Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Letter to the Home Secretary Alan Johnson

Last Friday, Declan had to write to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Councillor Lutfur Rahman, regarding Idea Store Whitechapel, the borough's flagship library, learning and information service (see previous blog “Letter to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Councillor Lutfur Rahman”). Since 29 September, I have been repeatedly denied access to the internet via my laptop; for example, in the blog of 6 October “Once again no access to the internet for me in Idea Store Whitechapel library via my laptop”, I publish a snag which shows that that day my access to their network was restricted to “Local only”. Well, last Friday my access was “Local and Internet”, as the snag I published that day clearly showed, and today it is back to “Local only”. On top of that, the speed the library is giving me today is 54.0 Mbps – I can’t even load my Facebook page! There is most definitely something strange going on. And, yes, I don't think any other laptop user has reported any such anomaly.

So Declan has written to the Home Secretary Alan Johnson, because none of the emails he has sent of late to the library’s manager Asab Ali has been acknowledged, or seems to have made the slightest bit of difference. Anyway, Declan has already had dealings with the Home Office. In fact, 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 blog of 14 March 2008 “SpamCop reports Declan as a spammer”). Next ... the Prime Minister!

For the record, this is Declan's email this evening to Johnson:

Subject: Interception of communications

Dear Home Secretary,

I am writing to you as the Secretary of State for the Home Office, whose personal approval is required for an interception of communications warrant in the interests of national security, preventing or detecting serious crime, or safeguarding the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

I attach copy of my email of 9 October to the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Councillor Lutfur Rahman, regarding Idea Store Whitechapel.

My wife Lola and I are in desperate straits because, among other things, we are being repeatedly denied access to the internet in Idea Store Whitechapel, the borough's flagship library, learning and information service. We suspect that this is not unrelated to a website we maintain, which deals with controversial issues. Notice, in particular:

* We have been living homeless for more than 2 1/2 years
* We recently gained access to a roof over our heads
* We have been repeatedly denied benefits to which we are entitled
* We strongly suspect that this abuse is politically motivated

Lola and I have documented the violations of our rights at many levels in her blog, "Network of those Abused by Church Blog". What may make our situation of more than ordinary significance is that we believe our difficulties are motivated by the desire to suppress or otherwise undermine our exercise of freedom of speech by means of the website we maintain at religionandmorality.net. If you visit the site, you will see that we address many controversial issues, from the abuses inflicted by religious entities to 7/7, 9/11 and the war on terror.

The man who funds our website, Dr. James H. Fetzer, has suggested that the political ramifications of our abuse may be a significant consideration in assessing our situation. He has authorised us to mention his academic website at http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/ and has advised us that, in his belief, the treatment to which we are being subjected has to be political: "It appears to involve coordination by several layers of authorities," he has written. "Surely there must be at least one barrister in the whole of England with the integrity to oppose this abuse and stand for what is right and just!" He would be glad to discuss this in correspondence via jfetzer@d.umn.edu.

Under these conditions, we would be especially appreciative if you might be able to offer us your advice. We believe that the least indication of interest in our situation by you may be enough to straighten this out forthwith. We are being denied our most basic rights and stand in serious need of counsel. Is there any chance you might be able to assist us in any way?

Yours sincerely
Declan Heavey

cc The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (by post)
Councillor Lutfur Rahman, Leader of Tower Hamlets Council
Ms. Heather Bonfield, Head of Cultural Affairs, Tower Hamlets Council
Mr. Asab Ali, Manager of Idea Store Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets Council


Declan Heavey
Email: dheavey@gmail.com

Home address:
83 Priory Gardens
London N6 5QU