✔️ Former member of Toastmasters of The Hague (public speaking, leadership, networking) ✔️ former member of Portsmouth City Council’s Portsmouth Environmental Forum (no longer exists) ✔️ former board member of Environmental Chemistry (and Toxicology) Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society ✔️ one of the 11 graduates of the Portsmouth City Council-sponsored NCFE-accredited community leadership course “Taking the Lead” ✔️ former member of the Amsterdam-American Business Club (business networking) ✔️ former member of the Southampton-based SHEA business club (business networking; no longer exists) ✔️ participant in Andy Sheppard’s 2009 Sax Massive in Bristol ✔️ geologist, feminist and marine biogeochemist (earth & life science background, in other words) ✔️ former member of Portsmouth-based samba drumming band Sambatida ✔️ former board and committee member of the Netherlands biggest network (a foundation) for women in science and technology ✔️ former member of publishing teams at Arcadis, the US-based Geochemical Society and science publishers ✔️ long-term target of “sadistic stalking” including community bullying, extensive hacking interference and other forms of xenophobic, gerontophobic and misogynistic abuse ✔️ author of books on the new eugenics and otherisation (inspired by my experiences in England as well as the teachings of Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School and many others)
Donald Trump was not helping. Boris Johnson was not helping.
How can we make this better? How do we create a strong voice against this sort of thing? I have so many questions and so few answers.
Politicians who say something – frequently quite innocent – that others misunderstand are often forced to resigned. When top politicians – sometimes “jokingly” – deliberately whip up aggression, they tend to get away with it and are often even applauded for it. I guess this is also why some people love watching mud-wrestling? But discrimination and hate tend to beget discrimination and hate. I have also seen it in myself. There is only so much you can take without getting really angry.
Behind it are real or perceived power imbalances and when Presidents and PMs signal that hate towards a specific group of people is okay, it shifts that perceived power imbalance even more.
We are relieved that at last, after an eight-year legal battle, and much campaigning, migrant rights activist Andy Hall has been cleared of the last remaining charges against him by Thailand’s Supreme Court.
In a final ruling on May 11, 2021 Thailand’s Supreme Court dismissed lower court rulings that Hall was guilty of defaming pineapple company Natural Fruit and liable to pay the company 10 million Thai baht (approximately 265,000 Euros or 319,000 USD) in damages.
Importantly, the court also ruled that Hall’s research and publication of allegations in interviews and in writing, concerningserious labor rights abuses against migrant workers at Natural Fruit, was both done in good faith and was accurate.
In response to the ruling, Andy Hall said in a press release:“I welcome today’s ruling. But after years of ongoing judicial harassment that has taken a heavy toll on me, my family and my colleagues, this is not a victory. My activism for over a decade in Thailand was intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers in the country. These workers continue to find themselves without a voice in high-risk situations of forced labour and subject to systemic human and labour rights violations in global supply chains.’’The Freedom United community has been united in support of Andy Hall throughout his battle, with nearly 137,500 supporters around the world signing our petition — raising the profile of his case internationally. Several of you even stepped up to donate to help with Hall’s legal fees.