Declaration 11, A Thank You Note

Declaration 11; A Thank You Note
Article 11.

 

  1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

This one’s for the crowd funders
This one’s for the man sat at a desk
Licking a stamp to put on the envelop
This one’s for the woman stood at the desk
Who takes the envelop to the post box
This one’s not for the post man
For the post man doesn’t know about his involvement
He’s only posting post through letter boxes
This one’s for the residents who open the envelop
Sit with it, deciding whether to get involved in the action
The action for the defence
This one’s for the crowd funders
Who saw the post on social media
Cutting out the man sat at the desk
The woman who took the envelopes
The post man who didn’t know what he was posting
Going direct to the residents
Who sat and decided whether to give a pound or two
For the action, the action for defence
And this one’s just a note of thanks
To all those who tried
To all those who got iinvolved
To all who risked the hurt
The words
The emotional input
For the sake of those who took the action
The action for the defence
Who knew the heavier penalty we had to face
If only we hadn’t sat with the man at the desk
Stood with the woman who took the post
Delivered with the post man
To friends, family, neigbourly residents
and did something, something for the action
For the defence against the penalties that followed
This ones for your support
Thank you.

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Declaration 10; Hear Me

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Article 10 reads; Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

The key word in the recently announced London Plan is intensification. This means building in every available place, up to the sky, down in the ground. Look around Crouch Enders. Intensification has arrived. How do you feel about it? Do you care about the sleepy, relatively isolated village that became a trendy hot spot for hummous eaters being more and more overcrowded? Growing further away from what it was, what it had. The lesser keyword is discussion. Discussion with a community. Crouch Enders will you just continue to let the few chew the fat for you? Or are you heading for fairness and equality? Heading to have your voice heard?

Declaration 10; Hear Me

Take note
Take notes
Write notes
Make notes
Print notes
Post notes
Prove to us
You heard
You listened
You understood
Confirm
Clarify
Summarise
Make points
Point forward
Give hope
Inspire
Advocate
Speak up
Be our voice
Our silent voice
Our unheard voice
Our voice
Ignored
Neglected
Abused
Domestically
Financially
Physically
Mentally
Within systems
Institutions
Care provision
By Employers
Teachers
Doctors
Nurses
Accountants
Developers
Bankers
Profiting
From silence
On issues
Unheard
On subjects
Silenced
Within systems
Exploiting
Exploitative
Manipulative
False
Lying, hiding
Shame faced denying
The hurt
Received
The pain
Convincing
Silence
Is the way
The way today
Of protection
Then talk for us
Talk to us
Tell us about
Fairness
Equality
Ensure
Enable
Belief
Value
Experience
Of loss
Of hurt
Of loss again
Of loss of
Many things lost
In change
Outside
Of us
Our home
Our town
Within environments
Owned
Owned by few
A few not like us
Deciding
What will be
What happens to our
Family
Friends
Community
Without consent
Through powers taken
Powers taking
Power
Without asking
Without consent
Without permission
And talk to us
Now
About fairness
About equality again
Not of recompense
Nor benefit
Or compensation
For that lost
Is gone now
Gone
Taken
Forsaken
Hear us speak of hope

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Declaration 9 – Exploring Exile

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Article 9 reads: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

The human rights tree on the green now has a tent where grass used to lie

Declaration 9 – Exploring Exile
Winter, cold
Days getting longer
Winter, hibernation
Sleep, as always makes us stronger

Longer and stronger
By the fire heating the hearth
Reflecting in flames
Burning to an ember before ash

Burning and reflecting
On who we were, what we had
The dreams we made, the work we gave
Before planning before policy

Dreaming and working
Dreaming and working
Making and giving
Making and giving

Who we were
When we were young
Way back in time
In springtime

In springtime
Which now returns
Finding us reborn but different
Older, less hopeful, resigned

Finding us, resigned
To a loss we fought to save
Our place, in time, a flicker
We name, regeneration

Dreaming and working
Making and Giving
Dreaming and Working
Making and Giving

Stronger in sunshine
We find a key within
To unlock those things
We never truly lost

Those real things
Making us who we are
Returning refreshed
To what we have again

Renewed strength
In the friends we made
The things they gave
Strong in knowing a name

Making and Giving
Dreaming and working
Making and Giving
Dreaming and Working

Exiled from a place
This is of our time in exile
But our deeds, our work
Our dreams never met with exile

And so we Dream
And so we Work
And so we Make
And so we Give

And as we give
Those things we made
From within our work
Built in our dreams – we feel a long way off from exile

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Declaration 8: An Effective Remedy

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Declaration 8 – An Effective Remedy

Article 8 reads: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

The aspirin is an effective remedy
For headaches. And is said to be
Helpful to the heart.

The aspirin is effectively available
In chemists. And can be got from
A high street near you.

The aspirin is actually and easily
Digestible. And, last time I looked
Very cheap to buy.

Aspirins remain an effective remedy
Unlike judges. And councillors
Crooked from the start.

Aspirins remain an effective remedy
For the body. Not for developers
Driving their fast cars.

The aspirin is an effective remedy
except for the law. You need a lot more
than aspirins for that headache

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Declaration 7; Protection

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Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

With deference to Bob Dylan and Massive Attack for there early words on equality and protection

 

All are equal before the law
Haw Haw
All are entitled to protection of the law
Ho Ho Ho its xmas

Equality he spoke these words
As if a wedding vow
Then stood in front of judges
To take the force of the blow
Protection

The homes come down
The land is bruised
The town is scarred
The judges cruise
Protection

The investor spoke
He waved his wad
He had a toke
Spat on the sod
Protection

He built high walls

Took up your light
No privacy
No fight
Protection

He soiled the ground
Played in dirt
Don’t turn round
He can’t be hurt
Protection

His wallet is big
He pays the price
His honour worships him
Says he’s really nice
Protection

There is no protection
From the property developer
From the noise
Made by his guys
No school house
No fire station
Just emotional
Molestation
Protection

He builds the gates
Protection
He alarms his fence
Protection
He takes whats his
Protection
He cannot miss out
Protection

And you just lie
And take it
No Protection
I hear you sigh
And fake it
No Protection

I heard you protest
No protection
I heard you petition
For protection
I heard you say
You want protection

You wanted to save
A building
A green, a square,
From their protection
A tree, an idea
A job, a community
From their protection

A social scene
A way of life
A preference
Safe from their protection

All are equal before the law
Haw haw
Entitled to protection of the law
Ho Ho Ho
I write these lines at christmas
For I believe in Santa Claus
Plastic toys
and Protection

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Going Forwards Going Backwards

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The title for this one is a direct lift from Colin Hambrook, who in an award free review of Disability Arts Online‘s year, gave freely and without malice, the following citation:

“Our 2017 blogger of the year award has to go to Richard Downes who set himself the target of posting once a week and has been furiously writing poetry covering his journeys, thoughts and reflections on humanity, life and disability over the past year.”

I humbly doff my cap to Colin. Just as I do towards local activist and admin of Hornsey Town Hall‘s facebook group who offered me this gratefully accepted appointment;

“as Admins of the  Hornsey Town Hall FB group would like to ask you to consider becoming our poet in residence. There are no duties, financial rewards or obligations but obviously we hope you’ll grace our pages if you feel so minded”.

I felt so minded. Just as I felt so minded to take up the aforementioned Colin’s suggestion that I start performing my poetry. I did this at DAISY Fest 2017 (Disability Arts In Surrey) where I nabbed open mic slots in Farnham and Epsom. DAISY gave me a new sense of community and involvement. It opened me up to how good and how disastrous I can be whilst learning my lines and paying my dues.

2017 was about the honours.

Will 2018 lead to more performance and this poet finally finding his voice

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One New Years Eve Many Years Ago

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I tell this story sometimes. I’m not sure I ever wrote it down. That I have now is because of this article in Disability Arts Online.

There was this pub on the corner of Stroud Green Road. I was to meet my mate Neale there.  Neale is arty and really committed to it. As such he knows arty people and he is always happy to introduce his friends to me.

That night he introduced to two people.

First a woman who introduced herself. By name first and then with this; “I am an artist. My art is informed by my experience of gender”.

I accepted what she said before turning to a black man who also introduced himself by name first before going on to say; “I am an artist. My art is informed by my experience of race.

I accepted what he said before saying; “Hi. I’m Rich. I too am an artist. My art is informed by my experience of disability.”

The artists looked at each other. Looked at me. And said; “Naaaaaarrrrrrhhhhhhh!!!!! you’re not disabled”

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