By Melvyn Kohn
July 5, 2009
It's been a while since I posted. Truth to tell I just forgot my password, then I found it on some old slip of paper. So good to be back on this site. I am also back in New York. It is hot today, and rather relaxed, everyone was having a picnic yesterday for the 4th.
First thing I noticed was how expensive things are we take for granted in London. It took me an hour to find an internet cafe - Cyber
Cafe on 49th near 8th, and they charged me $12.50 an hour. I used to pay 50p an hour in North London, OK, a pound in Belsize Park. I still don't have my own laptop but seeing these prices I may get one. And blog more here.
Spent the weekend in Riverdale/Fieldston, up by Manhattan College, might go out to Long Island in the week.
It is all a nice break from my working with asylum cases at Harmondsworth. I was posting at www.hurryupharry.org in May and June about it all, and trying to get justice for some people. Just last week a new company took over running it, GEO. This company certainly has some impressive credentials, such as the most number of deaths in custody, the largest inmate related law suit, and the fact that it hired a paedophile to work at a juvenile detention centre, where he abused a young man.
The company got off to a nice start by removing the hot/cold water maching from the dining hall, doubling the prices of certain items, and sending the dogs in on Moslems. Everyone rallied around them as this breached their religious codes. They then had a discussion with the Imam, and his Koranic interpretation reminded me of some discourses on Torah. He decreed that dogs desecrated a space, but the person whose space was desecrated could not be reasonably expected to do anything so they could continue to pray in their rooms after dogs had been in. But some raised the quesion about what was reasonable - if they did not protest at all, could they allow this to go on? There was almost a protest, and many of the staff were themselves thinking of protesting, as they took away the water machines from them as well.
Oh well, anything to make a buck, even if you skim it off your own employees or torture victims.
That decision came with no discussion from any rabbi or imam. It is enshrined in the religion of such people, written in the unholy of unholies. I hope they get their contract revoked soon, just as it has at times been in the US. We do not need this company and its un-Kosher/un-Halal ways operating in the UK. I stand with the Moslems in this and will be writing letters to the Home Office to rectify this situation.