Friday, 27 December 2013

Human rights groups condemn homophobic attack

Human rights groups condemn homophobic attack on landlords at Kings pub in Norwich

From EDP24 by David Bale:

Kings landlord Jesse Charlebois was assaulted
by a gang of men who came into his Norwich pub.

Human rights groups across the city have united in condemning a homophobic attack on the landlords of a Norwich pub.

Jesse Charlebois, 34, and David Hayes, 26, were punched and kicked by a gang of 15 men after they asked them to leave the Kings pub in King Street at about 5.30 pm last Saturday.

They said that since the assault they have received messages of support from as far away as France, Australia and Florida, and are planning an anti-homophobia party to raise awareness of the issue.

In a statement, Norwich Pride, which organises an annual gay parade in the city, urged people to unite in condemning the attack and to send a message of solidarity and support to the landlords.

The statement said: 
Norwich Pride is shocked and angered by the horrific level of violence perpetrated in the homophobic attack. We condemn outright such violence and call on the authorities to take every effort to catch the attackers.

One of the key aims of Norwich Pride is to ensure that Norwich is a safe city where everyone is able to be themselves. Every year at the end of July thousands of people join the Pride parade and participate in events across the city to celebrate our diverse cultures and people of all sexual orientations. We need to continue to work together to ensure this remains the case.
The landlords have also been backed by the anti-racist campaign group, We are Norwich.

The group’s Nick O’Brien said it supported Norwich Pride’s statement, and added: 
Although we focus on racism and fascism, we support the aims of Norwich Pride and wish to work with them in making Norwich a city where everyone feels safe and valued.

There is no place for intolerance. We hope the perpetrators are quickly brought to justice and wish Jesse and Davey all the best.
The landlords said they had been overwhelmed with support from around the world.

In a statement on their Facebook page, they said: 
.... we have been so touched and amazed at the messages, support, sympathy, love and good old-fashioned Christmas spirit we have received. Thank you. “Our phones have not stopped bleeping, ringing and vibrating all day and we feel stronger and better for it.

Anyone with information should call PC Paul Collins at Norwich CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Monday, 23 December 2013

From Norwich Pride

Norwich Pride Statement Condemning Homophobic Attack in our fine city:

Norwich Pride is shocked and angered by the horrific level of violence perpetrated in a homophobic attack on the landlords at Kings in Norwich on 21st December. We condemn outright such violence and call on the authorities to take every effort to catch the attackers. 

We are relieved that landlords Jesse and Davie have indicated they are in good health, despite the attack, and we support their determination not to allow a few individuals to intimidate them.

One of the key aims of Norwich Pride is to ensure that Norwich is a safe city where everyone is able to be themselves. Every year at the end of July 1000s of people join the Pride parade and participate in events across the city to celebrate our diverse cultures and people of all sexual orientations. We need to continue to work together to ensure this remains the case.

We therefore call on people to unite in condemning this violence and send a message of solidarity and support to Jesse and Davie via their Kings facebook page. 

Norwich Pride has offered our wholehearted support to assist them in any way we can. We hope that the perpetrators of these crimes are quickly brought to justice. 

Anyone with information can contact Norwich CID on 101 or call crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For Kings and all venues across Norwich and beyond, we hope you have a safe, LGBT-friendly, peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Hate Crime off Prince of Wales Road

Landlords’ shock after violent homophobic attack at Norwich pub

Kings landlord Jesse Charlebois was assaulted by a gang of men who came into his Norwich pub.

The landlords of a Norwich pub vowed to not let homophobic thugs drive them out of their business after they were victims of a frightening attack.

Kings' landlord Jesse Charlebois was assaulted by a gang of men who came into his Norwich pub. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Jesse Charlebois and David Hayes were punched and kicked by the gang of 15 men after they asked them to leave the Kings pub on Saturday evening.

The landlords were subjected to homophobic abuse and suffered scratches, bruises and concussion as a result of the attack that happened at the venue in King Street, off Prince of Wales Road, at about 5.30 am.

Detectives have launched an investigation and are appealing for the public’s help following the disturbance, which involved a group of men who were white and believed to be aged in their 20s and 30s. No arrests have yet been made, but their faces were captured on CCTV.

The couple, who have run the pub for the last four months, said they had never experienced such violence after years of running pubs in London.

The venue only had a handful of customers when the group entered on Saturday and the landlords said the men were already drunk and loud. When they started throwing items around, they asked them to leave. However, they refused to move and started shouting abuse.

Mr Charlebois, 34, was punched in the head several times and had a scan at hospital for a suspected broken cheekbone. Mr Hayes, 26, suffered bruises and concussion and was grabbed by the hair by one of the attackers. Their chef, Andy Watt, was bitten on the hand and suffered concussion.

Mr Charlebois said he feared that he had been scarred for life after the right side of his face was badly scratched.  He said:

We really hope they catch them and if they catch them, I want them put away. This is a hate crime and this is our business and home.

We are not going to let morons think they have won. I have run pubs in Hackney in the murder mile and nothing like this has happened. If it has happened four hours later, there would have been 100 police men on the corner. Everyone was shocked by it.
Mr Hayes added that the men targeted them after realising they were gay. He added that the attack lasted about 15 minutes.  He said:
It could have been so much worse and he [Mr Charlebois] had many punches in the head. Non of them ran away and they were quite proud about what they achieved.
Police have made an appeal for information from anyone who witnessed the attack or anyone who may have seen the group of men either before or after the incident.

Norfolk Police had extra officers on the streets of Norwich at the weekend, which was a busy party period ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Norwich CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Friday, 20 December 2013

Message from Muslim Council of Britain


Let's have such magnanimity from those of all faiths and not forgetting those of no faith to those of all other faiths and not forgetting to those of no faith.  

That would be a real Christmas blessing.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The counter-jihadists are often as bad as the jihadists

From HOPE not hate by Nick Lowles: 

Pam Geller and Robert Spencer for former EDL leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll

Jacob Mchangama has written a great piece on the Daily Beast on how the so-called 'counter-jihad' movement are as bigoted as the people they claim to oppose.

He opens the piece by saying:

One of the supposed core values of the so-called “counter-jihad movement,” a loosely organized collection of vocal activists battling what they believe is the immediate threat of an Islamic takeover of the West, is an unflinching defense of free speech. Because dominant parts of the political elite in many Western states have been hesitant to oppose the real threat that certain Islamic states and Islamist groups pose to free speech, as seen by, for example, their handwringing during the Danish “cartoon crisis,” the counterjihadis have had some success in posing as the true defenders of free speech. The counterjihadis appear willing to defend this enlightenment principle, whereas feckless politicians and intellectuals fear appearing as bigoted or insensitive to minorities. 

Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how dominant members of the counterjihad movement are more than happy to compromise on free speech as long as the ends justify the means and those denied their rights are Muslim.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Prince of Wales Road

Under the boastful sign

is a mute critique.

 Mindless graffiti

and under the Arnolds Office


These pictures taken Sunday 15th at about 10.30 am, AFTER an initial clean-up. 

Do the POW nightclubs and fast food outlets contribute enough towards the cleaning?  

Disgruntled residents claim they do not.

From edp24: 

A 70-strong group of people who live in streets neighbouring Prince of Wales Road filled the King’s Centre for the Norwich Stakeholders Forum to discuss with councillors, police and fire officials how to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

They demanded more action to stop their lives being disturbed by drunken revellers who spill out of clubs on Prince of Wales Road in the early hours and make noise, urinate in the street and vandalise property.

One resident of King Street described his road as “looking like a bomb hit it” on a Friday night with pizza and fast food packets lying among urine and vomit, while other attendees said roads were often strewn with smashed glass from bottles.

They proposed a number of measures to prevent the night time problems, including imposing a levy on fast food restaurants to pay for the mess to be cleaned up and introducing alley-gating, whereby gates are put on public paths leading from Prince of Wales Road to stop revellers getting down them and causing problems for residents.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Reality not perception

“British public wrong about nearly everything” or “Perceptions are not reality”

From Reason and Reality by Colin Lawson:

Democracy is dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed.

Unfortunately, UK government ministers and the right-wing press have made sure that we are misinformed about everything – here is the result. 

The chart is the result of an Ipsos.MORI poll examining the difference between peoples’ perceptions (mean estimates) and reality (actual) when asked questions about the UK population.

Here is another example from the Ipsos.MORI poll (referenced below):

Teenage pregnancy: on average, we think teenage pregnancy is 25 times higher than official estimates: we think that 15% of girls under 16 get pregnant each year, when official figures suggest it is around 0.6%[i].

Here is the reality

“With the lowest numbers recorded since 1969, the teenage pregnancy rate is proof of all the hard work of sexual health and education professionals, and the lasting legacy of the decade-long Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

Was this news on the front page of the Daily Mail. Of course not – it did not fit their alternative reality. It would only be on their front page if they could somehow twist the data into a moral outrage about increasing teenage pregnancy. Even the Mail has failed to manage this – so far.

More from the IpsosMORI poll:

Foreign aid: 26% of people think foreign aid is one of the top 2-3 items government spends most money on, when it actually made up 1.1% of expenditure (£7.9bn) in the 2011/12 financial year. More people select this as a top item of expenditure than pensions (which cost nearly ten times as much, £74bn) and education in the UK (£51.5bn)[vi].

Benefit fraud: people estimate that 34 times more benefit money is claimed fraudulently than official estimates: the public think that £24 out of every £100 spent on benefits is claimed fraudulently, compared with official estimates of £0.70 per £100[v].

These two pieces of research indicate the gap between perception and reality in the British public:

The IpsosMORI Poll – Perceptions are not reality:

British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows:

These are just a few examples of government ministers misinforming the public:

David Cameron Rebuked For Making Misleading Economy Claim, Again:

Ministers who misuse statistics to mislead voters must pay the price.

Minister rebuked over immigration statistics:

Incapacity benefit test claims ‘conflated figures’ – watchdog:

Iain Duncan Smith criticised over benefit cap figures:

Duncan Smith ‘clarifies’ Commons slip over benefit data:

This gives just a few recent examples of tabloid misinformation:

The Daily Mail & The Sun continue to undermine their own case for press freedom:


The Lies of Right Wing Tories, Blairites, Free Marketeers and Neolibertarians:

Some Questions for our local MP John Glen:

Cameron won’t make me a Minister… I’m a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP John Glen:

Sunday, 15 December 2013

English Defence League Announce 2014 demos

From EDL News by Gary Hasting

Some members of the East Anglian EDL

The English Defence League has announced the first three EDL demonstrations for 2014. 

The ailing far right organisation plans to go to Slough on either the 1st or 8th of February according to an announcement on various division Facebook walls.

The EDL then plans to demonstrate in Kidderminster on 22nd March and then in Sheffield, some time in May.

EDL News has no idea why Kidderminster or Slough was chosen or even if the organisation will still be going by then.

The last EDL national demonstration in Exeter could only pull less than two hundred people which resulted in four arrests ranging from drunkenness to drugs possession and carrying an offensive weapon.

The organisation has been on its knees since the defection of leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll to Muslim think tank Quilliam.


The EDL has had its chance to make its points, but those points were blunted by the self-destructive EDL acts of public drunkenness, violence and crime.

EDL demonstrations have caused a nuisance to shoppers and high street businesses alike, and taxpayers have forked out for extra local policing, repair of the damage and court cases.

Whilst the EDL has the right to rally in political protest, that right does not include the right to commit criminal acts and damage.  

One group's rights must not be at the expense of the rights of others.    

How many of the East Anglian EDL have got the message?  

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Racist - Sold Out!

From Norwich Playhouse:

Tickets for this event are unavailable because, according to the box office, there was an early demand. 

Although Norwich Playhouse seats only about 200, this was still an unusually rapid sell-out.  

Here is what we are missing:

The Racist: Trevor Noah

Fresh from a record-breaking season of shows at London’s Soho Theatre and a critically acclaimed total sell-out season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, South African comedian, Trevor Noah is proud to present his critically acclaimed show, The Racist, on a ground-breaking tour of the UK.

Trevor has been performing for a little over five years but his explosion onto the South African entertainment scene has been nothing short of meteoric, taking on TV, radio and his first love, stand up comedy, which he has performed on both local and international stages including the UK and US. His sharp wit, intelligent commentary, unmistakable charm and clinical delivery have established him as an extremely popular performer with undoubted world-class potential.

Trevor is a South African comedian. He has hosted numerous television shows in South Africa, including the country's music, television and film awards, the South African Comedy Festival, and two seasons of his own late night talk show. He is also the subject of the award-winning film Township To The Stage which tells the story of his remarkable career in post-apartheid South Africa. Trevor has also enjoyed sell-out success at Edinburgh.

'Noah is an immensely likeable performer – warm, upbeat, with and inquiring, irreverent approach to other people's prejudices... we can expect to see a lot more of him over here (The Observer)

A handsome, effortlessly engaging polyglot... fascinating and frequently hilarious... for someone so persecuted by language's prejudices and limitations, Noah demonstrates a mastery of it, standing out chiefly for his considerable talent' (The Scotsman)

'You can see what prompted Eddie Izzard to want to produce him here... he performs with remarkable poise, scoring plenty of hits... a great entertainer' (The Times).

'Slick, intelligent, blissfully funny... this is insightful, warm, classy comedy' (Time Out)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Spelling - does it really matter?

Well, yes, if you are trying to make a political point and if you want to be taken seriously.

What's so difficult about having a google, a spell-check or using a dictionary, especially when making a political banner?

Some clowns lose the argument before it even begins:

Monday, 9 December 2013

EDL a "headless chicken"

From twitpic:

#EDL Dagenham Division come up with a foolproof way to prevent Islamisation. 

*Warning contains utter stupidity and pigs

From Facebook:

Norwich EDL Division come up with their own foolproof anti-Islamisation device.

Expect more such lunacy and self-parody as the EDL flaps about like a headless chicken since their leader left them to face charges of mortgage fraud.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Activism and art

It's slightly disconcerting to find anti-racist art in a Norwich Castle exhibition called "Curiosity".

As if anti-racist activism belongs in some collector's cabinet of the strange and wonderful rather than out there in the real world.

Yet anti-racist points are being raised through art at the Norwich Castle Museum alongside such curios as a sheep-headed dog, Peeping Tom photography, and a fine array of kidney stones.

To be fair, this anti-racist art also keeps company with works of local luminary Sir Thomas Browne, and some intricate sketches by Leonardo da Vinci, along with some other fabulous art.

Curiosity is defined as "a form of resistance to received ideas" in the exhibition brochure. 

In a sense, so is anti-racism.  Racism does seem to be characterised by a marked lack of curiosity.

So maybe curiosity itself is an anti-racist act? 

From Phaidon:

In 1970, Caroline Hunter, a young black chemist working at the (Polaroid) film company's lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, chanced upon some South African identity documents, which appeared to suggest her employer was helping to assist in the administration of racial segregation.

Hunter went on to found the Polaroid Workers Revolutionary Movement, and campaigned against the firm's involvement in the production of South African pass books, or racially specific identity documents, which black citizens were required to carry when traveling outside of designated areas.

Polaroid withdrew from South Africa in 1977. Nevertheless, the photographic innovations they developed live on, at least in the work of the brilliant photographic artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin.

I.D. 2 (2012) by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
(For their exhibitions), they employ the little-known Polaroid ID-2 camera, once used by SA's authorities to produce pass-book portraits.

According to South African born Broomberg, the ID-2 has a flash-boost facility, enabling photographers to take detailed, reliable photographs of black faces - something that proved notoriously difficult with Western film stock, which was developed largely for a white audience.

"Black skin absorbs 42% more light. The button boosts the flash exactly 42%," Broomberg explained to The Guardian newspaper. "It makes me believe it was designed for this purpose."

Yet, rather than use the camera for portraiture, the pair have photographed South Africa's beautiful flora, using the land camera, in both its white and black skin settings, to celebrate the country's bounty and diversity, while keeping in mind its choppy past.

I.D. 17 (2012) by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
In all, this appears to (make) a sensitive, politically nuanced show, free from the didacticism common to less agile political commentary.

To find our more, visit Norwich Castle Museum, or read The Guardian piece

I.D. 10 (2012) by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

More examples of this subtle activism 
at Norwich Castle Museum's Curiosity exhibition 
ongoing until January 5, 2014.

Friday, 6 December 2013

"Harmony and equal opportunities"

NELSON MANDELA 1918 - 2013

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. 

It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

—Rivonia trial, 1964

Monday, 2 December 2013


More fun from the East Anglian Patriots

Exclamation marks!
Rude list of imperatives!
Crude labelling!
Fanciful knight about to stab his own knee!

Excruciatingly shameful spelling mistake!

It can only be the poster work of far right morons so sure of their own superiority that they kick the ball into their own goal, again and again.

So far shared by 12 other idiots who fail to see the irony.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Curiosity at the Castle Museum

From The London Review of Books:

The objects collected in Curiosity are – to put it mildly – varied. They range from blown-glass models of sea creatures, made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka between the 1850s and 1890s, to a collection of agates, alabaster, quartz and jasper put together by Roger Caillois, a collaborator of Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris, to a vitrine displaying tiny artworks made from split lengths of human hair, collected by the artist Susan Hiller, to Richard Wentworth’s snapshots of traffic cones or abandoned gloves or old boots.

Curiosity: Art & the Pleasures of Knowing

Part of the pleasure of the cabinet of curiosities is, of course, that ‘curiosity’ has two meanings: the ideal Wunderkammer is an assembly of curious things collected by curious people. And some of the freakiest things in the show represent both kinds of curiosity at once. There’s an impossible-looking series of photographs of popes and bishops looking through telescopes: it’s hard to imagine a more recherchĂ© subject for a collector. They were all found by Laurent Grasso, who trawled through the Vatican archives for any pictures of pontiffs handling astronomical instruments. There’s no clue as to what the clerics are actually doing. Studying? Posing? Disapproving? Looking for God? And then there’s Nina Katchadourian, who spent a few years photographing fellow passengers in the aeroplanes she was travelling in: intrusive, nosy, curious, she was a collector of sleeping strangers. Also on display is her series of self-portraits taken inside aeroplane lavatories, done ‘in the Flemish style’. From a distance, she indeed looks like a figure in a Flemish painting wearing headdress and ruff; up close, the headdress reveals itself to be a white vest draped over a curved cushion balanced on the artist’s head, and the ruff a series of paper tissues tucked into the neck of her top.

Have you ever wondered why other passengers take so long in the aircraft loo?

CURIOSITY: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing
28 September 2013 – 5 January 2014

Curator Brian Dillon says:
Like the cabinet of curiosities of the 17th century, which mixed science and art, ancient and modern, reality and fiction, this exhibition refuses to choose between knowledge and pleasure. It juxtaposes historical periods and categories of objects to produce an eccentric map of curiosity in its many senses.
This is an exhibition devoted to wonder, awe and mystery in contemporary art and beyond. It draws on the rich tradition of the Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, reveals surprising meetings between art and science, and explores the ways that artists today mine themes of fascination, inquiry, obsession, monstrosity and invention. Its content ranges from seventeenth-century collections of manmade and natural wonders to key works by contemporary artists such as Aura Satz and Pablo Bronstein.

Curiosity is among our most ambiguous impulses. It is at the heart of scientific discovery, artistic exploration and technological innovation. And yet it is also a sin or scandal: for centuries curiosity was condemned for its impious interest in secrets that belonged to God, and we live today in a world of surveillance and public confession. This exhibition gives free reign to curiosity in its many senses, contriving a kind of modern Wunderkammer in which awe, the desire for objective knowledge and a sense of the sheer strangeness of the world of things can cohabit. The show will not shy away from the more prurient or scandalized sense of curiosity.

The exhibition brings together artworks and artefacts from five centuries of rigorous inquiry and delightful strangeness. Drawing on the collections of major museums in the UK and abroad, it includes examples from cabinets of curiosities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, paintings and drawings that reflect not only the curious mind of the artist but the collector’s immersion among oddities and wonders, and specimens from medical and natural history.

The focus of the exhibition will be on the ways that recent art has engaged this earlier history of curiosity and its contemporary forms. It will include works by such artists as Nina Katchadourian, who conceives of her work as a form of heightened ‘attention’ (a key term in the show) and Katie Paterson, whose explorations of astronomy and related sciences maintain a strong sense of wonder. Among others whose work responds to the questing and wondrous spirit of the exhibition are Gunda Förster and Laurent Grasso.

Curated by writer and critic Brian Dillon, the exhibition has been originated by Hayward Touring, organized in collaboration with Turner Contemporary. It is produced in association with Cabinet: a quarterly magazine that playfully crosses the boundaries between art, science, literature, history, philosophy and popular culture.

Please visit What's On pages for a range of events associated with Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing. The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library is also hosting several events during the exhibition, please visit their website for details.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sing with Pride

Sing with Pride, the Norwich Pride choir, will be singing at this year's World Aids Day Service - Sunday 1st December, 2.30pm, St John's on Timberhill. All welcome.

November with the Norfolk Humanists

From the Norfolk Humanists:

Clive Lewis (pictured above left, with members), Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich South, prompted a lively discussion on 'Progressive' politics pointing out that the word 'Progressive' is often used carelessly by Parties to denote a new era for the body politic. 

What the substance of that 'era' might be tends to get lost in the realities of economic pressures and an obsession with private funding, which appears to be the only answer to all our ills. 'Progressive' is certainly a word that means different things to different people, so perhaps it would be better not to use it at all. 

The presence of a new Labour candidate prompted members to examine the 'Blair' era and discuss why voters had become disillusioned with party politics and politics in general.  

Clive was the first person in his family to go to University where he studied economics and has worked as a BBC journalist. We talked about whether economists were effective advisers and whether they now hold any validity following the biggest economic crash most of us have experienced in our lifetime. We naturally talked about Government funding of faith schools and selection procedures, as well as the many private funding initiatives that seem to be taking over every social/civic function in our society and where accountability and transparency seem sadly lacking. 

As humanists we want to see a fair, equal, humane and tolerant society with all its members making a contribution to that aim.

The Norfolk Humanists said a fond farewell to Vince Chainey (pictured above) who was one of the founding members of the Norfolk Secularist and Humanist Group. Vince is moving away from Norfolk.

As a Celebrant Vince conducted over one thousand celebrations. The Norfolk Humanists thanked Vince for all his hard work both as Chairman and as a member. Vince will be much missed. 

The Norfolk Humanists in the New Year

January 2014 

We will be starting off the new year (January meeting) with a presentation from our local Celebrants who conduct Humanist weddings, funerals and birth ceremonies. 

If you are contemplating a Humanist wedding you may be interested in getting some ideas for your ceremony from an experienced Humanist Celebrant. When it comes to the final exit, you may have your own ideas about how this should be conducted; perhaps as an alternative to the impersonal funeral service frequently experienced. Celebrants can help you prepare. Finally, the birth of a new born is a very special occasion and a Celebrant can help you organise a non-religious naming ceremony. 

Further details can be found on the Ceremonies page.

Monday, 25 November 2013

We are Norwich presents -

Hollie McNish 
the Piratones

Immigrants welcome here: 

an evening of poetry, politics and music


If you hate the racist Home Office van, welcome immigrants to Norwich (and beyond), celebrate multiculturalism and love to be entertained - this is the event for you.

Thanks to our friends at the Blueberry - this event is now free for everyone, but you will be able to give donations to We are Norwich.

Whilst the venue is accessible to wheelchair users access to the toilets is a little on the snug side.

The Blueberry
28th November 2013

20 Cowgate
Norwich NR3 1SY 
19.00 hours

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Despicable hate crime

From the Norwich Evening News by Peter Walsh:

Norwich grandmother of eight tells of ‘terrifying’ gang assault by youths who kicked her in head and urinated on her.

A disabled Norwich grandmother has bravely spoken out about the terrifying moment she was abused and beaten by a gang of youths, some of whom urinated on her, in a sickening attack as she walked home from the shops.

Mother of four Denise Bright, 57. who lives near Fifers Lane, Norwich, has told her story to encourage members of the public to come forward with information.

The grandmother of eight underwent life-saving surgery last Christmas after an artery in her groin exploded and was just used to getting out again before her life was turned upside down in the attack.

Mrs Bright, who has back problems, had been to the shops at the junction of Brightwell Road and Catton Grove Road and was returning home when she was approached by a large group of teenagers. Some of them were on bicycles and they shouted abuse at her.

She said: 
I was walking home minding my own business, not causing anyone any problem, when all of a sudden these youths started to shout at me because I had a really bad limp because of the operation I had at Christmas.

They just called me a retard and a waste of space. They said people like me shouldn’t be walking the earth. I just said, ‘just go away, leave me alone’ and the next thing I know I was kicked in the back of my legs - at the knee - and knocked to the ground and they started kicking me in the head and in the body - kicking all my shopping all over the road.

I was trying to scrape my dog food up and they were kicking it out of my hand and then they weed all over me.
Mrs Bright managed to get up and ran into the road to try and escape her attackers and attract the attention of passing motorists.

She said: 
One car nearly hit me but swerved and carried on but the next car stopped. These two lads said ‘get in the car, get in the car’. They looked pretty scared but saw the youths running off.

If they hadn’t picked me up I hate to think what things could’ve happened. I was petrified.
Fortunately Mrs Bright only suffered bruising as a result of the attack, which happened at about 7.30pm on Saturday, October 19, but the psychological impact has been much more damaging.

She said: 
I don’t want to go out - I’m so frightened of going out. I don’t know what these lads look like so I can’t keep my eyes open for them. I’m so frightened they’re going to come after me. It’s got to the stage where all I want to do is stay indoors and that’s not right.

I’ve already got spinal problems so I like to try and get out and walk if I can. My husband comes and picks me up - I don’t want to give up. I’m trying to get my life back on track.

If anyone saw anything please come forward because these lads need to be caught because they’re not going to stop at me.
Anyone with information should contact PC Alexis Darby at Norwich North Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

■ Have you been the victim of a crime? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email


This is not just crime, this is hate crime

As described by Mrs Bright this seems a case where cowardly youths have deliberately selected a disabled person to attack, safe in the knowledge that she is unable to defend herself.

Here is the definition of a hate crime, according to Norwich City Council website: 

Hate crime or incidents

A hate crime or incident is an action which is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s perceived:
- Disability
- race
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender status

Hate incidents or crimes can take many forms including:
- physical attacks - such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
- threat of attack - including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
- verbal abuse or insults - offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.

A victim does not have to be a member of the group to perceive the incident as hate related.

For further information on hate crime, please visit the Home Office website.

If you feel that you have been targeted in this way, you can report the incident using the antisocial behaviour hotline.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Local Crafts at The Forum Thursday until Saturday

This is always a craft show worth a visit, as it showcases a thrilling variety of local hand-made crafts and exploratory arts at reasonable prices. 

Modern Country Crafts is where you can check out talented local designers at the very beginning of their careers; doctoral students turned silversmiths, nature lovers turned photographers and teachers turned hatters.  

Thanks to The Forum, this relaxed public space is where entrepreneurs can test the market, craftspeople nervously set out their stalls, and visionaries share their dreams -  

Past Exhibitors

Monday, 18 November 2013

Norfolk Humanists: "Good is Great"

The Norfolk Humanists were represented at the annual British Humanist Association GRAM meeting at the Institute of Education in London last Saturday.

The meeting was to encourage and support regional British Humanist groups. Here is David Warden of Plymouth Humanists who presented a slice of history of the Humanist movement.  

At least fifteen other regional groups were represented, including one member from Ipswich, and several from Cambridge.

BHA staff were present to talk about their work and research, and there were also presentations on side subjects such as Sunday Assemblies. Michael from Norwich Humanists (on the right) seems quite sceptical.

Representatives of affiliated organisations such as GALHA explained the processes that brought them to Humanism.

Humanist and LGTB groups mutually benefit from such affiliations, and Humanist groups are invited to march at Pride events - they can even apply to GALHA for their own banner!

It has to be acknowledged that our gathering was mainly "male and pale". Humanist groups needs more diversity!

Representatives from groups all over the country were able to network and share good ideas and best practices. Yes, it was a talking shop, but with focus and purpose.

The day was too short.

Interested? The Norfolk Humanists have a meeting in Norwich this Thursday 21st November @ 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane with the Labour Party PCC, Clive Lewis.

Clive Lewis will be speaking on Education. 

Format: Introduction; 
15 minute break to chat followed by a 
Q&A session. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

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And please visit the Dorset Humanists' website that won an award at the BHA meeting - and GALHA.