Saturday, October 27, 2007

Moshers Attack Third Arrest (from Burnley and Pendle Citizen)

Moshers Attack Third Arrest (from Burnley and Pendle Citizen): "A THIRD teenager has been taken into custody over an attack on youths dressed as 'goths' and 'moshers' . Police arrested and released on bail two boys aged 13 and 15 following a leafet rop and press campaign earlier this week. A third boy, aged 13, was taken into police custody yesterday in connection with the attack."

Friday, October 26, 2007

In Memory of Sophie Lancaster

In Memory of Sophie Lancaster

New Sophie Lancaster Website for the memorial fund.

seems to be down at the moment feb 2008

"Goth-style makeup" causes school problem

A few days after an article argued for greater tolerance of subcultures in Maine this hits the Bangor Daily News.

Students sent home from school for wearing Goth-style makeup: "Johanna Stacey, 14, Robert Scribner, 16, and Erik Jordan, 16, said they were not violating the school’s dress code which does not specifically address makeup. But Principal Jim Miller said the makeup was inappropriate and the students 'made a choice to leave' when they refused to wash it off. 'Students need to understand that this is not the mall; this is not a dance; this is not a concert. This is school. Their attire needs to be appropriate,' he said. Stacey had drawn a spider’s web under one eye and a black curl under another; Scribner and Jordan had black lines under their eyes. The students described themselves as 'Goth punk,' saying the style includes black clothing, long black coats, face makeup, dark or colored hair, and piercings. Alicia Stacey, Johanna’s mother, questioned why the three students were sent home for wearing makeup when other students wear 'pretty much what they want to wear. What damage can makeup do?'"

It was followed up by this article:
School standards shouldn't have to tolerate Goth makeup

Schools do have a right to control what students wear but it must be fair and equal and not signal out particular groups. The makeup these kids wore was minimal. The school should either ban all makeup or none. It seems odd that a preppy student could wear as much makeup as they like but as soon as you use a little black makeup it is stamped on. I wonder if those involved were inspired by what happened in Florida see earlier post: School dress Code

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pair Released Over Goth Attack (from Burnley and Pendle Citizen)

Pair Released Over Goth Attack (from Burnley and Pendle Citizen): "TWO teenagers who were arrested for violent disorder offences over an alleged attack on youths dressed as goths' and moshers' have been released on bail."

Brutal beating of Goth highlights hatred towards subcultures - Soap Box

Brutal beating of Goth highlights hatred towards subcultures - Soap Box: "Beating people to death because they dress differently is nothing but hate-driven intolerance. The sad thing is the fact that there is most likely no motivation behind these attacks except for misguided ignorance. People target Goths because they know nothing about the subculture except for horribly incorrect stereotypes. Even worse, people may target Goths simply because they look different..."

Nice article in Maine University paper

Cop Attacks Poppunker - antiMUSIC News

Poppunk band Amber Pacific get into trouble for signing stuff for fans.

Cop Attacks Poppunker - antiMUSIC News: "We moved about 20 feet down so we weren't near the door anymore. We continued to sign, and then that same cop came back a minute later, very agitated, and said ' Did you not hear what I said? I told you guys to move!' He then very angrily yelled at the kids waiting ' get out of here!' We felt maybe we could just move behind the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' trailer, where we couldn't be blocking the sidewalk. As we did so, The officer was following us the whole time, and Will told everyone ' Ok, let's move down here where there aren't rude cops' Apparently, that touched a nerve. He yells at Will, word for word, 'What the fuck did you say, you little faggot douchebag???' Will spins around, and asks him ' What did you call me???' Here's where it gets weird though. The cop grabs Dango, who hadn't said a word, and yells at him ' DO NOT RESIST!' several times, really loudly, as he spins him around and throws handcuffs on him. "

You have to start somewhere

Sophie's Mother in new appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph:

Mrs Lancaster said: "The campaign is about trying to get away from blaming people and getting the conversation going between different groups of young people and adults too.

"I want people to think twice about labelling people because of the way they dress or the music they listen to - adults are just as guilty of that as young people and it does create conflict. We have a long way to go but we have managed a lot already.

I was amazed at the response in support of the teenagers in Blackburn, agreeing that they are just ordinary people. And I was delighted with how seriously the police and councillors in Burnley have taken the attacks there. I know some people might think this campaign is just idealism, but you have to start somewhere. Sophie would never have wanted me to be sitting at home grieving and not doing anything because that's not what I am and it's not what she was. She was a lovely, kind, caring girl. What happened to her was senseless but I have got to make sense of it by doing as much as I can to stop it happening again."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bristol College Green - Teenagers banned

We have mentioned before the importance of areas for alternative teenagers to hang out in and the tendency for authorities to try and harass and destroy this. A perfect example of this is the College Green saga in Bristol where this summer the Council imposed a group dispersal order arousing much protest from local goths, emos and skaters. On Saturday 21st July, a protest took place against the dispersal order and around 80 people attended.

Sensible questions were asked by those affected by the order. An example is this letter sent to the Bristol Evening Post by 14 year old Ellie Vowles which sums up the importance of the area for those who use it:

My friends and I do nothing wrong. We cause no trouble. We are generally peaceful, don't drink and don't do drugs or bother people, just like most of the others who go to the area. We are really quite a close community in many ways. Its only a small minority that cause problems and some people go to the green just to pick on those who look different. I do hope that the order itself wont be used to pick on young people who look different too. Lets remember that drinking, drug taking and violence are a regular problem inside and outside of the pubs and clubs in Bristol every weekend and that these are certainly not problems caused by 'skateboarders, goths, grungers and emos'.

There has been and always will be people who are different and look different who want to gather to meet in groups. Because they are identifiably different - say they are black, or gay, or disabled or scarred by accident or have long hair, flares and flowers in their hair, or like to wear black and dye their hair red, or whatever - should not mean that they can be moved on just because they gather in a place. Generally, people should be allowed to be themselves, no matter what people say, though they may be feared, often due to ignorance and misunderstanding. There aren't many safe places, like College Green with its CCTV, in central Bristol for young people to gather and meet.

Read more here:

Be yourself - no matter what they say!

There was a belated response from the politicians as a result. This included a question in Parliament :

Then Bristol West’s Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams pitched in at the end of July with a statement in parliament no less (that was badly misquoted in The Cancer). He told the Minister for Children, Young People and Families, Beverley Hughes in response to her announcement of a 10 year ‘Aim Higher’ strategy for young people:

“I hope that the statement is the welcome start of a departure from some of the language of the Tony Blair era, namely the language of marching children to cash points, the language of dealing with feral youth and the the language of imposing dispersal orders on young people, such as the fatuous dispersal order imposed on skateboarders in my constituency this week.”

Ms Hughes weakly responded: “Many young people suffer from such [anti-social] behaviour and we need to protect them and demonstrate to them that they are part of our consideration.”

More details here:

Is Bristol run by the cops? « The Bristol Blogger

Another local MP addressed the issue too:

Kerry questions College Green dispersal order

Even the local Radical Hisory Sociey got involved having a demo raising some interesting parallels with earlier events:

This summer the police without warning served a 'dispersal order' on College Green and the surrounding area for the period of the school holidays. The order means that if two or more people gather together then, they can be moved on by the Police. Ostensibly, the order was aimed at the skateboarders and other youth who have customarily gathered on College Green for many years. No reasons were given initially for the order, but we can imagine that the effect on tourism would have been sited [6] (College Green is a an historic site, with the Cathedral, Council House etc.) along with the usual complaints of the wealthy and powerful Clifton 'mafia'.

The youth reacted in style with a demonstration or two and an active media campaign protesting against the order [7]. The authorities seemed unable to come up with the real reasons for their actions, except a feeble media campaign which vaguely referred to fighting and drug use. Even a Bristol MP [8] advised the Police to talk to people first before imposing such orders, but they didn't appear to be in the mood to debate with the Bristolians using the area!

We wuz robbed!

If they had engaged in a debate, then the authorities would have found out some important facts. Namely that there was serious resentment already amongst the skateboard community because of the cynical last minute rejection by the Council of the fully-funded plan for a skateboard park next to Castle Park. Of course, within months the whole area had been handed over to property developers [9]. The skateboarders were thus resigned to staying at College Green. That was until the authorities decided to remove that public space as well, by serving the dispersal order.

Despite the current media climate of viewing many young people as 'scum' (or even wanting to 'hug' them), no one is pointing out that they are Citizens like anyone else. Citizens have the right to go into the centre of their city, full stop. The authorities are trying to impede them and their right to free movement. This is wrong. If people commit a crime then the Police can arrest them, but these exclusion orders are a different kettle of fish. They criminalize our citizens and create division, fear and distrust. As one skateboarder put it 'if skateboarding is anti-social, they would have to put dispersal orders everywhere' [10]. It may not be too far into the future that this might be the case.

The history of Brandon Hill gives us an understanding of the use of legal and physical means to control and modify public space in our cities. The lessons are clear, if the customary practices of the population can be impeded or stopped then they will lose their cultural power over the spaces they inhabit. We only have to look at the sanitised and 'class' cleansed park that Brandon Hill has become to see that. There are, however, echoes of the historical resistance of the Brandon Hill mob and the Chartists amongst the Bristol Citizens that are fighting to keep College Green open to all.

Read more: Brandon Hill

Compare this to the problems elsewhere like:

Manchester - Urbis

Some of Burnley attackers caught

Two people now in custody. Only need to find the rest.

Comments on the previous news articles however reveal more allegations of abuse and local people being chased. Take for example this from Ben from Bacup posted on Monday:

Well I just took my dinner from work. I work in Bacup and went to the Co-Op.
I work across the road from Bacup Leisure Hall, so people who know the area know it's not a long trek.
On the way there, chavs saw me and hurled abuse at me, including 'batty boy'. That would never have bothered me, but after hearing of these increasing attacks I suddenly feared for my own safety as I saw there was 20 of these chavs.. and one of me.
Quickly I was in the co-op, but soon I was out again.
This time I walked past them coming the opposite direction on the side where the big red/purple/pink (ever changing with the light) section of my hair was visible to them.
One of the chavs yelled out 'You're next fag!'
I don't know what he means by that but I was suddenly feeling very uneasy and wanted to get out of there as soon as I can.

This isn't anywhere near the first time this has happened as chavs usually yell abuse at me pretty much every day.

I'm looking to move into the city (Manchester) soon where emos and goths are more accepted.

Whitby policing and street blockage April onwards

The recent trouble in Blackburn is just one part of an unsympathetic attitude from some in authority. After the last Whitby weekend there was a storm of protest about Scarborough councils unsympathetic approach despite the vast profits the council and town receive. It is almost as if they don't want the festival despite its success. They seem keen for it to go to Scarborough. See the letters and articles collected here from the excelleny goth friendly

Warning to street drinkers as Gothic Weekend looms

# 24 April 2007
# Source: Whitby Gazette Tuesday

By Staff Copy
WITH the first Gothic Weekend just days away, concerns have once again been raised about people drinking in the streets.
In past years people drinking in Flowergate has become an habitual problem with hundreds standing in the road, causing problems for motorists and emergency services.

The Whitby Designated Public Place Order gives police the powers to seize drinks off people who have them outside and even issue fixed penalty notices.

Insp Pete Morgan of Whitby police said: "We will be closely monitoring the situation in the town and in Flowergate and decide whether any action will need to be taken in the future to address the problem.

"We have plans in place for the forthcoming weekend which we have been working on."

Earlier in the week Insp Morgan speaking at the Police and Community Liaison Group told members of the public it was the responsibility of the licencees to ensure their customers were not drinking outside and they were working with their full co-operation.

He said: "People should not be allowed out in the street with a glass because it could be
used as a weapon."

Under law, licensees found to be in breach of their licence by not controlling their customers can face a review of their licence in severe cases.

The two Gothic Weekends every year bring in thousands of visitors to the town, which leads to a boom for the local economy.

Some of the biggest bands of the scene will be playing over two nights at the Pavilion, with three acts from America performing for the first time this year.

"Preparations are well under way at the Pavilion and I am sure at other venues throughout the town," said Steve Hollingworth, Scarborough Council's head of tourism and leisure.

"There are still some tickets left at the Pavilion but these are selling fast and we would advise anybody who still wants tickets not to wait until the night.

"This is a very important event for the town and we look forward to welcoming the Goths this year."

Goth weekend organiser vows to keep it in town
* 04 May 2007
* Source: Whitby Gazette Friday
* Location: Whitby

View Gallery
By Staff Copy
ORGANISERS of the town's bi-annual gothic weekend have vowed to keep the popular event in Whitby despite suggestions to switch it to Scarborough Council's Spa Complex.
Sam Hoyle said he thinks the council only seems interested in Scarborough and are not prepared to consider increasing Whitby Pavilion’s capacity or address a lot of other issues they have.

And he said it has been suggested on numerous occasions with the council that Scarborough Spa would be able to cope with an increase in numbers.

Mr Hoyle said: “It wouldn’t work.

“No-one would come. Whitby’s Whitby. They don’t understand that.

“They are trying to make things as difficult as possible but we will fight to keep it here.”

Problems arose at last October’s gothic weekend when a problem with forgeries left revellers unable to get into the Pavilion.

Scarborough Council decided to take on the printing of the tickets in-house but Mr Hoyle said the failure to issue tickets in time meant they lost money.

He said tickets arrived around a month later than normal meaning many of the tickets which they send on to outside sellers in shops around the country were sent out later than expected and they couldn’t sell them in time.

“We ended up actually losing money from this,” he said.

“The pavilion were supposed to be selling tickets for us but they didn’t sell their quota.

“When we asked for the tickets they hadn’t sold back, they said only if you buy them back. They’re our tickets.

“I feel very let down by Scarborough Council because they won’t knock any money off our bill.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hoyle said the police have told him the event had gone without a hitch.

He said he is currently in talks with Insp Pete Morgan from Whitby police and health and safety officers from Scarborough Council about what they can do about the problems with the Elsinore and Little Angel pubs where last October there were issues with crowds of people drinking in Flowergate.

He said: “The landlords were asked to try and stop people from drinking on the streets which I believe happened.

“Although it wasn’t a sell-out it was absolutely brilliant.

Unfriendly and petty officialdom ruined popular weekend for town

# 18 May 2007
Source: Whitby Gazette Friday

View Gallery
By Staff Copy
From: Jim Mandeville, Wellingborough, Northants.
ALONG with friends, I paid one of my regular visits to Whitby.

We were all delighted to find it was a Goth weekend, as usual colourful and great fun with friendly people.

Like other non-Goths, we appreciate the atmosphere the weekend creates in the town and know the event will be trouble fee. So what were the police and Scarborough Council thinking of?

To our horror, we found a police van complete with surveillance camera camped at the top of Flowergate on Saturday night.

We also heard council officials were also doing their best to put a dampener on the party.

If I
may make a suggestion to both the police and council it is this.

The Goths are a valuable asset to Whitby and while their visit may pose some logistical problems the answer is not to clamp down but to look for solutions to make the event go well.

Be welcoming – you will find the traders are already adept at this and some consultation with them would surely produce workable solutions.

For Flowergate in particular, the authorities do not seem to appreciate this has become a favourite evening venue for Goths and therefore work to encourage it. Why not suspend parking for the evenings of Goth weekend and even close the road to other than residents and emergency vehicles.

Simply, let’s see the authorities work with the organisers and traders to encourage the weekend and not to present the unfriendly face of petty officialdom we were unfortunately subjected to on this occasion.

Street would not be used by the goths to 'party'

By June R Whisson
From: June R Whisson, Upgang Lane, Whitby
thank you for printing my letter in the 17 May edition of the Gazette but I feel the headline highlighting the letter was misleading.

To suggest my request to close the top end of Flowergate from Skinner Street to Brunswick Street to enable the goths to ‘party’ suggests to the uninitiated there is likely to be some rowdy behaviour.

This, you and I both know, is not the case.

The reason the goths like to congregate in that area is to meet old friends, make new ones and to show off their outfits, be it sometimes bizarre but always tasteful and often expensive.

They then party as you suggest, when they go to the Pavilion or The Met.

Whitby benefits from the visitors who come to the town because the goths are here and like to see them having a good time as well as admire their outfits.

There is no loutish behaviour, no smashing of windows, just a group of like-minded people enjoying themselves.

I also know many local people who although are not goths, use the weekend as an excuse to dress up like them.
Last Updated: 05 June 2007 12:58 PM

Disgusted at the attitude to the gothic weekend

* 08 June 2007
* Source: Whitby Gazette Friday
* Location: Whitby

From: S Davis, Bagdale, Whitby
REGARDING the comments about Whitby Gothic Weekend by J Whisson and J Mandeville.

We agree with all said by the above.

My partner and I have lived in Whitby for several years and always looked forward to, and thoroughly enjoy, the goth weekends.

The atmosphere is wonderful, as are the people.

Why is it the authorities, recently, seem to have a downer on the goths, who are no trouble and bring lots of fun and revenue to the town?

Are the powers-that-be shooting themselves in the foot or, (not wanting to sound cynical) has it something to do with the organisers being approached with the view to moving the event to Scarborough?

It appears, anything that is successful in Whitby, especially financially, is a potential target.

Whoever organised this over-the-top officialdom will, no doubt, sleep easy knowing the event was disappointing to goths, visitors who came especially to see the event, local people and businesses.

We are disgusted with the authorities’ attitude to this unique event which, incidentally, made national television last year.

Moving the goths was 'naive and ill-advised'

* 15 June 2007
* Source: Whitby Gazette Friday
* Location: Whitby

View Gallery
By Staff Copy
From: Julian Kynaston, Hillside, Robin Hoods Bay
Throughout my time as chairman of one of the UK’s leading marketing and PR consultancies I have acted as an adviser for a number of towns and cities looking to improve their reputation and national standing.

I have experienced at first hand the importance of personality and being unique and the difficulties when neither exists.

It is therefore ironic Scarborough Council sees fit to rip apart a key element of Whitby’s personality and heritage with its nonsensical suggestions for the Whitby Gothic Weekend.

Their decision this year to purge goths from the streets outside the Little Angel and the Elsinore public houses was naive and ill-advised.

The Whitby Gothic Weekend attracts thousands of people, many of whom travel from all over the world.

As well as the obvious commercial and charitable benefits, it provides Whitby with a cultural richness, and the friendly interaction between the goths, the locals and those who just come to witness the event.

In my mind it is a huge factor in Whitby’s recent renaissance and was a key part of the criteria which led to the town being voted Britain’s top seaside resort by the magazine Holiday Which? last year.

The Whitby Gothic Weekend is a phenomenon which should not and cannot be realistically corralled or moulded.

The council would do well to serve as a passive and grateful supporter, protecting and assisting both the organisers of the festival and the visiting goths themselves.

Officially closing off the street as suggested in a recent letter to the Gazette, would be a good starting point.

And, of course the recent muting of moving the festival to Scarborough is ridiculous.

It’s just plain wrong, unless the council is happy to gloss over the rather major fact in Stoker’s book Dracula the Demeter actually landed in Whitby.

Do they think thousands of goths just randomly selected Whitby as a convenient place to meet?

Perhaps we should encourage the Bronte Museum to be re-housed in Sheffield and maybe Magna could move to Bradford, what with its strong steel heritage. Whitby provides the cultural relevance of the festival, so to move it would put the entire event at risk, and threaten an essential revenue stream for many businesses in the area.

Above all, the gothic weekend provides Whitby with global recognition.

It is an asset which much bigger towns and cities in the UK, who are all battling regeneration and renaissance issues, can only dream of. It is extraordinary Scarborough Council could even consider meddling with its formula.

This is a decision which is dictated by misguided commercialism, but above all, cultural ignorance.

As for holding it in Scarborough, two points – read the book. And secondly, no goths would go.

It’s that simple.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hate Crime Petition

The subcultural hate crimes petition is continuing to grow. It now has 1,308 signatures making it currently about number 160 out of 8491 active petitions. It will get an official response from the Prime Minister's office when complete in March. If it continues to grow at this rate it will have around 6000 signatures by then which would put it in the top 40. Interesting that there is still much discussion posted online about this. It is good that it is debated and this shows alternative people do not leap into things without considering them as shown in the strong points raised against the idea in I noted in the Hate Crime and Subcultures - the debate post. I still have some reservations about hate crimes legislation, but it is an idea people need to think through for themselves.

It may be the type of awareness raising and education the SOPHIE campaign is involved in is more useful in the end, but signing will not do any harm and will hopefully raise publicity and importantly awareness from the authorities. Yet there is no hope being too optimistic after all the recent Camden petition with 36,000 signatures had no effect. The real danger however is apathy though suggesting nothing can be done at all. Action needs to be taken and this petition is part of that.

New tactic in hunt for ‘goth’ attackers

In the latest development the Council have condemned the attacks and the police are trying hard to find them. Despite earlier reports claiming this is an isolated incident comments from local alternative folk indicate this is just a more extreme example of an ongoing problem in Burnley.

Gordon Birtwistle, leader of Burnley Council, said: "We live in a diverse society where people can dress how they want.

"I am horrified that people should feel they can disrupt other people's lives by doing this.

"I think the problem is that kids don't respect other people's views or even other people and this problem has to be addressed in homes and schools."

Agony Advice on goths

Some interesting advice columns from the Mirror

Older boy's bad influence - Kids and Family - Your Life - Showbiz -

"Older boy's bad influence KIDS COLEEN NOLAN My daughter who's 14 has started going out with a 16-year-old lad. She's dyed her hair black, wears black make-up and has become moody and withdrawn. She's been talking about getting piercings in her ears. I'm worried she'll get into drugs. What can I do? Angie O'Connor London

Coleen Says: YOU need to start trying to be a parent. At 14 your daughter is still a child, lives in your house and must stick to your rules... With the clothes and the make up she's obviously testing out the Goth look. Tell her: "I'm letting you wear those clothes because you like them", but if you don't want her to have piercings then that's a no. If she does get it done, punish her. Your daughter needs to know that she can't push it."

Dr Miriam Stoppard 30/10/2006 Daily Mirror
Dear Miriam,

TEENAGER Rosie Webster (pictured below) went Goth for a while in Coronation Street and my daughter's done the same. She's in with a group who paint their faces white, dye their hair jet black and wear almostblack lipstick. You can hardly see her eyes for kohl. What's got into her?

A year ago she was blonde, bouncy and fun. Now she mopes around and hardly speaks. Should I be worried? She's been anorexic in the past.

Miriam says...GOTHS have a fascination with pain and death and while, for many, it's a passing sign of teenage rebellion, it's not always just posturing. A Glasgow study of 1,000 young people aged 11 to 19 revealed that, of those considering themselves Goths, nearly half had attempted suicide and more than half had self-harmed - far higher figures than normal where around 10 per cent self-harm and six per cent attempt suicide.

It's been suggested Goths emulate their icons or peers but the reverse seems true - most in the survey had begun self-harming long before becoming Goths, which makes you think vulnerable children are attracted to the subculture.

So keep an eye on your daughter and make sure she knows she has your support.

The 2006 Glasgow University Study strikes again.

Marilyn Manson not to blame for violence

Interesting article covering Asa Coon and Manson.

Marilyn Manson not to blame for violence
The Orion, CA -16 Oct 2007

After Columbine, Sen. Joe Lieberman said the problem was music.

Lieberman said violent lyrics from artists such as Marilyn Manson are "helping to create a culture of violence that is increasingly enveloping our children, desensitizing them to consequences and ultimately cheapening the value of human life."

According to one study, music doesn't just affect children. It affects college students, too.

In a series of five experiments involving more than 500 college students, researchers from Iowa State University and the Texas Department of Human Services examined the effects of seven violent songs by seven artists and eight nonviolent songs by seven artists.

The result: students who listened to violent songs were left feeling more aggressive and hostile without provocation or threat. The study's lead researcher said these aggressive thoughts and feelings have implications for real violence.

But, again, it's all up for interpretation.

Paul Friedlander, director of the music industry program at Chico State, said there is no substantial evidence that suggests music has anything to do with violent acts.

If anything, more research says otherwise, he said.

"Research has clearly indicated that there is no correlation to listening to a song and being impelled to do something," Friedlander said. "Otherwise, every time you'd listen to NWA you'd shoot a person; or (with) Doris Day, you'd go out on a field and dance in a field of daisies."

Friedlander has a point, but many suggest that a few people will act violently after listening to violent music. And some will argue that one case is enough.

The Cleveland student was described as a "goth." He had black painted nails and wore all black clothes, including a Manson T-shirt. Manson was the boy's idol, according to several reports. So naturally, just like after Columbine, Manson was targeted. Maybe not directly, but his name was mentioned.

People still blame Manson and other artists for many pointless acts of violence.

Is that fair?

Friedlander, who is also a musician, said the answer is no.

Because if that were the case, "Why not blame Elvis for the sexual revolution of the '60s?" he said. People use music simply to help create their identities, Friedlander said. And that may include how one looks.

"If I'm a certain way, I'm going to listen to a certain kind of music," he said. "If I were to listen to Britney Spears, I'd probably be a teenage girl."

The Manson fan was just a teenage boy. A teenage boy who listened to Manson because he made him feel OK for being an outcast, for being different, for being exactly who he was.

In no way did Manson's lyrics tell the boy to go on a shooting rampage. Other factors influenced the boy. What were they? Sadly, that question will never be answered. [This is not true see other articles on this case the boy had mental problems and was frequently bullied.]

Here are some possibilities, though, something that nobody - except for Manson himself in an interview with Michael Moore - seems to talk about.

The problem isn't music. It's the influence of our country and government, Manson said.

According to the National Education Association's Health Information Network at, American children are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun and nine times more likely to die from a firearm accident than children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

That's appalling.

This stat's no better: In 2005, firearms killed zero children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada and 5,285 in the United States, according to the site.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another radio host shoots his mouth off

Amazing level of nonsense on the Asa Coon killings here it must be Fox News.

Another radio host shoots his mouth off

Thu, Oct. 18, 2007 On Oct. 10, when news accounts reported a shooting at a Cleveland alternative school, Gibson, a Fox News radio and TV host, quickly worked out a program condemning hip-hop music.

Because the school, SuccessTech Academy, which stresses technology and entrepreneurship for high-achieving students, is 85 percent black, Gibson, who is white, surmised that the shooting was the result of the actions of a black student who had listened to too many violent hip-hop lyrics.

After noting with great fanfare that hip-hop's violence was leaving the streets and coming into our schools, he soon had to correct himself.

He admitted that he thought the school shooter was an African-American student who had been influenced by violent lyrics. "Turns out it's a white guy," Gibson said.

A pre-recorded voice that is used in the show asked whether Gibson was wrong. "Gibson's not wrong," he said, speaking about himself in the third person. "Gibson is not wrong."
What? Excuse me. Gibson was wrong.

His whole premise was that the shooting in Cleveland was precipitated by hip-hop music and its effect on black children. Then he learned that the shooter was white. But instead of changing that premise, he trudged on. He continued to blame hip-hop for the shooting in Cleveland, but said that music also is claiming white kids.

"Well, you know, you can't deny it," Gibson continued. "I mean, there's a gazillion of those things out there and the kids are listening on their iPods, and the kids listening on their iPods are not all black kids. Some white kids listen, too."
His sidekick then pointed out that the shooter, 14-year-old Asa H. Coon, was a fan of Marilyn Manson's music.

If it isn't metal, then it must be hip hop music to blame. How about the bullying, difficult home life and the fact he had two handguns rather than music? See this article:

Bullies, mental instability to blame in school shooting - Opinion:
Florida University Beacon 18 Oct 2007: Another factor leading to Coon's predetermining 'snap' would be the fact that he was allowed back to SuccessTech after being removed from his mother's custody in 2006 to live in a Family Services shelter where he tried to commit suicide.

His actions in school grew more troubling after, possibly because he needed to be institutionalized.

Coon received psychological treatment in 2006 but was uncooperative. Committing him to an asylum would have been a more effective course of action.

Knowing all of this information about Coon, the school should have had the foresight to tell that Coon would reciprocate when he was suspended, not only because of his past violent behavior, but because several students Coon confided in told the principal what Coon had said.

But this wouldn't be the first instance of Coon being ignored by the apathetic school: He was constantly bullied and sought after to appear as though he was the cause of a problem, just to 'mess with' Coon.
"I ain't justifying nothing," a friend told CNN affiliate WOIO. "I ain't saying he did the right thing but I am saying he got pushed for a long time and asked them people to help, help, help, help, but nobody helped.' A testimony like that, had Coon not taken his own life, would most definitely been used in Coon's trial, because however horrific, Coon acted in his own defense. The parents of Coon's attackers need to realize their part in this-it's not just the 'loner' who needs to be locked up, sometimes it takes an equally unstable person to bully someone the way Coon was bullied. If Coon hadn't gone through beatings and taunting on a daily basis, would he have been driven to his breaking point? From a logical standpoint, probably not. While Coon is by no stretch of the imagination a sane or stable person, he was a victim of circumstance: his psyche shattered by years of obvious trauma, his classmates shunned and pummeled him, and the one beacon of hope and protection, the SuccessTech Academy, wanted nothing to do with him. How is it that in schools of thousands, one eccentric student can be observed, but in a school of 240, the one with a staggering and visible mental illness goes unnoticed. "

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Attack on four goth/mosher teens in Burnley

In a town 5 miles from Bacup where Sophie Lancaster was murdered and her boy friend put into a coma two months by a mob attack a new vicious attack motivated by wearing alternative fashions occurred on Saturday the 20th of October. A group of 4 people were attacked by up to 12 youths with sticks and bottles, who according to those attacked were dressed in a “chav” style. What is more though the article does not mention it, according to comments on the article, another couple of alternative teens were attacked earlier that day in Burnley. Police are investigating.

This was two days after the committal to trial of the five accused in the Sophie Lancaster case which was held in Burnley Youth court. Is this sudden spate of attacks in the same town a coincidence?

It has been suggested the attack may have been motivated by the newspaper article in the Lancashire Telegraph printed the day before which reported that some shopkeepers in Blackburn claimed that Emos and Goths were intimidating Blackburn shoppers. This may be an unhappy co-incidence but who can say? See previous posts on this.

And what about media coverage of Asa Coon a week earlier see School Killing involves "goth"?