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London pro-choice protest tonight

12:31 pm - February 6th 2008

by Jess McCabe    

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Abortion Rights protest imageA quick reminder to London readers: Abortion Rights is calling for people to come out in force this evening, for a protest against efforts to restrict access to abortion and “as a proud public reminder that those who support a woman’s right to choose are in the overwhelming majority”.

The protest has been mobilised to counter Ann Widdecome’s ‘Not on your life…’ roadshow, which the Tory MP is dragging up and down the country to promote ‘pro-life’ amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would chip away at women’s rights.

Similar protests will take place when the roadshow hits Liverpool, Coventry and Cardiff – see the Abortion Rights website for more info. The group has also produced a detailed briefing on the bill’s progress through Parliament, and efforts to tack on anti-abortion amendments.

Here is a flyer with directions and more information.

This was cross-posted at The F Word

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About the author
Jess is editor of the online magazine The F-Word.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality ,Feminism ,Sex equality ,Westminster

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Reader comments

Thanks for reminding us Jess, see you later today!

You make me laugh on this blog.

Lots of nice comfortable, right-on sentiment, ‘let’s all go to a pro-choice rally’ when to all material intents and purposes this country has abortion on demand.

Not a single word though about the new report from the Centre for Social Cohesion entitled ‘Crimes of the Community’.

This report gives (yet more) compelling evidence that a large swathe of Asian society in the UK is violently supressing ‘choice’- choice of whether to marry, who to marry, when to marry, what caste and race and religion to marry… Girls being raped overseas until they have children (no abortion for them), girls being chased out of home into a life of fear and deprivation, rampant and unchecked racism against non-Asian partners.

All the sources in that report are absolutely 24 carat reliable, because they are grass-roots. I myself have worked with some of them, and corresponded now with hundreds of people on the sharp end of exactly the problems the report addresses.

Because they live at home with their families, girls like Shafilea Ahmed are among THE most vulnerable young women in this country today.

They don’t have a ‘majority position’ with hundreds of organisations, thousands of politicians and millions of dollars worldwide fighting their corner for them, unlike the pro choice lobby.

Multiculturalism and the ‘racist’ tag are still being used to silence those who speak out in their defence. Left-of-centre types don’t seem to find this too troubling.

It is especially odious that politically fashionable young Asians who don’t have such problems are unwilling to stand up for their brothers and sisters properly, just because it would mean admitting that the problem is with the Asian and not the white community.

I hope your well organised, well funded and supported protest made you feel better, but I have to tell you that abortion rights are yesterday’s news when it comes to protecting truly vulnerable women and fighting for true equality today in our country.

That’s the uncomfortable truth.

I’m not sure when this became a ‘post on demand’ blog, but I did download the report the other day and will get around to reading it properly soon – heavy workload getting in the way at the moment – at which point I may have something more substantial.

From your synopsis, and my brief skim over the content, what the report is saying seems in keeping with my own experience, having worked in the NHS (in public health/community development) particular in terms of what I was hearing from colleagues on the mental health side vis a vis their efforts to make inroads into particular South Asian communities…

…and knowing that is where I start to have a little bit of problem with aspects of the provenance of the report because, important though the issues are, what I’ve managed to skim read is overly concerned with eye grabbing ‘headline issues’, like honour killings and FGM, to the exclusion of other equally important but less headline worthy issues, like the hidden rates of mental health problems in certain communities and the recent emergence of reported cases of elder abuse and abandonment.

(Try getting anyone to admit that the latter exists and then we’ll get onto how hidden some of the issues the report tries to address actually are)

It seems interesting in so far as it goes, but its far from comprehensive in its outlook and misses, entirely, a significant number of important issues – which makes its fairly typical CSC/Civitas fayre.

Different people have different interests and I’ve no doubt that someone, if not myself, will get around to the report in due course, but that in no way warrants you, or anyone else, having a hissy fit because no one here has jumped immediately onto you own favourite hobby horse.

If you’ll excuse me pointing this out, while I can appreciate the need for anonymity given the subject matter of your website, you might have been better served to pay that bit extra and go through a proper anonymity service in acquiring your domain rather than simply submitting false information.

For future reference, it is a breach of terms to use false information when registering a top level domain – because of the public sector origins of the domain registration, the primary reason why US domain registers are public is FOIA compliance.

If one of the top level registrars chose to check up on you, or received a complaint, you could lose your domain on a T&C violation in a matter of minutes and would have no comebacks.

If I were you, I’d have a backup domain handy and move to one of the privacy services, just to be sure.

Mix Together, you’re usual outrage hides your ignorance, Sunny (him who founded this blog) has written about this issue (as have I) plenty of times over at Pickled Politics. That report was commented on just the other day.

LC has only been around for a few months and hasn’t quite got round to covering every single issue as yet…

Oh I see from your comments over at Rupa’s you’ve got a beef with Sunny/PP. Probably not much use trying to reason with you then…

If resorting to veiled threats is your preferred method of managing posts here, then it’s not much of a liberal conspiracy.

MixTogether is my site and I can establish that within minutes if you are concerned about me as a poster here. Beyond that I can see no reason for you saying what you’ve just said.

Returning to the matter at hand:

Nobody is demanding you do anything. I have just made my own observations about the link between your liberal remit and the actual content of the blog. If this is just a posterboard for the same entirely worthy but tired old themes of the left that have been around since the 60s that’s fine, but your ‘About Us’ page suggests you yearn for something fresh.

If you were as politically switched-on as you would have your co-conspirators believe, then you would know how difficult it is to argue even the most basic points about honour crime and Asian racism against the backdrop of UK political correctness. You would understand instinctively the need for campaigners like Karma Nirvana and others to grab headlines, because it’s hard enough for them usually to grab a by-line. It borders on insulting for someone who runs a blog such as this to start obfuscating about ‘equally important but less headline worthy issues’. You can’t be a political flash-Harry with a blog and then feign ignorance of how the media machine works.

Don’t mince your words about ‘certain communities and the recent emergence of reported cases of elder abuse and abandonment’ – just say what you mean. Who’s got time to waste playing games?


having ‘beef’ is definitely for the streets. I trust this is a more cerebral arena, which is why I have to raise an eyebrow at your kiddy attempt to shut me down.

If this is just a club for a few like-minded mates to stroke each others’ egos then I’d be more than happy to leave. If you are worth your salt then let’s have a debate.

The only problem I have as a campaigner is with the piss-poor level of comment on honour issues and Asian racism available on the net. As a sometime blogger myself, there is not a single decent point of real debate to link up with. The only conspiracy appears to be one of silence.

I am a single grass-roots campaigner working against heavy odds to try and bring some reason into the thinking around mixed couples. I have been doing it for 2 years on my own and in my spare time, and have found sod all support from any of the outlets which you might suppose would help someone doing what I’m doing.

Sunny Hundal knows I have been after a word for well over a year- he promised to get back to me and never did. Why should I feel all warm and fuzzy about that? He told me that he was in a mixed relationship at the time, so I have no idea what his problem is with MixTogether.

I can’t be arsed to spend more time explaining myself- I shouldn’t have to. If you think the issue is worthwhile then let’s talk, otherwise best of luck.

He told me that he was in a mixed relationship at the time, so I have no idea what his problem is with MixTogether.

There is no problem – I just can’t be asked to comment on a report I haven’t had the chance to read, and is published by a right-wing thinktank which has its own agenda (that I don’t share). I’m not obliged to write about everything you want MT – so stop stamping your feet in annoyance when I don’t. It is covered enough on other blogs.

Jess – Did you manage to make it tonight? I ran into Cath. It was a good turnout I thought, lots more to be done!

I think my point about a beef is proven…

MT I had a great deal of respect for you and your site/campaign (I actually share good many of its aims and came close to setting up something similar; I’m mixed race and in a mixed relationship) but the way you’re conducting yourself belittles you.

I’m a patient man but I’m not going to stand by and let such combative attitudes slide when they are uninformed and pejorative toward projects and people I respect.


I think you miss my point entirely on domain registration regulations.

I’m not suggesting that MixTogether isn’t your site, what I am doing is informing you that you are not permitted, under the terms of service of ANY registrar to supply false information as to your identity when registering a top level domain and that, for historical reasons relating to the origins of the domain naming system, WHOIS records on TLDs and all US domains are a matter of public record.

If you don’t believe me, check the T&Cs at somewhere like Network Solutions or any other US register or dig back through ICANN’s archives.

Now if someone were motivated to try to take down your site, because they dislike the subject matter you’re dealing with, they would need only to complain to a primary registrar that you have supplied false information and you can kiss your domain goodbye – that or you could hang on to it but only by providing your real identity and contact details, which I suspect is something you’d much prefer not to have to do…

…all of which is why I suggested you move your domain to a proxy registrar, like Domains By Proxy (just search for “domain anonymous” on Google for other similar services), which will give you the anonymity you require without putting you in breach of the terms and conditions.

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