalk immediately. My wife refused as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, the upshot being that the two police officers and two security guards left, PC 208CP informing me on leaving that if I wanted our copies of the record of the encounter/stop to which we were entitled I should call into the police station in the morning to collect them.

I reconfirm that at 1.00am last Friday night PC 493CP from Snow Hill police station insisted pursuant to Operation Poncho II that my wife and I move out of our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall to allow two City of London Corporation street cleaners to wash and disinfect the porch floor. When my wife refused as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, she was told by PC 493CP that she would be arrested if she did not vacate the porch. Again my wife refused, the upshot being that one of the street cleaners poured disinfectant around where she remained outstretched in her sleeping bag. With that, PC 493CP and the two street cleaners left the highwalk.

Perhaps I should mentioned here that the homeless organisation Broadway, in an unsolicited email to my wife and me on Monday (also attached), and in quoting from my wife's blog of 11 June "Harassment at the place we sleep, Salters", acknowledged by implication the content of her blog of 29 May "Last night something surreal happened", thereby sealing my wife's defense for a court subject to the Human Rights Act 1998.

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

cussen(13.6.09).htm
cussen(12.9.08).htm
cussen(10.6.08).htm
broadway(15.6.09).htm

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely
Declan Heavey

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Police intimidation at the place we sleep, Salters

As I said in the previous blog, I am starting to run out of ideas for new blog post titles so many things have happened to us this month, particularly at Salters’ Hall where we sleep at night – more about Salters’ Company can be read in Declan’s email this afternoon to Superintendent Lorraine Cussen of Snow Hill police station, presented below.

Well, this is what happened last night while we were asleep in our sleeping bags: at about 1.00am I am woken rudely by a female police officer (PC 493CP) who says that pursuant to Operation Poncho II we must move ourselves and our things away so that two City of London Corporation street cleaners can wash and disinfect the porch floor – located ... on a derelict highwalk! An hour later they are gone, poodles of disinfectant about me – the cleaner who poured the stuff presumably quite knackered because he didn’t even bother to use a brush.

I was quite convinced that I was going to end up once again in the back of a police van – last September I was arrested by four police officers for a breach of the peace because I refused to move on as result of having nowhere else to sleep (see blog of 11 September “I am arrested for ‘breach of the peace’”); I was later released without charge. This time I also refused to move, and for the same reason. I also don’t happen to believe that Operation Poncho II would stand up to scrutiny in a court of law subject to the Human Rights Act 1998 (see blog of 13 September “Letter from the City of London Police”).

Anyway, I still can’t figure out which night was more surreal: the night of the 28 May when two police officers and two workers from the homeless organisation Broadway came to visit us (see blog “Last night something surreal happened”) or last night’s encounter with PC 493CP and two street cleaners. Perhaps last night – the police officer even made out that we weren’t sleeping where we were sleeping on the copies of the record of the encounter/stop we were issued!

First, she tells us that our porch is not located at Salter’s Hall. So Declan proceeds to read her the CCTV notice over my head: “CCTV Surveillance. Salters’ Hall. Images are being monitored and recorded for the purposes of crime prevention and public safety. The scheme is controlled by the Salters’ Company.” Still, she insists on “Highwalk - St. Alphage House” because, she says, she is standing on Alphage Highwalk with St. Alphage House behind her! I should have said that technically it would have been more correct to write Laurence Highman Bespoke Tailors, another derelict building, because it is a lot closer to our sleeping pitch than St. Alphage House! (In the blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” I publish two Google map photos of the pitch.)

There is one thing, though, that I remember particularly well. As Declan is on the highwalk separating our things for what we are both pretty sure will be my arrest, he informs PC 493CP that if there is any damage to my property (I was in my sleeping bag, on a shower curtain) that he would seek to make a statement in the police station, adding as the two cleaners approached me that he was hoping they would throw the disinfectant over my head. “We’re not thugs,” she replied.

Normally on Saturday mornings we walk for 45 minutes to the Catholic Manna Centre for a small bite to eat and a cup or two of tea – something we decided was wise to skip this morning (for more on the Manna, see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).

For the record, this is the email that Declan sent this afternoon to Superintendent Lorraine Cussen of Snow Hill police station who is overseeing Operation Poncho II within the City of London Police (the email was also copied to City of London Police Commissioner Michael Bowron):

Subject: Operation Poncho II

Dear Superintendent Cussen,

I refer to the attached copy of your email of 12 September 2008 regarding the arrest of my wife on the night of 11 September for refusing to move on as a result of having nowhere else to sleep (she was later released without charge). You stated in an email of 10 June 2008 (also attached) that you are "the supervisory police officer who is overseeing Operation Poncho II within the City of London Police".

As you are aware, my wife and I are of no fixed abode and have been sleeping rough in the City of London since 3 November 2006. (We slept in the same porch until a trellis gate was installed on 4 September 2008; as from 12 September, our sleeping pitch has been at Salters' Hall, Fore Street.)

I wish to confirm that at 1.00am last night PC 493CP insisted pursuant to Operation Poncho II that my wife and I move out of our sleeping pitch at Salters' Hall to allow two City of London Corporation street cleaners to wash and disinfect the porch floor - located on (a derelict) St. Alphage Highwalk. When my wife refused as a result of having nowhere else to sleep, she was told by PC 493CP that she would be arrested if she did not vacate the porch. Again my wife refused, the upshot being that one of the street cleaners poured disinfectant around where she remained outstretched in her sleeping bag. With that, PC 493CP and the two street cleaners left.

From my position with our bags on the highwalk, I took issue with PC 493CP on the location cited on the copies of the record of the encounter/stop we were issued: PC 493CP insisted on "Highwalk - St. Alphage House", arguing that she was standing on the highwalk with (a derelict) St. Alphage House behind her; in fact, the location of the encounter/stop was "Salters' Hall", as evident from the Salters' Company CCTV notice I drew to the police officer's attention above my wife's head.

Salters’ Company describes itself as a Great City Livery Company very largely devoted to charity; it also plays an important part in the system of local government in the City of London, reflecting its historical roots. The company not only fund raises for science education (my petition to the United Nations on research cloning of embryos and stem cells has now been signed by 591 scientists and academics, who include recognised authorities from the world’s leading universities and research institutes, as well as 24 Nobel laureates, and this despite several months of serious spamming), but runs a project for the homeless.

Please would you acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely
Declan Heavey

cc Commissioner Michael Bowron

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Harassment at the place we sleep, Salters

Not only do I now have to check my blog to get dates straight due to so many things happening to us over the last couple of weeks, but now I am also starting to run out of ideas for new blog post titles! Events unfolded pretty quickly after we learnt early last week that copies of Prof. James Fetzer’s RENDER UNTO DARWIN, for review to be published on the NAC website, had not been received by our target referees (see blog of 3 June “Abortion a ‘hot button’ issue”); they have continued a pace since we received the first review on Saturday (see blog 8 June “We have our first review”).

Anyway, early this morning I am not even out of my sleeping bag and I am already being harassed by two workers from the homeless organisation Broadway (see blog of 5 June “Salters back in the spotlight” for two Google map photos of our sleeping pitch). It was of course two workers from the same organisation who visited us with two police officers on the night of 28 May in what turned out an encounter of surreal proportions (see blog “Last night something surreal happened”). Declan and I did all our talking that night and had no interest in pointless conversation, but these two guys did not seem too happy about it.

“We’re not taking your belligerence and we’ll be back again,” one of these guys blurted on leaving, like he was talking to two five-year-olds. (Declan has actually been to the police already about this bloke for harassment and intimidation; he retains a With Compliments slip dated 29 April from Bishopsgate police station wherein PC Thomas, 409CP, registers his name against front office clerk Claire Stevenson’s description of the guy’s behaviour as “intrusive” and “inappropriate”.)

Well, they shouldn’t bother coming back any time soon: as I wrote in yesterday’s blog, I was told yesterday morning in the canteen of Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre that I should “lap dance for donations” (for more on the Dellow in particular, see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).

Yesterday afternoon I posted to my Facebook wall an article from courier-journal.com titled “Creation Museum’s attendance exceeds expectations”. The article is about the Kentucky Creation Museum, a $27 million, 70,000-square-foot “natural history museum-meets-Biblical theme park”. The posting was quite a hit, with many funny comments, the first being: “This is worse than any horror movie I’ve ever seen because it’s reality!” The article includes two videos which I can’t put here, but I found another one:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More on the place we sleep, Salters

So many things have been happening to Declan and I over the past couple of weeks that now I have to check my blog to get the dates straight: on the night of 29 May, while we were asleep in our sleeping bags, two police officers and two workers from the homeless organisation Broadway came to visit us in what turned out to be an encounter of surreal proportions (see blog “Last night something surreal happened”); on Monday and Tuesday alone of last week we received nine confirmations that copies of Prof. James Fetzer’s RENDER UNTO DARWIN, for review to be published on the NAC website, hadn’t been received (see “Abortion a ‘hot button’ issue”); last Thursday night, as soon as we arrived at our sleeping pitch at about 9.00pm, somebody started hammering over our heads on what seemed like a plank of wood on a hard concrete floor and continued on and off, hour in, hour out throughout the night (see “Salters back in the spotlight”). Oh, and there is also yesterday’s blog: “More on the hacking of the NAC website”.

Yesterday evening we encountered yet another new situation: when we were, as usual, in a secluded little park at the back of Salters Hall – the same place we wash in the early hours of the morning – a security guard came down and in a very bullish manner insisted that we leave; he must have thought we had come down in the last shower of rain and were not aware we were frequenting a public space. As I keep mentioning, Declan continues to wash in the street as a result of harassment and intimidation by other homeless in the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre and the Catholic Manna Day Centre, which he has been doing since 10 April last year, and I have been doing since 27 February (see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”)

Of course when this morning I am told – while waiting for my coffee refill in the canteen of the Dellow – that I should “lap dance for donations”, I take this as a compliment – Declan was told by a homeless only recently in the canteen that we are “in need of body guards”; normally it’s we are “the last of the Mohicans” or “two submarines in the middle of the Atlantic ocean”, and occasionally it’s “go back to where you came from” (see blog of 29 May “Last night something surreal happened”).

It’s not all bad news though. Not only have we received our first review of RENDER UNTO DARWIN (see blog 8 June “We have our first review”), but I am making great strides off-line on the section in “What we do” titled “Defend embryonic stem cell research” with reference to the 2008 World Stem Cell Summit – the 2009 Summit will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on 21-23 September.

In fact, yesterday I thought little of having to do the work twice: I was no sooner into the 2008 Summit ten minutes when all my work was wiped out (a first in over two and a half years); I still don’t have a clue how I could have done it! As I also keep mentioning, we frequently run into difficulties in the council’s Idea Store Whitechapel – located only a few minutes from the huge East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre. Only a few weeks ago I was bullied by two security guards into vacating the computer I had booked the previous day, which I refused to do (see blog of 13 May “Letter to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council”). And Declan is still emailing every single evening the manager of this library, Asab Ali, and the head of Cultural Services in Tower Hamlets Council with our computer bookings for the next day because members of staff generally refuse to confirm the bookings with a signature, printed name, initials or mark of any description (see blog of 22 May “Sherry Jones: ‘We must speak out for free speech’”).

This is one of my favourite videos from the 2008 World Stem Cell Summit – “The History and Future of Stem Cells – Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Issues”, a talk from Alta Charo, Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

More on the hacking of the NAC website

Our hosting provider SiteGround confirmed in writing on 7 May that the NAC website we launched on 4 February – sponsored by Prof. James Fetzer, an Honorary Associate of NAC – “has been hacked” (see blog of 9 May “SiteGround confirms our website has been hacked”). Now we have discovered that more pages have been jammed: “Muslim cleric who says multiculturalism is a disaster” and “The Vatican’s Immoral Declaration” are just a couple of examples.

Undoubtedly we have bad luck with our websites: the original NAC website was suspended due to a Spamcop report that was drawn up the day after the Home Office denied that a warrant had been issued to intercept Declan’s communications (see here); and the new NAC website was removed within days by another free web host without explanation (see here).

This morning, while browsing a copy of .net magazine in the local WH Smith store, I read an article titled “Is your hosting provider secure?” with great interest. It says that “even the most secure system can be breached, but it’s how your host responds to an attack that is important”. Well, this is news to me! SiteGround, based in New York, has been rated the best web hosting company for 2007 and 2008, and yet the organised hacker attacks that have been used to scramble or jam online content on the NAC website since late April have never been cleaned up.

The .net article also says that PHP applications in particular are prone to exploitation and that consumers should ensure they keep their installed applications up to date; which is fine by me, except that I am not using PHP and I use plain html, not installed applications. In fact, it’s the same website – with old articles removed – that was hosted free by Bravenet for almost three and a half years (October 2004 to March 2008”), and without a hitch.

Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if one of these mornings we access the internet only to find that our site has been finally blocked by Firefox or Google with a nasty red warning about the site being a “Reported Attack Site!”.



A bit of research on censorship and I find an article by AlterNet dated 19 February 2008, “Whistleblower Website Under Attack”. According to AlterNet, one of the most important websites in the preceding months was Wikileaks.org. Created by several brave journalists committed to transparency, Wikileaks had published important leaked documents, upsetting among others the Chinese government. “Now censorship has extended to the United States of America, land of the First Amendment,” said Alternet, adding: “As of Friday, February 15, those going to Wikileaks.org have gotten ‘Server not found’ messages.” Apparently, a California court had granted an injunction written and requested by lawyers for the Cayman Island’s Bank Julius Baer. AlterNet: “If this injunction stands, it will set an incredible precedent for all of us who use the web to unveil misbehavior by the rich and powerful.”

Clearly not everyone supported the judge’s decision: Wikileaks was one of the winners at the 8th annual Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards held in London in April 2008.

Monday, June 08, 2009

We have our first review

The first review of Prof. James Fetzer’s RENDER UNTO DARWIN has been uploaded to the NAC website – it seems books hadn’t arrived to our target referees but the publisher has now personally mailed 19 copies (see blog of 3 June “Abortion a ‘hot button’ issue”). I am so excited about it that I have now read the review about a dozen times. It is by Dr. Joe Barnhart, an Honorary Associate of NAC, who is a recently retired professor of philosophy and religion studies at the University of North Texas. Dr. Barnhart was shot in the back during a performance by his granddaughter at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in July 2008. His long-time friend and researcher Linda Kraeger was killed. His daughter, brother and sister-in-law were also among the injured. The gunman, Jim Adkisson, expressed his belief that the Church was a haven for liberalism.


Declan thought that once the first review came in things would ease up, particularly at our sleeping pitch (see previous blog “Salters back in the spotlight”, where I also publish two Google map photos of the pitch), but not a bit. Declan says that for at least the next couple of weeks things are likely to get pretty rough.

One example. Last night we had just arrived at Salters about 8.30pm when we saw two big black security guards approaching us – a first since we started sleeping here back in January, probably because the highwalk is derelict. Declan moved all our bags quickly out of the way, bearing in mind that back in September I was informed by a police officer that a security guard can manhandle me and my belongings if ever I refuse to be moved (see blog of 11 September “I am arrested for ‘breach of the peace’”). We were spared this time though and the two guys just kept walking.

Another example. Early this morning when we came down to the little park where Declan and I wash ourselves, another homeless was there – another first – standing in the exact spot Declan sits. He left but came back ten minutes later looking for his can of beer. Declan continues to wash in the street as a result of harassment and intimidation by other homeless in the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre and the Catholic Manna Day Centre, which he has been doing since 10 April last year, and I have been doing since 27 February (see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”).

We now consider ourselves pretty tough – I have been assaulted several times, urinated on, etc. (see previous blog) – so we intend resisting whatever is thrown at us. It can’t be as bad as being hit in the back with 20 pellets.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Salters back in the spotlight

We have now received our tenth email confirming that a copy of Prof James Fetzer’s "Render unto Darwin" - for a review to be published on the NAC website - hasn’t been received. It didn’t occur to us that the books were not arriving, but it sure puts Thursday night of last week in context (see blog of 29 May “Last night something surreal happened”) – it was Tuesday of last week that it was first suggested in an email to Declan that he ought to inquire as to whether the book had been received by anyone. Well, last night things at our sleeping pitch were quite outrageous: as soon as we arrived at about 9.00pm, somebody started hammering over our heads on what seemed like a plank of wood on a hard concrete floor and continued on and off, hour in, hour out throughout the night. The racket was something else!

Salters Company, who owns the building, describes itself as a Great City Livery Company very largely devoted to charity; it also plays an important part in the system of local government in the City of London, reflecting its historical roots. In fact, communications started out cordial between us: the company not only fund raises for science education (Declan’s petition to the UN on research cloning of embryos and stem cells has been signed by 591 scientists and academics, including 24 Nobel laureates, and this despite many months of serious spamming), but runs a project for the homeless.

Since January we have been sleeping at the back of Salters Hall on a derelict highwalk (photos below). For some months prior to that we slept about twenty paces from the front entrance of the building, down some twelve steps; and prior to that for almost two years in a porch at street level. I should perhaps mention that we moved to the highwalk after the cleaner had hosed us out on several occasions after we got up at 4.20am (see here, for example). I am actually prepared to break any court order that would put me back on street level: within two weeks of sleeping in the street, somebody sat on the right hand side of my face (see here); I was grabbed by the ankles while I was asleep and dragged out of the two-step porch and down the pavement two or three metres, then a few hours later I was kicked in the back (see here); a guy repeatedly kicked me in the chest and shoulders as his mates stood by (see here); and I was urinated on (see here). I would actually feel safer in a cell!

Anyway, while we await our first review Declan says he is going around with eyes in the back of his head – yesterday he was informed by a homeless in the canteen of the Catholic Sisters of Mercy Dellow Day Centre that we are “in need of bodyguards” (for more on the Dellow Centre, see blog of 14 May “Letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols”). For my part, I am so excited about the prospect of our first review that yesterday afternoon I did the code for the presentation; reviews will be presented in the same manner as faculty staff here (when you click on a faculty member, his/her biography opens up). Within an hour of receipt of the first review, I will have it up!



Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Abortion a "hot button" issue

As I said in the previous blog “Last night something surreal happened”, Declan now emails every single evening the manager of Tower Hamlets Council’s Idea Store Whitechapel and the head of Cultural Services in Tower Hamlets Council with our computer bookings for the next day because members of staff refuse to confirm the bookings with a signature, printed name, initials or mark of any description. Well, this afternoon, when I typed my details into PC 1.16 to access my first of three hours, I couldn’t log in because the computer was “offline” - a look at one of the booking computers indicated that other users had been using the computer. My first hour was completely wiped, and no apology! I couldn’t log in on my second hour either because this time there was another name on the monitor - I lost another ten minutes, and again no apology (not that I expected one). We frequently run into difficulties in this library: only two weeks ago I was bullied by two security guards into vacating the computer I had booked the previous day, which I refused to do (see blog of 13 May “Letter to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council”).

Anyway, when I finally got to log in I found six emails confirming that a copy of Prof. James Fetzer’s RENDER UNTO DARWIN, for a review to be published on the NAC website, had never been received – yesterday we received three such confirmations. The publisher assured Prof. Fetzer yesterday that, if this is not straightened out by the end of the week (in two days), he will send them himself by hand. (After the new NAC website was removed from the internet last February, Prof. Fetzer, an Honorary Associate of NAC, stepped in and bought the domain name and web hosting for us.)

It so happens that now is a very good time to review RENDER UNTO DARWIN, insofar as President Obama’s recent appearance at the Catholic University of Notre Dame and his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court make abortion a “hot button” issue in current press coverage, suggesting debate on the question of choice is likely to benefit from these reviews because it presents a vigorous defense of every woman’s right to choose by a careful examination of whether or not abortion properly qualifies as “murder”.

Even before the deplorable assassination of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday in a Kansas church, voices on both sides of the abortion issue were growing louder.

There are thousands of articles on the murder of Dr. Tiller, but one I particularly like is by Salon.com, “O’Reilly’s campaign against murdered doctor”. According to the piece, Bill O’Reilly, who hosts The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, has been attacking Tiller since 2005. “Since then, O’Reilly and his guest hosts have brought up the doctor on 28 more episodes, including as recently as April 27 of this year,” says Salon. “Almost invariably, Tiller is described as ‘Tiller the Baby Killer.’”