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> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

More Yoko No 2 - Yoko v We All Shot Pudsey Bear

25 June 2012


Yoko Ono, Planting Acorns, Bagism, Bed Ins, We All Shot Pudsey Bear, We Are Spartacus, DPAC, direct action

Walking down Oxford Street en route to the Serpentine it struck me that two things I respect may be incompatible.   Yoko's great campaign is for peace. She loves you. Single equality issues such as racism, feminism, ageism can be mollified through observance of the greater cause. Her tactic's have included planting acorns, bagism (against prejudice and stereotyping) bed in's for peace (protesting war, promoting peace). Her work is best seen as an opportunity to be included, involved. She...

Comments: 0

Get stuck into Karamel Music for the last time this season

17 July 2012


Rosely Funari is manager of the Karamel Club and she is is very serious. Every time she talks to me she talks to me about Disability Issues. I listen to her, she tells me what she is doing and then I buy a drink. Her latest pride other than employing a disabled person is the new ramp and an access audit that says other than the gap between bars the loo is accessible. She is so serious she won't even turn on the glitter ball because she was asked to turn it off once. I'm teasing her...

Comments: 0

Chatting to A Chugger 4

26 September 2012


Crippen's Problem cartoon

We are walking through a busy Camden High road, too wrapped up in each other to notice the people funneling around the chugger so it is we find ourselves face to face with the garroulous scottish one. "You ever heard of Battersea Dogs Home?" "Yes" "Are you english?" "No" I am english. Its just sometimes that when people ask me direct yes no questions i alternate my answers. Its fun to see how long it takes people to cotton on that i'm playing with them....

Comments: 3

Welcome To the 5th Annual Burn Pudsey Friday

1 October 2012


cartoon of a yellow bear with a spotty bandage and a smile - with a gun pointing at its head

The We All Shot Pudsey Bear Facebook Group started its Burn Pudsey Friday Event five years ago. It always coincides with The Children In Need telefon event and so if nothing else saves us from watching crap tv with crap celebs doing crap things. So if you are looking for something to do on 16th Novemeber 2012..... Historically the page started when Clare Lewis sent me a picture of Pudsey with a bullet wound, a gun and the slogan 'I Shot Pudsey Bear'.  I found this extremely funny - though...

Comments: 0

Touched by the hand of Jimmy Savile

12 October 2012


a manipulated image of jimmy savile placing more emphasis on his hands rather than his face

 A response from a member of the We All Shot Pudsey Bear facebook group invited to the Burn Pudsey Friday event suggested that we should target the beeb for direct action. This has been done before and it is not the first call that i've heard for the same. I've never felt able to lead in this way but i've been thinking about things and I am wondering what the interest and commitment would be like. My first thought was maybe we could add that sad olympic mascot Mandeville to the burning...

Comments: 5

One Lovely Blog Award

27 October 2012


I've just revisited an old blog entry Raising A Glass To The next 50 Years Of Jimmying, a poem reflecting on the SaVILE scandal. I visit old blogs to make sure I'm listening to the people who are responding to me. And blow me down, Melissa Mostyn Thomas  said she liked it so much she's nominated me for The One Lovely Blog Award. For a moment I dream't of other people reading Raising A Glass, liking it and coughing up lots of lovely spondies to me, its creator. Then the pale penny dropped....

Comments: 0

On Entering the Save the ILF Postcard Campaign Photo Gallery

10 May 2014


I have barely taken to the streets to Save The ILF. I’ve done a little but maybe not enough. It’s not apathy. I always had something else to do.  I campaigned for independent living before I even knew a fund that supports independent living was at risk. I chanted Free Our People with the best of them. It was more a case of redirecting my energies. I advocated for direct payments. I found employment with Merton Centre for Independent Living. I was committed but further away from...

Comments: 6

To Dan, An open letter of love

25 May 2014


Dear Dan I'm home now, sorting through some old photos. I come across several from the time i knew you. I loved you for the good and bad things that you were to me. I adored the conceit of spelling your name in capitals and the statements that you said it made about you. You said you were Direct, that you took Action and that you Network. You could have been any old DAN but you weren't. You said you were the Disabled People's DAN and they were  like you. They were direct,...

Comments: 2

Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement

21 July 2014


Way back in time  a fellow named Lord Joffe tried to get the Assisted Dying Bill through parliament. The Disabled People's Direct Action Network (DAN) mobilised and put on a show which the majority of the Lords supported. I remember taking a shot of an activist from Birmingham (Paul? if memory serves). He was holding a placard reading 'Lords of Death'. I looked for it. It felt apposite. Timely and with shades of Doctor Who. A science fiction skit perhaps wherein the elderly,...

Comments: 1

Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement 2

22 July 2014


Activist from Disabled People's Direct Action Network holds placard outside House Of Lords reading 'Lords of Death'

Thanks to Dennis Queen for telling me where I could the picture I was looking for in Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement Again this comes from the action against Lord Joffe's bill not Lord Falconer's. I suppose if you replace a spade with a spade it still goes by the same name - 'Lord Of Death'. Great title sir. Back in the day, we all knew the Lords of Death would be back. Flocking rook like in a parliamentree, espousing blinkered wisdom like owls caught in daylight. Birds of...

Comments: 0

Picture From A Not Dead Yet Movement - To That Which We Do Not Have

30 July 2014


I hadn't planned to put this picture up as a part of the series but something nagged away at me and I couldn't think what it was. Then I saw him and something else nagged at me. I couldn't remember his name. I slept badly last night. How could I not remember his name. There are people in these photos whose name I don't know and it worries me not a jot but something bugged me out here. I woke up. I've got it. He shares my name. He died. We went to his funeral to see off a DAN...

Comments: 0

Another Begging Letter in the Post Today

16 October 2015


I got another begging letter from the Alzheimer's Society today. I can't remember how many that is now. But they clearly won't take no reply for a no. I was going to say indifference for a no there because when these things arrive I am usually indifferent to the causes they say they support, and having had once scanned them for negative imagery it's normally into the bin for them. This time though I didn't even bother reading the letter except for the new post script that...

Comments: 0

A Day For The Lords

17 January 2012


black and white photo from the action of a protestor behind a placard which reads 'Stop Welfare Reform Bill. Zacchaeus 2000 single mothers self defence'

I'm unqualified to talk Welfare Reform. I know the government takes steps to hurt us because we are in this crying game together. I'm unqualified to comment on the Lords. I believe they place safeguards on bad legislation, taking action to stop the government hurting the people it serves. So, i find myself on the streets, aiming my gaze at the Lords, psyching them into supporting us. I'm concerned about the turn out. What activism is this? Why do so few people in our movement turn up to help...

Comments: 12