Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous, Scriptures.

WELCOME TO THE OCCUPY FAITH WEBSITE

What Would Jesus Do?

Occupy Faith wishes to champion faith as something by the people, for the people. Taking ownership of the Self and entering a space in which the corruption of society has no power and no jurisdiction. We wish to facilitate community minded initiatives and actions motivated from this place. We all walk our own paths, and many of the paths carved from faith values are converging with the the global Occupy movement. We wish to provide a route that allows anarchists and Anglicans to walk together in solidarity. We also will raise a dissenting voice if religious institutions stray from the path.

 

Occupy Faith exists to swing the iron sword of justice across the collars of the corrupt, to shine a prophetic light on the collusion of establishment religious bodies with power and corrosive political influence. We catch ecclesial power with its pants down, we out the pretence of religion as mere ritualised hypocrisy at sub-zero temperatures, and a startled world finds itself in the headlights of truth-seeking and justice.  When the intercourse of church and state shudders to its toxic climax, our pen of truth-telling flashes out of its scabbard.  If you have been mis-sold a heavenly life insurance policy you could be entitled to compensation, or if you’ve been touched inappropriately by one of God’s alleged representatives, show us where.  Truth in tablet form.  Throw the moneychangers out of the temple, the only gems on our collection plate are your opinions.  We want to hear from you.

 

If you are involved in community building and would like our help organising events, if you are interested in our events, or if you would like us to talk to your parish about the shared values of faith and Occupy, we would love to hear from you. Unfortunately religious bodies are not above immorality or coercion from business and political interests. Funding bodies are more generous to some faiths than others, funding for faith events can be squandered or misappropriated, and the piety of the cloth can often veil violent or sexual abuse.

 

If you, or anyone you know, are aware of victimisation or abuse of, or by, a religious institution, and would like our legal, emotional, or ethical support, please write to us, via the e-mail address below.

 

Write to us at:  info [at] occupyfaith.org.uk (substituting an @ sign in place of the [at])

 

INITIAL STATEMENT

Occupy Faith UK is an autonomous organisation that has an affinity with the global Occupy movement. We engage with the values that faith communities and those with other spiritual and political faith share in order to raise awareness of issues of social, economic and environmental justice as they affect communities across the UK. We welcome collaboration and are proud that the Pilgrimage for Justice is also supported by many organisations, including faith organisations working on social and economic justice.

We are of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities, dis/abilities and faiths, standing together in engaged, transformative action for:

  • An open democracy, with fairness and justice in a balanced system, encouraging public conversations that respect every person’s voice in determining the quality and future of our lives.
  • Economic policies which create social equality and justice and through an equitable shared responsibility create a common public good.
  • A generous society that provides high quality education, affordable housing, adequate income, meaningful work, and universal access to health care and quality of life.
  • Fighting cuts in welfare services that are neither necessary nor inevitable, seeking an end to tax injustice and the undemocratic representation of corporations over people.
  • The safeguarding and well-being of our shared planet through strong environmental policies, sustainable energies and business regulation.
  • An end to oppression, and in standing in solidarity with the oppressed, call for the termination of all governments actions in causing this oppression.
  • Peace among people and nations based on human rights, compassion for all who suffer, religious liberty, mutual respect, and civil rights.
  • Socially fair policies based on hospitality, generosity and respect for the vast diversity of all human beings regardless of our social identity.
  • Solidarity with the Occupy movement, because our values have been betrayed by an economic and political elite who have proven indifferent to the common good and their moral obligations to the public welfare.
  • A faith in a better, more spiritually fulfilling future; and being active in bringing about this change, because we all have an obligation to continue to challenge this economic and political elite, until systemic, compassionate change is actively in place.

Disseminate our media channels:

 

https:www.facebook.com/occupyfaithuk

https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyFaith_UK

Write to us at:  info [at] occupyfaith.org.uk (substituting an @ sign in place of [at])

 

The Webmasters for this site are:  Alan Bolwell, Kit Klarenberg

 

Spread the word!  Peace.

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

Margaret Thatcher

We as Occupy spent some shivering months on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral challenging the brutal and faithless legacy of the Thatcherite economy.  There is thus an irony in that same “People’s Cathedral” being the locus of the ceremonial for the Iron Lady.  Trustee of Occupy Faith UK, Kit Klarenberg, scholar and faith-based political commentator and raconteur extraordinaire, comments…

DOWNLOAD “MARGARET THATCHER” BY KIT KLARENBERG

 

“The Lady’s funeral wasn’t quite so vulvic. The Iron Cadaver’s final journey was phallic in its rectilinear rigidity – a lance shearing its way from the bowels of Parliament to St Paul’s, thunderously journeying in the manner of so many new acceded British monarchs, who are required by convention to meet the aldermen of the City of London, renewing its charter in the process. Thatcher mapped this route and authorized it herself before she died, making sure that her corpse would osmolotically absorb the posthumous mojo from the bronze bust of Churchill opposite Parliament, and the engorged stone spire of Nelson in Trafalgar Square, along the way. Upon reaching St. Paul’s, the casket containing this fallen Boudicca (another take no prisoners ginger ninja, who protected England from the deathless forces of blah blah blah) was transferred to another group of able-bodied belligerents. The assorted crowds were neither quite as emotive nor voluminous as those who witnessed Diana’s final descent, but they represented an even lower still proportion of Britons than the weeping of the media, and our political class, implied would be in attendance. Perhaps the rest of Britain thought it would be too crowded if literally every citizen of the United Kingdom was in attendance, and stayed home in an act of mutually assured lethargy. Perhaps they just didn’t care.” (Download the rest of the paper “Margaret Thatcher” by Kit Klarenberg)

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

Vivian Wineman

In the light of recent media criticisms from within the Jewish community of Vivian Wineman, Jewish Vice-Chair of the Inter Faith Network,  Occupy Faith, wishes to echo these criticisms on an interfaith level.  Occupy Faith is a multifaith partnership of women and men, including Jews and people of many other faiths.  We are committed to fostering economic and social justice in the world, challenging extremist violence, and supporting the Middle East Peace Process through a Jewish state within safe and secure borders, with just self-determination for the Palestinians.

Our Jewish friends across various Occupier and non-Occupier organisations, and colleagues of other faiths, have drawn public attention to corruption in the “Interfaith Industry” – something about which commentators in the Jewish Chronicle such as Martin Bright and Geoffrey Alderman and also Douglas Murray have already written at length.

This corruption includes collusion by the “Interfaith Industry” with certain extremist groups to advance their own power and political influence – notably the collusion with Jamaat-e-Islami front organisations by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation which has widely been condemned.  In response, Jewish and Bangladeshi Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist groups published an Open Letter of concern on 10 May 2013 to the President of the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council about the guilt of these groups in genocide and supporting terrorism.  Wineman has totally failed to respond to any of these concerns expressed to him as President of the Board of Deputies.

 

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/05/10/open-letter-to-the-jewish-community-leadership-%E2%80%9Cis-the-jewish-community-talking-to-the-right-kind-of-muslims%E2%80%9D/

 

Our colleagues of different faiths similarly drew attention to the overt and unlawful religious discrimination by the Inter Faith Network of which Wineman is Vice Chair, against peaceful minority religious groups (eg. Druids, and also Mormons with whom the American Jewish community have excellent relations and extensive interfaith dialogue).

In response to these legitimate expressions of concern, Vivian Wineman has abused his role as Vice Chair of the Inter Faith Network and President of the Board of Deputies, and has responded to these criticisms of the “Interfaith Industry” by acting as an autocratic bully and putting political pressure and threatening the livelihoods, funding and work lives of clergy colleagues of different faiths, for simply expressing their opinion on these issues.

While Wineman’s future in Jewish communal roles is a sovereign matter for the Jewish community to decide, for us as a multifaith community of Jews and other faiths, we as Occupy Faith demand Wineman’s immediate removal from office as Jewish leader in the Inter Faith Network and other senior interfaith positions representing the Jewish community alongside other faiths, as his bullying and autocratic behaviour brings discredit both to the Jewish community and to the cause of fairness and free speech – many within the Jewish community have already strongly criticised his conduct.  We add as a footnote that there is an irony in the draft code of conduct by the Board of Deputies against bullying and harassment, since the behaviour of the Vivian Wineman breaks virtually all these principles.

 

The Board of Occupy Faith UK*

21 May 2013

**Occupy Faith UK (InterFaith Alliance UK) operates on egalitarian principles of the Occupy movement in which all ordinary members are equal and have an equal voice. The Board of Occupy Faith UK (InterFaith Alliance UK) consists of Alan Bolwell, George Barda, Steve Burak, Kit Klarenberg, Caroline Craig-Hallam, Cherry Paine

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

Inter Faith Network Hypocrisy

Occupy Faith UK (Interfaith Alliance UK) in its Chair and Board of Trustees unanimously and officially opposes the illegal religious discrimination by the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (IFN), against the Druid Community – speaking as we do, as diverse faiths working together to promote equality, justice and respect for all faiths without discrimination.

On 30 April 2012, the Director of the Inter Faith Network, Harriet Crabtree, rejected the application by the Chair of the Druid Network, Phil Ryder, for TDN to join the Inter Faith Network.

The top human rights law firm, Bindmans LLP and friend of Occupy, has published this Legal Document which establishes clearly how the IFN Director, Harriet Crabtree, IFN Co-Chairs and Executive Committee have unlawfully discriminated against the Druid community in contravention of the Equality Act 2010 and related law.  You can download this document from the Religious Freedom UK website.

The Times Newspaper published this article covering this question of the illegal discrimination by the IFN against Druids, and the BBC presenter and Church of England clergyman, the Revd Peter Owen-Jones spoke out saying:

“The Inter Faith Network is publicly funded. By refusing entry to the Druid Network, it raises huge questions about whether it can continue to operate as a publicly funded body.”

 

Letter by the Board of Occupy Faith UK to the Inter Faith Network – 16 May 2013


Dear Revd Bob Fyffe, Dr Manazir Ahsan, Dr Harriet Crabtree and the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Network

We hope you had a joyous Beltane.  

With a dual sense of ennui and nameless dread, Occupy Faith UK (we are an IFN member organization, and we are speaking here as an incorporated legal entity) finds itself compelled anew to counter your recent correspondence of 3rd May 2013. In it you called our open letter to you of 9th April ‘defamatory’ without any explanation or actual content to your reply whatsoever. We again attach our original letter below this email.

Suffice to say, your response was disappointing, but ultimately unsurprising, amounting as it did to little more than a predictably desperate downpour of bureaucratic argot, a steadfast refusal to resolve basic questions, and inexorable references to the status, advancement and, indeed, quality of the strategic review. Considered in its totality, your latest communiqué called to mind an apparatchik from the Ministry of Truth in an incantatory trance, endlessly reiterating the mantra that Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia.

Nonetheless, we feel obliged to state our wholehearted agreement with the fundamental underpinning of your latest missive – namely, that it would be futile at this point for you to regurgitate the responses already given to our allegations (if not for the sake of brevity, then our collective sanity, at least). However, as the rejoinders you have offered to our contentions have not amounted to ‘answers’ by any objective definition of the term, we believe posing them again is a worthwhile (although, based on current trends, perhaps pointless) endeavour. We shall repeat them below, in the event they have slipped your minds.

1. You have repeatedly rebuffed the opportunity to enter into discussions with Bindmans LLP about the legality of your Membership Policy. Since the Strategic Review, of which you are quite so fond, is clearly not mandated by the AGM to address questions of legality – these issues can only be tackled by a full and frank dialogue with Bindmans. So as long as you remain intractably refused, rectification of the issues we have raised remain intangible. John Halford, Joint Head of Public Law and Human Rights at Bindmans, has made it clear that your representatives at Bates, Wells & Braithwate had requested your permission as their client to enter into such a dialogue with him to discuss the IFN’s illegal membership policy. Our colleagues are in close communication with Bindmans, and to date, we have not been advised that IFN has given permission to its lawyers to enter into any kind of on the record dialogue with Bindmans LLP on these legal questions – under any format or arrangement. Rather we have been informed to the contrary, and instead, what we do see is Harriet Crabtree and the IFN Co-Chairs manufacturing increasingly absurd, evasive and dishonest excuses about arrangements for such a dialogue. You demonstrate that the IFN is clearly too afraid to enter into such a dialogue on legal issues with Bindmans, because it knows it is legally in trouble.

2. Dr. Harriet Crabtree deceived the IFN’s AGM of 12th July 2012 and Dr. Crabtree as principal responsible officer for drafting AGM papers withheld documents, and thus the IFN falsely presented to the Meeting that only “two” members had raised concerns about the IFN’s illegal membership policy. As both Crabtree and the IFN as a whole well know, in fact a number of IFN Member Organisations had passed resolutions or issued formal statements through their officers expressing these concerns about the IFN’s membership policy.

3. The Chair of the Strategic Review has disgracefully refused to even hear, much less take on board, the substantive concerns held by a number of member bodies of the IFN as to the proper conduct of the Strategic Review. These concerns being, primarily, that the Review has been corrupted by threats barked by IFN attack dogs (or, ‘officers’) to damage the personal careers and livelihoods of clergy of different faiths, simply because they asked questions about the clear illegality of the IFN’s membership policy. In doing so, the IFN leadership has sought to stifle the freedom of expression of sovereign independent IFN member bodies, and their own members. In particular, we demand and will forcefully continue to demand a full and transparent investigation into the behaviour of one or two of the most senior officers of the Inter Faith Network whose shocking attacks on the livelihoods of our clergy friends of different faiths we have close knowledge of. We are quite ready to name and shame these IFN officers in public – we know who the culprits are, and that includes you, IFN Vice Chair, Vivian Wineman.

To distill the above points into easily digestible, query form, we provide you with the following quandaries:

  • Why did Harriet Crabtree mislead the AGM?
  • Why did Harriet Crabtree withhold documentation from the AGM?
  • Why hasn’t Harriet Crabtree resigned, as she has clearly lied repeatedly?
  • Why has the IFN repeatedly declined to speak to Bindmans LLP on the record, despite repeated prompting from Occupy Faith UK and other IFN Member Organisations?
  • When people are being intimidated for simply expressing an opinion and the Chair of that Strategic Review won’t even consider investigating these clear infractions into basic individual freedoms, what kind of Strategic Review is this?

If you are still in doubt as to our objectives in raising these issues afresh, let us make clear that we do not seek reaffirmations of the positive progress of the Strategic Review, nor referral to your Communications Policy. Only straight answers will do.

Finally, in response to the implicative threat contained in your assertion that our statement was ‘defamatory’ , we are reminded of the celebrated story of Squeaky the Mouse. One June morning, Squeaky was swimming backstroke down the Thames. As he approached Tower Bridge, this intrepid seafaring rodent was heard to squeak at the top of his pocket-sized lungs, ‘better raise it chaps, I have an erection!’…

For a statement to classify as defamatory, it must be slanderous. There is nothing libellous about our assertion that you are engaged in illegal religious discrimination toward the Druid community, nor our assertion that the Director of the Interfaith Network deliberately withheld vital documents from the group’s Annual General Meeting, nor our assertion that representatives of the IFN have made threats against clerical representatives of IFN member bodies.

If you truly believe any of those statements to be defamatory, we urge you to initiate legal proceedings – we, as the body legally incorporated in Occupy Faith UK (InterFaith Alliance UK), shall fight them, and we shall prevail. We are Occupy, and we are going to keep pressing our questions to you again and again and again and again until we get some honest answers out of the IFN leadership.

If instead you find yourselves beset by a miasma of Neronian dithering at our suggestion, then we urge you to set down your fiddles and prepare for us to challenge the illegal membership policy of the IFN by all lawful means at our disposal including, and not limited to vigorous lawful protest and legal redress. We as Occupy have taken on this issue of the Interfaith Network, and we intend to pursue it as energetically as with other hypocritical establishment religious institutions we have faced before.

Ever since the age of Enlightenment, liberty and democracy have been protected, not merely by the strenuous efforts of those of us who cherish it, but also – and perhaps most profoundly – by the illimitable stupidity of those who would ration these values and rights in an attempt to keep them a luxury for themselves, and themselves alone. They have thrived not in spite of institutions such as the Interfaith Network, but because of institutions such as the Interfaith Network. Whilst in the short-term you have invigorated feelings of dissent and protest within us, we are beginning to tire of you and your tactics, and, to quote Cromwell’s remarks to the Long Parliament, you have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, we say, and let us have done with you.

Go in the name of God, and in the name of God, please go.

Yours sincerely

The Board of InterFaith Alliance UK/Occupy Faith UK*

*Occupy Faith UK (InterFaith Alliance UK) operates on egalitarian principles of the Occupy movement in which all ordinary members are equal and have an equal voice. The Board of Occupy Faith UK (InterFaith Alliance UK) consists of Alan Bolwell, George Barda, Steve Burak, Kit Klarenberg, Caroline Craig-Hallam, Cherry Paine.

 

Letter by the Board of Occupy Faith UK to the Inter Faith Network – 9 April 2013

Dear IFN Director Dr Harriet Crabtree, and the IFN Executive Committee

 
Open Letter to the Director and Executive Committee of the Inter Faith Network
 
We are writing this open letter on behalf of Occupy Faith UK (Interfaith Alliance UK), a member body of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (IFN).
 
Occupy Faith is an interfaith organisation working for the public benefit, which stands in solidarity with the global Occupy movement.  We are people of many different religions, spiritualities and beliefs speaking together for religious harmony, social and economic justice.  Most importantly, it is our explicit aim to speak truth to power – and, as people of many faiths together, to ethically challenge hypocrisy within establishment religious power.
 
We have been following with great concern the conduct by the IFN Director, Harriet Crabtree, IFN Chairs and Executive of the Inter Faith Network towards our sisters and brothers in the Druid community, and the treatment by IFN officers of our friends from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other faiths who have spoken out in favour of equality and inclusion.
 
 
1.  ILLEGAL RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BY THE INTER FAITH NETWORK
On 30th April 2012, the IFN Director, Harriet Crabtree, rejected an application by Phil Ryder, head of the Druid Network, for TDN to join the Inter Faith Network.  The top human rights law firm, and friend of Occupy, Bindmans LLP, published a legal document at the House of Lords on 26th November 2012, establishing why the IFN’s rejection which discriminates against the Druid community on grounds of religion is entirely unlawful and in breach of the Equality Act 2010.  The document is attached and you can also download the legal document from here:
 
 
The actions of the IFN were discussed in the media in both “The Times” newspaper and on “BBC Radio 4″.  The BBC Church of England clergyman and presenter, the Revd Peter Owen-Jones, spoke for many when he said,“The Inter Faith Network is publicly funded.  By refusing entry to the Druid Network, it raises huge questions about whether it can continue to operate as a publicly funded body” (The Times, 1st December 2012)
 
Given the strength of the legal assertions by Bindmans LLP and the confirmed view by barristers from another firm that there was a 70-80% likelihood of successful litigation against the IFN for illegal discrimination, clergy from mainstream world faiths and IFN Member Bodies encouraged the IFN and its legal advisors to enter into a dialogue with Bindmans LLP to address these legal difficulties.  Invitations to this open dialogue were repeatedly offered to the IFN from 10th December onwards.  Eventually, on 12th February 2013, a response was sent by the IFN refusing to enter into such dialogue – making excuses which Bindmans LLP, we and other IFN Member Bodies find highly evasive and dishonest.
 
The repeated evasion by Dr Crabtree, the IFN Co-Chairs and the IFN’s legal advisors of the requests to enter into an open and and transparent dialogue about the question of legality is for us ample evidence that the IFN is too afraid to enter into such dialogue, because it knows that it is legally in trouble.
 
Furthermore, despite repeated requests, Dr Crabtree and the IFN have also refused the release to IFN Member Bodies the full and unedited correspondence history with its legal advisors, which we and others have reason to believe is likely to show that the IFN’s legal advisors are aware that they are in legal difficulty.
 
We therefore now demand an open, transparent and public dialoguebetween Bindmans LLP and the legal advisors of the Inter Faith Network, Bates Wells and Braithwaite LLP, which must be open to all IFN Member Bodies, all other interested organisations, and all taxpaying members of British public whose money funds the IFN in hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
 
Occupy Faith and our partners in the faith communities and Occupy movement will now set up such a public forum to discuss the questions of legality of the IFN’s actions, under the auspices of a mutually agreed neutral chair – and we will livestream the proceedings to the public.  As both an IFN Member Body and on behalf of the taxpaying British public we must insist that Dr Crabtree and the IFN Co-Chairs and Executive now demonstrate truthfulness, public transparency and public accountablity by no longer trying to evade participating in such a public discussion about legality – as a majority publicly-funded body.
 
 
2.  WITHHOLDING BY THE IFN DIRECTOR OF DOCUMENTS FROM THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
We attach a list of missing documents which the IFN Director, Dr Harriet Crabtree withheld from the IFN Annual General Meeting on 12th July 2012.  You can download these missing documents from here:
 
 
The AGM papers which Harriet Crabtree was a key responsible in preparing, untruthfully represent to the IFN Members receiving those AGM papers, that concerns about the discriminatory IFN Membership Policy arose merely from “two individuals”, namely our colleagues, Phil Ryder and Muhammad Al-Hussaini, and from no others (see IFN Annual General Meeting papers for 2012, Agenda Item 8.1.1 and Agenda Annex A 1.1).  This is of course false and deceitful, and when preparing these AGM papers, Dr Crabtree was at the time fully aware all along of the correspondence which she had been sent by a number of other IFN Member Bodies expressing the same concerns about IFN Membership Policy:
 
An e-mail to Dr Crabtree of 28th June 2012 from Jackie Lukes, Secretary of Hull and East Riding Interfaith, being a unanimous formal Resolution of that IFN Member Body:  “This group supports the Druid Network and Pagan Federation application to become a member of the IFN, in accordance with the principles of tolerance and understanding – the spirit in which this group works…It seemed puzzling and paradoxical to all who spoke that the organization set up to lead opinion in favour of learning about and valuing faith and belief groups, IFN, should be opposed particularly to so benign a movement devoted to nature and countryside”.
 
An e-mail to Dr Crabtree of 1st June 2012 from Dr David Capey, Honorary Executive Officer of Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource (SIFRE) and also East of England Faiths Agency (EEFA) stating:  “Dear Harriett, As you will be aware from our previous conversations first with Brian and subsequently with yourself, SIFRE and EEFA have both been concerned and mystified by the fact that IFN membership is restricted to organisations from the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian traditions.  It will therefore not be a surprise to you that both the Boards of SIFRE and EEFA, both being members of IFN, have resolved that they support the application for the Druid Network to be admitted to membership of the IFN.”
 
E-mail correspondence from Cynthia Dickinson, Secretary of Leeds Concord Interfaith Fellowship dated 26th June 2012, being a formal Resolution of that IFN Member Body:  “In favour of overturning any prior bye-law which restricts or excludes TDN [The Druid Network] from eligibility to join and in favour of TDN’s application for membership of IFN-UK.
 
We consider it a very serious and deliberate and deceitful misrepresentation by the IFN Director in the 2012 AGM papers, through her withholding knowledge from the AGM of these resolutions by IFN Member Bodies and documents which she was in receipt of, and instead actively and falsely suggesting in the AGM papers that merely “two individuals” had raised concerns about IFN membership policy.  In any other charity such conduct would be a resignation issue, and other interfaith colleagues around the UK have voiced similar concerns.
 
 
3.  INTIMIDATION AND THREAT MADE BY IFN OFFICERS AGAINST CLERGY OF MAINSTREAM FAITH COMMUNITIES FROM IFN MEMBER BODIES
We are most seriously concerned about the personal testimonies we have received regarding the political pressure applied by IFN officers, and intimidation by them, and attempts by them to damage by the personal careers and livelihoods of clergy and faith leaders from mainstream world faiths who have spoken up in support of dialogue around the strong legal concerns that have been raised about the IFN’s actions.
 
We demand a full and public inquiry in open public forum into this history, and we demand the immediate removal from office of any IFN officer who has in any way, directly or indirectly, been involved in applying political pressure of any sort on IFN Member Bodies or faith leaders in this way.
 
We consider the IFN Strategic Review to be quite farcical while IFN officers have been involved in personally threatening and intimidating those who have expressed their views in support of inclusion, and attempted to intervene in the sovereign and independent policies of IFN Member Bodies.
 
We also wish to express our strong concern to the Chair of the Strategic Review Working Group about these matters which have led to certain IFN Member Bodies being too afraid to submit questionnaire returns to the IFN Strategic Review.  We also note with concern that the Strategic Review Working Group appointed by the IFN has not a single member on it from among the excluded faith communities, and not a single member on it from among those women and men who have been publicly critical of the IFN’s policies.
 
 
4.  OUR COMMITMENT TO REFORMATION OF THE INTER FAITH NETWORK
As an IFN Member Body, we are explicitly committed to a full-scale Reformation of the Inter Faith Network, in order to make it more truthful, transparent, democratic and accountable to the British public from which it has taken millions of pounds.
 
We find the conduct of the current leadership of the Inter Faith Network to be shockingly dishonest and that of religious politicians who have shown a respectable face in public, while behind the scenes quietly and ruthlessly damaging the personal lives of those who speak up to criticise IFN behaviours.  What we find most galling is the consistent double discourse from the IFN leadership and its supporters in the “Interfaith Industry” about “respectful language” – as the showing of a respectable mask of courtesy in public, while doing wicked political things to hurt people behind their back.
 
We reject this deceitful language about “respect”, of white lies and Janus-facedness, as a tactic of the IFN leadership to maintain political power and stifle truth from being spoken – and we as Occupy Faith UK, in accordance with the moral teachings of our faiths, refuse to speak this language.  We do not consider such interfaith politicians to be people of “respect” at all.  Rather, we consider them to be very good actors.
 
Occupy Faith UK and our partners in the Occupy movement  at all times reserve the right to lawful protest against illegal or immoral activities by the Inter Faith Network leadership.
 
Yours sincerely
 
The Board of Occupy Faith UK (Interfaith Alliance UK)*
 
 
 

* Occupy Faith UK (Interfaith Alliance UK) operates on egalitarian principles of the Occupy movement in which all ordinary members are equal and have an equal voice.  The Board of Occupy Faith UK (Interfaith Alliance UK) consists of Alan Bolwell, George Barda, Steve Burak, Kit Klarenberg, Cherry Paine.

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

On Saturday 24 November 2012, as part of Inter Faith Week 2012, and in partnership St Paul’s Cathedral, and sister interfaith organisations, the Christian Muslim Council and Faith in Music, as well as St Michael and All Angels Church, Hackney, the Interfaith Alliance UK (Occupy Faith UK) launched a new interfaith body, “Faith in Hackney”, which aims to bring together people of different faiths in Hackney through music, culture and the arts and sport.

As part of this, in partnership with local people, we held a special service in the morning at St Paul’s Cathedral (St Dunstan’s Chapel) with the support of the Dean and Chapter, and then walked an Interfaith Pilgrimage through the significant faith and historical sites from the heart of the richest part of the country in the City of London to one of the poorest in North Hackney.

We shared an evening meal together at St Michael and All Angels Church at the kind hospitality of the vicar, Revd James Lawson, and our Occupy Faith Chaplain, Revd Kevin Snyman made this lovely film to mark the occasion:

 

Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

Occupy Faith UK were delighted to run the interfaith social action “Clean Up the City” on Thursday 7 March 2013 in the City of London, in collaboration with the William Wallace Campaign which aims to rename the “State-within-a-State” City of London as “Wallaceburgh” and transfer it to the ownership of Scotland.  Due payment for the Sassanachs butchering William “Braveheart” Wallace… ;-)

We promoted interfaith religious harmony for the public benefit, by our video of this event – which has since got a lot of people of different faiths heartily in harmony with each other in solidarity, and heartily out of harmony with the bankers and their corrupt bonuses, and even more out of harmony with the corrupt establishment politicians and religious leaders who are in the pockets of rich men (Jesus, temple, moneychangers, etc).

Occupy Faith is the voice of ordinary people of different beliefs and religions speaking together out of the moral teachings of their Scriptures for justice, and not just sitting on their fat behinds on interfaith committees (mentioning no names Inter Faith Network…).

Amazing thanks for our very own awesome Revd Kevin Snyman, Chaplain of Occupy Faith UK, for creating this hilarious film for us:

 

 

We are very proud to have introduced some wit and fun to the City of London Elections, and challenged on a multifaith basis the hypocrisy of self-serving religious politicians who lead the City Reform Group – which Occupy Faith UK, its Chair and all its Trustees officially and clearly oppose.  Campbell-Taylor, we forgive you for having no sense of humour and being a sad grass, and we recommend all power-hungry religious leaders to read this article on Wesley’s “Circumcision of the Heart” (from Deuteronomy 30:6 and Romans 2:29).

 

Kit Klarenberg on the Religious Hypocrisy of “New Labour” and “Blue Labour”

Blue Labour

Occupy Faith UK opposes the religious hypocrisy of both Glasman’s EDL-sympathising “Blue Labour” and Tony Blair’s “faith”-based right-wing New Labourite politics.  Trustee of Occupy Faith UK, Kit Klarenberg, scholar and faith-based political commentator and raconteur extraordinaire, writes on the selling out of moral values in “Cruel Britannia”…

DOWNLOAD “CRUEL BRITANNIA” BY KIT KLARENBERG

 

“For students of British politics, the established account of New Labour’s rise to power in 1997 has probably been repeated with such frequency that the mere mention of the words ‘rise of New Labour’ induces groans. It summons a kinetic collage of scenes, both real and imagined – Black Wednesday destroying the Conservatives’ reputation for economic competence, the shining, smiling Blair hiring the spin-guru extraordinaire Alistair Campbell and the Prince of Darkness himself (Peter Mandelson), Blair and Brown hammering out a deal in a restaurant in Islington, Blair winning the Labour leadership, Call me Tony stepping into the right place at the right time and then schmoozing the right people in the right positions to assure Labour’s smooth rise to electoral victory in May 1997, etcetera ad nauseum”.  (Download the rest of the paper Cruel Britannia by Kit Klarenberg)

Posted by & filed under Scribes.

From 7 June 2012, Occupy Faith UK organised the multifaith “Pilgrimage for Justice” from St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to Canterbury Cathedral – beginning with a sending off by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s, and walking the whole traditional pilgrim route, ending with a welcome and interfaith service at Canterbury Cathedral.  This was followed by a conference “Building a Just Society” at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

 

 

Here is a beautiful tribute to the multifaith “Pilgrimage for Justice” by a faith leader of the Santo Daime faith community.

 

Twas not at Southwark’s famous Tabard

But at St Paul’s where pilgrims gathered,

Where some months ere, no Christian pity,

Could save ye twine-tied tented city.

No holy sanctuary was given,

Ye chapter did well as t’was bidden

For though St Paul’s dost boast a cross

Ye corporation’s almighty boss.

 

So there began, at winter’s close

As t’ward ye steps was turned a hose

A quest to find another way

To cry for peace another day.

At length was hit upon a plan

To form a motley caravan

A penitent walk for thirteen days

Following ye pilgrim ways.

And if ye clergy saw it right

To clear ye steps on fated night,

Pardon ye bailiff, constabulary

We alight now for Canterbury

 

A bishop left ye pilgrims bless’d,

And out struck they, t’wards ye West,

And for fair Blackheath, in deluvious rain

And there they couched in tents again.

After mass, t’ward Dartford Heath

Passing out scrolls, marching ‘neath

A glorious and sun-filled sky.

Ye merry folk of Occupy.

 

Oft called to preach and prosletyse

To sound alarm, and radic’lise

Ye sleeping people of ye churches,

To kick them up their sleeping breeches.

For truth and justice is e’er ye mission

Of every right God-fearing Christian,

So spake ye pilgrims on their way

Of equal rights and equal pay.

 

Afore strode a nun spirited with God

Behind came ye hirsute, ye sick and ye odd

A flower-weaver, a mushroom gatherer,

A chariot driver who pressed close behind her

There too came a knight, Excalibur blade

Whetted and sharpened and for battle made

To take on a dragon and announce his woe

At quickening gale and melting snow.

An adept of physic and mathematics teacher

A quietly radical Wales-dwelling preacher,

Servant of Jesus in search of ye grail.

Whilst running around, chasing his very tail

A hound was there, who served well his mistress

A witch’s familiar with familiar sorceress.

 

Radical Kentish youths were there

With dirty gowns and messy hair

A Frenchman who despised ye food

His voice was loud, his parley rude.

 

And in yon merry company,

Recording all were there scribes three,

Whose great black eyes did watch ye mission

Whose magic ears harkened words spoken

Recording prayer and words profane

So might we one day watch again.

 

One day Lord God, as they were walking,

Sent down a man who started talking

About how he began that morn’

With bitter heart and hopes forlorn

That he would ne’er behold ye day

That greed would all be rubbed away,

His cheek grew red, his eye shed tear

To spy ye party drawing near,

By parting time, his hopes were high

His hand held Times of Occupy.

 

With standard flapping in ye wind

Ye posse stopped at old Gravesend,

Were welcomed by a turbaned brother

And Sikhs who seek in their Gurdwara.

This noble faith did please the Quaker

As like unto his, but spiced of flavour.

With humble manner, gracefully

They ladled dhal and poured out tea

And conversed they, without hurry

See how ye bishop serves thine curry.

While wholesome tolerance they did meet,

Intolerance to milk and wheat

Smote a bowel amidst ye party

They left serene, but gravely farty.

 

A vicar’s wife, most pure of heart,

Drove a folk’s wagon horse and cart

With Christ at rear, symbol of fish,

With googley eyes, ye twain skew-wiff

She hauled ye stinking baggage onward

Recently skipped, presently putrid

Ye soggy canvas, socks gone rotten

And victuals that wert long forgotten

In Christian service she endured miasma

To glory of Christ, for love of Father.

She’d hail a bus, to meet at luncheon

In rustick inn where they sat a-munchin’.

 

Once upon ye pilgrim’s way

When sweetmeat, fig roll had eaten they

The pilgrims came upon a churchyard

To salute ye sun and stretch out eastward.

Each God-sent day, they were awoken,

A chorus sang that morning was broken

But ne’er didst choristers e’er rehearse

And ne’er learned they ye second verse.

 

Rising once in Kentish pastures

To punningly punish Kentish Bankers

At Rochester, ‘neath tow’ring steeple

Occu-priests met merchant people.

Spake a deputy in bare lies

“Our Tory goals art Occupy’s!”

Pilgrims durst ask bishop that day

For fifty pounds, and if he were gay.

(The answers, shouldst thou care to know

Were yea to first, and to second, no)

Newington’s canon did with them sing

And ancient church bells did they ring

The ether occupied wi’ chimes,

They left behind, ye Occupied Times.

At Faversham, ‘neath waxing moon

A farmer did join ye platoon.

 

Ye faithful’s grandest occupation,

A Medieval chapel at ye destination,

For morning worship, all prayed together,

Various creeds, but one Father,

Wide-wandered feet upon one ground.

Ancient stone there echoed sound

Of clericks in frocks, rememb’ring ye needy

And pilgrims decrying and cursing ye greedy

And turning their God-wrought dissatisfaction

To march and strike, and t’wards direct action.

Gospel songs sung, the pilgrims a-clapping

And then ye Sikhs came tabla tapping.

In a thousand years, had old Kent’s cathedral

E’er heard drum of yon Indian minstrel?

Newington’s canon a headscarf did don

The cathedral fathers harked they with none

And in ye hallowed chapel there

Was sung an iman’s call to prayer.

 

And thence the pilgrims, away they went

For three days with ye wise of Kent,

To jaw with scholars and vie with clericks

On exegesis and economicks

The scribes recorded ev’ry meeting

I know not when will be ye screening.

 

Beneath a great and gnarléd oak

Ye pilgrims sat and traded joke

To make compleat ye past’ral idyll

Ye elder scribe did stroke his fiddle

And play his tunes, of quick and dead

As quaffing wine and gobbling bread

The pilgrims laughed, as well they might,

High spirits on midsummer’s night.

 

The wand’rings here are all but ended

In Kentish field, where fast befriended

Justice pilgrims bid good bye

To fellow folk of Occupy.

But who knows where, and who knows when

The pilgrims wander back again?

 

Jerusalem lies o’er the sea,

But the heavenly citadel lies within thee.

Verily, ye Kingdom of Heaven’s at hand

And hands that reach anon understand

A pilgrimage i’faith goes to ye source

A seeker’s soul’s where ends ye course

Ye angels cheer when holy ghost

Occupies flesh, and makes it host.

 

For poesy, pilgrims, find your way

To nemusend dot co dot uk

Posted by & filed under Scribes.

Personal stories from the pilgrims who walked the “Pilgrimage for Justice” from 7 June 2012, from St Paul’s Cathedral, London to Cantebury Cathedral…

 

Pilgrimage for Justice

 

Alexander of Stroud’s Tale

 

What attracted me to Occupy Faith was the commitment to rethink society through conversation and dialogue. The global crises engulfing the world today are engulfing the world today are enormous. The pledge to begin a conversation about Justice, about a more wholesome lifestyle that is morally just and environmentally sustainable, was not in the old political ways that have let us all down. It is not a conversation with people who know the answers. It is a true conversation of people seeking good solutions.

 

The Pilgrimage is an extended opportunity to follow this conversation. Here are some thoughts: Each one of us has to find the path between self interest and social interest. It is no use confusing the two.

In the economy , producers, consumers, traders, workers, and owners need to get together to find a constructive way forward, co-operatively in everyone’s interest.

Ultimately we need an economy that rewards enterprise, and doesn’t reward mere ownership.

 

Occupy Faith is a society-forming movement. The pilgrimage brought this home to me as a real experience. About 25 people, from very diverse backgrounds, came together to walk to Canterbury. The call was for anyone with a will to combine a spiritual or religious path with social living and the hope for a more just society.

 

There were strong echoes of Chaucer’s Canterbury tales because we followed his route almost exactly, stopping at quite a few inns as well as pilgrim churches along the way.

 

None of us can really be summarised in a name or title, but we were a mixed assembly: a teacher, a minister, a vicar’s wife and mother of 5, a lady with a dog with a very homely tent, a lady about to be evicted for rent arrears and a great dancer, a social-worker-probation- officer-mental health support- worker- ( is that right, Bob?), a carer- Quaker- singer, a handful of students, one with a talent for finding especially elegant second hand clothes , a post graduate student also a wonderful orator, an Occupy Faith organiser or two, magical 3 year-old twins and their Brazilian mother, their father- a writer and tarot card consultant, a homeless man, a skateboard park inspirer, a mother of ten!, and a few other wonderful individuals…. Steve, Ellena, Alex…

 

Also we represented a good mix of creeds and spiritual orientations: Church of England, Reformist, Christian, Quaker, Buddhist, Catholic, Anthroposophist, Daoist, Mystic, Rastafarian, and we all thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Sikh Gurdwara in Gravesend and doing Tai-Chi in the mornings.

 

Over two weeks we got to know each other and lived socially together. In several places we set up our tents and were like a nomadic tribe. When humans lived deeply integrated in Nature and at one with their environment they travelled in little groups of 20 – 30 people- the first human societies perhaps).

 

In the words of some of my companions, Occupy is a seed for a compassionate revolution, for developing co-operative behaviour through conversation and consensus, respecting the freedom of autonomous adults.

 

The pilgrimage was orientated around spirituality- a real spirituality rooted in real life and ordinary day-to-day activities. The larger social aims of Occupy are expressed in the ideals like Truth, Justice, Mercy, Peace and Environmental awareness. The personal achievements on the pilgrimage are about learning sociability: interest in other people, in their own paths of pilgrimage: finding in our hearts the wish and will to support others on their spiritual and faith journeys and all of this alongside just getting along harmoniously with ordinary life on the move!

 

What I learned, in faith terms, is that Christ is a Social Being. Where two or three have come together in My name, there will I be among them. (Matthew18:20)

Certainly I say to you, In so far as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, You did it to me. ( Matthew25:40)

 

If you prefer a non-faith language: love is the most universal reality for human beings; it is both the origin and transcendence of our individual selves and our bond with Nature and with humanity. When the social element weaves between two or more people, then Love can be present. You are more your true Self if you are more connected.

 

Everyone’s conscience leads towards this social being.

 

If an employer, landlord, factory owner, or a shareholder knows that his or her workers or tenants are under conditions which prevent or are contrary to human dignity, then it is a matter of his or her conscience to change that situation. The kind of things which affect human dignity are working conditions, the length of working days, the possibility of receiving sick pay, as well as the wage or rent . (Care workers in Britain at the moment are not granted sick pay- this is a morally shocking reality. Are we consenting to that without applying the same to ourselves? )

Do the working conditions enable people to participate in the cultural and educational spheres of society, or are they allowing only basic sustenance?

 

Any Employer who relates to his working colleagues with a normal level of friendly, human interest will see the changes for good that need to be made.

 

Real togetherness, where the suffering or happiness of each individual becomes the concern of each of the others, will engender true healthiness. Good social relationships are a pre condition for healthy human beings

 

If we wish to avoid an unaffordable health crisis then the engendering of, and education for health in this country have to be pursued with vigour.

How we meet and greet one another is the ground level for healthy living. Our pilgrimage was a beautiful example of a social quest for health.

 

Laws, Social forms, and Economic conditions which cause separation and oppression are the final outcome of the failure of individual conscience. They will foster unhealthiness on every level.

 

At present, economic affairs are dominating the social and political arena. But economics is, or should be, about the production, and exchange of goods and services. It constitutes only a fraction of our possible relationships with each other, and with the whole of life, in its moral-spiritual dimension.

 

It is a warped view of life that allows the economic sphere of society to dominate both the spiritual-cultural sphere, and the arena of rights and mutual relationships. Occupy Faith is about restoring the balance.

 

A Conscience-inspired social impulse will have further consequences alongside a more just society. I think it will lead to a more productive, less foolishly wasteful economy; and a better environmental relationship will also follow when we properly value the two thirds or three quarters of life that should not be about economics.

 

Each one of us in life has to find the path between self interest and social interest. It is no use confusing the two.

Producers, consumers, traders, workers, and owners need to get together to find a constructive way forward, co-operatively in everyone’s and in the environmental interest. Economics should be about human relationships as well; and the global task is not to get rich but to provide the material and basic needs for all the world’s citizens.

Ultimately we need an economy that rewards enterprise, and doesn’t reward mere ownership. Someone who possesses money or land in an egoistical sense has power over other people; when money is managed selflessly, others are liberated.

 

As a pilgrim I learned these things because I learned to know myself in relationship with others and in conversation about the social evils of our time and the potential we all have for positivity. I am deeply grateful as an individual. I think I am on the way to being a better person, changed for good. I would recommend a pilgrimage for everyone of you at some point in your life.

I am also confident that the most positive seeds for social change and evolution are alive in the Occupy Movement.

Thank you Occupy.

 

Alexander Murrell- June 25th 2012

 

 

 

Maggie’s Tale

 

I joined the Pilgrimage on Sunday evening for three days and nights. One of the delights of the Pilgrimage has been the sharing of blessings and spiritual practices. A beautiful guided meditation/prayer from Kevin starting with “golden light inside us”, (which I relate very easily to as a Quaker) and not forgetting to be kind to and accept our own difficult feelings; a star blessing from Alex – a kind of body prayer; a wonderfully inclusive blessing from the Bishop of Rochester; and a Quaker grace from Bob. The stories of ‘warm fuzzies’ and a sermon of a green cross embroidered on a green background. Staying in this church has made it really feel like a house of God. And the group has a great sense of God running through all of us, and acting, and speaking through us and those we meet on the way. And the rain keeps falling, but doesn’t seem to dim our spirits.

 

Sally’s Tale

 

Mini international community with a passionate desire to engage betweeen balancing society and awakening those of faith to their importance/duty in this process. Lots of encouragement from those already alive to the ills of our times and working for change. Minutes of sheer joy in a sight surrounded by large trees with swallows, parakeets, and ducks flying above, infront of exciting clouds. The singer is singer “stir it up” while I dance with the delightful three year old twins – exotically beautiful, being half-Brazilian. Tai the dog, trots into our circle, but cannot hold hands, so he returns to the centre of the camp circle and whizzes around chasing his tale and barking simultaneously before leaping up at branches to pluck leaves and twigs – the camp comedian and now centre of attention.

 

Nina’s Tale

 

For Christ Church parish. I thank all that have and are with me in spirit on my walk for justice to Canterbury. Lord make me an instrument for our peace, where there is hatred let me show love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born into eternal life. With a warm hug, Nina.

 

Bob’s Tale

 

I have brought “me” to this Pilgrimage in a variety of ways. For the proceeding weeks I have thought deeply about who I am and have tried to represent this in stories and prose. I have tried to dispose of any masks and let the inner “me” come to the forefront. Those ‘strangers’ who I met for the first time last Thursday are now very close friends. How rewarding to be so readily accepted for who I am. The love and generosity that has focussed on this pilgrimage has made it an intensely spiritual experience. My fellow Pilgrims are very stimulating, as thought, ideas, and learning pour forth from them. The exercise has eased my ailments and walking becomes easier each day. I came hoping for mental, spiritual, and physical growth and already my expectations have been exceeded.

 

The Marianists offer us an “Occupy Prayer”

 

May God bless us with discomfort

At easy answers half truths, and

superficial relationships,

So that we may live deeply within

our hearts.

May God bless us with anger

At injusticce, oppression, and exploitation

of people

and the Earth.

May God bless us with tears

to shed for those who suffer,

From pain, hunger, homelessness

and rejection.

 

So that we may reach out

Our hand to comfort them,

And turn their pain into joy.

 

And may God bless us with

enough foolishness

To believe that we can make a

difference in the world.

 

So that we can do what others claim

Cannot be done!

AMEN.

 

Kath’s Tale

 

What a privilege – to be here. What a lovely group of people. We’re all so different/We’re all so similar! I’m not normally given to certainties – but I’m convinced that the “God of the poor” is with us, the “God (as Bishop James prayed in blessing us yesterday) of justice and joy”. So we’re going places. But as we head out together to share Occupy Faith, again and again, the local communities meet us as though the message has got here before us: overwhelming generosity and hospitality is changing us. Humbling and thrilling. Wow!

 

Alan’s Tale

 

After months of planning, as much joy, despair, hope, triumph and tribulation as I have known in any of my walks of life – our journey has begun. I know very few of my fellow Pilgrims but this is all the better. Having two ears and one mouth I have decided to listen twice as much as I talk in conversations, walk humbly, and learn as much as I can from this endeavour – to spread the ideals of the Occupy movement to all the communities, faith groups and people we can engage with between St Paul’s and Canterbury Cathedral. Fortunately my fellow Pilgrims provide a deep well of knowledge, insight, and conversation to draw from.  This group sharing has taken the shape, quite organically, in the form of the ancient pilgrimages I had hoped to emulate. Our path has led us to take sanctuary in Christ Church in Gravesend, in our occupation of this church it is beautiful to see the building being used for what I always imagined to be its most sincere purpose – unguided pray, song, reading and conversation. In this we have already achieved a microcosm of our purpose. As a result of our actions people have already started to engage in the shared goals of Faiths and Occupy, of a compassionate revolution in the way people relate to each other. If religious and academic spaces are reclaimed for public use then we have already gone a small way to correcting the some of the ills of our society.

Posted by & filed under Scriptures.

CITY OF LONDON WARD ELECTIONS: MAURICE GLASMAN AND WILLIAM CAMPBELL-TAYLOR DO NOT SPEAK FOR MEMBERS OF OCCUPY LONDON

Maurice Glasman                      William Taylor

It has come to our attention as Occupiers and members of the Multifaith and Belief Working Group of Occupy London (Occupy Faith UK), that William Campbell-Tayor a close collaborator on campaigns in the City of London with Blue Labour founder Maurice Glasman (both individuals from outside Occupy), has set up and Chairs the City Reform Group, which has recruited a number of Occupiers to stand as candidates in the ward elections of the City of London Corporation.  The media has reported Taylor’s City Reform Group as an “Alliance of Labour, UKIP and Occupy”.

We are not aware that any General Assembly of Occupy London has at any point had consensus or given consent for the name of Occupy London to be linked in any way whatsoever to any single individual or group associated with this political election.  On the contrary, the consensus is very much against this.

William Campbell-Taylor previously published this article in the Guardian newspaper on 19 July 2012 advocating for and sponsoring the candidature of Bryn Phillips in the Farringdon Ward by-election in July of this year, Taylor clearly stating in it in his own words that, Citizen Phillips should be encouraged to contest this byelection”, and likewise the article on Phillips’ violent criminal history published in the Guido Fawkes Blog on 19 July 2012 describes him as “former Occupy St Paul’s spokesman and close ally of Maurice Glasman”.  We now refer to Bryn Phillips’ published statement in the Guardian newspaper on 26 July 2012, as “a spokesman for protestors who occupied St Paul’s cathedral last year…” in which he states in his own words, “There will be full elections on 13 February next year and Occupy will be fielding a full slate of candidates at that point…”

The previous history with Occupy of Glasman and his Blue Labour colleagues is a disturbing one, and has been investigated by a number of experienced scholars of Blue Labour such as Dr Ed Rooksby, Lisa Ansell and Dr Alex Andrews, who have published articles and academic papers on it.  In particular, we refer to Lisa Ansell’s published article in the New Internationalist on 7 November 2011 in which she states, “Late last month activists occupying the grounds outside St Paul’s cathedral read that Maurice Glasman approved of their decision to focus criticism on the ‘City of London Corporation’, on the Guardian website.  This came as a surprise to many.  First off, the camp had made no such decision. Secondly, this leak to the press contradicted every principle on which the occupation is based…Glasmans’ ability to respond so quickly and eloquently to a document being passed around for signatures at midnight before publication raised suspicion in the Occupy camp.  It transpired that Glasman had visited the camp a week before, and subsequently followed up contact with an activist he met there.  John Milbank writes that Glasman was endeavouring to persuade the occupiers to focus on the City of London.  Following Glasman’s interest in this particular issue, the occupiers reported a change in the decision-making process around the Corporation of London debate.  Unlike the carefully inclusive discussion which would usually characterise debates here,  occupiers felt that night’s discussion had been ‘railroaded’. Many of those in working groups and general assemblies had been ‘reassured’ that the document about the Corporation of London had been approved by journalists and ‘credible people’ outside the camp.”  For his part, William Campbell-Taylor has actively approached a number of Occupiers who now express views about his truthfulness and trustworthiness, and which you can listen to in these Occupier Comments on Maurice Glasman and William Campbell-Taylor.

Occupy London must now act firmly in relation to deceitful, dishonest behaviour and co-opting.  The ethical vision of the Multifaith and Belief Working Group (Occupy Faith) is to challenge the hypocrisy of those who claim to speak in the name of religious faith or as clergy, but in fact co-opt or are co-opted by power or personal ambition, and to call them to repentance, truth-speaking and justice for the weakest in society.


Alan Bolwell

Steven Burak
Sara Callaway
Thom Bonneville
Sean Leigh
on behalf of the Multifaith and Belief Working Group of Occupy London (Occupy Faith UK)
Tuesday 25 September 2012

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO COMMENTS BY MEMBERS OF OCCUPY LONDON ON THE CITY OF LONDON WARD ELECTIONS, GLASMAN AND TAYLOR

occupiers_comments_on_maurice_glasman_and_william_campbell-taylor

 

All points made in the statement are fully referenced and evidenced and true – please contact us if you have any queries:
Matthew Taylor, Occupy Activist Stands in City of London Byelection, The Guardian, 26 July 2012
William Campbell-Taylor, City of London Corporation:  You Don’t Have to be in the Club to Get Involved, The Guardian, 19 July 2012
Violent Rioter “Voids” Square Mile Election Attempt, Guido Fawkes, 19 July 2012
Maurice Glasman, How the St Paul’s Protesters Seek to Democratise London, The Guardian, 28 October 2012
Lisa Ansell, The Occupation will not be Astroturfed, New Internationalist Blog, 7 November 2011
Ed Rooksby, Don’t Underestimate Toxic Blue Labour, The Guardian, 21 May 2011
Lisa Ansell, Blue Labour – the Big Idea to Get Elected, The Guardian, 25 March 2011
Ben Quinn, Alliance of Labour, UKIP and Occupy members attempt to reform City of London, The Guardian, 11 March 2013

Posted by & filed under Scriptures.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/04/opening-statements-case-against-blair

 

Alastair Redfern         Desmond Tutu

As peace activists of diverse faiths and beliefs in Occupy Faith UK, the multi-faith arm of the Occupy movement, we applaud Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s moral stand in calling Blair to account for war crimes before the international criminal court, and his Christian commitment to “truth” in rejecting a conference platform with a prime minister whose legacy has been one of lie after lie.

We therefore view with regret the contrasting Tale of Two Bishops in the recent statement by the bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, that “Tony Blair is not a war criminal” – speaking in his role as chair of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (of which Occupy Faith UK is a member body). This expensive taxpayer funded body is the national arena for the faith organisations in Britain, and has strongly resisted protests from faith leaders at its decision to admit to full membership the former prime minister’s Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Tony Blair and George Bush have been the author of the deaths of untold numbers of innocent children, women and men in the pursuit of their illegal wars, and yet Archbishop Tutu’s uncompromising integrity is a rare commodity among religious leaders, when many Church of England bishops, archbishops, Egyptian grand muftis and others have willingly eased Blair’s political rehabilitation through sharing public platforms or serving on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s board of religious advisers.

In this 25th anniversary of the Inter Faith Network, Archbishop Tutu’s challenge, “If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth?”, directly shames these faith leaders to speak up as prophetic and critical moral voices for the defenceless victims of Blair’s crimes around the world, or risk falling into the same hypocritical collusion with power and bloodshed.

Alan Bolwell
Mohamed Elsharkawy
Tanya Paton
Steven Burak
Sean Leigh
Occupy Faith UK
Tuesday 4 September 2012

 

MUSIC BY OCCUPIERS

Music Video:  Anthem to Occupy London and Occupy Faith

A protest song written specially as a tribute to Occupy London on its first anniversary.  It is filmed on location at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bank of England, City of London Guildhall, Finsbury Square and other historic sites of the Occupy protest.  The song tells the story of the betrayal of the St Paul’s protestors by the religious establishment together with the City of London authorities.  Composed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini, arrangement by Andrew Haldane, produced by Oliver Price, directed by Adam Barker, location filming by Louis Marsh, with John Clarkson and Matthew James Edge.

 

 

Song:  The Boys of Barr na Sráide

A traditional Irish rebel song, written by Sigerson Clifford about his boyhood friends, growing up during the time of the Black and Tans and the Civil War in Ireland.  The song is performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on fiddle and vocals, and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar, and Mark Patterson on mandolin.

 

 

Song:  Siúil a Rún

A traditional Irish Jacobite song, performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on fiddle and vocals, and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar and Mark Patterson on bodhran.

 

 

Song:  Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire

A sean-nós (traditional a capella) lament, “The Keening of the Three Marys”, sung by Muhammad Al-Hussaini.  The song represents the mourning of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Mary Salome at the foot of the Cross.

 

 

Song:  The Leaving of Limerick

A traditional Irish emigrant song, performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on whistle and vocals, and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar.

 

 

Song:  Red is the Rose

A traditional Irish song, performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on whistle and vocals, and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar.

 

 

Song: Casadh An tSúgáin

A traditional Irish song performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on fiddle and vocals, and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar with Geoffrey Ahn on keyboard.

 

 

Song:  Biodh An Deoch Seo ‘N Làimh Mo Rùin

This traditional song from the Hebrides is performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on whistle and vocals, and accompanied on guitar by Paul Sims with mandolin by Mark Patterson.

 

 

Song:  Mo Ghile Mear

The traditional and original protest song was composed by Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill in the 18th century as a tribute to Bonnie Prince Charlie.  It is performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on vocals and accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar.

 

 

Song:  She Moved Through the Fair

This popular Irish song is sung by Muhammad Al-Hussaini with accompanying keyboard by Geoffrey Ahn.

 

 

Song:  Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Muhammad Al-Hussaini performs this popular hymn on fiddle and vocals, accompanied by Paul Sims on guitar and Geoffrey Ahn on keyboard. This song is dedicated with love particularly to my old mate Paul, and to Fr James and the congregation at St Michael and All Angels Church, Stoke Newington Common.

 

 

Song:  County Down

A cover of the song written by the singer-songwriter and peace activist, Tommy Sands, performed by Muhammad Al-Hussaini on vocals, fiddle and whistle, arrangement by Andrew Haldane.

 

 

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