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(en) Freedom 6319 5th Oct. 2002 - When flowers are not enough

From FreedomCopy@aol.com
Date Fri, 25 Oct 2002 03:04:39 -0400 (EDT)


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Ian Huntley, the caretaker accused of murdering two girls
who attended the school where he worked, is due in court
on 8th October. His partner, Maxine Carr, who also worked
at the school in Soham, Cambridgeshire, has already
appeared twice via videolink from London's HMP Holloway.
Police say they'd fear for her physical and emotional security
if she travelled to court in person. As their cases progress
towards a trial, the mainstream media will continue to whip
up interest in the murders.

Around 100,000 children disappear in Britain every year.
Several thousand will have disappeared while the search was
on for Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August. A very
few, like Holly, Jessica and - more recently - Millie Dowler,
are found dead. But only rare cases will receive the same
level of publicity as these three have done.

Do the others disappear in the wrong place or at the wrong
time? Aren't they photogenic enough? Or not so white?
Maybe all these factors, combined with the need to sell
newspapers, propels the Soham children and Millie on to the
front pages.

After the bodies of Jessica and Holly were found, hysteria
swept the land. What looked like collective grief was shown,
on a scale unseen since the death of Diana. People mourned
nationwide and travelled from afar to lay flowers. Why?
Were people grieving, not just for the children, but for
themselves as well, perhaps for the abuse they'd suffered at
the hands of others, perhaps for the unhappy lives that so
many lead but are forced to hide away?

Writing in the Independent, self-proclaimed anarchist Will
Self suggested that the people who took their kids along to
scream abuse and demand retribution at Carr's first court
appearance were themselves guilty of a form of abuse by
exposing their own children to an atmosphere of extreme
hatred and revenge.

It would be no surprise if some of this potential lynch mob
had themselves been abused. We know that abuse and
violence are often part of a vicious circle that's handed down
from generation to generation. Perhaps we can see here a
hidden cry for justice, but in such a twisted and fucked-up
way it only serves to perpetuate injustice, misery and abuse.
What were the effects of a police investigation on a
community like Soham? A community was shattered and
turned in on itself. Nobody was entirely innocent, nobody
was free from suspicion. The police exhorted the
community to look at itself, to look at neighbours and family
and report anything that didn't quite fit.

It was a breeding ground for mistrust, a mechanism for
breaking down solidarity and resistance making hell of the
inhabitants' lives, every word and action analysed by who
knows who. It was a police state of the worst kind.

Then, of course, over the crest of the hill came the saviours.
The professionals, those pillars of the state, ready to put
every thought and emotion neatly in its correct place. The
priests, the psychologists and counsellors, the
commentators, the legal eagles, all seeking their moments
of glory, fame and fortune as they dispensed their false
wisdom.

Then chasing their own tails came the media themselves,
spitting blood and fury and creating more damage, with their
gossip and innuendo and front-page exposes about various
members of the accused families, as if this somehow made
the accused guilty of such heinous crimes. Fair trial,
anyone? Innocent until proven guilty? In these
circumstances?

As anarchists we abhor any human suffering. We believe
every human life is entitled to grow and flourish in an
atmosphere of safety, security and love. As parents, we fear
for our own children and we feel only compassion for the
families of Jessica, Holly and Millie. But we must also
challenge the manipulative behaviour of the mainstream
media and the state, and ask questions that many would
prefer to have swept under the carpet.

Conspiracy theorists are already having a field day over
aspects of the Soham tragedy Ğ the presence of alleged
paedophiles in the local police force (and on its team of
investigators for the murders); aspects of the police enquiry;
the location of the bodies, close to a US military base; the
sudden sectioning under the Mental Health Act of Huntley
and the low-level charges against Carr.

These issues may become more important when (if) new
information becomes available. But there are already many
disturbing issues to deal with, such as the reactions of
people whipped up by the media and the virtual police state
that arose in Soham. Until these issues are dealt with,
similar tragedies will continue. We'll continue to turn
inwards and hurt our own. Laying flowers is not enough.
M.H.




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