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.