I conducted a 'public hanging' in Cashel Mall at 3:00pm - replete with wooden mock gallows, a black hood, the 'hemp' noose and a 19year old 'everyday druggie' called 'Grace' whom we managed to Save.
After introducing the french connection "Avoir de la corde-de-pendu dans sa poche
" to have hemp in your pocket for luck, esp as it was friday 13 and unlucky for some, the audience was treated to a comparison between media coverage on Schapelle
. The context of the UN Single Conventions, the drug related deaths world wide etc. and that NZ Prime Minister Hon Helen Clark has sold our souls to the devil for a few shekels in trade - and no one notices, was thoroughly was canvassed.
After a brief mock trial where i was judge and jury, sentencing was passed, and Grace's appeals denied so she was prepared for her maker, hooded and commiteed to the gallows.
1 minute of silent "grace' for Shanmugam Murugesu and a prayer for his children then took place.
[Grace was amazing, her last words to the amassed rabble were "fly high" but as it was NZ, and not Indoensia or Singapore or Thailand, or any of the other 40 nation states on this earth who kill for justice, the capital punishment today was commuted for harm minimisation deads well done. ]
Which must have pleased someone. Police had recieved formal complaint from a member of the public (a shopkeeper, I believe) 'offended' that this street theatre was too graphic and unsuitable for the public despite an attentive audience of about 100 people. Some asked "what do you suggest we do about it?" Others more discretly spoke "your telling the truth here, your brave".
Two Police, one very senior dude and a woman with some sympathy for what this is about came and talked to me and M.Britnell as we packed things up.
It was pointed out to us that protest was useless as we cannot change the laws in a foreign country... I reminded him that the 'red brigade' baton just sold for 20,000 dollars... a legacy to the social conscience and collective concern that helped change a nation. Anyone disturbed by the 'graphic nature' dramatized here should be better directed at those who perpetuate the all to graphic human rights abuse of swinging someone from their neck until dead for what is smoked in new zealand in each and 15 seconds. (nor what bloody 'drug ed' message thatsends to our children.)
The senior officer at first 'who needs another problem drug out here' later went along with medpot and decriminalisation. They left with theRoyal College of Physicians and Seattle Initiatives under wing.
Regretably a technical hitch with the (guy behind the) camera, so no photo as planned . but lots of images were taken by the audience. Maybeone will turn up.
Brandon Hutchison wrote: the Singapore High Commission address is 17 Kabul St Ngaio Wellington ph 04-470 0850
Source: Khaleeg Times
Pub date: May 10, 2005
Subj: Singaporean to be hanged despite plea by sons group
SINGAPORE - Singapore will hang an ethnic Tamil man on Friday for trafficking about 1 kg (2.2 lb) of cannabis despite a rare public plea by his teenage sons to stop the execution, a human rights group said. After 38-year-old Shanmugam Murugesu lost an appeal to escape the gallows in January, his 14-year-old twin children took to Singapore's streets, handing out flyers last month urging public support to stop the execution, saying it would make them orphans.Think Centre, a Singapore human rights group
, said Murugesu's family had received notification on Monday he will be hanged on Friday, May 13. "We are calling everyone, wherever they are, to hold a silent vigil for Shanmugam," Think Centre president Sinapan Samydorai told Reuters on Tuesday.
Murugesu, a Singapore citizen, was convicted of trafficking after his arrest at Singapore's border with Malaysia in August 2003. Singapore President S.R. Nathan said last month Murugesu would not receive clemency. Prison officials said they could not immediately comment. Singapore enforces some of the world's toughest drug laws. Anyone aged 18 or over convicted of carrying more than 500 grammes (17.6 ounces) of cannabis faces execution by hanging. In a 2004 report, human rights group Amnesty International said about 400 people have been hanged in Singapore since 1991, mostly for drug trafficking, giving the wealthy city-state of 4.2 million people possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population.
Amnesty says only 6 people sentenced to death in Singapore have been spared execution since independence in 1965. Singapore staunchly defends its use of capital punishment. The government claims death penalty has broad public support and has deterred major drug syndicates from establishing themselves in Singapore.
sig. Blair Anderson
50 Wainoni Road.
cell phone 025 2657219 ph (643) 389 4065
In an age of conformity, of conventional wisdom, of suffocating pieties, reform is a breath of fresh air.
- Simon Carr, The Independent, Jan03