Friday, March 17, 2006

Let's get writing...

Ruth has written to her MP and asked about a public inquiry into 7th July. And guess what - he supports her calls and will ask for one!

Fellow-survivor Steve has also written to his MP and is hoping for a response soon.

As we can see from Charles Clarke's reponse to my father's question, and his subesequent more concilatory letter and offfer of a meeting, and his response to Dave Cross, M.Ps will respond to questions asked by their constituents. ( Most of the time).

So - let's get writing -I am sure that if many of us write, then we CAN make a difference. The questions will not go away, and so they will be answered, eventually, because it will become untenable not to. These attacks did not come out of a blue sky. After all, we are the ones who are told attacks were'' inevitable'' in March 2004, that an attack by suicide bombers was 'almost inevitable and only a matter of time' back in 2003!

And we're told there will be more attacks, but we're also also told to use the trains and buses and walk the streets. We need to know the risks we run, but far more importantly, we need to learn from the atrocity, try to understand its causes, try to learn from our response to it, so we can save lives, spare suffering in the future. That is all I want, and this is not about making cheap political points. Ambulances taking two hours to arrive? Ambulance staff not being able to communicate with their managers when out of their vehicles? All the other July 7th questions that haunt victims? We need to learn. We need and we deserve to know, dammit.
And of course, it would be helpful to understand how much was known about the radicalising effect, warned of by spooks of the pre-agreed Iraq war on young British men, how much was known about young British men leaving the U.K for Pakistan and whether they set off to train at miltant jihad camps in Pakistan , whether they returned intending to return to fight jihad in the UK, whether such camps were set up directly after and in response to the invasion of Iraq, and
what our Government knew about the risks of terror attacks in the U.K before 7th July.

And I would like to know whether the British Government's policies on Guantanomo, Abu Ghraib and other places of prisoner abuse, their position on extraordinary rendition, torture and holding detainees without charge, and whether they consider if such policies are formenting rage, feeding the anger? For terror needs anger, needs hatred to feed and to give itself the cover of a ''cause'', one that young men feel they could die for. Terror is a sickness that feeds on anger and fear. What about being tough on the causes of terror? What about truth, compassion, stepping back from this madness and violence? Does it have to be this way?

It could have been anyone on my train on 7th July morning. There were people from all over the world making that journey. Men, women, young, old, and many races and faiths and backgrounds. How many more must die in bombs, attacks of terror, here and abroad? How many more injured? What are the lessons of July 7th? Are we going to learn anything from the day suicide bombers came to London? Are our questions ever going to be answered?

Meanwhile, in Iraq, every day is July 7th now


Find your M.P if this interests you, if you have questions. And it seems many of us do.
Writetothem make sit easy - you can do it online. (Although it seems that you may have more success if you put a hard copy in the post).
Or sign the petition started by myself and signed by other survivors, and members of the public.

Get vocal, get postal, make your voice heard. What have we got to lose? And what could we, and what could truth gain?

UPDATE: Steve, fellow survivor very sensibly asks: Please can everyone...
a) be polite b) only write to their own MP c) ask sensible questions.
Otherwise it will be wasted effort.
Quite. Good point. Thanks Steve!
And thanks Davide for your latest post.

UPDATE 2: Clarke in London bomb row with cleric ( Sunday Times)
UPDATE3: Clarke apologises for attack ( Sunday Telegraph) .
UPDATE 4: Clarke belaboured by a turbulent priest ( Observer)

16 Comments:

Blogger ozzyru27 said...

Rachel,
Thank you for posting this, I hope we get alot of responses.
Since receiving the letter this morning, and writing it up tonight, I have been on a mental role and have come up with loads of ideas for publishing a call for an inquiry/eg, getting people to sign the petition, getting public to take notice and in turn the government have no option due to the vast amount of pressure.
You'll have to forgive me if some of these ideas are a little mad, Im an artist and I find way out advertising for my stuff goes a long way! I brainstorm to much sometimes, but its paid off for me in past!
Heres a few of my ideas:
T.shirts we could wear with petition address on, anyone with business cards, to stamp address on back, asking companies to put links of address on their websites, leafleting to local houses??, calm but methodical protests?, rallies?, Bill boards: can't be ignored and stating importance. Asking local papers to print petition, ask national papers to print petition like the sun (eg when they did the sarah paine petition they got thousands of results)and hence action, oh and asking companies that deliver papers or magazines every week for free to print petition, eg like weekly advertiser and like we have here a 'Dorset news' magazine?
They are only thoughts, forgive my brainstorm ranting, but they could work, more pressure government see they might begin to take notice.
Ruth xx

March 17, 2006 8:03 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

I'll let you know what my MP says when he replies (he has always done so when I write to him). Meanwhile, I've posted an update on my blog. I'll add something about this campaign in a minute.

March 17, 2006 8:32 pm  
Blogger steve said...

A hard copy is going in the post tomorrow. I will post in on my blog also.

Rachel, as this your blog seems to be campaign central at the moment could you stress that people should:

a) be polite

b) only write to their own MP

c) ask sensible questions.

Otherwise it will be wasted effort.

March 17, 2006 8:50 pm  
Anonymous Joon Flowers said...

I am going to write to my MP too. I was not directly involved in the July bombings although a relative of mine was and two of my daughter's work colleagues were on the piccadilly line train. I have e-mailed my MP once to ask how he was going to vote on a certain matter and he got right back to me (with the answer I wanted). So I will ask him to support the call for an enquiry in the July bombings. I will let you know what he says.

March 18, 2006 12:33 am  
Anonymous Carl E. said...

In the US, hard-copy letters seem to get better attention from legislators when they are printed on stiff, heavy-weight paper. I guess it implies a certain level of authority on part of the writer. You can use your word processor to create the look of printed letterhead by using a classic, formal typeface in a slightly larger type face for your name/address/ etc. centered at the top of the letter, with a different font for the rest of the letter.

March 18, 2006 4:44 am  
Blogger Ham said...

Interesting thought - someone in Charles Clake's office must be reading this blog. Well well.

March 19, 2006 8:17 am  
Anonymous Joon Flowers said...

Dear Rachel, I have e-mailed my MP this morning asking what his views are on the subject of a full public enquiry. Here's the body of the e-mail:

"On the subject of the July bombings, many people, as you know, are
calling for a full public enquiry and I would like to know if you
support their call for such an enquiry. I certainly hope you do.

One of the tube lines that was affected by the July bombings, the
Piccadilly line, runs through your constituency, at Oakwood, (and it
is the line that my family uses to get to work in London). I would,
however, want a full public enquiry, and certainly not the proposed
"narrative" - which we certainly do not need - whereever I lived.

I would be most interested to know your views on this matter and look
forward to hearing from you."

I will let you know what he says. I have e-mailed him once before and he got back to me pretty promptly.

March 19, 2006 11:45 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Joon, nice one!

;-)

March 19, 2006 2:00 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Jai I have made my position to you quite clear. I think you are attemting to conflate fundementalist Muslims with terrorism and I am calling you on it.

You have said 'the Muslim faithful fight', you have said 'Muslims have a monopoly on terrorisms', you have used the word 'appease' - I call you: off topic, and stirring, and with an agenda I am not goign to indulge on this blog any more, which is not a place for stirring up race or faith-hatred.

YOu have not read my responses properly, you are off topic, you have attempted to push a very particular fairly objectionable agenda - Time's up. No trolling please - trolls get deleted.

March 19, 2006 6:14 pm  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

bit slow on the uptake but great that they've gone with the story...hoorah!
hx

March 20, 2006 1:36 pm  
Anonymous seth said...

hi rachel,

happy belated st pattys day..i had a frosty guiness and a green bagel for u :)

i have been following things on your site and on the bbc news?

i did see two anti-war protests on tv..one in nyc the other somewhere else alas i was away for most of the weekend.

hope alls well with u and j...seth :)

March 20, 2006 5:12 pm  
Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Going on three years with the war. Just makes me feel sad on so many levels.

March 20, 2006 10:44 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Delweted. Racist, anti-semitic, faith-hate, or any kind of hateful comment will be deleted on sight. Jai wasn't even on topic, his comments are not going to last long. If he comments again and I am not arouind to delete immediately then please everyone just ignore him, it is a troll with a anti-Muslim agenda.

Seth, hello, I went on the antiwar protest, there were at one point over 50,000 people and it took 3 hours to do the march on a FREEEEEEEEZING afternoon, but I felt that I had to be there, in solidarity with those who are bombed every day and for whom every day is like July 7th.

March 21, 2006 7:41 am  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

Hi Rachel, I think someone should tell The Sun that you are acually alive and well.

The Home Secretary is willing to insult the bereaved dad of a 7/7 bomb victim, but he won’t lift a politically-correct finger to protect us against killers. Real investigative journalism eh?

March 21, 2006 2:07 pm  
Anonymous Alex Runswick said...

Hi Rachel

Congratulations on getting a response from Charles Clarke!

I just wanted to add that the easiest way for pwople to write to their MP is through write to them www.writetothem.com

It only takes a couple of minutes. If you don't know who your MP is just type in your post code and they will tell you who it is. As has already been mentioned MPs only have to reply if you are a constituent.

March 21, 2006 3:46 pm  
Anonymous seth said...

hiya,

boy the crowds sure turn out in london here in ny there were maybe 1200 to 1500 people scattered at different sites oh well.

talk to u later,

seth :)

March 21, 2006 9:51 pm  

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