Friday, April 4, 2008

Important - Debate in Parliament due to Sophie

The success of the petition has led to a plan for a debate in Parliament:

Murder may lead to law change April 4th

"Now Rossendale MP Janet Anderson and Haslingden MP Greg Pope are set to request an adjournment debate in the House of Commons to call for the widening of the law to include such an attack under the definition of a hate crime as soon as possible.

Their debate will have to be responded to by the appropriate government minister, but they are prohibited from applying for the debate until sentencing has taken place later this month. They will also be putting forward an Early Day Motion calling on the government to give the matter 'urgent consideration'."

Please write to your MP about this issue and ask them to back the call for a debate after sentencing in the Sophie case on April 28th.

Remember you can make a difference. Let me know if you get a response.

The Rossendale Free Press delivered this news in a contination of its excellent coverage in a special pull out section - THE tragic story of Sophie Lancaster, the 20-year-old girl killed after being attacked in a Bacup park, gained national headlines. Follow the full story in our special section" which can be found online here:

Sophie Lancaster

Meanwhile the very popular brand Alchemy worn by many alternative people has added its voice to those denouncing the crime:


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Slash hates Emos? Mxico anti-emo row still going on

A classic case of irresponsible reporting.

Slash and Perez Hilton Split Votes On Emo
Exclaim!, Canada - 31 Mar 2008

And if things weren’t bad enough, guitar-master extraordinaire, Slash, has now stepped up to fuel the fire. In a recent interview with the Daily Star, the former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist weighed into emo, and modern rock in general. “Rock ’n’ roll is so diluted in this millennium, you just don’t hear good solos. And I hate emo,” Slash said. “With the exception of Jack White —who is great — the new breed of bands aren’t bringing out decent guitarists.” So it’s official: Slash hates emo.
Look again:

A - Slash wasn't talking about Mexico
B - Or assaulting emos

He was stating he hates emo music. A fair comment. What is not fair is to report that hating emo music and hating emos is the same thing and that Slash wants riots to happen. It is not a question of taking sides on whether emo music is any good. The question is whether it is right to physically beat some one because they listen to a certain type of music or dress in a certain way. If you advocate that you are arguing against the freedom of speech and expression which is at the heart of democracy, and you are on the same side as both the Taliban and the Nazis.

You might think anti-emo riots are funny if it was attacks against Jews or blacks would you be laughing?

"At the core of this is the homophobic issue," Victor Mendoza, a youth worker in Mexico City, told Time magazine. "The other arguments are just window dressing for that. This is not a battle between music styles at all. It is the conservative side of Mexican society fighting against something different."

Conspiracy theories meanwhile are rife:
Mexico’s media spotlight youth subcultures
Daily O'Collegian, OK - 31 Mar 2008

More important posts
from Daniel Hernandez. Now an academic is arguing emos are not a bonafide 'tribu urbana' because they don't have a political ideology. >

The specialist in urban groups Héctor Castillo Berthier indicated that to consider the emos an urban tribe is incorrect, as they do not adhere to the characteristics necessary to be one, and they only represent a fad.

The article "also quotes someone who says 40 percent of emos are suicidal." Once again the typical lies are trotted out. I have yet to find any academic article which shows emos are more more likely to kill themselves than other groups.

Great so its ok to beat them up if they are sucidal or part of a "fad" then? Emos are a "fad" really - the man is a fool - the original Emo music was almost thirty years ago. Emo subculture in its modern form developed in the late nineties. It might be newish in Mexico but so was punk and goth once, both of which had popular "fad" periods in the UK and elsewhere. The main anti emo site in Mexico dates from 2006 alone which means emo must have been around for a few years before that.

Another school dress code battle - Mohawks

You might think it was about punks but no this time its the American football team.

Banning mohawks, upholding dress code is a smart decision, PA
When everyone from offensive linemen to punks and Goths choose to thumb the same nose at authority -- or to band together in solidarity?

Hail Mary pass for mohawks cut down
The Express Times, PA - 31 Mar 2008
By COLIN MCEVOY The school board voted 5-3 Monday against removing a specific reference in the school dress code that prohibits the pointed hairstyle.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prime Minister on Youth Crime plus other effects

Brown pledge to beat youth culture Manchester Evening News, April 1st

GORDON Brown has vowed to root out guns, gangs and knives in a bid to end teenage yob violence. Speaking in the wake of the brutal killings of student Sophie Lancaster and father Gary Newlove, he said his government was doing `everything in its power' to make people feel safer.Mr Newlove was attacked outside his Warrington home after confronting a gang of teenagers about vandalism. His head was said to have been `kicked like a football'.Sophie Lancaster, 20, and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were attacked by a gang in a Rossendale park - both were left in a coma and she later died.

Mr Brown said that the government's policy of neighbourhood policing was intended to create a visible presence on the streets, but on top of that, expert cops would take the lead on what he called these `difficult and heinous crimes'.He said it was right to have high-profile policing on the streets as a deterrent."As for these terrible crimes of violence, we are doing everything in our power to root out guns, gangs and knives," he told the M.E.N."We will take action against pubs, clubs or hotels selling to underaged people, or allowing them to drink, so that people generally can feel safer."There must be a presumption that people who carry knives are prosecuted." Mr Brown said new contracts would be drawn up between local people and police, giving residents more say on how anti-social behaviour and drugs are tackled.Mr Brown and Home Secretary Jackie Smith kicked off Labour's local election campaign, announcing an increase in neighbourhood police schemes.Shadow Home Secretary David Davis called this `a gimmick' and the Lib Dem's Chris Huhme said the answer was to put more police on the beat.

In Rossendale there is a move to stop youth drinking in parks as a result of
Sophie's death. Why now after the trial? Why not 6 months ago?
Call to ban alcohol in parks after Sophie's murder
This Is Lancashire, UK - 30 Mar 2008

It seems it may have been appeals by local media which helped in the naming of the acccused after the trial:
'Goth' murderers named thanks to court appeal by media, UK - 31 Mar 2008

In Burnley Sophie's death and another recent murder involving teenagers has lead to questions over park safety and new plans for improved safety.

Security measures planned for parks Burnley Express, April 1st
Are Burnley's parks safe? Burnley Express, 31 Mar 2008

Kerrang has very busy comment news on the Sophie trial.

More Corporate seizure of open space

An article in the Guardian notes how massive redevelopment seems to target areas favoured by alternative shops and people.

Cities for sale
Guardian, Saturday March 29 2008
Paul Kingsnorth

Liverpool - Architecturally, the Paradise Project will certainly be an improvement on what went before: something the city council, and the developer it is working with, is trumpeting from the roof-tops. What they are less keen to trumpet is that Paradise requires the first privatisation of a city centre anywhere in England.
Liverpool city council has sanctioned the corporate enclosure of the 42-acre city-centre site, which encompasses 34 streets and a public park. The development company Grosvenor, owned by the Duke of Westminster, the country's third-richest man, has been given a 250-year lease on this area. Grosvenor, with the enthusiastic blessing of the council, is putting into practice the kind of massive, consumer-focused re-engineering of the landscape previously seen only in private malls such as Bluewater...

The thing that bothers Don, apart from the Paradise Project itself, is that
no one else in Liverpool seems to care. Perhaps no one in Liverpool: Don is from
Manchester. About the only other significant opposition to the Paradise Project
comes from the place where we're headed now - Quiggins.
Quiggins is a three-storey shopping centre. A Liverpool institution, it's a chaos of clothes shops for teenage goths, secondhand clothes, furniture and books. It's about to be demolished to make way for Paradise. Quiggins' founders, brothers John and
Peter Tierney, set up the centre 18 years ago as a conscious attempt to keep alternative culture alive in an increasingly corporate city centre. They kept
rents deliberately low, and provided a space for creative talent to flourish.
The city council says it will find Quiggins another home, but the brothers are
not satisfied. "Quiggins is committed to Liverpool's cultural industry and has
been since its formation..." they write on their website. "It houses 45 local businesses, employing 25 local people, all helping to recycle within our local
economy." It doesn't matter much what the brothers say, though. Quiggins has
already had a compulsory purchase order issued against it.
In the noisy, wholefood cafe on Quiggins' third floor, Don and I sit down to talk. "It took me a long time, and a lot of correspondence with the developers and the council, before they finally admitted what was happening with this project," he says.
"There was a very low-key public announcement - you had to know where to look to
find it - that they were removing the rights of way from 33 streets in the city
centre. It took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, but I finally got them to admit to
me that they were replacing these rights of way with something called 'public
realm agreements.' " He looks at me with raised eyebrows.
"Well, I'd never heard of these things, so I kept pressing them, and it turned out that these 'public realm agreements' would give the public very limited access to the
streets, on Grosvenor's terms." They would be within their rights, Don tells me,
to begin access half an hour before the shops opened and end it half an hour
after they closed. There would be nothing to say that they had to allow you in
outside those times. "Remember, these are streets - this is not some private
shopping centre. Yet now you will have no right to use them unless you're
shopping. While the public are winning new rights of access in the countryside,
they're having these rights taken away in towns and cities."

Quiggins was the Liverepool equivalent of Camden and the Leeds Corn Exchange both recently "improved". There was a massive campaign in Liverpool over its move.

Meanwhile in Camden...

H&M on the High Street, but what’s in store for old market?
Camden New Journal, - 13 Mar 2008

FASHION giant H&M has confirmed it will move into Camden High Street next month, sparking fears its arrival could threaten Camden Town’s vintage market

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Goth - Media examination

An article celebrates goth's survival and discusses what goth is it also highlights Glasgow council prejudice against teenagers. [noted previously here Glasgow - Alternative teens banned from public place]

A light in the dark

Kit, an 18-year-old Glaswegian goth, believes prejudice against the youth tribe is widespread. "Everywhere we go there are always people who don't like us," she says. "When I sit on a bus people will stare and shout things at me just because I'm dressed in black.

"I have friends who have been cornered and threatened because people don't like how they were dressed. Because of the area I live and people's hostile reaction I have to tone down what I wear.

"It makes absolutely no sense because we are not a threat to anyone."

The articulate teenager, who wears a skull necklace, was one of dozens of goths who were angered when Glasgow City Council recently barred them from their favourite hangout at Royal Exchange Square. Steps between Borders bookshop and the Gallery of Modern Art were cordoned off and security guards brought in. A council spokesman said large gatherings of teenagers were intimidating visitors to a "premier shopping location".

Thhis important article talks to Manchester goths who reveal an ongoing saga of facing prejudice.

Sophie Lancaster: Goths speak out
Manchester Evening News, UK - 28 Mar 2008

Sophie - More News

Long interview with Sophie's mother:
Mother of murdered Sophie: 'After looking into the thugs' eyes, I ...
Daily Mail,

Goth girl kicked to death: Grief stricken mum's sadness
Sunday People, UK

Columnist on Sophie:
We indulge yobs - and murdered Sophie Lancaster pays the price
Times Online, 29 Mar 2008

Interesting article on Bacup:

Sophie's murder prompts violence fall
Lancashire Evening Telegraph, UK - 28 Mar 2008
Police in Bacup have dealt with just one incident of violence involving alcohol-fuelled teens since 20-year-old Sophie was murdered last August.

Goth kill: Mums in hiding
The Sun, UK - 28 Mar 2008

THE mums of two feral yobs who murdered Goth student Sophie Lancaster were in hiding last night.

Cops slammed the “appalling” parenting of Brendan Harris, 15, and Ryan Herbert, 16, who stamped on Sophie, 20, because of her fashion taste.

When The Sun confronted both women, they refused to talk.

Herbert’s mum Christine, 49, peered through her window but wouldn’t come to the door of her smart semi in Bacup, Lancs.

Harris’s mum Martine McGuinn — who had laughed as cops quizzed her son — ran into her terraced home and stayed holed up all day.

Harris was convicted on Thursday of Sophie’s murder and GBH on her boyfriend Robert Maltby, 20.

Herbert had admitted murder. They will be sentenced in April.

Emo Wars - Update

Problems spread to just south of the Texas border.

Police raise vigilance after 'emos' incident
El Paso Times, TX - 27 Mar 2008
By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

A confrontation in the upscale Las Misiones mall between teenage cliques of "emos" and "punks" on Wednesday night has Juárez police officials stepping in and asking for tolerance.

The mall incident, which police said might have been sparked by an exchange of words, might have been a copycat of highly publicized attacks on emos by mobs in Queretaro and Mexico City.

Juárez public safety secretary Guillermo Prieto Quintana in a news statement on Thursday said the police anti-gang unit would increase patrols at teen hangouts to discourage problems.

Prieto Quintana said that Mexico's northern border has traditionally been tolerant of all types of expressions, and he urged teens to respect others' right to self-expression.

The emo is a style and musical offshoot of punk music. Emos often sport dark hair covering part of their faces, dark clothing and an emotional outlook that has been described by some as effeminate, which might have fueled the mob attacks in the macho culture of Mexico.

The attacks on emos in Mexico have gained international attention, with television news airing videos filmed by the punch-throwing mobs chanting, "Kill the emos." On Thursday, Time magazine's Web site had a report titled "Mexico's Emo-Bashing Problem."

Latest from Daniel Hernandez:

It was supposed to have been a multi-tribe peaceful march for tolerance for the emos, from the Glorieta de Insurgentes to the one-and-only El Chopo street market, where for 25 years nearly every branch of alternative youth culture in Mexico City has gathered on Saturdays. Nevermind. It failed.

On a hot and rainy day here, emos arrived to El Chopo and were received with nasty resistance from some punks, skinheads, and darketos. It should have been expected. At the start of the march, I barely saw a single sympathetic member of any another tribu urbana.
In Mexico, violence against a youth subculture known as the emos ...
Los Angeles Times, CA - 28 Mar 2008

The YouTube Generation gets violent; “emos” shaking in their Chucks
Michigan Daily, MI - 27 Mar 2008

Even Perez Hilton has covered it:

And The Attacks Continue

Just Leave The Little Emo Kids Alone!

A number of online sources seem to blame the conservative feelings of Mexicans (with a thinly veiled feelings of racial prejudice) for the attacks. That indeed may be part of the problem but what sparked it off ultimately is in fact anti-emo trends which originated outside Mexico which have been documented on this site.

Meanwhile in Australia emos are abusing scene kids.

Inside the clash of the teen subcultures
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - 29 Mar 2008
Because the movement is still young, emos and Scene kids often find themselves battling for territory. EJ said she, Kirra and Eliza received abuse from emos