Following requests from members of We All Shot Pudsey Bear attending Burn Pudsey Friday on Friday 16th November outside a BBC studio near you. Shooters and burners (Non Violent Activists) amongst us,opposed to the charity model of disability, are invited to visit the brand new We All Shot Pudsey Bear Blog.
Here you will find a framework for an action - a new style action with no leaders.
Likeminded activists are simply required to take responsibility for their own involvement in any action in any part of the country they wish to initiate themselves.
The key is to talk to people and to get them involved.
The new blog does not prescribe any particular style of action but does make suggestions.
It provides materials and points to others. These are not exhaustive. You can make your own suggestions.
Activists taking part are invited to have their say, record their activities and contribute theirown materials to the We All Shot Pudsey Bear facebook group or blog.
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 pyres. From this I wondered if we are missing a trick given the Savile outcry.
Some things seem clear to me:
- Disabled Activists correctly promote the social model
- In doing so we sometimes criticise the tragedy model
We make a link between having no equality and the involvement of charities of disabled people in preserving the status quo, presuming to speak for us when we can speak for ourselves, and the investment that is made in them at the expense of under funded Disabled People's Organisations (DPO's).
So it is that a part of our modern movement was made at telefon when we opposed the media and successfully closed it down.
In addition to this we are told that Jimmy Savile was saintly for raising funds for charities. We are hearing that he used his links with charity, the media and care institutions including Stoke Mandeville to perpetuate gross indecencies on our people and others. We hear that institutions were even complicit in this and provided rooms and accommodation where these venal acts were carried out. We are hearing of people in the employ of some institutions, particularly the beeb who knew or suspected that this was going on and they did nothing as this was just the way things were; the dominant culture that prevailed.
We know that abuse is fairly common in institutions regardless of the level of that abuse
We know that abusers actively target good works in the community as a means of reaching their targets and we may not be surprised to one day find out that this includes celebrities who embarrass themselves on the night of Burn Pudsey Friday which coincides with the Children In Need telefon.
We also know that the current economic climate is penalising disabled people. We feel that we are being driven back into the arms of the same charities that have let us down throughout our history. We know that the rights to independence that we fought so hard to achieve through our Free Our People and Civil Rights campaigns are retroactive and some local authorities are proposing institutionalised care as a solution. We instinctively believe it is only a matter of time before the next big abuse scandal hits.
So what do we do about it? Do we call for direct action? Are we capable of making the links between charities, institutionalised care and abusers? Should we still be speaking up for the social model, independent living and against cuts to services?
Should we pressurise celebs who are appearing not to do so until the beeb cleans up its act?
If so who can we rely on to man the barricades? Who is up for it and how are you going to organise?
Replies to this blog would be much appreciated
Given the presumed importance of this blog I have reprinted in my own blog to aid circulation
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 its violent content has been much criticised. The picture was used on the page but one of our younger members decided that Pudsey should be feeling sad about this and his manipulation has been used ever since.
Clare and I had a shared experience of being Danners. One of my first actions with DAN, The Disabled People's Direct Action Network was outside the BBC Centre, White City. Some of us used tickets acquired by Nick Saunders to get into the studio and chant Rights Not Charity at Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslyn. I remember Sue Elsgood and Rachel Salmon being there. We were evicted. Burn Pudsey Friday came out of this event.
Marisha Bonar and Dave Lupton have been great supporters of this event, participating and cocntributing images to the facebook page. I have celebrated it myself with the aforementioned Nick and Adrian Wyatt helping me to burn what Marisha calls 'the little yellow bastard'.
What i really wanted to hear about was disabled people getting together, saving their fireworks and bonfires for this event. The idea of sociability and solidarity figured pretty big in my head at the time. I figured that the event could be celebrated individually too and just the idea of disabled people burning Pudsey across the country would conjure a sense of solidarity.
Don't buy a pudsey to burn. That would be to contribute to a cause I don't believe in. Previous burners have used other bears and put a sling across his unblind eye. I usually print the bear out on a piece of A4. I've found it doesn't burn well but, if you buy a newspaper that usually discriminates against minorities, that will usually help him to burn really well. Last year I bought the Express and tore out pages that showed discriminatory views or charity adverts or tragedy model messages and just burned them. The evidence is on the facebook page.
Did it have an impact. Well, DPAC became really direct in taking action this year putting law breaking above and beyond simple theatre so maybe the wishes that went up with that smoke meant something to someone.
Are there other ways to celebrate burn Pudsey Night. You bet there are. Some have suggested direct action. I wonder if any cinema franchises support Pudsey. What would happen if we all went to watch a film together. Its a case of choosing your targets i guess. But having said that doing anything, messing with your imagination, puttiung some art out there. Whatever, its your call. No pressure.
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?"
"Are you english?"
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. never thought i'd get the chance to do it with a chugger but it might be usefull to bear it mind in future.
"Then i'm sorry but i can't ask you for money"
"I can only take account details from people resident here?"
Better stop this now before he gets to playing the yes no game with me. But what a great discovery.
Weeks latter I'm in a pub watching the football and relating this tale to one of the bar staff. he is well impressed but finds it a little dubious. Money is money. His australian assistant confirms this. It has happened to her too. Suddenly we are engaged with the thought of developing two armies of anti-chuggers. The yes no army that plays them along and sees how far they can go and the phoney foreign accent army who wish to spend less time with them.
Can we recruit you?
The thought of meeting Yoko Ono - as a New Voices Writer excited me. If it came to be - and it did not - what would my interest be?
The Tragedy Model
How to commit simple instructions as a way of overcoming personal tragedy
The experience of exclusion
The nature of segregation
Participation and inclusivity
I will say more about Positive Activism in More Yoko No 2 - Yoko Versus We All Shot Pudsey Bear.
I have lived experiences of the Tragedy Model. So, has Yoko. The death of John being just one circumstance. Living through war, malnutrition, child kidnap, sexism, racism, the burden of believed to have broken up the Beatles (a false belief), miscarriage. Yet Yoko does not come over as pitied, feared, tragic but brave, etc. How did she survive? How did she get by? Was art intrinsic to survival?
Yoko has done many instruction pieces. Here she gives out an instruction. It is up to you if you follow it. It is up to you to experience and create from the instruction. How do you instruct yourself to survive tragedy. This is an example of an instruction piece. It comes from Revelations, part of 100 Acorns.
"Bless you for your fear, For it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear".
The experience of exclusion. The British Press and Media did not welcome Yoko. Neither did fans of the Beatles and it seems the Beatles themselves had to learn to love her. As disabled People we live in a time where the barons of Fleet Street and government minsiters seem only to keen to lay the blame for all that is wrong in our society at our feet.
The nature of segregation. More from 100 Acorns
You are water
We’re all water in different containers
that’s why it’s so easy to meet
someday we’ll evaporate together
But even after the water’s gone
we’ll probably point out to the containers
and say, “that’s me there, that one.”
We’re container minders
Participation and Inclusivity. Just in case you haven't got it yet. You are a part of Yoko's art. You are a part of art. Art cannot work without your participation. the difference is that Yoko seeks to include you and leaves it for you to be included or not.
Given these areas of interest, how could I not be interested in the art of Yoko Ono?
Good Grief! How did we miss this classic?
Was it through our own grief at the passing of Jack Ashley?
Anyway, how this came about. I was playing around with the Gustave Flaubert image that appears in my blog below. I had the idea to change the background to red on one occassion, blue on another, orange on another and blue and orange to signify the coalition. I was wondering who I might represent the 'You What' instead of Gustave. I immediately thought of Jack Ashley. David Blunkett ran through my mind as did Ann Begg
Looking for a caricature of Jack I found this quote on the ITV website. they accredited it to Ed Milliband.
My how far we have fallen, how much we have lost. Tragic, Loss and Courage indeed Ed.
For me the biggest word that comes out of the social model is responsibility. We all need to be responsible for change. In what ways can we be responsible? This is for you to answer for yourself but one way I do it is to chat with chuggers. A chugger is someone who collects for charity out on the street. The word is a composite of charity and mugger. I think it works well. The more time you spend talking to them the less they collect. The less they collect the less they work, the less they work the more likely they are likely to end up doing unpaid work at Tesco’s.
Some are really happy to talk to you. Some think the more they talk to you the more likely they are to persuade you to drop the cash. Some are very cocky. Happy to spread the bullshit round – either that or believes in the product. These are the best to talk to. They collect nothing for the time and seconds spread to minutes, to half hours and longer. It’s a good thing to do and represents a strong test for your tolerance levels which incidentally is not included in the all work test.
The chat I had with this next chugger found someone barely forthcoming. She was standing on the corner by a local supermarket. She had this kind of clown, harlequin outfit on. I happened to have a digital camera in my pocket. I had specifically started carrying it for encounters with chuggers.
This was the chat:
“I think you are really colourful. Can I take your photo?”
“Thank you Sir”
“Who are you chugging for?”
“Disabled Children and Older People”
“Families for Survival UK”
“Do you support people in the UK?”
“Yes and in other countries”
“Well I think you look great. Do you think it helps to chug if you dress up as something ridiculous?”
“I don’t know”.
I found her answer to be very funny. I wonder if anyone else knows.
The first in a series called Chatting To A Chugger http://detrich.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/chatting-to-a-chugger/
The second can be found here: http://detrich.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/chatting-to-a-chugger-2/
I’m sure i have another one somewhere – maybe our conversation was too complex for me. I did mean to write it though!